I was the slowest most clueless newbie blogger ever. Even still, I have plenty to learn. I started blogging back when xanga.com was popular. Or was it ever popular? I don’t know, but it was 2009, and I wanted a place online where I could share thoughts, pictures, and videos with my husband while he was overseas.

I emailed each “weblog” entry out to my family members, and people kept encouraging me with words like, “Love the blogs! Keep them coming!” and “Have you ever thought of writing a book?”

Yep. See, the blog obsession is your own fault, friends and family. You just had to encourage me.

By 2013, I was ready to take that blog public. See I told you I was s-l-o-w. That’s how theliterside.blogspot.com was born. Don’t bother googling it. I shut it down when I moved to http://storiesofourboys.com.

It took me forever to learn the simplest things. So here are the things I wish I’d known back in 2013. Read this, so you won’t have to be as slow as I was!

10 blogging tips for beginners: What I wish I had known

#1. You HAVE to self-promote.

I didn’t want to do it either, but how can anyone ever read your blog if they don’t know that you posted something new? I see it all the time with friends that start blogs. They spend all that time writing, but then they keep it a secret.

Think of it as an invitation. You wouldn’t throw a party and then not invite anyone to it.

Posting on your social media “Check out my new blog post” is your invitation. Invite everyone you know on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. Wherever your people are, tell them that you blogged.

Do this every single time you publish.

#2. Buy your own domain and self-hosted website.

Having blogspot.com after your title makes it harder to remember, and people will take it less seriously. WordPress.com sites may seem great too, until you realize that they prohibit sponsored posts and most ads unless you have a “self-hosted” site.

How do you do this? Simply dream up your blog name and then contact Bluehost. They are my favorite because when I tried to work with GoDaddy their chat person answered my questions wrong, which led me to believe that I was given a first day employee or something.

10 Blogging Tips for Newbies

#3. Set up your Social Medias.

People will need to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest in order to see your self-promotion as well as the funny Memes that you post. You probably don’t want strangers following your private Facebook page, so make a blog one. Then make one for Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Then go on your personal social media pages and ask all your friends to follow your blog page. That will give you a little boost in numbers.

#4. Register your site!

No, not with the government. With social networks online! Yes, there are blogging clubs or lists. Join a few. This is not only a good way to get exposure, it’s also going to help you find bloggers in your niche and eventually bring you sponsored posts.

Where can you register? The options are endless, and it depends on your niche. I would no more register on a Tech Website list than Geno the web developer would register on a crafty moms list.

The one that has given me the most success is Top Mommy Blogs.

Here’s a more generic one that anyone can register with: http://www.blogtopsites.com/addblog

#5. Mind your sidebar!

In a highly visible location on your blog, this could be your sidebar or a header of some sort, you need:

  1. About Me photo and blurb
  2. Search This Site widget
  3. Icon links to your social medias
  4. Categories or a menu bar to help the reader find what they are looking for

#6. Involve other bloggers.

Many of us internet-aholics are introverts, but you can’t be a successful blogging introvert. You are going to have to mingle with the other bloggers. No talking is required. Only writing! Phew! Read other blogs, join blog link-ups where you can promote your content, and link to other blogs on your website.

When I am devoting time to mingling with other bloggers, my own website looks drastically better because there are more comments, shares, and “likes.” I took the summer off of reading other blogs, and my blog looked like Ghost Town. See, bloggers are more likely to comment than most of your friends because that gives them more backlinks and more connections. Share the love. Mingle!

#7. Develop Attractive Graphics/Pictures/Logos.

This concept took me the longest because I knew very little about photo editing or creating images. But pretty pictures and graphics are important, and you can totally learn how to make them yourself.

Pic Monkey is my favorite tool for this. With Pic Monkey, you can start with a blank square or rectangle and design using their stuff. You can also write on photos and make collages, and most services on there are free!

#8. Create a “Pinnable image” for each post.

Here are a couple of examples:

10 Important Blogging Tips for Newbies

10 Blogging Tips for Newbies

I’m sort of talking to myself here. I can get lazy about the pinnable images. However, those who master it have astounding success with Pinterest.

#9. Make sure your “Subscribe to my blog” form is in a PROMINENT place on your blog.

Mine is tiny and in my sidebar, which I need to change!

#10. Write about what you enjoy, what you know, and what you know other people can relate to.

That way at least if no one even reads it, you had fun writing it!

 

 

 

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April Alan is a happy mom of four boys, and she also writes at http://storiesofourboys.com. When she isn't blogging, she's usually doing exotic things like cooking, picking up kids, and coloring Mickey Mouse with her toddler.

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