9 tips for the newbie blogger

Fairy Blog Mother

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There are countless posts zinging their way around the net about tips for newbie bloggers, and in fact I was inspired by reading one of them.

Since I deal with newbie bloggers, it’s worth my while reading these posts. It is a form of market research. They are written by bloggers for bloggers, therefore I know they are real and not made up by some geek who thinks he understands what a newbie blogger needs to know.

1. Think carefully about your blog’s name

The only thing you need to get right from the beginning is your URL or web address, as that you cannot change. But you can change your blog’s name if you get bored with it, or think of something better. It’s very easy to do via Settings, and while you’re about it, why not think of an excellent strapline or one-line description and enter that in too!

2. Use your passion to develop a niche

It’s important to show your passion when writing in your blog. It’s what is attractive to your readers, and fires your enthusiasm to write more posts. Really it should be the main reason why you created a blog in the first place. Take your passion and explore it fully to create your niche. This is what sets your blog apart from the others, and focuses your mind on what you are going to say.

3. Find a Tribe

This is following on from the niche concept, and involves finding other bloggers who write in the same subject. This is important if you want to extend your blog’s exposure to more readers, and increase your visitor rate to your blog. The best place to look are the social bookmarking sites, such as StumbleUpon, Delicious, Digg and Reddit. Here you need to socialise and read, recommend and comment on other people’s blogs to fit in, rather than only submitting your own posts, to avoid being seen as spam. You’ll find the process far more enjoyable if you do it properly from the beginning.

4. Write like you speak

Blogging should be seen as having a written conversation with your readers. I write my posts as if I’m talking to my readers, and dump what comes into my head onto the post’s page before going back and making it more readable. This makes the post much more attractive, and the subject matter is much more readily absorbed and understood. I tried to optimise my posts with lots of keywords to make them more attractive to the search engines, but the result was so stilted and illegible, I felt ashamed to publish them. That was not the reason why I write posts, so the SEO method was quickly abandoned!

5. Be consistent with your posts

A long time ago I read this statement: ‘a blog without new content is like a cheese sandwich’. What this means is that blogs have been created to submit new content, so neglecting and forgetting your blog is a waste of resources. Since spiders are programmed to crawl blogs much more frequently than websites, don’t abuse this advantage by failing to regularly provide the new content they crave. Create an editorial calendar so you know what you are going to blog about in advance; this saves time scratching your head looking at a blank post screen and could stimulate a post series to keep your readers enthralled.

6. Learn patience and persistence

Blogging is not a quick fix. It takes time to perfect. In fact, who says bloggers ever reach that Nevada of the perfect post. Practising writing and exploring different styles is not a sign of weakness, it should be encouraged. When I started blogging over 6 years ago my posts were abysmal; they were stilted, boring and far too long. I spent hours trying to get them right, proof reading and refining them until they appeared to be satisfactory. Now I don’t bother, and just dump my thoughts down as quickly as I can. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t perfect, as long as most of the spelling is OK and the grammar doesn’t distort their meaning. It’s not worth being precious about writing posts as long as the general idea comes across and is understood and appreciated by your readers.

7. Don’t get hung up about numbers

You could set up Analytics for your blog if you want to track its performance, but in the beginning it’s not that necessary. The main idea is to get used to blogging, enjoy writing and exploring different subjects, styles and formats, and create a following of regular visitors. This is done through consistency, keeping to your subject and providing entertainment, educational information and enjoyment. It may take years to build up a readership, as only if you’re lucky and strike the right chord you may go viral. Those that do have found that particular spark that sets them above the rest, so set your goals to achieve that and you won’t go wrong.

8. Don’t do it for money

Blogging won’t make you a fortune. If you have created a blog purely to monetize it, then think again. Successful bloggers who make a living with their blogs didn’t do so from the beginning. They had to build up their visitor rates first, and that took time and a lot of work. Those who totally optimise their blogs purely to make money invariably write crap posts, as they are writing for the search engines and not necessarily their readers. Also the kind of people who frequent their blogs aren’t really interested in what they have to say either. Do you really want to go down that road?

9. Take a tutorial

You can never stop learning about blogging. Even I am constantly learning new stuff every day, as I find it’s a fascinating subject (but them I’m weird like that). But it is important to start with proper foundations to make it easier in the long run and to avoid unnecessary long-cuts or miss important elements as you progress. That’s why the Fairy Blog Mother was created to provide easy to understand WordPress tuition to make the lives of newbie bloggers easier. We use ordinary, everyday language with visual, step-by-step examples showing the cause-and-effect of each transaction. The pace is slower, accompanied with a full description throughout, giving you plenty of time to absorb the new information and put it into practice. My e-courses aim to be ready to use before the New Year, so if you are interested, sign up to get my free gifts and receive my newsletter, to be the first to know when everything is ready!

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.

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