Advice For New Bloggers
A few weeks ago a new blogger reached out to me and shared her story with me about the problems she faced as a new blogger. She suggested that since I write advice posts for bloggers all the time that I should write one for new bloggers so that they can avoid what she went through. I thought this was a really good idea because when I started out with blogging there was a lot of things that I wish someone had told me.
Unlike most of my advice posts, this one is not specifically aimed at growing your blog, gaining followers, or increasing your traffic. Instead, I thought I would write some general advice for new bloggers or people who are thinking about starting a blog. As someone who has been blogging for quite a few years now I have been lucky enough to pick up on quite a few things and I have also been through a lot of things with my blog which made me wish someone had given me a warning about certain things.
Blogging can be difficult especially if you are not super into technology or with the internet. It can also sometimes be a bit dangerous so I have put in some tips that will help you to blog in a safer manner because let’s be honest there are some not so nice people out there hoping to scam unsuspecting people. Although this post if for newer bloggers I think most of the tips I have mentioned are things that all bloggers should keep in mind whether they are newer or older bloggers.
Here are the five tips that I think you should always keep in mind especially when you are starting a blog:
The first thing I want to say is BE CAREFUL. Even though the WordPress community is really lovely in general you still need to be very careful especially when you start out because there will be people out there who will try to take advantage of you or perhaps don’t have your best interest at heart.
For example, one of the things I have seen recently is the rise of MLM’s and in case you are not familiar with what an MLM is- it’s multi-level marketing or rather something that is scarily close to a pyramid scheme. Recruiters often target vulnerable people such as people who are not familiar with the internet or that particular platform so as a newbie you will probably get at least a few messages and emails from these huns. I had no idea about this when I first started out but I am glad I did not fall for it because I was contacted by multiple MLM huns. For more on MLM’s and why they should be avoided click here.
Another example is that if someone ever tries to sell you something please make sure they are legitimate people and are selling you legitimate products or services because like I said there are a lot of scammers out there. Also be careful of people asking you for personal information, your credit card number, your debit card number, where you live, your address, your phone number or pretty much anything like that. I know this is something most people are aware of but there are some people who are quite trusting and if you are like that please lookout for these.
Do Your Research
Before you start a blog do as much research as you possibly can. I know that there is this weird general belief that blogging or anything like that which people do online is easier than other more traditional work but that is honestly so far from the truth. With blogging there are so many little things that you need to know. Even just figuring out how WordPress works, how to make most of the features and how to even use the features takes a few weeks to a few months to figure out.
I admit it is very rewarding once you figure everything out but to be honest blogging is still difficult. You need to put so much work into it, you need to post regularly, stay active on both your blog and other blogs, reply to comments every day and so much more. Before you start a blog just know what you are getting into. You will most likely not have instant success, in fact, it may even take months before your blog starts to grow at a steady pace.
Another thing you need to research is your blog itself. What I mean by this is that do your research about your own blog. For example, if you have a particular name in mind Google that name and see what comes up to make sure that there are no sites already using that name or a similar name. Sometimes your blogs name may be very close to another sites name and it may direct unwanted traffic to your blog such as if the other site is an adult site. You should also check for the name on all social media platforms as you may want to start a page for your blog with the same name but that may already exist on certain platforms.
Have A 5 Year Plan
Before you start your blog think about where you want to be in five years. I wish someone had told me this before I started my blog because I really was not thinking ahead and now I’m kind of stuck here kicking myself for not doing certain things when I first started out. For example, look into SEO as early as possible because it is almost impossible to make your site SEO friendly after you have been blogging for a long time. Trust me, it’s a lot of work and your future self will thank you for looking into SEO early on.
Look into what topics you want to write about and look at what the top pages that show up on search engines when you search that topic are doing. Of course do not copy their work but make sure to look at how they layout their articles, what topics they write on, what key words they are using and more. You can learn a lot from your “competition” and it can really help make your blog more successful and grow faster from the start.
Ask For Help
Do not be afraid to ask for help. As I have mentioned throughout this article and as I mention all the time on my other posts as well- blogging is difficult. It is definitely a whole process even setting up your blog to begin with and do not even get me started on writing your first blog post which can honestly be a nightmare for most people who are not exactly amazing at all things technology.
When you first start out with blogging, Google really becomes your best friend because you will definitely be Googling everything every ten seconds in order to figure out how to do pretty much anything and everything. Don’t worry it does get easier over time once you get used to how WordPress works. But at the beginning it is difficult.
Now the problem with Googling everything is that sometimes Google won’t have the specific stuff you are looking for and even if it does have articles on exactly what you are looking for it may not show them thanks to the who SEO thing which unfortunately means that the stuff that is SEO friendly is at the front of Google and everything else, no matter how good and helpful it is, gets pushed to the back.
Therefore don’t be afraid to reach out to the WordPress helpers who are there to help you out in such situations and are usually extremely helpful. I would also recommend reading up on my blogging advice section as it does have a lot of tips and tricks that new bloggers may find helpful. If you have friends or family who blog on the same platform as you are currently blogging on or perhaps are just tech savvy reach out to them and ask them for help. I would also recommend reaching out to bloggers that have been blogging for longer than you have as they likely have figured most things out and I doubt anyone would say no if you ask them for help.
The last piece of advice that I want to leave you with is be patient. Unless you are extremely lucky or just really good at blogging success does not happen overnight. I know that a lot of times when you start writing online you expect to have traffic and followers the minute your first blog post goes up- I knew I kind of did- but it does not really work like that. It takes a lot of time and hard work to get to that point so if you are not instantly successful don’t freak out. There is nothing wrong with you or your writing. It just takes a while to build a loyal following and get loyal readers and once you do all the hard work will have been worth it.
If you are someone who is looking for instant success blogging on WordPress may not be for you. I’m not saying there is absolutely no way you will instantly get a huge following and traffic I’m just saying it’s very unlikely you will blow up overnight even if you are doing everything by the book.
Take your time to learn how WordPress works, what works for you and your blog, how to use all the features to get to your optimum amount of traffic and following etc. Every blog is unique and it will take a while to get the hang of what works for your blog and where you want your blog to head in the future.
Are you a newer blogger or an older blogger? If you could give new bloggers advice what would it be? Did you find this post helpful? Has anyone ever tried to scam you via your blog or social media pages? What is one thing you wish you had known before you started blogging? Let me know in the comments below because you know I always enjoy talking to your guys. If you don’t want to answer the questions just stop by and say hi!
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