Starting a blog can be overwhelming. Too much technical terminology and lots of unnecessary social media statistics may put you off forever. I’ve put together some practical tips for beginner bloggers. Don’t be afraid. Be sensible.
- Forget about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) in the beginning. When you start blogging, search engines will not notice you. You have to build your presence on the Internet by creating lots of quality content. Once you do this and establish your credibility, Google will notice you.
- Don’t worry about word counts. There are many statistics about how long the ideal blog post is, but I think that when you are finished saying what you want to say, stop.
- Use the news. Look at items in the news. How can you incorporate what is happening into a blog post without it sounding forced? For example, if you are a fiction writer and you are interested in the US elections, you might consider using Donald Trump as an example for creating a narcissistic character.
- Twist a post. If you love somebody else’s blog post, and feel you have something to add, write a new post in response to it. Tell your readers where you read it, linking to the post, why you liked it and then carry on writing your own post.
- Read bloggers you admire. Think about why you like reading them. Did they inform? Entertain? Change your mind? Try to work out ways that you can do the same. Some of our favourite blogs are Writers Helping Writers, Writer Unboxed, and Helping Writers Become Authors.
- Avoid ads and pop-up windows. Don’t use these unless you have a good reason to do so. I think about how I feel when I visit a site that uses them and consider if I find it intrusive. How do they make you feel?
- Don’t use misleading blog titles. Unless you have sensational, mind-blowing content that delivers on the promise of the title, it’s a good idea to avoid doing this. Readers will be annoyed. They will stop trusting you and may even consider not following you. You can still create titles that are catchy with the content you have.
- Images matter. Blog posts without images are a waste of time. Spend some time searching for one that suits your content or create one like we have for this post. Look at Unsplash and Pixabay for free images. You need the image when you’re sharing on social media. [Read The 9 Essential Social Media Platforms]
- Don’t clutter your posts. Keep it simple. Use one image per blog. Use lists. Make sure you have lots of white space. Use bullet points. Write in a user-friendly format.
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