You have an idea to set up a personal blog, but you have no idea where to start.
Here are 10 tips to help you begin your blog.
1. Pick a Platform
Much advice is said about finding a site to host your blog and then work through design. For a first time blogger using a platform such as Wix, WordPress or Blogger is completely fine. I prefer WordPress they have many free themes and it is easy to set up. You can also pick a domain name and register it to your blog with the click of a couple of buttons. A domain name will mean that your website will have a .comor .co.ukend to it. You can choose not to do this first until you make sure blogging is for you. It means your site will have wordpress.comat the end.
Both options are fine to begin blogging. However, if you want to take your blog further, you will need a personal web address at some point.
2. It’s Going To Be Hard
Writing a blog is hard work, but then everything worth achieving is hard work. The more you write in the beginning the quicker your audience will grow. A word of caution though, don’t write to the extent that you are not producing quality pieces. Quality will always attract readers, more than quantity.
As you write you will also develop further as a writer. This is an important stage in your development. Everyone needs to start somewhere so don’t be too apprehensive at the beginning. As you develop as a writer you can always revisit these early posts and change them about.
3. It’s a Steep Learning Curve
Not only will your writing develop over time, but also your style will evolve. This is a natural process as your blog is evolving. There is nothing wrong with changing the theme and layout of your blog. Ensure you don’t do this too many times, but evolution for all is good.
As you work your way into blogging, you will read and receive a lot of advice. Read as much as you can about the subject, but ensure you still produce writing you are happy with. Have your own personality and author voice, let this shine through.
4. Interact, interact, interact
The more you interact with others, the faster your following with increase. Make these genuine interactions. Reply when people comment on your work. Follow people who have similar interests as you. Don’t follow because you want them to follow you back. Follow them because you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and want to learn from them. These genuine interactions will increase your profile.
To date, as my blog has grown I have replied to almost every comment that is left for me, no matter the platform. If people have taken the time to read my work and comment, the least I can do is take a couple of minutes to reply.
5. Find Your Niche
As humans, we are diverse and have a range of interests. However, as bloggers, we need to concentrate those interests to a couple of areas. Bloggers will come to your blog for information on a set of subjects. As a first-time blogger, I suggest you pick three topics that are related, to write about. Initially, I chose fiction, book reviews and writing. All these were relevant to each other. This kept people visiting my blog because they were interested in the topics I had to offer.
If you have more than one unrelated area you would like to blog about, then start two blogs. Although, I would concentrate on one for the first 6 weeks to grow your following there first.
6. Quality Images
Images within a blog post are essential. They break up writing and also attract readers to the initial post. Tweets with images are 34% more likely to be interacted with. The ideal would be to provide all your own images. However, in a time pressurised world this is not always possible. For this reason, you have to use license-free images. Stock photo’s that the owners have given you permission to use.
There are a couple of sites where you can find these pictures, Pexel and Unsplash being the two best, I have found.
7. Killer Headline
In order to attract readers to your work, you need to craft a headline that pulls the reader in. I always avoid clickbait headlines, for example, ‘50 Ways to Gain 1 million followers.’ No one can promise this, in one article.
A headline should tell the reader what they can expect from the post and what they will learn. It should also be intriguing enough for others to click on and read the post.
A good headline is essential to draw readers to you.
Part 2 of 5 Tips for Attracting More Readers.writingcooperative.com
This allows your website to be found by search engines, such as Google. There are a simple couple of tips you can use, which will help increase your rating. First, pick a key phrase or word that describes your post. Ensure that you use this phrase in the title. Then use the phrase again in the first third of the post and once at the end. In addition to this ensure that any photo’s you use are named with that phrase.
If you further click on the image you can change what they call the alt tag to the phrase as well. Although these techniques will not put you to the top of google search, they will increase your views.
9. Marketing and Self Promotion
If you don’t tell people you have written a blog post, then no one will know.
You have to be a writer and marketer to gain followers.
I suggest you pick a couple of platforms that you are going to grow an audience through. Initially, I concentrated on Twitter.
WordPress can help with this, I schedule all my posts to automatically post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Again on social media adopt positive relationships with people. Reply to messages, retweeting the content of others.
10. Join a Supportive Community
To grow your blog it will be necessary to grow a following of people on other platforms. Some writers will tell you that the best way to do this is to compile an email list, I disagree. Email lists take time and require you to produce content to keep people subscribed. Taking time to produce this content, is time you could spend writing posts.
Instead, I would suggest you join some Facebook groups for like-minded people. I have organised my own group, Bloggers & Medium Support. On it, we share links with each other for our posts and comment and support each other. It is a place to ask questions if you are unsure, as well as getting constructive feedback. There are many groups on Facebook that offer a similar experience. Once again you are sharing posts with people who have the interest to read them. By supporting them they will support you.
Many authors say email lists are essential to promote their writing, I disagree.writingcooperative.com
These are a few basic tips to help you begin your blog.
Be brave take that giant leap and start your blog today.
Drop me a link below to your new website/blog.