9 Helpful Blogging Tips For New Bloggers

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…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: July 23, 2017

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Check out these 9 helpful blogging tips for new bloggers. This is a great list!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.

EDIT July, 2016: I recommend checking out my online course for bloggers, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. I earn over $50,000 a month through affiliate marketing and I share my exact strategy and tips in this very informative online course. If you’re a blogger (even if you’re a new blogger!), then you NEED this course. If you don’t have a blog yet but you are interested, then please check out my free blogging course first.

 

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!

Related: How To Start A Blog

 

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.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Parenting.
  • Food.
  • Fashion.

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!


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Oh, I hate CAPTCHA!!! I think being realistic about how much time a blog takes was really hard for me to learn. I just thought, “oh cool, I’ll write something!”. But with tags, seo, images, spelling, grammar, research, metadata, commenting, sharing, etc it’s a lot of work! It’s more than just hitting the publish button! These are great tips though. It’s weird, I never really thought about blogging much and I really have entered a new world!

    1. Yes, blogging takes so much more time than people actually think. So many times have people told me that it only takes 5 minutes to publish a post. I always have to laugh at that!

  2. Poor Student

    I started with Blogger but then I quickly moved to WordPress… More convenient! For me it’s hard not to check my stats every day still… I’m slowly moving away from it, but sometimes I’m just curious and can’t help it! And it’s hard not to compare my blog with others’!

    1. Glad to switched to WP! So much better.

  3. Being 9 months into my blogging journey, I would say that patience is key. No-one (or very few people) get instant success with blogging. Build a network, engage with others and write killer content. The easy recipe for success (I hope)!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Yes, patience is very important. I have received emails from bloggers who are one month into blogging and asking why they don’t have 1,000 followers yet. Just crazy!

  4. Hi Michelle,

    While all important, I think 3 is very important and something that a lot of people tend to overlook.

    I’ve read a lot of blogs and while some are very in depth, informative and a good resource, the ones I find myself going back to again and again are the ones with personality.

    It also promotes user engagement which makes a blog better overall, too.

    Paul.

    1. Yes, the ones with personality are the ones that I always go back to.

  5. Great list of tips. I would also say, engage with other bloggers (oh hey Michelle!). Read other blogs and comment or even reach out via email!

    1. Yes, reach out to other bloggers. I love Gchatting with others!

  6. Nice tips! I used to blog on Blogger, but WordPress is far superior. It’s been a learning curve, though. I’m still figuring out the basics! I would say don’t spend too much time trying to make your blog look perfect right away. It can be frustrating, and there’s so many options out there for themes and such. Start writing and connecting with others, then worry about the superficial stuff a little later.

    1. Yes, WP is 1,000 times better.

  7. Great tips! I’d also add blog about topics you’re passionate about. It’s helps to alleviate blogger burn-out!

    1. Yes, blogging about topics you actually enjoy is important!

  8. Yes, great tips! Thank you for sharing.

  9. I think my biggest challenge is that I don’t have a niche. My Friday Confessions are popular, but I tend to write about life in general. A little this, a little that. I just don’t know where to pin down.

    1. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I like your blog because of that!

  10. I hate Captcha!
    Not getting caught up in your stats is soooooo hard! I am way better now than I was at the beginning.

    1. Yes, it is hard. I still check mine all the time just because I’m curious!

  11. New bloggers might consider signing up for the Bloggers Helping Bloggers program! I may have been blogging for a year but there was still so much that was uncertain to me. BHB has been a great help!

    1. Yes, that is a great tip!

  12. Good tips, Michelle. My tip, build relationships. If you’re new at blogging I think it’s important to follow-up with those who took the time to comment. I’ve seen new bloggers come into the scene who just want you to “retweet” or “come visit my blog” but they don’t want to take the time to build that relationship.

    1. Yes, building a relationship is very important! Thanks Raquel!

  13. One tip I have is that you should realize that if you actually want to make money blogging it’s going to take a ton of time and sacrifice. If you don’t want to make money it’s much more casual and (possibly?) more fun. I would also say don’t feel like you have to stick with it. Blogging isn’t for everyone.

    1. I agree! Blogging is definitely not for everyone. So many people quit after 6 months, and that is for a reason.

  14. OMG – I have STATS? I am very new to blogging and there are so many areas of WP I have yet to explore.

    1. Haha yes you do! Take a look at Google Analytics.

  15. chelsea

    yes yes yes! i think that before anyone opens a blog this should be a mandatory list to read. not to say that there’s a right or wrong way to blog but so many of these things i did waaay too late and it would have been so much better if i knew this even before i started writing!

  16. Awesome blog tips. Captcha is horrible. I hate doing those darn quizzes.

    1. Haha same here Jason!

  17. Yes, it takes a lot of time! A good blog post can take hours (and sometimes days) to get it to where you want it to be.

  18. I totally agree with everything you say.

    I think the most important thing is to find a niche. Before going out and actually setting up my website, I spend a couple of months just coming up with as many blog post ideas and actual blog post reserves to make sure that travel/finance is the right niche for me.

    I now have many, many pages of Word doc blog ideas and it would be MONTHS before I use them up. I used to think of choosing a niche as something limiting, but I’ve actually found it a great way to refine my ideas. If it’s the right niche, it should be easy to come up with tons of ideas because it’s actually a topic that you’re really into.

    Also: I hate CAPTCHA with a passion. Akismet is free and comes with every WordPress installation. Seriously, there is no excuse for CAPTCHA.

    1. Yeah, there is no use for Captcha! I don’t know why some bloggers use it.

  19. Personality is definitely the most important! A great personality that shows through with someone’s writing is addictive to read. That brings them back.

    1. I agree. Thanks Crystal!

  20. Great Tips Michelle. I have to add one that really boggles my mind, blogs that have discus or any other commenting system that asks for a password. If I see that I just don’t read those blogs. It is an added barrier to engage with people. I just want the blog to simple.

    1. I hate it when I have to enter a password!

  21. Haha that is funny! I started on Blogger and it still makes me cringe.

  22. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini

    Well this post was awesome and I really appreciate the information. I am a new blogger and I am having a blast. I decided that I was going to take my time and when it’s time to monetize my blog I will do that, but in the meantime I’m just going to continue to have a blast.

    I have been poking around your blog this weekend and you have a lot of good information for newbies like me. Your blog has motivated me to start writing as a side hustle and I’m excited about it. Thank you so much for all that you share.

    1. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Yes, starting a free WordPress is a great idea!

  24. The First Million is the Hardest

    I hate CAPTCHA. Maybe my eyes are starting to go on me, but I have the hardest time reading those damn things.

    1. Same here! Sometimes I try so many times that I just give up.

  25. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Before I’m always checking my stats, but now I have changed. I only check it once a month, maybe twice. I realized that stats will only have a negative effect on you and your blog if you’re too mindful of it, especially if your site’s visitors begin to lessen every single day.
    Just focus on your goals and write high-quality content, those are my advice.

    1. Yes, I agree! Just focus on goals and writing high-quality content.

  27. Love the “Have personality” advice. If I wanted to read an informational news story, I’d go to yahoo, MSN, or pick up a newspaper. I want to read about real people going through real life!

    1. Yes, I agree! I prefer to hear real people.

  28. Heidi @ Thriftytricks

    You pretty much nailed it with this post. What I would add is to try and connect with other bloggers, but that comes naturally. Blogging can sometimes feel pretty lonesome and it’s nice to know that there are other people out there doing the same as you. Join a fb group, listen to podcasts, keep in touch with other writers in your particular niche – either via social networks or commenting etc.

  29. Yes, you need to give readers a reason to read your blog. If you have nothing to write about and you’re only writing so that you can fill in a schedule, then that is BORING. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. KK @ Student Debt Survivor

    Ugg, captcha is the worst. I’ve written whole comments (really detailed and engaging comments) that never got published becuase I added wrong and was too lazy to re-type the whole thing. I haven’t really told my friends about my blog yet, but a few of my very close family know “I” exist on the internet ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Yes, I have given up too!

  31. Great list, Michelle! I’m still getting used to WordPress, that has been the biggest time-suck for me so far. I know it’ll be worth it once I get everything up and running the way I want but it was certainly more time than I expected! I have no doubt this list will help other new bloggers as well!

    1. Thank you Charlotte!

  32. This is great! Luckily, I read your post about getting started, before I began blogging, and started on wordpress right away. I’ve only been writing my blog for a week and a half, so this list was very helpful! I’m still trying to find my personal writing style, but I’m loving it so far! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. These are brilliant tips for new bloggers such as myself. I only started blogging 4 months ago! On doing my research, I found that wordpress was the best platform for new bloggers in particular, as wordpress is experienced and has excellent support and backup.

    My tips are: Be consistent. Your readers need to rely on the fact that you will always be blogging at the times that you say that you do. I blog once a week and have never missed a post. No matter what.
    Always reply the people that make comments on your posts. I was so proud when an experienced “star” blogger first replied my comment on their blog and I like him very much as he makes the effort to reply to each and every comment. That is dedication, love and respect for his readers. I do the same with mine.

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Crystal

    I am new to blogging and am currently on Blogger. I actually started on Word Press but got frustrated and found Blogger to be easier in a lot of ways. Why do you suggest using Word Press, what advantages and differences are there? Thanks!

  35. Welcome! Wish you the best of luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. I started a blog back in 2012 and have loved it. It does take a lot of time to upkeep but I just really love writing and the blogging community so it makes it worth it. I’m just now finally looking into making money with a new blog I started.

    I’m hoping to start doing more tutorials soon.

  37. Sarah

    Wow, I only came across your blog a week or so ago – it has inspired me to finally make the jump and start my own! Definitely guilty of checking my stats lots, and I’ve barely started! I don’t want to share my new blog with my friends and family just yet….any advice on letting the world know through other channels than social media right at the start?

    1. You can still promote your blog in the many same ways. Guest posting, social media pages for your blog, and more ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Sarah

        Ok thanks, I’ll give it a try!!

  38. Felt so inspired by the blogs you’ve written, I’ve begun my own. One of those rare times when terror and excitement are tightly intertwined! LOL Thanks for the inspiration and doggone you for the inspiration LOL

    1. Congrats on starting a blog! When did you start?

      1. A couple of days ago. I’ve realized my non-code mortality when I saw I had no idea what I was doing aside from writing lol! Any really simple ways you can share how I can get this beast looking like an actual website? LOL crazy complicated.

  39. Love your website! So much useful information. I’m new to blogging, but I’m already loving it… learning from the best ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Patty

    I’ve been reading your blog for 7 months now and I’m always impressed with the content, so informative!
    It’s amazing that you share your income and how you make it. I hope to be a full time blogger someday soon. I have a couple niches, things I love to do, therefore I love writing about them. Hopefully that makes my blog interesting. Have fun in your camper travels!

    1. Thanks for being a great reader ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Love your work, it has been a great deal of an eye opener. Been for a while now but still didnt know a lot of things. Thanks a lot.

  42. Very good ideas! I’m glad you really enjoy travel blogs. I started a travel blog this year and one of the biggest mistakes is getting obsessed with stats. Although things are picking up now, it’s so easy to check the analytics every 5 minutes! Since you are looking for fresh content, please have a look at my site. It’s mainly Japan related. <3 Feedback is always welcome. Lots of love, Cory

  43. Clyde Price

    I am starting a blog as we speak thanks to you. One question. Or maybe a couple. I see blog with pictures on them. Nice ones. Is it a necessity or does it depend on the niche? (it’s no photography or art lol) Also, if I do need pics, where is a good place to get some? I am going a gaming blog. So I’m not positive that picture are necessary to get my discussion points across.

    1. Pixabay is great for images ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for the awesome advice that you’re always providing for new bloggers. I just launched my blog last week, so exciting! You’re so right that it is tempting to check stats all the time, and at this point for me, it’s just so exciting every time one new person looks at my blog. But I could definitely find a more productive use of that time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Congrats on starting a blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Roseanne

    Michelle,
    I appreciate all the time and effort you have put into posts like this. You have motivated me into starting a blog, and am in the process of writing some sample articles just to see if I can do it. I’m not sure if you will see this or not, but when you refer to social media should you have a Facebook account tied to your website (e.g., Making Sense of Cents) rather than just your personal account? I assume so . . . and that you mention MSOC on your personal wall to encourage your friends to read/subscribe. Thank you!

    1. Yes, I recommend having a page specifically for your blog.

      1. Roseanne

        Thank you again! What a speedy reply!

  46. Kim

    Hi Michelle! I am. It quite done reading your how-to post…but I will:) I have a quick question. You said we have to be part of social media when we blog. I live in a small town and I don’t really want everyone to know my business! What do you feel I should do?

    I actually write blogs for a car dealership but I have personal stories I would love to share. You see, I am a middle-aged mom that is struggling to figure out who I am “supposed” to be! All I ever wanted to be was a mom! I realize my mom duties aren’t necessarily over but they have definitely reduced!! Anyway, I have a few good stories to tell about boyfriends, college, getting my masters (and HATING my job after), weight gain, in addition to anxiety…and etc!!

    Also, how often do you blog?? Weekly? Daily?

    Thank you again for your post!! I am pretty excited to pursue my dream!!!

    1. Hello!

      Your social media accounts don’t have to do anything with where you live – it’s just social media accounts for your blog.

      I blog 2-3 times a week ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. Dana

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for this and other postsI I am in the limbo stage, I think. I have created my blog. It’s all about design, decor & making real estate work for you. I want to help people learn how to make their homes gorgeous showcases of their personalities, but also to teach people how they can make money from their home.

    I am a bit overwhelmed. I am now struggling to navigate all the plug ins, I have applied for a few affiliates, and signed up for AdSense. I think I successfully inserted an email sign up form. I’m just not exactly sure what to DO with all of that. I know I need some traffic to my blog and since it’s only a few days old I think the only people that have looked at it are my parents, ha!! I started all the social media accounts, but not quite sure what I am supposed to do there, either.

    Is there a particular article you would recommend that outlines step by steps of the monetizing process the way you outlined creating the blog?

    Thanks again!
    Dana

  48. Thanks for writing this article Michelle. I love your blog and your Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing Course (My review of your course >> https://www.unconventionalprosperity.com/make-100k-month-affiliate-marketing/). Very helpful advice!

  49. Hi Michelle,

    I’ve recently started to blog after following a lot of blogs. You inspire a lot of people and proves that thinking out of the box can get you there. It’s quite overwhelming when starting out but we’ll get there eventually.

    Thank you for the inspiration. Keep up the good work.

  50. Hey Michelle,

    Love this! I have one question from your recommendations page…

    You say using a free autoresponder is the #1 biggest mistake of new bloggers. I just wondered why?

    I’m didn’t have any subscribers/ making any regular income (yet!) so I’m currently using MailChimp. I now have almost 100 subscribers.

    Thanks in advance