how to start blogging.
I've had a few friends comment on how they want to start a blog but don't know where to begin! I've learned a few things in the last few months so I thought I'd share some advice with anyone who is considering entering the world of blogging. Warning: it's so much fun!
1. Blog for yourself.
You'll come to hate it if you write about things you think you should write about, rather than what you want to write about. If something doesn't inspire you then don't do it, simple! Your level of passion will always be reflected in your writing and readers respond to this accordingly a.k.a. if it sucks for you, it will probably suck for them too.
2. Don't worry about what your niche is.
I spent a long time thinking about what my niche would be before I started my blog. In retrospect, I think niches are a concept made for advertisers, rather than readers. I'm not a food blogger but I'll happily post a fav recipe, and that hasn't thrown my audience off course. Readers like blogs for the person behind them, the content topics are secondary.
3.Never underestimate the importance of visual.
Think about your favourite blogs and why you like them so much. I know for me, the secret ingredient for my fav blogs is that the writers take the extra step to add in visual elements. They also take this one step further by ensuring the layout follows a grid, so the post as whole looks good on the page. I like to start my post with a picture so that I can hook the readers interest. No one wants to look at a page full of words = boring. But remember, simple is best!
4. Be patient with the process.
Everyone starts out with an awkward writing phase while they find their rhythm, so be patient for the first few weeks and don't get too caught up on it. Growing a blog is an organic process and something you can't control much, you just have to be patient. Don't give up though, one day you'll wake up, your writing will flow, and you'll have 200 followers!
5. Be friendly!
Respond to any comments you get via email and/or by visiting their blog too. Someone just took the time to read your content and comment on it, so be thankful! Participate in link-ups (participate is a verb which means being active in the link up, not just being lazy and leeching). Be honest - your reputation as a blogger is important. I recommend using the Google Friend Connect and/or RSS gadget so that people can easily follow your blog. I also recommend you get a Twitter as this is also a fun and easy way to make new blog friends.
I was really nervous about what other people would think about my blog when I started it, and even now I get nervous when I hit the publish button. I think it's quite normal to feel this way when you are sharing personal things with the world. However - I've never regretted it. The amount of people I've been able to connect with over similar challenges/successes has lead me to make new friends all over the world!