That word still brings a little thrill to my veins. If there’s one thing I love to do, it’s blog.
Let’s just clarify that I’m by no means a “big blogger” and in case you’re wondering, I’m not hung up about it, I’m just prefacing a little bit of context here. What I am trying to say is that despite not being a “big blogger” I am still often asked blogging questions by the amazing people that frequent this space. Everyone wants to know how to start and manage their very own piece of the interwebs while still juggling the roles of motherhood, wifeness, work and who know what else life throws at you.
So I thought I’d give you 9 Tips That I’ve Learnt About Blogging Over The Years:
1. In it To Win It – Let’s quickly get this point out of the way. There is no winning at blogging. If you are wanting to start a blog only to be the best and get lots of stuff, get over yourself and stop now. Blogging is a community. There are more than one of every genre of blogging there is and that’s OK. In fact, it’s more than OK, because connecting is really what it’s all about isn’t it? Sharing your story and reading others.
2. What do you love? – Every blog needs a “theme”. I think it helps you to remember what to write about and also for readers to find and engage with you. Jumping to 1000 different topics is sometimes confusing if you can’t tie it back to your main theme, if you know what I mean. So, what do you know? What do you love? What could you write 1000 things about? Beauty? Fashion? Food? Parenting? Lifestyle? A bit of both? (In case you’re wondering, parenting and lifestyle is where I have slotted myself into for the moment.)
3. Find “Your” Thing – So like I mentioned, there are gazillions of other bloggers out there. Now that you have found your “passion”, what makes you different? Use your unique voice to say what you want to say, don’t try and be someone else – they’re already very good at being themselves already, besides you’re the best at being you.
4. Give It A Name – I found this to be one of the hardest parts of blogging! But now that you have “found your thing” it might be easier to give it a name in that context. One key thing that I have learned along the way is that it really shouldn’t be too specific (if you know that it’s going to change). Originally we called ourselves 3 Girls, 2 Dogs and 1 Guy, but when we had Knox we had to change it. We went very literally with our name, summing up everything important to us in one title (Kids, Dogs, House), but you can also go more general like “Becoming You” or “Inspired Living“. (BTW these are taken – make sure to Google your name idea to make sure you’re not copying someone else).
5. Choose A Blogging Platform – There are a few platforms that you can use. I’ve started with WordPress and I’ve never ever looked back, however there is also Blogger that you can try. I love WordPress because there are so many options and 24 hour support for those niggly problems or things that you need help with. If (like me) you are not naturally an IT whiz, enlist the help of someone who is or take a look at tutorials online.
6. Customise! – Make your blog feel like you. Something appealing that you would love to stare at while you sit and read the latest post. I hate going onto a site that look generic and “unloved” – it would take fantastic content to keep me coming back.
7. Do I Have To Spend Money? – As you can tell by our URL (www.alfinos.wordpress.com) we are still using the free version of WordPress. I decided that I didn’t want to spend money on the blog as it would make me feel as though I have another “thing to do” and stop doing it for the love of it. If you would prefer to spend the money to take it seriously then go for it.
8. Make A Commitment To Yourself – Finding the time to maintain your blog is hard when you’re a Mom. Your goal doesn’t have to be as dramatic as mine (I blog every week day), it can be once a week or twice a week, something realistic for your lifestyle. Commit to it and do it. I love blogging – it’s my outlet, so when I don’t blog for a day when I’m supposed to, my eye gets a bit twitchy. Unless I really don’t have anything worthwhile to say, then I leave it. Putting out content worth reading is more important than the frequency.
9. Get Social – Connect with bloggers that you love to read on by following them on their social channels, comment on their posts, interact with them on SM. I’m going to level with you, I am rubbish at replying to comments on the blog. I choose to focus my interaction with readers on other forms of social media – especially Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – (if you’re mad at me for not replying to comments – please can I encourage you to use these channels instead 🙂 )
So that’s it. Was that helpful for you? Are you going to start a blog? If you are, you are very welcome to leave a comment below with a link and I’ll certainly take a look! (Promise).