I have been blogging for a number of years now. In that time I have won two blogging awards, built up a following on social media, watched my blog stats spike and dip, written over five hundred blog posts and made a lot of wonderful blogging friends.
Here’s a list of things I wish I had known before I started blogging. Some of these might have made my life easier:
- Blogging is addictive. It can take over your life if you are not careful. Set blogging time boundaries early on. Don’t allow blogging to eat away all your spare time.
- Pinterest, Stumbleupon and Twitter drive the most traffic for me. If I was a new blogger starting out I would initially focus on growing Pinterest first, then Stumbleupon and finally Twitter. When I started out I concentrated solely on Facebook which I would not do again.
- Follow the 80/20 rule with regards sharing content from other bloggers on social media. Share 80% of content from other bloggers and 20% of your own. When I first started out I only shared my own. Big mistake.
- Tags and Categories are really important. When I started out I never tagged or gave my posts categories.
- Reply to every legitimate (not spam) comment and thank the reader for taking the time to read your post and leaving a comment. Politeness and gratitude go a long way.
- The quickest way to grow your blog is to write guest posts for other bloggers. Pick out bloggers with interactive blog followings, i.e. their posts get commented on a lot.
- Every time you publish a blog post – tweet, post, pin and stumble the hell out of it.
- Blogs posts with titles which start with, ‘How To...’ or ‘Why I am..’ attract more views.
- Include hashtags in your blog titles.
- A good blog image is vital. Use free sites such as Upsplash, Pexels and Pixabay. Never ever post with an image. I did this in the early years. Big mistake.
- You will have a love / hate relationship with blog stats. Don’t spend too much time dwelling on them and don’t let them put you off blogging. In time you will come to realise that there is more to blogging than stats.
- Choose your blog theme wisely. Themes with white backgrounds do better and the less clutter the better. Think about your reader.
- Use a headline tool such as CoSchedule Headline Analyser. This was the best piece of blogging advice I got and it made a difference.
- Read other blogs and leave comments. Make a point of doing this on a weekly basis.
- Fill your blog posts with personal stories. For some reason personal stories do really well.
Good luck out there!