Running a blog can be terribly overwhelming, especially if it’s your first one. That’s why I decided to turn my years of blogging experience (over a decade and counting!) into a list of the 13 blogging tips for beginners so that you can begin your blogging journey on the right track.
Before I get started, allow me to extend congratulations on your decision to start a blog!
If you’re completely new to this, you’ve probably done tons of research and are probably overwhelmed by all the blogging advice and writing tips out there.
Completely understandable! I’ll do my best to be as straightforward as possible. Let’s dive in!
P.S. If you haven’t actually created a blog yet, this article will be very helpful.
There are plenty of platforms and content management systems you can use to create a blog, but if you’re serious about pursuing blogging as a long-term undertaking, owning the domain outright and installing WordPress is the best foundation you could establish for your blog.
It’s tempting to start a blog on a free platform (such as Wix.com) because that means less expense in the beginning. However, it’s not advisable to build a business and brand on a foundation you don’t own or can’t control. One of the greatest disadvantages of starting a blog on a free platform is that you have ZERO ownership over your website.
Sooner or later, you’ll want to migrate to your own domain, and the longer you put it off, the more time, effort, and cost it will involve.
You can read more about the pros and cons of various blogging platforms, and why WordPress is the best CMS to use, in this comprehensive guide on how to build your blog from scratch.
Ask yourself “why do I want to blog?”
Are you treating your blog as a main source of income or like a side-hustle?
Are you blogging to gain popularity in your niche so you can network with other popular bloggers for offline business opportunities? Or is the goal to advertise your skills and knowledge for freelance work?
Knowing your “why” will keep you from wasting time and energy on things that may be important to other bloggers, but don’t align with your goals or purpose for blogging.
In the same vein, don’t concern yourself with what other bloggers in your space are doing because everyone’s journey is different. Bloggers with impressive website designs have been blogging for a long time and have bigger budgets than a newcomer would.
Envious of bloggers who are dominating with videos or social media? Don’t be. That’s THEIR lane – stay in yours and do what’s going to set YOU apart.
Stick to your “why” and focus on accomplishing YOUR objectives.
Some of you may be thinking, “This is ridiculous. The reason I went into blogging is because I want to be flexible. What’s this fuss about a routine?”
The only way to consistently publish content on your blog is to set aside time for it — and the most effective way to do that is to write at the same time every day.
Here’s an example of what your daily routine could look like:
Set an alarm for 6 a.m., enjoy a breakfast or cup of coffee, then write from 7 a.m. until 9 a.m.. After that, do something else that’s blog-related for the rest of your work day, like designing the week’s newsletter, responding to emails, or updating your site. If you need a break, complete an errand or chore that’s completely unrelated to the blog, like grocery shopping or laundry.
Dedicating two hours each day to write on your blog is a routine you CAN stick to and still have the flexibility in your schedule you desire. Once you’ve gotten into this habit, you can add even more flexibility into your routine by choosing to write longer or simply enjoying some free time with your family.
Although I recommend writing in the morning when your ideas are fresh, if you write better at night, then schedule your writing hours then! What’s important is establishing a routine that works for YOU.
Images work wonders. They add color and space out paragraphs nicely, making content easier on the eyes.
The last thing you need is for someone to sue you or threaten to take your website down because you’re using their images illegally, though. It’s crucial to be mindful of the images you use for your blog. In the same spirit, don’t copy and paste content from other blogs. You may not feel the consequences now, but it’s bound to come back and bite you in the future.
The best way to avoid copyright issues when using images is to use royalty-free stock images from websites like Pixabay, Shutterstock, and Burst. Better yet, use your own images. If you have a knack for photography, why not capture images that fit your content?
Chances are you’ve either heard this a lot or you’re going to: ALWAYS aim to add value to the readers’ lives.
I mean, that’s definitely sound advice and seems like a no-brainer. But…
What does it actually mean?
When you consider what it means to add value to people’s lives, think about the content that you consume and the value it provides to you.
The best way to deliver value is through *drumroll*… educating readers. Explaining how to do something, explaining an important but complicated concept, or providing tips/hacks all qualify as education. Providing readers with new skills they can use in their lives is an excellent way to turn accidental visitors into loyal, long-term subscribers.
Another way to provide value is through inspiring readers. While there is a lot of competition within the lifestyle blogging niche, set yourself apart by focusing on something specific: encourage readers to be the best versions of themselves by exemplifying a certain lifestyle or motivate them to take action on something that will improve their lives.
A different and underrated way of delivering value to readers is by providing entertainment. It may not seem very significant or notable as far as the application to a reader’s life goes, but there’s a lot of value in being entertained. We all need to laugh out loud every once in a while.
So if you’re creative, witty, playful, or just plain pun-ny (ehhhh, get it?), use those skills to bring a little joy to someone’s day while establishing yourself as an authority in that space.
There is no limit to content and copywriting formulas available online – all you have to do is a little research to find them.
However, if you follow those formulas to a T, you’re depriving yourself from creating a style and voice that is unique to you. Not only that, but your audience will never really get to know you or recognize what makes your blog special.
Allow readers to connect with you by letting your personality shine through your writing. People respond better to content that reads like it was written by a real person, not a robot. Plus, you don’t want your content to look like everything else that’s published online. Think about any recipe blog you’ve ever encountered – can you recall any by their specific name or style?
People aren’t attracted to content that can be read elsewhere. You need to offer something more, something… extra. In time, subscribers will visit your site for the content but stay for your perspective.
How do you get your target audience to pay attention to your message? Write in a way that’s familiar to them.
Using simple, everyday language allows you to get your point across more effectively. Try to avoid technical or complicated jargon that’s irrelevant to the audience. If your target audience would understand more technical or special terms because they relate to the topic of your blog, then by all means – use them! The goal is simply to ensure that your target audience understands what you’re writing whether they’re experienced or a newcomer.
Your content should be clear and concise. The fewer words you use to get a point across, the better. Also, break up text into several paragraphs instead of subjecting readers to one huge wall of text. Not only does this make content easier to scan, it also makes it visually appealing.
To test the readability of your content, read what you’ve written out loud. If it sounds too scripted or awkward, edit and rewrite it.
Collecting email addresses when you’ve only just launched may sound sleazy, but hear me out.
Email offers a more personal way to communicate with an audience than just a blog or social media platform because your content arrives directly to their inbox. Building an email list early on allows you to establish a great relationship with your audience and connect with readers from the start.
The key is to not abuse your list. Warm up your audience by offering a value-packed monthly email newsletters that includes your latest blog posts and noteworthy news from your niche/industry. Once you gain your readers’ trust and have blogged for a while, you can transition the focus of your communication to market affiliate offers, training courses, or other avenues of monetization.
But remember: don’t burn your list! It’s okay to market to your list – just remember to continue providing the value they’ve come to trust from you. Otherwise, you run the risk of making your subscribers feel like you’re abusing the privilege of knowing their email address.
Here are some tools we recommend for building an email list:
It seems like every blogger these days is on ALL the social media platforms.
In reality, building a social media presence should be lower on your priority list than creating content and building an email list.
Without content, there is nothing to promote on social media, and without an email list, there is no audience.
Focus your initial social media efforts on 1-2 platforms that your target audience has a presence on. You can always expand your reach to new social media platforms down the road, but when you’re beginning to establish a presence, it’s better to focus on just a couple of platforms.
“But you just said…”
Social media shouldn’t be at the top of your list, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on the list.
Social media is powerful – when used correctly. The two most valuable functions social media provides a blogger are as follows:
Once you’ve published 5 to 10 articles, that’s the time to promote your blog on social media. You don’t want to attract an audience to your blog only to have them discover that there are only 1 or 2 articles posted. That’s never a good first impression.
One final note regarding social media: when readers engage with your social media accounts, make it a point to reply as soon as you can. Similarly, when you see someone share your content, make sure to thank them!
No matter how much research you do or how many articles you read (including this one) or how many guides you follow, mistakes will be inevitable.
And that’s okay.
Don’t get too wrapped up in doing everything perfectly the first time. As long as you nailed down the basic steps to starting a blog (your domain, your CMS, and your email autoresponder), embrace the fact that at this stage, making a mistake wont have such a huge impact on your blog because as a new blogger, you don’t have a large following — yet.
The more valuable content you put out, the better the chances for your subscriber base to grow. And just because it’s been a couple of weeks without a massive surge in followers, that doesn’t mean you should experiment with black-hat SEO or engage in topics that are harmful or hateful!
But outside of obviously malicious actions or practices, feel free to experiment with your content, your website design, and your writing voice until you find the combination that works for you and your target audience. Mistakes help you learn what to do and what not to do, so accept them as part of the process.
Remember: Even experts make mistakes (So. Many. Mistakes.). They were successful because they learned from their blunders.
I get it – enthusiasm is THROUGH THE ROOF when starting a project you’re really excited about. You might find yourself pounding the keyboard, rattling out blog post after blog post.
A month will go by, then two….
And when you check in on your analytics, traffic is in the low hundreds and there is hardly any engagement from visitors. Your social media accounts? Nothing but crickets.
You get discouraged and bummed and decide not to work so hard this next month since it’s clearly not worth the energy.
And then, instead of writing every day, you gradually put it off until you’re only writing two days out of week. You barely reply to comments, and you’ve stopped emailing your list.
Don’t let your blog die.
It’s going to take time to get your new blog to the point of profitability and to establish yourself as an authority within your niche.
“Well how long is THAT going to take?!”
Around 12 to 18 months, and that’s if you’re publishing content at least three times a week.
This early in the race, accept that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
Don’t give up before you get to the finish line.
The most successful bloggers are the ones who keep pushing long enough to see their blogs succeed. So hang in there.
The last (but most important) free blogging tip that I can share is to enjoy the process. Blogging can be extremely overwhelming in the beginning because of the numerous tasks you have to juggle and all the tools you need to learn to use.
If you’re genuinely passionate about the topic you’re writing about, you’re more likely to create content consistently. Plus, your genuine enjoyment will be evident in your writing.
So have fun!
That may sound like lazy, throwaway advice, but I promise you it’s not. It’s important to enjoy blogging because if not, you’ll get burned out early and won’t see your blog achieve success.
I sincerely hope these blogging tips for beginners help you on your journey to success. Don’t get too overwhelmed by them. Again, it’s okay to make mistakes (and trust me – you’ll make a lot of them). Focus on one thing at a time. Once you’ve gotten the hang of one, move on to the next thing.
Here’s a reminder of all the tips detailed in this article:
Keep these blogging tips in your back pocket as you establish your new blog, and revisit them once you’ve gotten a couple of months down the road. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ve improved in the short period since getting started.
Are you a new blogger? How’s your journey been so far? Did you find these tips helpful? Share your story in the comments!
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