So you’ve set up your blog and made it look pretty. Now what?
The New Blogger:
Post. It’s that simple. If you cake the commitment to start a blog, then keep at it.
Once you start your blog, if you don’t post consistently, you will not garner a following. Simple as that. If you’re only going to post once a month or even once a week, don’t waste your time.
Another vitally important thing you can do as a newish blogger is to mingle and socialize. Which can mean join blog parties. Or sharing on social media.
Please don’t add a list a mile long of blog parties you’re linking to for one post. It just looks tacky. Join up to three. That’s my limit. That way you have time to go visit other linked blogs.
What Do Readers Want?
Readers want consistency. You are like a column or a magazine or a TV show. They want to know when to expect you, and you’d be smart to show up.
I blog every single day. That is of course not mandatory. But it keeps you up in the Google rankings. And the more you post, the more opportunities you have to gain readers.
Write well. By this I mean take note of spelling and make your blog look professional by showing that you care what you put out there.
Skip the fancy script-y fonts for your content. You want your content to be as readable as possible. Take the lead of newspapers and magazines.
Skip the tiny fonts. Skip the light-colored fonts. And skip the black backgrounds. If you want my advice, use black text on a white background.
If you love fancy fonts, save them for post titles or graphics or your blog title.
Should You Date Your Post?
I advise putting the date on your post. This sounds so easy. But the trend now is to not put the date on your post. What this says to me is: “I could have written this post last month, and you won’t know it.”
What do I do when I see posts without dates? I skip them altogether.
If you can’t be transparent about when you are posting, then I’m not going to be a reader. Newspapers use dates, magazines use dates. Professionals use dates.
Make sure your blog is easy to navigate. It is these blogs that will have the most visits and gain the most readers.
Make sure the template you use is mobile friendly as well.
Write from your heart. I don’t mean tell all your secrets, although you can of course tell as much as you please.
Write as if you’re talking to someone. As with everything else, the more you write, the better writer you become.
You can write in narrative, story form, tutorial-form. There are tons of ways to get your point across.
Learn to take good photos. In fact, keep learning until you can take GREAT photos. Photos are super important. Crisp, clear photos.
If you want to learn the manual settings, go right ahead. I choose to take photos the simple way, on automatic. But no flash. NO FLASH.
You can take your photos to Picmonkey and correct them. Make them lighter, brighter, sharper.
Picmonkey is my go-to place for editing photos and creating designs. I pay for the premium version to get all the bells and whistles.
What Not To Do:
DO NOT EVER start a post with something like: “I know I haven’t posted in awhile…” The death knell sounds.
I know from that one sentence that you aren’t really a serious blogger. And if you’re not serious about your blog, why should I make it a priority to read it?
There are instances of course when there has been an illness which would explain your absence.
If you only casually blog and never plan to try and make money from it, then you set your own rules. You may want to eventually make money, so it’s important that you you consistently post.
If you find you’re not comfortable with the whole world reading, you can easily make it a private blog and invite only the readers you choose.
There is lots of controversy when it comes to social media. I focus primarily on Pinterest. Pinterest is usually my second biggest referrer.
I blog because I love blogging and I need to support myself. Social media is secondary for me.
I’m not saying it won’t move mountains for you. But it’s a LOT of work. And subsequently, it can become overwhelming and cause burnout.
Many go to Facebook and try to direct readers over to their blog. Why not focus on great blog posts and grow them organically? Which means to gain growth from the original source.
Here is a simple breakdown of things I find important to do as a blogger:
- Post consistently. If that’s three days a week, then that’s when your readers will expect you. Show up.
- Put your blog URL on all your email communications. Have business cards made and hand them out to get the word out about your blog.
- Be available to your readers and other bloggers. If they ask you a question, don’t let it sit in your inbox a week before you answer. Manners, manners, manners.
- Make sure your blog is designed well, is clear and concise when it comes to wording, and is easy for everyone to read. This doesn’t mean you have to hire a designer and pay big bucks. Simple is often quite beautiful. And easy on the eye.
- Learn how to take great photos. Practice inside, outside. The more you practice, as with anything, the better you will be. Do not post fuzzy out-of-focus photos.
- Comment, comment, comment on other blogs that you like to read. Comment on blogs in your particular genre.
- Leave religion and politics off the table. You can cause a war in a short amount of time.
- Write as much about yourself as you’re comfortable with. Readers want to know you. But it is up to you at what point you draw the line.
- Be yourself. That’s what will make your blog stand out from the rest. There is no one like you who has your unique personality, sense of humor and style.
Blogging can be a lot of fun. You can get serious about it and make money. I have fun blogging as well as make money. It doesn’t get any better than that!