I’ve been reading blogs for about six years now, having first discovered them when I was looking for ideas for my wedding. When my husband and I wanted to start our own family, I progressed onto parenting and baby blogs and always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to start my own site. It wasn’t until December last year however, a few months after I had my baby that I finally felt ready to give it a go. Starting blogging, or knowing where to begin can be hugely daunting, unless you’re IT savvy or know someone who is, who can help you (aka the husband) I’m learning more and more things as time goes on, but here are the main things I’ve noticed or realised over the past few months.
My top tips for anyone just starting out:
1. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Entering the blogging ‘arena’ can be incredibly daunting, it’s a bit like being the new kid at school. Some people are extremely popular and are doing really well, some people post every day, some people promote their post’s hourly and there are most definitely cliques, you need to forget about everyone else and concentrate on yourself and what you’re doing.
2. If you’re not enjoying it or finding it too much, take some time out. I loved blogging at first but suddenly one day it just didn’t feel right for some reason. I was stressing over things I shouldn’t be stressing about and I wasn’t spending enough time with my baby, so I took a step back and took some time out. During that time I recognised that yes, blogging was still something that I wanted to do so I came back to it. Don’t loose sight of why you started writing your blog in the first place.
3. Put the effort in and engage with your audience. If you use Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and want to build your numbers, you need to put in some hard graft at the start, to begin building up your ‘community’ and followers. You need to spend some time commenting on peoples photo’s on Instagram, chatting on Twitter and making sure you reply to any comments on your blog. You can’t be mute and expect people to find or know about you, unless you’re like, famous. Engage with people and get involved where you can. Often on Twitter there are hosted ‘chats’ about certain topics, this is a way to grow your ‘community’, get to know other bloggers and boost your followers.
4. Try Linky’s. OK so the jury is out on these but they’re a good way to get people onto your site and commenting on your posts when you are starting out. A Linky is post sharer of sorts (there are hundreds, just find some on Twitter) that a fellow blogger hosts on their blog, with the basic idea being that you comment on a few other blog posts and get comments back in return. Linkys are good but don’t stress about them too much. I don’t do them anymore, but found some worked brilliantly and some didn’t i.e. I got no comments back despite commenting on several posts, so if its not working for you, just stop, don’t feel pressure to do anything.
5. Finally, find your fit and know what you want to blog about. In the early days I found myself reading other people’s blogs thinking that I loved how they wrote and almost trying to mirror that person’s style in my own writing, but that’s not possible, it doesnt work. You can’t be someone else, so don’t try. I also think it shows through if you’re trying to be something you’re not. Find your style and be happy with it, you have to go with your own flow.