The Internet is full of tips for bloggers, some tips are definitely better than others, and some may be irrelevant to your specific type of blog. But in any case, I’ve rounded up some of the best tips that have helped me to create my own content, and feel better about it. So, here they are, in no specific order.
Limit the amount of time you work on a post.
I came across this solid piece of advice by clicking on an article link on Twitter, but it’s something I’ve definitely taken to heart. Even though you may want it to be perfect, and want to spend hours perfecting your post, there are always going to be minor things to change, and if you keep changing the minor things, a week can go by and you still haven’t posted anything. So the best thing to do is to set a time limit, or a word count, and do your very best to work within those constraints (Schaefer). There more you blog the easier it will be, the point of blogging is that you are getting your thoughts and any information out into the world. You’re not writing a scholarly article, (unless you are) and slight imperfections are one of the best things about blogs. Just don’t forgo the spell check, and edit for grammar.
Write for yourself.
Another great piece of advice from Mark Schaefer. Personas don’t have a place in blogging, they’re great for marketing, but nobody wants to read a piece written for a fictional persona. Your readers want to read your blog because they want your thoughts and opinions, they don’t want to read what you think they want to read. Also write about what you’re passionate about. Don’t start a craft blog if you hate crafting, just because you think you’ll be successful. If you’re not passionate about it, writing about it is going to become a chore that you dread. If you love antiquing, write about your finds, if you love cooking, then cook your little heart out and write about it. If you’re passionate about rhinos, then write about them.
This goes hand in hand with writing about what you’re passionate about. If you’re passionate about crafting, by all means blog away, but know that there are a million other crafting blogs out there, why should someone subscribe to yours? Is there a particular craft style you prefer? Are you using old-fashioned techniques? Why are your antique finds better than anyone else’s? What makes your peanut butter cookies better than everyone else’s? Find what makes you and your blog unique, and play to that strength. If all else fails…
Have amazing photography.
Even if your peanut butter cookies suck, if they at least photograph well, and you do photograph them well, there’s a better chance of your post being shared, and people actually trying your recipe. Sometimes photos can make or break your post. But in the case of those awful cookies…
Don’t let the fear of the negative hold you back.
Mark Schaefer has really good advice, that’s why I stole (with proper credit) three of his top pieces of advice. But you have to accept that there are going to be people out there who don’t like what you like (like rhinos, or candle making), or followed your cookie recipe and realized they taste awful, and are going to express their dislike all over your comments section. But that’s really the worst thing that can happen. Unless you’re stealing all your posts from someone else, then you have nothing to worry about. Get your thoughts out there, you’re mostly going to get positive feedback anyways. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t let the haters get you down.
Both in the way you write, and the format of your blog. Here consistency is key. Write the way you talk, that way your readers get a real sense of who you are, and that you are carrying on a conversation with them. I read enough professional and scholarly articles everyday, I read blogs to get away from that type of writing. So does the mastermind behind BlogHer.com That’s why writing the way you talk made her list. She also suggests keeping the format of your blog consistent. Use headings to make it easier to read, and easier to reference back to a section, (like an ingredients list for those cookies), bullets when you’re making a list, don’t change your colors or your fonts too often. Pick an aesthetic that you like and stick with it. Obviously you’re going to change your theme and your format a zillion times in the first like two weeks or blogging. But after that pick something and stick to it, if you want to change, make minor changes as you see fit, or change it dramatically all at once, but maybe write an explanation post. But, don’t change drastically from week to week.
Include your audience.
They keep you going after all. One of the best ways to do this is to conclude with questions to inspire discussion in the comments. Or dedicate a post to your readers, take suggestions and once in a while devote a whole post to someone’s idea. Maybe they have a cool craft, or a really great recipe. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Test out your ideas on Twitter, if you get a good response then clearly it’s something your readers are interested in (Cooper).
Fake It ‘Til You Make It.
Solid life advice in general. Pretend to be confident, and you will exude confidence.
What are your favorite blogging tips?
Cooper, B.B. (2013, July 30) 16 top tips from blogging experts for beginners. Retrieved from https://blog.bufferapp.com/blogging-advice-for-beginners-from-16-experts
Schaefer. M, (2015, December 15) 5 proven tips to help with your blogging confidence. Retrieved from http://www.businessesgrow.com/2014/12/15/blogging-confidence/
Wansgard, M.S. (2015, January 1). Top 10 blogging tips for beginners. Retrieved from http://www.blogher.com/my-top-10-blogging-tips-beginners