Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10 Tips for the Newbie Blogger

"Newbies" is the Writing Challenge prompt that I have expanded to 10 Tips for the Newbie Blogger.  

To give some credence to my tips, I must reveal I am not a newbie blogger.  I had a "starter" blog that I ran for two years, pulled the plug on it and began this current blog that I have now maintained going on four years. Blogger lists my page views at 130,000+ and Google+ lists my page views at 1,062,000+.

No. 1:  Remember blogging is a platform.  You can start with the gem of an idea in mind and use the forum to expand your audience.  My blog began as a showcase for thrift shop finds.  While that was all well and good, it was limiting.  No one is going to give you demerits if you don't stick to your blog's original premise. 

No. 2:  There are no rules.  I have combined blog hops, and why not?  Do I post daily?  Sometimes.  Do I take months off?  Yes, to rest and rejuvenate.  Blogging can be exhausting, especially when one is participating in challenges (either writing or photography).  Month-long challenges garner new readers and don't forget to visit other challenge participants and comment.

No. 3:  Blogs come and go, bloggers lose interest in their own blogs and it is no wonder their audience loses interest too.  Retain a passion for what you are blogging about. 

No. 4:  Comments from your readers are always nice but the real goal is to have your post shared and linked.  Write content that engages your audience and the shares will come. 

No. 5:  It does help if you are part of a tribe or blogging community but that only gains you readers within that limited realm.  Seek out different audiences and unique blog challenges so you are not circling around the same group of people. 

No. 6:  When you do comment on other blogs, include a link to your last post.  Others read comments and will click onto your link if you've piqued their interest. 

No. 7:  Make your format and font easy to read and eye appealing.  I try to emulate blogs and bloggers that I admire.  I am constantly tweeking my blog format, either to wrap in a holiday or to make it look more professional. 

No. 8:  Your audience likes to know who YOU are, include an "About Me" section and an image of yourself.  If you are blog shy and only post images of your headless torso, readers tend to lose interest. 

No. 9:  No matter how you look at it blogging is writing (unless you are just posting to Instagram), so hone your writing and grammar skills.  The quickest way to irk an English major (or any reader) is with awful writing and horrible grammar.

No. 10:  Set up automatic feeds from your blog to Facebook and Twitter or other social media.  It is an easy way to expand your audience without creating extra work. 

Blogging can be a blast and soon you will move from Newbie Blogger to Blogger Extraordinaire!

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