As I mentioned in my Life Lately post, I have been blogging solidly for a year now (and up and running for over 2 years), so I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt about blogging in that time.
1. Don’t force it.
If you’ve lost your blogging mojo, step away from the screen and take a break. Don’t post for the sake of posting and if you start forcing your writing, it will only become a chore. Do it when you are feeling the passion to do it and if that means not posting anything for 3 weeks, then so be it. I should know, I stopped writing for over a year because I lost interest, but I eventually missed having this creative outlet and now I am back and more enthusiastic than ever (even if I don’t have the time to post as frequently as I would like to!).
2. Get involved in social media – but don’t let it take over.
Quirky Little Planet has a presence on a whole bunch of social media platforms but if I was to invest the time and energy necessary into each and every social media account, there would never be any time left for blogging! This is not my job, this is my hobby. Although I haven’t been on social media for very long, I am finding that twitter is my biggest success and particularly enjoy getting involved in twitter chats, it’s a great way to connect with like-minded individuals. Which leads me to…
3. Connect with other bloggers.
Read other blogs. Leave nice comments. Everyone loves receiving comments and ‘likes’ on their blog. And if you enjoyed another blogger’s post – share it! Tweet it! Whatever – spread the love and you may find that they will reciprocate. Oh and if someone leaves you a comment, be sure to reply to it.
4. Don’t sell yourself short.
Once you start to become more established, you will undoubtedly be contacted by companies wanting to work with you, and as a newbie blogger, this can be very flattering. But first of all, make sure that the company is the right fit for you and the over all style of your blog – don’t just do it for free stuff. Secondly, make sure you mention whether a post has been sponsored – be honest with your readers. Thirdly, you should receive remuneration for your work – be it a post that has been paid for, or a free product to review. Don’t buy into the whole “SEO benefits” rubbish, because they are just taking advantage. If it doesn’t feel right for you or your blog, then politely decline.
5. Be original. Be you.
Just because all the popular bloggers are writing about this or that, it doesn’t mean you should too. Write about what you feel passionate about! If you’re lacking enthusiasm for a subject, believe me – it will show. And it will kill your enjoyment in the process. My blog is predominantly a travel blog because this is what I enjoy and I like to write about my first-hand experiences, but you don’t have to have a niche. And while I don’t condone copying, it’s ok to be inspired by others but be sure to give credit where credit is due if you’ve obviously used someone else’s idea for a post. Oh and one more thing, don’t compare yourself to others, as Theodore Roosevelt said “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
What advice would you give to yourself as a newbie blogger?