I started my first blog about five years ago, just for fun. At the time I had no particular goals or plans for my blog outside of posting photos of my craft projects and family. Through the years blogging has become a special part of my life and through this blog I've been able to connect with like minded people throughout the world. I truly love sharing both little snapshots of my personal life and things that inspire me here. I thought it would be fun to share a few things I've learned along the way. These tips are primarily written with personal/lifestyle bloggers in mind. The number one question I receive, in regards to blogging, is 'how did your blog become so popular?'. While I can't answer that question, I can tell you that I honestly believe that blogs grow when they are written with pure intentions (not just to get 'hits'). Blogs written with a genuine voice will always be more fun to read. Focus on the quality of your blog, first and foremost. Your readers will love you for it! Here are my 5 quick tips for blogging...
1. Create a blog you'd enjoy reading.
Don't allow yourself to feel pressured to write about anything other than what you absolutely love! You'll connect with other bloggers who share your interests, and most of all you'll be proud of what you're creating! If you're a new blogger, make a list of the five things you love most in life. These are topics that should reoccur often in your blog.
Blogging is a lot of work and it's not worth doing if you're not creating a blog that you wouldn't read yourself! Quality blogging takes a little bit of time, sometimes a little research and when you're proud of what you are creating, it shows. A great blog will grow and change over time with the author. As a reader, I love to see blogs developing and changing slightly over time. A huge part of keeping a blog is staying current, so out with the old and in with the new.
2. Develop regular features that are fun to write.
I started writing regular features a few years ago with '10 Things I Love Sunday' and have added several more since. This feature is really fun to write, which keeps me consistent. The features that I continue to write are all very enjoyable. I strongly feel that if it's not fun to write, it's probably not fun to read. Choose topics you enjoy.
Another tip is to choose topics that you play off of your strengths! Do you love trend watching, photography, story time or online shopping? Choose one or two regular features that you are knowledgeable about and very interested in. Think of your blog as a mini magazine. What monthly magazine features do you love to read?
3. Your blog is not your best friend.
(This next one is purely my own personal opinion.)
A common mistake new bloggers often make is using their blog to vent about problems and small annoyances in everyday life. The first time this is done the blogger will get lots of concerned and sympathetic comments. Maybe even a few times. But after this becomes a regular part of the routine readers will often begin to avoid the blog because of the negativity they know they will find. The truth is, most people read blogs to get inspired or learn about things they are interested in. Not many people want to spend their coffee break reading about someone's problems... reading blogs is supposed to be an enjoyable escape from everyday life. I mean, we all have problems.
Solution: When you need to get something out of your system, e-mail your best friend! If you want to write something negative on your blog, sleep on it and see how you feel the next day. I appreciate bloggers who save heavy blog posts for important times instead of every bad day that comes along.
4. Make friends.
Don't be shy! There are hundreds of beautiful and interesting blogs out there. Become a reader, leave comments, make friends and promote each other. Don't be afraid to try guest blogging for friends (or allowing them to guest blog for you while on vacation or during a busy week), adding links to blogs you enjoy and finding ways to support each other. Be kind and friendly and others will return the favor.
5. Trust your instincts.
Listen to your intuition. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. You don't always have to do what other bloggers are doing. Years ago I had a series of experiences that led me to value my own privacy. If you are a private person (even a little) this tip is for you!
Since there are no rules when it comes to blogging, make your own. I have a mental list of certain things that I absolutely never discuss on my blog. That list makes me feel like I have a healthy balance of private vs. public life. Outside of that list, I can and will blog about anything I feel like. This keeps my blog feeling personal! Learn what you are comfortable with. You don't have to share 'everything' to keep a warm and personal blog. :)
Thanks for reading! If you have any tips from your blogging experiences I'd love to hear them. XO. elsie