10 Blogging Tips for Beginners
Photo from Stock That Rocks
Thinking about taking the plunge and starting your own blog? Whether you’re looking to become the next big lifestyle blogger or you’re thinking about launching a blog for your business, you’ve probably found that there’s so much that goes into getting started! This might seem intimidating, but remember that we all have to start somewhere. At Wela, we’re here to help! If you’re an aspiring blogger but are unsure of what steps to take first, here are our 10 blogging tips for beginners!
10 Blogging Tips for Beginners
Pick Your Topic
When starting a blog, it’s so important to have a focus. This will help you to brand yourself and will give you credibility! If you’re struggling to pick a topic, we always say to ask yourself, “What’s one thing I could talk about forever?” Maybe it’s fashion, florals, healthy recipes, or your photography business!
Scope Out the Competition
It’s no secret that there are millions of blogs out there, but don’t let this scare you! Out of these millions of blogs, only 5% of them are updated on a regular basis. So, if you’re serious about blogging, this can be to your advantage!
Once you’ve found your blogging niche, scope out other bloggers who are doing something similar to you. What do you like about their strategy? What do you dislike? Answering these questions can give you direction, and it can give you an idea of how to beat out the competition.
Claim Your Name!
One of the most important elements of blogging is your domain name! This is how people will search for you, and it plays a huge role in their first impression of you. So, make sure you choose a name that reflects your brand and is unique. The last thing you want is to get confused with another blogger because your names are similar!
Before settling on a domain name, it’s also important to make sure it’s available. We recommend using sites like NameCheckr, where you can check domain and social username availability across multiple networks! Also, it’s important to purchase the “.com” when available, as this is the most commonly used domain. If you find that the domain you want is already owned, Whois.com is a great source that will tell you who owns the domain. You can then contact the owner, and you might be able to work out a deal and purchase the domain from them!
If you want to grab the attention of your readers, it’s all about using the right keywords in your content. By choosing the right keywords, you can increase blog traffic and gain readers that over time, turn into loyal followers.
So how can you find out what keywords you should be using? We recommend using Google Keyword Planner. This tool will show you the keywords that your readers or customers are already searching for, so you can capitalize on these trends and get your content in front of the right people!
Choose Your Platform
There are so many different blogging platforms out there, but don’t let this overwhelm you! Before choosing a platform, it’s important to know exactly what you want, so do your research! WordPress is the most popular choice, because it’s flexible, functional, easy to use, and has a large community that shares tools and ideas.
But before you jump on the WordPress bandwagon just yet, know that you have two options: WordPress.com or WordPress.org. In short, WordPress.org allows you to operate off of open sources software where you can choose your own hosting and domain. While this isn’t completely free, the features and added flexibility might be worth it for you. On the other hand, the benefit of using WordPress.com is the free plan option. So before making your decision, explore the pros and cons of each of your options!
Decide on a Theme
If you’ve decided to go the WordPress route, you’ll need to pick a theme (check out our favorite sites to shop themes here!). Essentially, a WordPress theme is the design and functionality of your website and the way it’s displayed. Even if you don’t choose to use WordPress, you will still need to design your blog so it’s visually appealing!
The type of look and feel of your blog all depends on your brand and how you want to be perceived. For example, if your brand is fun, lighthearted, and upbeat, you might choose a theme that uses a white background with pops of bright colors. Or, if your brand is more edgy and artistic, you might opt for a darker, sultrier theme.
When it comes to blogging, there’s no right or wrong time to start. Realize that it’s not going to be perfect your first try, and that’s okay! Once you have the basics of your blog set up, the first step is to create an “About Me” page. When readers land on your blog, this page will give them an idea of who you are and what your blog is about! Be sure to explain your value, make it visually appealing, create a call to action, and most importantly, be you!
Once you’ve created a stellar about me page, it’s time to get the ball rolling and create content for blog posts! Of course, your content is based on what your blog is all about (hello creative freedom!). If you’re a fashion blogger, for example, your first post might be “How to Dress for the Office During Summer,” or “3 Ways to Style One Scarf.” The possibilities are endless!
Promote Your Blog with Social Media
Social media is a key traffic driver and monetization tool for bloggers, especially Instagram! Here are three ways Instagram can grow your blog:
Instagram’s algorithm can help you to reach the right audience, so when you promote your blog on your account, you’re likely to attract the demographic that your content is geared toward!
Bloggers can use Instagram to build personal relationships with their readers that they might not have been able to do otherwise.
When you create quality, engaging blog content and promote it on your Instagram, you’re likely to appear closer to the top of your followers’ newsfeed.
Create a Blog Newsletter
A great way to keep your readers in the loop is to place a subscription form on your blog. If readers want to subscribe, they will provide you with their email address. You can then promote your blog posts or anything else related to your blog through a newsletter you send them! We suggest sending out your email newsletter once per week, which means that you will need to be writing at least one post each week!
Here at Wela, we recommend using MailChimp, an email service provider that allows you to design, send, and save templates of your emails. Its ease of use makes it a great tool for beginners! OptinMonster is also a great service to use when growing your email list. With the OptinMonster plugin for WordPress, you can create and integrate email signup forms on your website, which will convert visitors into subscribers. Plus, it works great alongside MailChimp!
Engage in the Blogging Community
Last but not least, as a blogger, it’s so important to be involved in a community. Whether this is with bloggers in a different niche than you or bloggers in the same niche, there are so many benefits that come with being in community. For example, if you’re a photographer, you can connect with fashion bloggers who might need pictures for their blog! If the fashion blogger then promotes you to her audience, this can grow your following, and vice versa!
There are many ways to engage in the blogging community, one of them being to join a group on Facebook. Consider joining our Bloguettes Bulletin Board, a collaborative space for like-minded peeps to ask questions, share ideas, and network! You never know what exciting collaborations might be on the horizon when you engage in the blogging community!
What are some of your favorite blogging tips? We’d love to hear them in the comments below! Also, be sure to give us a follow on Bloglovin’ to keep up with all of our latest blog posts!