Isn’t it nice when someone else screws up for you?
I don’t know about you, but I hate going into something blind.
How I wish there were some other sorry sods that made the blogging mistakes I made when I started out.
Near about a decade into blogging, I have made my fair share of blunders and wasted more than enough time.
If you’re serious about starting a blog and making some extra cash on the side, there is no shame in taking advice from someone who’s been around the block… a couple of times.
Here are my top 25 blogging tips for beginners.
1. Keep Up with the Pace
Do you know someone who uses Xanga or Live Journal?
I have been blogging for years and I still haven’t found anyone who uses it.
The thing is, you need to stay current in this fast-paced blogging world or you are going to be left behind.
Do yourself a favor, take the time and see who’s the best nowadays. You don’t want to be stuck in the “your-mom-is-your-only-fan” phase.
2. Life Happens
Time doesn’t stand still and life happens, you just have to bite the bullet and make time for your blog.
Forget Candy Crush, if you are waiting for the bus, use your time to work on your blog.
A good friend of mine actually didn’t mind getting up to soothe his newborn. Baby in one hand, phone in the other. It was a win-win situation.
Life is hectic, you just have to be creative and make time.
3. There’s Money in the List
The sooner you start with an email list, the better. It doesn’t matter if you think you are only doing this just for the fun.
You might soon realize there are some bucks to be made.
Besides, if you have an email list you don’t have to worry about search rankings.
Your content goes straight to your readers. It’s almost like taking out the middleman.
The reason you started this thing was to be heard right?
4. Show Some Love
Your blog is like your own little kingdom and no kingdom would survive without its subjects.
Nobody likes a selfish king.
Everybody likes being noticed (for the right reasons).
Show some love to your loyal followers and you’ll soon find that they spread the word for you. They feel important and your blog grows. Everybody wins.
It’s all about creating a balance between searching for new readers and taking care of the ones you already have.
5. Loosey Goosey
Dude, you have to loosen up your writing. You’re not preparing a medical dissertation. You’re writing for the fun of it.
People want to read your stuff because it’s easy. Life is hard and complicated enough.
There’s no need to complicate it even further with a stiff blog.
You want to keep it conversational.
Think of your blog as a close friend.
There’s no pretense. It’s real.
Have fun some damn fun with it.
6. I Spy with My Little Eye
If you are looking to be a serious blogger and make this your bread and butter, then listen up.
It might sound creepy and even invasive, but hey, you need to know what happens on your blog.
Install some analytics software to see what people are interested in.
You’ll soon see what works and what you can chuck. You can get some valuable info that will help you shape your blog and cater to your visitors.
7. Readers are Lazy
Yup, I said it. Readers are lazy.
This is just because there is just so much. I also blame banner ads for making people blind to the sides of your screen.
Don’t even think about posting your twitter account on the side. Don’t think that they are going to search for your details on your page, you need to take action, or rather a call-to action.
At the end of your blog, have a little call-to-action to get your bloggers to follow you on twitter or sign up for a newsletter.
8. Why the Hell Don’t I Believe You
It’s so easy to write a whole lot of BS on the Internet nowadays and that is the problem. So how do people know you’re telling the truth?
See the data that’s available.
If you don’t include and link your claims to verified data, you might as well start a blog on fairy tales.
People want the truth in this soup of online data.
The saying rings true, seeing is believing.
9. Lift the Block
It happens to all of us. Is still get blog writer’s block from time to time. There’s no shame in using a little something to help you lift the block though, and no, I’m not talking about a fat spliff.
There are actually blog topic generators that you can use to get you back on track.
All you need to do is feed the machine some keywords and it spits out your next masterpiece topic.
10. Everybody Loves a Freebie
When people see the word ‘free’ they buzz around it like flies around a turd.
You don’t have to break the bank to do so either, but generosity goes a long way and people will love you for it.
The best part is that you don’t even have to give something to everybody.
Just start a little competition on your blog and give the prize to the winner.
A freebie will go a long way to make your blog profitable.
11. Give Credit Where It is Due
I might sound a bit old-school here, but if you write a blog, don’t take shortcuts. Don’t be the fool who copies other people’s stuff and paste it as your own.
That is just not cool.
You want your voice to come through and you also want to respect others and give them credit for their good work.
If you do use another writer’s content, give them credit.
You would like it if someone returns the favor.
12. Be Consistent
Here I go with the old-school vibes again!
You might have heard your grandad say to you that your word is your bond. Today, that means even more to people than it did way back when.
I don’t know about you, but it is so hard to find a reliable service nowadays.
If you promise new content every week, you better deliver. You have to be consistent.
If you do, people will come to trust you and you’ll keep your readers…
13. Keep It Bite-Size
People are busy and don’t have the time to read novel-length posts. You might have a topic that requires a bit of body, but you need to break it down.
Break your post down so that it is easy to digest.
Most blog readers do it on their mobile devices and a smaller paragraph just reads easier.
Explain your topic well, don’t leave anything out, but don’t add stuff that is unnecessary either.
14. Keep It Real
In the plastic world we live in, authenticity is worth gold. Stay true to yourself and hold on to your beliefs. Let me elaborate..
People don’t necessarily care about a specific site, they’d much rather follow someone who they can relate to.
Be honest, who doesn’t want to become a role model?
Just don’t be a sellout, people can smell that from a mile away. If they think you’re fake, they’ll move on.
15. I Don’t Make Miss Steaks
If you think for one moment you are god’s gift to typing, think again.
Auto-correct will bite you in the ass and you’ll end up looking like a fool.
It’s one thing to write in a conversational tone, but proofing your work is a whole other ballgame.
You want to make sure that your work is error free, it tells a lot about how professional you are.
And you can spare yourself some embarrassment. Definitely, it will save your life, Trust me.
16. Can You Handle the Truth
Here’s the thing, whatever you post online is public.
You’re more than welcome to write a whole lot of bull, but if someone catches wind of it, it’s your reputation on the line.
It also happens that you might write something with the best intentions but your facts are skew.
So, make sure to fact-check your stuff to ensure what you write is the truth according to yourself and other reputable sources.
17. Patience is a Virtue
Rome wasn’t built in a day and you shouldn’t get your hopes up to have overnight success with your blog.
Believe me, it’s going to take time and if you are willing to put in the effort, you are sure to reap the rewards.
Aware about the fact that the Internet is filled with nearly countless blogs?
Some of those blogs might even resemble what you want to do. The key is to keep at it and be consistent in what you do.
18. Perfect is Relative
If you are anything like me, you always tend to hesitate to click the publish button.
There is this fear that you might have missed something.
Truth is, you did miss something and you always will. Your mind is complex and is in constant flux, your ideas regarding perfection will also change.
Keep a balance between proofreading and obsessing.
The sooner you learn to let go and trust that your work is good enough, the better.
19. Let Your Followers Lead You
I know it might sound weird, but there is method in the madness.
Your followers follow you. You inspire them, entertain them and relate to them.
They come to your blog because you offer something unique. But they also have questions. They also want to know what you think.
That is why it is super important to respond to their questions and let them guide you to your next post.
Ask yourself the question, will my work get more exposure if I leave it in one format or in multiple formats?
Logic indicates the latter. There is no reason why you should keep your blog in one format. Repurpose your content into an infographic or e-book or any other digital format?
Just link it back to the original source. It might cost some extra effort, but nothing worthwhile is easy.
21. The Headline Says It All, or Does It?
Most of the time, your blog post will be read based on the title.
Apart from the actual content, this is the most important part of your blog.
It’s only catchy headlines that determine if your post gets read or not.
Keep it simple, yet powerful.
Make a statement, but don’t give it all away. People still need to read the article. A catchy headline will also make your article more desirable to share.
22. Get It at the Top of the List
This is probably the most technical and analytical aspect of your blog.
Whatever you write, you need to make it search engine optimized.
There are a bunch of words or phrases that attract a lot of attention and you need to search for them and put them in in the right way.
These words you need to carry throughout the article.
Start with your heading and working your way down to the conclusion.
23. Would You Cite It?
If there is one test that you can do to check yourself, it is to see if you will be willing to cite your own work as credible.
I am not talking hectic research university stuff.
All I’m saying is that you need to make sure your blog has an original lesson that the reader can cite elsewhere.
It speaks volumes of the quality of your work if you are willing to bank on it.
24. Haters are Always Gonna Hate
A snowball has a better chance in hell than writing a blog and not getting some flack for it.
You will never please everyone, so stop trying. Bad press isn’t always bad.
If you get criticized and trolled, chances are that you are doing something right and that people are following.
Don’t take the comments personally, just learn from them. You can rest in the fact that the haters don’t actually know you.
25. Design to Use
Your readers come to your blog page for one thing, they want to read what you have to say.
They don’t want to be hassled with a bad user experience. Make sure you prioritize their experience of your site.
They might just come back. Less is more, but aesthetics is better, easy use is best.
Don’t make your blog complicated.
See to it that your readers can easily navigate your page.
Thanks for taking the time to read my tips on blogging.
There are a hundred more lessons that I’d love to share with my blogging-peeps.
Well, I guarantee if you keep these in mind, you’ll just break through it. That’s my promise!
Drop a comment and tell me what you think of the article. I’d love to hear your views.
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