Over the past couple of months I’ve gotten emails asking me advice about blogging. You want advice? Okay, sure. I’ll do my best to deliver. I’ll be the first to admit it though – I’m no blogging guru. I may seem to “have it together” but blogging is hit and miss ninety-nine percent of the time (for me at least).
It can be slightly overwhelming when you’re new to blogging. So many people are blogging all the time and it feels like you have to keep up with them. Well, don’t be insane. I tried doing it and I failed. I wrote every day (win!) but the quality of my writing went downhill. A lot. There were lots of posts that talked about nothing in particular. I look back and I question why I even bothered hitting the ‘publish’ button. Oh, that’s right..because all the other cool kids were 😉 Don’t get sucked into writing all the time. If you have something to say then that’s great, but don’t force your writing. People can tell be when you’re being genuine or not.
This links to the ‘quality’ thing I mentioned. We are human. We know that life isn’t sunshine and roses all the time. Things happen. You flunk an exam, you lose your keys, you can’t remember the pin to unlock your phone; these are things that I have done before. My point is that we don’t want to hear the ‘sugar coated’ version of your life. We are here to support you. We aren’t going to judge you or ridicule you. I’ve been in the blogosphere for over three years and some of the best advice I have ever received have been from my fellow bloggers. Seriously. There are some amazing people out there. You just have to be brave enough to let them in.
The first things I judge a blog on is 1) layout, 2) their ‘about me’ page and then 3) the actual blog content. Don’t ask me why, I’ve always done it. I’m a blog-snob. I admit it. I bet I’m not the only one who does it, just the only one who’s brave
or stupid enough to say it. Your ‘about me’ page should represent yourself and give readers information about your blog. It should be unique and something that you love. It’s okay to spend hours on your ‘about me’ page. I know I didn’t, but I should have. I have seen so many creative pages and I’m jealous. I have a lot of work to do on my own “about me” page.
The layout of blogs is always something that gets me because I know nothing about layout. I just click on a template and that’s the end of it. No messing around with colors. No messing around with blocking. No messing around with titles or headers. Just a couple of clicks and it’s good to go. Cross my fingers and hope for the best. If you’re happy with the way your blog looks and sounds then that’s enough at the end of the day. If you’re doing something to please other people then what joy are you really getting out of it? Your blog is your space and it can be whatever you want it to be.
No one likes the ‘invisible reader’ or ‘silent viewer’. Whatever you call them; I’m sure we all know who I’m talking about. You look at your stats page and see that people are looking at your posts on the daily, but where are the comments?! Where’s the recognition that you want?
…Not here, that’s for sure! If you see a post and something resonates with you or if you want to answer a question posed to the audience then do it. Bloggers don’t ask questions for nothing! We are genuinely interested in you. So, dust off the keyboard and get to commenting!
Always leave your email address or web URL so they can find you; commenting on blogs (especially popular ones) usually generates traffic and you make friends! Everybody likes making friends! 🙂 I like a lot of posts, but I can have a bit of a brain freeze when it comes to writing a comment. If you’re like me then ‘reblog’ the post or share it on a social media account. Remember the phrase “sharing is caring”? That definitely applies in the blogosphere 😉
If you follow blogs that have link-ups then do it too! There’s nothing stopping you from joining in on the fun! You might meet some new people, learn new facts about them and gain some new followers along the way. There’s nothing to lose. It’s honestly a win-win situation. You just have to do it!
Blogging challenges are a great way to get into a blogging routine…if you need one. I often do a challenge when I’m stumped on what to write about or if I need a push to start writing again. There are all different types of challenges; short, long and photo challenges. Google is amazing. I can guarantee that you will find a worthwhile blog challenge if you just take the time to search for it.
Having a feature on your blog is a good way of getting rid of writers block, too. I have several of my own, featured here, here and here. They’re a good way of catching up or just putting information out there. If they’re on specific days of the week then you’ll never be stuck for a blog post! All you have to do is sit down and write. Win!
Blogging isn’t a “serious” thing for most of us. It’s just a way we can vent or talk about our daily lives in a fun and safe way. You don’t have to put all your details online. I kept my first and second blog relatively anonymous, but I outed myself when I gave this blog address to my friends. I love being able to come to this corner of the interweb and write until my heart is content. I find it to be extremely therapeutic. Blogging is about writing for yourself, so remember that and have fun! If you are having a bad day (or ten) then say so. Write about it and you’ll feel better afterwards. We’re human, we know that everything isn’t wonderful 100% of the time. This is a chance to unleash the real you, so don’t hold back!
Hopefully you have learned something from this post and that the ‘blog world’ doesn’t seem so scary 😉 We’re nice people really, and if anyone wants to do a guest post on my blog then let me know!