10 things every beginner blogger should know and things I wish I’d known #blindpost

by jeffhilimire on September 30, 2013

This is a blindpost from the blog post, 10 things every beginner blogger should know and things I wish I’d known, by Leslie Stewart. Per the blindpost rules, I didn’t read Leslie’s post until after I had written mine. She wrote a great post, check it out!

1. Don’t boil the ocean. If you make blogging more difficult than it is, then you’re never going to be able to sustain it. Pick a few categories that you want to talk about and don’t feel like every post has to be a perfect, college-dissertation level post.

2. Decide on a manageable rhythm to start. Maybe its every other day, maybe its once a week. I wouldn’t blog any less than once a week though, at that point people will lose interest. But once you pick your schedule, stick to it!

3. Be comfortable mixing up your posts. I personally enjoy blogs that for the most part have a general theme but where the author feels free to talk about what’s on his or her mind at the moment. I used to think my posts needed to always be about one topic, but I’ve long since abandoned that.

4. Size doesn’t matter. A short post with a photo and a paragraph is just as good as longer post. In fact, sometimes its better. Most people I know that start blogging but aren’t able to sustain it because they don’t have time to write a long, thoughtful blog post. People on the Internet usually don’t even want long blog posts!

5. Be “you”. Show your personality through your blog. You might think you need to be super professional, but I think people would rather hear your voice come through.

6. Be confident that if you build it, they will come. It might take time to go from 10 views a day to 50, or 50 to 200, but if you’re consistent and keep at it, you’ll see that growth. But don’t be discouraged if you don’t immediately see massive amounts of traffic. It takes time.

7. Continue only if it makes you happy. Don’t blog because you think you need to for your career. Blog because its a way for you to express yourself and think through issues. Or because its a creative outlet. Just make sure that you don’t try to force yourself to do it, otherwise your writing won’t be as good and you won’t be able to keep up with it.

8. Be as honest as you can be. Share stories that show who you really are and the experiences you’ve had.

9. Measure the important things. I used to think that comments were the only thing that really mattered when it came to tracking blog statistics. I think I read that somewhere. But I have realized over time that each blog should have different metrics that make sense for the audience and type of content. I love it when I get comments, but now I realize that some of my most popular posts aren’t written to elicit comments and therefore, they don’t get many. And that’s ok. Set up your Google analytics and start figuring out what metrics matter the most to you.

10. Have fun! If blogging isn’t fun, then you should experiment with changes (maybe shorter/longer posts, maybe more photos than text, maybe blog at night vs. the morning, etc). And if you can’t find your groove, then give it up. There’s nothing more sad than a blog that gets a fast start and then once every few months a post comes out. Better to cut the cord and try again another time!

~ if you liked this blindpost, here are more you can check out. And a handful of my friends will suggest blindposts for me to write from time to time, please feel free to do that too!

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  • http://www.brainwads.net/drewhawkins Drew Hawkins

    I totally agree with #3 and #5. At first, I felt like my blog HAD to be just about social media trends and advice. When I started mixing that topic up with some real-life learnings and a few other more personal posts sprinkled in, I got more traffic and had more fun doing it. Being yourself helps stand out from other blogs.

  • Leslie Stewart

    Oh yay! Also a very fab list and very encouraging. I feel like starting a blog is agony for some people and they go nuts (aka violate number 1) worrying about every little word. Truth is you just gotta go. 9 bad posts with 1 good one is better than no posts, because you’re too scared to start.

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Yes! Your blog and kaitlyndennihy.com both moved to another level when you started mixing in your personal stories!

  • http://www.jeffhilimire.com Jeff Hilimire

    Yes! Your blog and http://blog.kaitlyndennihy.com/ moved to another level when you started sharing more personal posts. Keep ‘em up!

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