I love how friendly and warm the blogging community is. Bloggers are always ready and willing to share their ideas with their peers and give each other a helping hand. I wanted to (hopefully) help my fellow bloggers (especially newbie bloggers) by sharing a few lessons I have learnt during my first year of blogging!
Ever heard the phrase ‘content is King’? Well it certainly is! Ensure you create good quality content that people will want to read. Whether your reviewing a product or giving your readers information on a particular topic, make sure you produce a good quality piece which will encourage your readers to return to your blog.
Successful blogs consistently post new material every week. I have noticed that when I got caught up with work and didn’t post in a while, my DA score dropped and so did visits to my blog. This doesn’t mean that you can never have some time off from your blog, you just need to organise your time.
When you do take a break from blogging make sure you have some posts written in advance to post while you are away. Word Press has some great tools which enable you to schedule your posts – use them if you need to. I prefer to use a good old fashioned diary to schedule my posts. I also carry around with me a notebook and pen so I can always jot down my ideas wherever I am.
Use your blog as a place to show off your creative side. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I have developed a love for photography since blogging, I use plenty of images in my posts. If you have a talent for creating artistic, eye-catching images, use them in your posts. You might have some other creative talents, such as Photoshop skills, or poetry, whatever you have, use it to make your blog unique to you.
I cannot stress enough the value of social media. I had not realised how much time I would spend on social media once I became a blogger. Once you have created a post, you need to promote it. There is no better forum to do this than on social media sites. I had to learn how to use these sites and then how to use them to promote my blog (see my post Social Media and Blogging for more information). It has taken me a year of blogging to develop these skills! The social media sites I use are:
Engage with the Blogging Community:
Comment on other blogger’s posts, share their posts on social media, subscribe to other blogs. Not only are bloggers likely to return the favour, you will also get the chance to see what others are writing about and how other blogs are laid out. You may also get some tips for your own blog!
If you are offered the opportunity, guest blog! I have really enjoyed creating a number of posts for fellow bloggers. Guest blogging is a win – win situation for all: Not only does this provide content for someone else’s blog, but they will include links to your blog and your social media sites on the post.
Here are some examples of guest blog posts I have created:
My Top 5 Castles in the North of England – https://hobbyism.co.uk/history-buff-castles
Depression and Food – Breaking the Cycle and the Taboo – http://daddygiraffe21.com/life-battles/depression-and-food-breaking-the-cycle-and-the-taboo/
When I first started blogging, I thought I had to categorise my blog and find a niche. However, after speaking to successful bloggers, I quickly learnt that this wan’t the right approach for me. Instead, I blog about a whole range of different topics, and the categories of my blog have changed as my blog has developed. Don’t feel that you have to restrict your blog to one or a few categories, do what works best for you.
Make Yourself Visible:
Ensure you create an ‘about me’ page. Having worked for businesses who work with bloggers, it is so frustrating if you cannot find out something about the blogger. Sometimes (as is the case with me) my blog name does not include my actual name (Ashley). When sending an email to a potential business partner, I want to address them by their name. Make sure your about me page includes your first name and, essentially, your contact details. Business opportunities can be missed by the absence of such basic information. See my About me page to get an idea of what should be included.
After a year of blogging I have come to realise that creating a successful blog doesn’t happen over night. It takes a lot of hard work and determination. However, if you are persistent, then the hard work will pay off in the end.