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Writing a post about blogging tips for beginners sounded like an illogical idea, when I still consider myself a newbie.
I embarked on this journey 5 years ago with a very simple and personal blog. Back then I didn’t have clue about what I was doing, I was just writing and sharing mostly things about my thriving Etsy business. Little did I know, I was taking baby steps that have led me to where I am now.
I know I still have a long way to go, but if there were 5 levels of blogging, I would consider myself in level 3: I have a well-built self-hosted blog running on the Genesis Framework, I have a well-defined niche and, best of all: I have a vision.
I imagine myself in level 4 replying to several comments and emails daily, and my ideal level 5 would be signing a book deal. Sweet.
As my love for blogging and writing grows, so does my thirst for knowledge. That is when the idea of writing this post comes in.
I can’t tell you how many blogs about blogging I have read or how many book pages I have highlighted, but I know for sure that I have read and learned enough (up until this point) to feel confident about sharing with you 5 encouraging personal thoughts that I truly consider are the key to blogging success. And here they are.
1. Find Your Passion and Enjoy the Ride
You’ve probably heard the quote: ‘Love what you do, do what you love’. Well, that probably sums up my life!
A day in my life doesn’t go by without reading. Whether it’s a blog, a book or a magazine, each day a new idea spark in my brain. An idea that could turn into a new DIY project, a printable or an informational or encouraging article that I want to share with my readers.
I am methodical and a perfectionist when it comes to things like writing a note or folding a shirt. I enjoy organizing my ribbons by colors and my digital pictures are sorted by event’s title in their own folders. I have a household binder where I keep tabs on to-do lists, meal planning, blogging planning, e-How articles planning, business, and home.
See a pattern here? I have a passion for productivity, methods, planning and, practical and stylish organization systems.
I strive for home organization and love to talk and write about it. I enjoy housework to the point that it does not feel like housework at all. Is just life, and I am passionate about it. I, literally, dream about it. So, blogging is much more than just writing about a particular topic you’re interested in.
You have to be passionate about it and enjoy every minute of it.
2. Work Hard and Don’t Give Up
This one is obvious. But, I think I have to emphasize the fact that, just because you don’t have a boss or deadlines to meet – yet!-, doesn’t mean you can work one day and forget about it for three. That is the biggest mistake you can make as a newbie blogger.
Post regularly and persevere. You might feel discouraged (been there, done that!) when you don’t see comments or when your traffic is not meeting your expectations, but it goes like this: if you have 5 articles posted on your blog, you have very few chances in the world-wide-web for people to find you. There are thousands of readers out there looking for something. And you might have it, so write about your passion and let it out.
If you don’t commit yourself and treat your blog as a serious business from sun up to sun down, no one else will. Work hard, get cracking and start writing! You are the founder, the owner, the editor and the boss. If you want to be successful at blogging, treat your blog as a business since day one.
3. Be Genuine and Add Value
This should probably be the first one in the line of my blogging tips for beginners. But, I wanted to emphasize on passion and hard work first.
To be a successful blogger
you need you must be genuine. And that is the rule of thumb to be successful in life too. You can not walk through life -and blogging- being someone that you are not. It’s not cool.
Writing is tough, I know. You are putting yourself out there, exposing all your strengths and weaknesses. Some people are going to love you, some people are going to hit that ‘X’ on their browser window sooner than you can say hello!. That’s fine, just. be. you!
It’s better to be loved by a few for being a genuine, kind and honest writer than to be criticized by many for being (or sounding like) a phony.
I am a blogger, but I am a reader too. And an avid one!. I can read up to 15 different blog posts in one day and -in a heartbeat- I can sense all kinds of personalities. Is that easy.
I also love bloggers that add value. Is not about getting FREE things. No. It is about getting ‘something out of it’. It’s about leaving their blogs and feeling that the blogger has left an impression on me and that I have learned something new from him/her.
Yes, free printables and planners and giveaways are fun and that is considered ‘added value’ too. But I want to emphasize the intangible added value. The one that does not have to be physical. The kind that you take with you in your brain and your heart. The kind of value I hope you take with you after reading this post. 🙂
You must be genuine and add value to your readers, especially the intangible type of value. After all, your blog is like a book that’s being written, edited and updated every day. You want it to be good and unforgettable!
4. Build Relationships and Find a Mentor
Unless you’re an expert in the fields that involve blogging (say you’re an experienced writer with a master in computer programming, good for you!), you will always need help. And don’t be afraid to look for it.
I have mentioned how much I love reading and learning, so I kind of took matters into my own hands and started this blog from scratch on a self-hosted WordPress platform (affiliate link). I was able to do 100% of the installation and set up by myself. But one day, I hit a wall. At some point, there is only so much you can do, and that is ok!.
I did some research and that night I landed on Kristie’s blog, Blog Ambitions. I loved (and I still do!) her voice. Her articles kept me interested and I was thirsty for even more knowledge. I even signed up for a giveaway and *holy molly* I won! I never win anything so it was a big deal!.
The giveaway was a one-on-one blogging consultation and it was God sent!. Kristie has helped me so much, I truly, genuinely, recommend her blog and I am not making any commission for writing this. The consultation period was over, but in 10 days I grew and learned enough to build confidence to keep me going. I visit her blog constantly and I consider her my mentor and friend. I have built a relationship with her and it feels wonderful to be understood in this huge blogosphere.
A similar relationship I have built with Meredith at Arts and Classy. This young lady’s blog is right up my alley: DIYs, home decor, and thrifty furniture flips. Ironically, I landed on her blog through a pin to this article where she shared her blog’s traffic and income. I felt drawn to her blog and started a conversation. Today, I consider her my blogging buddy.
Bottom line, don’t try to do this alone. There are bloggers out there that want you to ask questions because they too are looking to build an audience, build relationships, gain your trust and help others.
5. Never Stop Learning
My advice to you: read, study, learn, practice and then, read some more.
I LOVE reading a good book and learning. Yes, I am a geek. I know I am.
I can’t tell you how many nights I have spent decoding (and coding) CSS and HTML in order to customize a form. I can’t tell you how many blogging strategies I have studied,are and how many books I had read on the topic.
It is very important that you read, study and learn but even more important than that, it is absolutely crucial that you practice what you’ve learned.
It doesn’t make sense to read and let the thoughts sit in your head for weeks or months. Eventually, they will fade away. It is key that you put into practice what you learn. After all, practice makes perfect.
I am not talking about reading and learning about blogging, although it helps a lot too. I am talking about reading about your niche and your passion. Maybe you love to cook, and you are starting a food blog. Buy recipe books, read other food blogs, enrich yourself by studying other bloggers strategies, recipe development and even analyzing their photography.
There’s nothing wrong with following and channeling someone you admire. As long as you don’t copy their content or steal their pictures or carbon copy their blog layout or style, then it is absolutely OK to stalk their blogs. After all, it is almost impossible to recreate the same photography or to have the same voice because remember tip #3: you’re being genuine.
Here are some links to some of my favorite books and blogs that have helped me grow:
Bloggers I love:
- Toni @ A Bowl Full Of Lemons: an inspiring blog for homemakers.
- Jennifer Jones @ IHeart Organizing – The most organized woman on the internet. Country Living magazine said this!
- Amanda Green Bottoms @ Kevin and Amanda – food, photography, and travel. The first blog I ever read and followed. I have followed her growth since 2007. And it is amazing!
- Ruth Soukup @ Living Well Spending Less – The most inspiring blogger. Period.
In my library (affiliate links):
- Blogging for Creatives
- Mom Blogging for Dummies
- The Martha Rules
- How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul (written by Ruth Soukup, mentioned above)
- What’s a
DisOrganized Person To Do
- Good Things For Organizing
I am truly pouring my heart out for you, hoping I can help you find your passion, encourage you to keep doing what you love, and most important, I hope I have added value and enriched your life.
As a thank you, grab this beautiful printable quote I have prepared for you. To download, just hover and right click over the image, click on ‘save image’.
and a handy infographic. To download, just hover and right click over the image, click on ‘save image’.
If you think this post can enrich someone else’s life, please consider pinning these images and share it with the world!
Thank you for being my reader. I love you!