7 Top Tips for Budding Bloggers

7 Top Tips for Budding Bloggers

When I started blogging I was stabbing in the dark. I didn’t know who I was writing to; or if I’m honest – why.

I had a passion for writing and spending time online, the two combined perfectly with the idea of a blog and so I ventured out on my way with nothing more than a domain and a blank WordPress installation.

My blogs now enjoy established audiences and a loyal following. When asked by budding bloggers for advice, I offer the following seven tips as a starter:

1. Find your niche

In February 2011 there were 156 million online public blogs in existence. Need I say more? People need to be grabbed within a few seconds of landing on your site – what makes your blog different? Why should they keep coming back?

Identify what makes your blog unique and stick with it.

2. Read other blogs

As with anything, it’s important to do your research. Not only do you get to experience a variety of writing styles from reading a range of blogs, you will have up to date knowledge of the blogging community. By commenting on other blog posts you also have the opportunity to leave links back to your own stuff.

3. Write to your audience

Identify exactly who it is you’re writing to. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • When do they read?
  • What do they like reading?
  • What is important to them?
  • What are their beliefs?

If you can identify your readers as one single person – name them, draw them… get to know them better than you know yourself.

Once you have become acquainted, every single thing you write should be written for their benefit.

4. About page

The second most visited page of any website. The about page on your blog is no exception. Keep it concise. Link to other significant posts or information within your blog and give a behind the scenes view as to the reason you started your blog in the first place. Allow your audience to identify with you.

5. Get seriously social

Twitter.

If you have a blog and don’t have a Twitter account you’re missing out on a huge potential reader base. Facebook is great for keeping regular readers up to date but if you want a continual source of new readers, get or start using a Twitter account effectively right now (more to come on this).

6. Streamline

It is easy to find your side bar filled with links, badges and other ‘useful’ gadgets. Be aware that much of this eye candy only serves as white noise and can leave visitors confused as to how to navigate your content.

After spending so much time and effort attracting your visitors, you want to keep them as long as possible. Review your sidebar elements and ditch anything that is more than necessary.

7. Spring Clean

Once you have a bank of content, it pays to plan time into your schedule to review older posts. Check for broken links, missing images or out of date information. You have a reputation to protect now after all :)

I Would love to hear in the comments below what you think. Do you have any blog tips you would like to share? PS – remember the final sentence of number 2 ;)

Comments

comments

23 Comments

  1. Thanks for your succinct and brilliant post Laura.

    When one reads an article that makes 100% sense, the first reaction is often a feeling of ‘but I knew all that!’. The knowing isn’t the issue – it’s maintaining an awareness of these things and putting into practice.

    Even as someone who’s blogged in various forms over several years, I found this post a great reminder on what makes a good blog…good.

    The Brighton Dad
    http://thebrightondad.wordpress.com

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Thank you kindly Brighton Dad. Never hurts to be on the receiving end of a helpful reminder :)

  2. Top article Laura, thanks again for reminding bloggers like us that these duties do need time scheduling! Good handy post to run through every month and do the tasks!

    Thanks :)

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Hi Faizan, hope you are still keeping up with your scheduling?!

  3. Thanks for the advice. I’m a brand spankin’ new blogger and I feel like my words are lost in the middle of nowhere! Appreciate the tips!

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Hi Barb! How is your blog coming along? Hope the tips are still useful!

  4. Thanks for the info… I suppose I’m one of those people that need to spring clean :-)

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Hope the spring clean did you favours Jeremy?!

  5. I am a good student … I read and am following your suggestion #2. I just found you and am finding your advice very useful. If you offer free advice, I have questions. One for example is: I started one blog http://www.hereiaminablog.blogspot.com and now getting into it, I realize there is more of an audience for one subject – in my case – triathlons. So I started another one http://www.triathlonmami.blogspot.com with no posts yet. Is that ok? Should they merge? Should I just focus on one thing?

    See? Total beginner so I’ll keep reading. Thanks again for your being “out there” in the blogosphere.

  6. Laura,
    Good info-I shared it on Twitter. I never thought to link pages in my “About” Thanks.

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Glad you found it useful, thanks for sharing and stopping by :)

  7. This post is awesome and coulnd’t have come at a better time for me. I started a blog a week ago after months of ‘umm’-ing and ‘ahh’-ing and just general procrastinating. These tips definitely help. Also, ironically, I found you through Twitter (or you found me, rather), so that’s definitely a tool I’ll have to learn to leverage :) Thanks, Laura!

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Twitter is an absolute must for any blogger looking to build a loyal reader base :) Good luck with your new adventure, I hope it provides the outlet you’re looking for :)

  8. Hi Laura, thank you for following me on Twitter. I am relatively new to blogging as I only started taking it seriously at the beginning of this year. I have a blog on Avon Connects as I’m an Independent Avon Sales Leader. I recruit, train and coach new Avon Representatives and Sales Leaders and love what I do. So much so that I started my blog to reach more wonderful people. You can reach my blog via my website http://www.thepinkteam.uk.com or by following this link http://www.avonconnects.co.uk/blogs/thepinkteam

  9. Jason Reply

    Great advice. I’m thinking patience is a virtue too. It can be disheartening when you look at your stats and have had only a few views, but then receive a ton a few days later to put a smile back on your face.

  10. I’m learning the valuable lesson of focusing on content while navigating all of the bells and whistles of building a great site. It’s easy to get sucked in and distracted with the aesthetics of pages and posts.
    What’s your advice to someone who is just learning HTML and CSS? Or, do you contract with someone to keep your site looking sharp?

  11. Claudia Reply

    Hi Laura,
    My About me page is still on my to do list.
    It’s too early to consider spring cleaning my older posts for a while yet – in fact spring may be a good time for it.
    I’ll add my blog to my LinkedIn profile and my email signature in a while too, since it’s starting to look like something I could be proud of :)

  12. Thanks for the tips. I am new to blogging and the intention is focus on relationship matters and other life topics. Its a challenge publicizing the blog and getting people to follow me on twitter in full capacity because I am making it anonymous. I don’t know how to inform friends without them guessing it’s mine. What tips do you have for bloggers like me?

    • Laura Summers Reply

      Hi!

      Thanks for reading and hope the tips come in handy.

      With regard to spreading the word anonymously, it shouldn’t make it too much more challenging once you are beyond the initial effort of building a small following. I would strongly recommend checking out my recent article on . Some tips there should help you build a crowd who will be interested in your information. The content should do the rest of the work for you!

      Would love to hear how you get on as you get established!

  13. What is most important when it comes to your about me page? I don’t think ours currently packs enough punch!

    Thanks,
    Sarah

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