Last June, I finally told my friends and family about my blog. It still feels weird when I talk to a new person about it, mainly because I was so private about it for so long.
Many of my friends (and friends of friends) ask me a blogging question whenever they can, which is kind of funny.
I never thought that someone would come to me for blogging advice. I even have friends asking me to sit down with them for a day and show them how to start a blog and go through everything with them.
One of my good friends even told me the other day that she had a super nerdy thing to tell me – she said my blog opened her eyes up to a whole new world.
Like with my story, I never thought about blogging before I actually started. I knew nothing about it and I didn’t know anyone who blogged. Now that I’m blogging, I’m getting a lot of the people around me interested in it as well.
Since everyone is always asking me for blogging advice, I have decided to make a blog post about this. Starting a brand new blog can be a little scary and overwhelming, but hopefully with my tips below you can start a successful website.
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1. Start on WordPress.
I made a very detailed post about this last year. Whatever you do, try to skip Blogger and start right away on WordPress. With Blogger, yes, it is FREE to start your blog, but I don’t think it’s worth it.
Also, I created a guide on starting your WordPress blog on BlueHost. The steps are very easy, and you can do it all on your own.
It may be worth it to have a free blog if you’re not even sure if you want to blog. This way you don’t have to put any money into it until you are sure. BUT, in almost all other cases I think you should start immediately on WordPress. It doesn’t cost much to start a blog from scratch.
I made the mistake of staying on Blogger for far too long… It’s one of my biggest blogging regrets!
2. Find a niche.
This is not exactly a need, but finding a niche to blog about can be a great thing. There are so many topics out there that are waiting for you to blog about.
Some ideas include:
- Personal finance. Making Sense of Cents is primarily a personal finance website, but I also blog about my trips and life as well.
- Travel. Travel blogs are one of my favorite niches to read. I can never get enough.
If you have a favorite blog, share the link below. I always love finding new websites!
3. Have personality.
If you sound like a robot in all of your posts, I think it would be very hard for anyone to enjoy reading your blog. You should inject as much personality as you can into your posts.
My favorite blogs are ones where the authors have awesome personalities that I can relate to. They can turn a boring subject into something that I actually want to read. I also like to read about how REAL people approach a problem.
If I wanted to read a textbook then I would be doing that 🙂
4. Produce high-quality content.
If you are going to blog, always make sure to produce high quality content. If you are pumping out content that is boring and adds no value to the blogging world, then you are just wasting your time.
ProBlogger has a bunch of great articles that show you how to produce high-quality content. I recommend that you head over there and read How To Write Great Blog Content.
5. Get on social media.
If you want to be a blogger, I think it’s absolutely necessary to have a Twitter and Facebook account. Even if you don’t understand it, start an account and just go with it.
Whenever I tell a new blogger this tip, they almost ALWAYS tell me that they don’t understand social media so they are not interested in starting an account. However, once you get started you will get hooked, and it is so helpful.
Social media is a great way to network with your readers and other bloggers in the community.
6. Don’t get caught up with your stats.
When you are blogging, it is very easy to check your blog’s statistics all the time. I can’t blame you for doing that. You are probably curious as to whether or not someone is actually reading your blog, and numbers may help you determine if you are doing something right or wrong.
It is important to not get carried away with it though. If you find yourself checking your stats every 5 minutes, then you are probably checking it too much! Restrict yourself to only checking it every so often such as once a day or once a week.
7. Make sure all of your links work.
One thing that really bothers me with a blog is when there are links that don’t lead anywhere. Always make sure that links in your sidebar go to the correct places.
An example would be if you have social media icons on your sidebar but they don’t go anywhere. WHY IS THAT?! Am I the only person that this annoys?
8. Don’t use CAPTCHA.
This is just annoying. Does anyone actually like CAPTCHA? There are so many great plugins that help with spam. They also don’t require your readers to fill out an annoying quiz in order to leave a comment.
9. Don’t copy others.
This should be a given. You should be providing fresh content each time you hit publish.
Even if it’s a topic that has been covered before, you still should be putting your own spin on it and not copying someone else’s entire post.
What blogging tips do you have for a new blogger? What blogging mistakes have you made? Share your story below!