I’ve been blogging for a few years and I can say that I’ve learned from my first (now set to private) diary type post. I’m still not a pro, but I know there are tons of cringe-worthy mistakes I made in the start that I would never do now and I feel like I finally found my voice. Trust me, I’m just winging things as I go. I’ve made mistakes and learned in the process, so I’m going to tell you some of the do’s and don’ts that I learned in this ever going journey of blogging.
Do make sure you’re always posting your absolute best
I must admit, sometimes I get lazy and I feel bad not updating that I post a not so great post just to keep it up-to-date. But, if someone is first stumbling upon your blog they might think that your stuff is not that good or you’re not committed. It’s hard but always make sure to post the absolute best content, even if it means not posting for a couple of weeks. Everyone gets writer’s block. Plus, having guest writers are a great alternative when the words don’t flow. Don’t wing it with content, always think about creating something that captivates the reader.
Don’t post without spell checking
This may seem like such a given, but sometimes gets overlooked so often. I still fail at this constantly. You guys have no idea how many times I have posted something and I had to rush back and edit it. It’s embarrassing and unprofessional, and the whole goal is for people to take you seriously. The Hemingway App is such a good tool that checks your grammar and tells you if it’s easy to read. So before scheduling a post, reread it, have someone read it, and make sure it looks good.
Do invest a little
Going self-hosted and buying a domain is a must. But don’t forget to invest when it comes to your page design, sponsorship, and/or joining giveaways. All these things will help your blog grow and make you look more professional. It’s an added bill you don’t expect to have, but I know personally, taking the plunge to buy a page design was beneficial and made my blog stand out more.
Don’t overcrowd your page
Nothing turns people off than a page that loads slow and there’s an immediate pop up to sign up to a newsletter. Keep your blog nice but find a way to keep it simple. If there’s a lot of things going on in your sidebars, it can get overwhelming. A helpful tip I use is to think about people pulling up my page on their phones. They’ll most likely turn away if it takes a long time to load, so keep it clean.
Do plan out your posts
I’m a horrible planner, but once I forced myself to do it, it’s so beneficial. I used to write a post and then post it up when I was done and wrote whenever I felt like it. Having a set schedule keeps you motivated and readers can know when to expect a new post. It helps you plan ahead because you can write and set things to post on their own, so you only have to worry about sharing it!
Don’t let the haters get you down
You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, sadly. Maybe a hater is someone you know or some random stranger that stumbled on your page, but all you have to remember is that it’s one person’s opinion. People get “brave” behind a screen but would never say things in person. One of the best things I’ve heard is, “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” Worry about your readers and don’t think about the naysayers.
Do use quality photos
Photos are often overlooked by many beginning bloggers, but it’s always important to make your blog look it’s best. I have so many cringe-worthy things I created on PicMonkey for old posts that I should really go change. If you don’t have the means to take pictures, use stock photos! Unsplash (a personal favorite) and Picjumbo provide great free photos. A great photo can determine if someone clicks or your post or not, I mean think of Pinterest. Writing is important but also think visually.
Don’t make big changes on a whim
I’m probably the most impatient person ever, which has caused me to make big changes without thinking or researching. I mean, when I changed my URL and theme, my blog was down for hours, just because I didn’t know what I was doing. Take time to research your blog name, tutorials on how to make the behind-the-scene blog transitions, and such. Basically, reduce the headaches by researching, learn from my mistakes.
Do use everything to your advantage
Share your posts everywhere. This sounds scary, especially when starting, but this is how you attract readers. Joining Facebook blog groups to learn and share with other bloggers. Searching on Pinterest for posts that talk about how to improve your blog. Always stay active and be aware of the new things that come out. For example, when Periscope came out, everyone jumped on it and created another avenue for sharing. Try things out and share and if it doesn’t work, then at least you find out it didn’t.
What are some blogging do’s or don’ts you learned? What was your biggest breakthrough? Share your wisdom!
READ PART 2 HERE