So many folk say to me: “I wish I had a blog but I don’t know how to begin” or “I wish I had a blog but I don’t have the time to learn how”… Turns out that this is one of those things you learn on the fly. First I just needed to know how to post paragraphs, then photographs and so on… There is always room to learn more, but somehow it is easier to learn on a “need to know” basis… So don’t worry if you don’t know how to blog, just get started!!!
- Inspirationally Speaking: Read around and find other blogs you love and want to read on a daily basis. Get familiar with them and build a relationship with them – I never purposefully did this I just fell into reading blogs and there are millions of blogs out there. Don’t panic just read the ones you love and follow them. If you stop loving a blog then stop reading it. You don’t have time to read ones that you don’t enjoy, just because everyone says they are good blogs!!! Also don’t get stuck in one niche – read all sorts of things – I love cooking blogs but I don’t try recipes, I love craft blogs but I don’t do their crafts – it really is about “eye candy” and just getting some small pleasures out of your day and mingling with folk who love the same things that you do. Blogging is supposed to be fun if there is an aspect of it that’s a grind you won’t want to carry on with it. Never one to dive headlong into things I read blogs for a couple of months before I started blogging myself. Blogging isn’t for everyone and certainly I knew it wasn’t for me! It was only when my comments on other folks blogs became as long as the actual posts that I realized I could maybe do it myself!
- Passionately Speaking: When you have a look at some of the amazing blogs around you may feel totally intimidated. I am by no means a good photographer and neither am I a natural writer, but I am consistent and I love telling folk what we are up to. So what on earth do you write about when you start writing: There are so many diaries online so to write a diary blog it would need to be a really exceptional diary to get a lot of traffic. There are millions of craft blogs with exceptional photography, I could never hold my own in the world of craft blogging. Not to mention cooking!!! But I can write one quick craft, recipe, diary a week without being exceptional at any of them and I think because of the variety I don’t get bored writing about it. Turns out I had so many topics that I was passionate about that I could spread it out through the week. I only have to think of a recipe once a week, a craft once a week and so on. Funnily enough the most often asked question I get is: “Where do you find the time?” and I have to say if you love something you find the time – that’s it… gotta love it!!! And therein lies my biggest tip: Stay Positive – There is so much grumpiness and moaning and winging in the world… and funny as it can be to hear someone else moan it is much more uplifting to hear something positive – trust me on this.
- Photographically speaking: Flickr – Is my friend, it is simply the best place to store all the bazillion photographs you will take. Because when you begin blogging you will think you are only going to take a couple of pictures but before you know it: a couple of pictures per post builds up really quickly to a couple of thousand photographs. At Flickr you can organize your photographs really easily and share them with other bloggers. It is easy to retrieve past photographs and reuse them. Not to mention it is a friendly place to go and play and look at other peoples photographs and be inspired. You can store quite a bit of data on the site for free and then there is an upgrade option where you can pay a reasonable amount to store as much as you like. I paid and store and it has been well worth every penny.
- Technically speaking: Problogger is your very best blogging friend. I started reading his blog long before I started blogging and really I have learnt enormous amounts from his site. He has blogging tips that are easy to follow – not hugely technical, for types like me, who really love blogging but don’t have a technical clue. I did his 31 Days to Building a Better Blog Program, it certainly made me think about what I was writing. The program gently took me from emptying my brain onto our blog to writing a little more intentionally, what a good idea!
Here is where I blogged my way through the program:
- Se7en and ProBlogger’s 31-DBBB Part 1…
- Se7en and ProBlogger’s 31-DBBB Part 2…
- Se7en and ProBlogger’s 31-DBBB Part 3…
- Se7en and Problogger’s 31-DBBB Part 4…
- Se7en and Problogger’s 31-DBBB Part 5… And Moving On…
- Statistically Speaking: Once you have been blogging a while you will want to grow your numbers… it is a natural progression. Initially I went through phases where I watched my stats continuously – I probably sent as much time watching the number flow by as I actually blogged – madness I know! I guess I was surprised that folk wanted to read our blog but what was even more astonishing was that they continued to read it! Now that I was hooked on getting just a few more readers everyday I needed a plan of action. A great way to meet new readers is to find one or two weekly carnivals and join them consistently. Apart from the fact that you will find a heap of like-minded bloggers to follow and mingle with, all those bloggers will find you too! I think as time goes by and your readership stretches beyond just grannies and extended family you really need to care for your readers, make them feel welcome on your blog. If someone has taken the time to comment on your blog, then at least while your blog is small make the effort to reply. It isn’t huge but it is friendly. Not to mention once you are blogging link to the blogs you love there is nothing nicer than a blog friend returning the favor!!!
- Speaking of Submitting: Once or twice it happens, that a bigger blog or a corporate blog picks up one of your posts and flies with it – YAY! But mostly they don’t!!! Needless to say you have to submit your posts to bigger blogs to be heard. Most of the blogs that feature other blogs have a protocol for accepting posts that have been submitted – read the details on their sites and submit away. Don’t be shy – because if they like you they will post you and if they don’t they won’t. It isn’t an ego thing some posts are better than others – we know that! I have found submitting to a couple of craft blogs has been really fun and even better I have found heaps of inspiration comes right back to me from their blogs. Otherwise I have found that asking a blogger before you pop a link to your site in their comments give them to choice to say “yes please” or “no thank-you” I have never had anyone say no. It is the nicer way to go about it, rather than just posting a link to your own site in their comments!!! Just a slightly nicer tactic!!!
- Financial Speaking: There are so many blogs about making money on-line, and so many get rich quick schemes, and so many folk that have given up their day jobs to blog – you have to know that they can’t ALL be making their fortunes!!! I eventually would like to advertise and to avoid a sudden change in blog dynamic I have a couple of little ads on my site. But don’t for a moment think I am raking in the millions!!! I have an Amazon store because I like browsing around Amazon and finding things to pop in it. I have a couple of other links but I am by no means making my fortune or even covering the cost of shoes! But I can see how it is done with a couple more hours of dedicated work you sure can up your blogging income – however I blog because I love blogging, it is a hobby so to speak. Once I had gotten over the idea of making millions from blogging I was able to settle down and just enjoy being a blogger… well a “momblogger” and the reason that the “mom” part is first in that word is because I am the mother person around here and that is my first priority.
This is a completely non-technical post and I know the father person is going to reel in horror at the lack of technical details – but sometimes we users just find it easier to chat. So here come Se7en beginner blogging ideas:
I realized that as I was writing this some of you would probably want to know the answer to the “How of Blogging,” When I blog, where I find topics, how to get comments, how to do giveaways and so on… Ask away and I will do a follow up post next week.
I popped this post onto the Works For Me Wednesday Site – go and have a look there for all sorts of tips on absolutely anything.