I have been blogging for over three years now on all kinds of topics. While blogging is second nature to me at this point, it can be a bit tricky when you are first starting out and learning the ropes. Since I have started blogging, I get asked all the time by friends and family exactly how to get started with blogging. It isn’t too much trouble to help them get up and running with their new blog.
As I have helped a number of folks start their own blog, get it setup, and give them tips and tricks, I realized it would be a great idea to share this info with a larger audience. My hope is that this post on super helpful blogging tips for new bloggers will help you in some small (or big) way to start or improve your blog. As with anything, there is always more to learn and new directions to where you can look to expand your knowledge. Even if you are a blogging pro, I bet there is at least one tip that I’ll present below with which you can improve.
Without further ado – let’s get onto the super helpful blogging tips for new bloggers!
1. Plan out Your Niche
If you plan to be everything to everybody, then you will be nothing to nobody.
That’s my attempt at trying to be profound – maybe this quote will end up in a repository with credit to my name at some point? Anyhow, you really need to focus your blog towards a specific topic. If it is something that you are interested in, then chances are there are other folks out there that would be interested in it too. People love to read about their interests and hobbies. If you make your blog too generic, then it will really not resonate with potential readers.
Another way to think about it is that you do NOT want to be like Wal-Mart. You want to focus down to something like the local bike shop and become an expert in this arena. If you are starting a blog to make money, then you need to realize that “the riches are in the niches.” Not sure exactly who originally coined that phrase, but it is so true!
2. Start Your Blog on WordPress
If you are going to do something, make sure you do it right.
If you are starting a new blog from scratch, then you really do NOT want to create your blog on one of those free hosting sites (Tumblr, etc.). You really need to invest the upfront money to host your new blog on WordPress. This is so that you have more freedom and control over your voice, your content, and your advertising.
If you decide to go with one of these free blogs, you are completely locked down from an advertising perspective. This means it will be very difficult to make money from your blog if you ever decide to take it in that direction. For as little as $3.49 a month, you can start and setup your own WordPress blog with Bluehost. That link is a super detailed tutorial that will walk you through step-by-step on how to setup your own blog. Using a self-hosted WordPress blog is the only way to get started properly.
3. Create High-Quality Content
If you are going to say say something, make sure you say it right.
If you have gone to all the trouble to setup your blog and write a blog post, don’t half-ass it when it comes to your blog posts! Make sure you really think out what you want to say, how you want to say it, and make sure it is polished. I normally like to write a post, leave it alone for a while, then come back to it to proof read it before hitting publish.
There is nothing more annoying to some readers than a rambling post that doesn’t seem to have much point. Other find it super annoying when a post is filled with grammatical errors. It is OK to have typos here and there, but if they are everywhere it just feels sloppy and rushed. If you benchmark some of the most successful blogs, you will find that their writing is well informed, well organized, and polished. The more time you put into creating high-quality content, the better chance your blog has to become successful.
4. Don’t Plagiarize
Thou shalt not steal.
This is a pretty easy one that should really go without saying. Don’t steal other peoples hard work – you will get caught eventually, and it will be embarrassing! It is OK to expound on someone else’s thoughts and ideas after crediting them. But, a straight copy and paste job is a no-no. Besides, the all-knowing Google will be able to tell if you are “scraping” content from other sites and will penalize you for it!
5. Setup an Opt-in Mailing List
It can cost over $10 to get a new reader to your blog.
OK – I just made that up. BUT…. if you have someone run across your blog when it is first getting started, you will really want to convert them into a repeat reader. What better way to do this than to send them your updated posts automatically to their email inbox? The key here is to work smarter, not harder.
Install the MailPoet plugin for WordPress and work through setting up a method to collect reader’s email addresses so that you can send them updated posts, offers, and more with a couple clicks of a button. It will only take you 10 minutes to setup and you will be off to the races.
6. Be Genuine
Being true to yourself never goes out of style.
Don’t try to be someone you are not when blogging. If you swear a lot, then go ahead and drop and f-bomb or two. If you like to joke around, then there is no point in taking a very serious tone. If you like to walk around the house naked, then… well, um, nevermind.
Readers will be able to tell in pretty short order if you are being disingenuous. Be yourself, embrace who you are, there will be people out there that can relate to you. Trust me!
7. Be Active on Social Media
If you share it, they will come.
Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to driving increased traffic to your blog. The best way to get your blog’s name out there is to comment on other related blogs, and setup a Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. account. If you work on increasing your social media presence, you will find more and more like-minded readers that will come to visit your new blog.
I made the mistake of not being very active with Pinterest and Twitter in the early days of this blog. As a result, my blog traffic floundered for quite a while. Most bloggers find that they should be spending roughly 50% of their time creating content and 50% of their time promoting their blog through social media!
8. Stop Looking at Your Stats!
A watched pot never boils.
Checking your blog stats too frequently is another habit that can be easy to fall into. You can spend an hour or more each day checking your blog traffic, detailed page visit data, day-to-day affiliate income reports, Youtube views, etc. If you fall into this habit, your time will seemingly evaporate before your eyes. Try to keep your time spent checking your blog stats to once a week or monthly. There is work to be done!
9. Secure Your Blog from Hackers
It is more of a disgrace to be robbed of what one has than to fail in some new undertaking.
Having your blog hacked sucks! Words can hardly describe how bad it feels to have months worth of work all put at risk. It happened to MoneyAhoy a couple years back, and it was super stressful. Take an extra 5 minutes and install a plug-in like Simple Login Lockdown to protect your blog. It locks out your WordPress account if someone tries to unsuccessfully login too many times. It’s also free :-).
10. Install the Standard Plugins
Word smarter, not harder.
99% of the way a blog runs and is displayed will be the same from one to the other. Sure the content is different, but the web-code to present it really isn’t all that different. This is where plugins come in. Do you think your blog is the only one with spam problems? Or, did you ever wish you could have a simple way for users to share your blog content? So have the millions of other bloggers! The good news is that creators have created plugins that expand the functionality of WordPress to fix/improve all kinds of things!
So, why not leverage this by installing the best WordPress plugins that solve/improve these issues? The list below contains my favorite WordPress plugins that you should really consider installing on your WordPress blog. You can set each one of these up by going to Plugins>Add New from your WordPress menu bar.
- Advanced Settings – Get advanced settings and change all you imagine that are not provided by WordPress.
- Akismet – Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep.
- All in one Favicon – All in one Favicon management. Easily add a Favicon to your site and the WordPress admin pages.
- Auto Post Thumbnail – Automatically generate the Post Thumbnail (Featured Thumbnail) from the first image in post (or any custom post type) only if Post Thumbnail is not set manually.
- Broken Link Checker – Checks your blog for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
- BulletProof Security – Setup Wizard • .htaccess Website Security Protection (Firewalls) • Security Logging|HTTP Error Logging • DB Backup • DB Table Prefix Changer • Login Security & Monitoring
- Captcha by BestWebSoft – #1 super security anti-spam captcha plugin for WordPress forms.
- CommentLuv – Reward your readers by automatically placing a link to their last blog post at the end of their comment.
- Conditional Widgets – Grants users advanced control over which pages and categories each widget is displayed on.
- Facebook Like Box – Facebook Like Box Widget is a social plugin that enables Facebook Page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website.
- Hello Bar (Official) – Inserts your custom Hello Bar on your blog for newsletter signups.
- MailPoet Newsletters – Create and send newsletters or automated emails. Capture subscribers with a widget.
- Regenerate Thumbnails – Allows you to regenerate all thumbnails after changing the thumbnail sizes.
- Simple Connect Widget – Displays simple social media icons in the sidebar.
- Simple Login Lockdown – A simple way to prevent brute force login attemps on your WordPress installation.
- TablePress – Embed beautiful and feature-rich tables into your posts and pages, without having to write code.
- Theme Test Drive – Safely test drive any theme while visitors are using the default one. Includes instant theme preview via thumbnail.
- Twitter Facebook Social Share – WordPress plugin for twitter, facebook, Google +1 (plus one) and other social share.
- W3 Total Cache – Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – Adds related posts to your site and in RSS feeds, based on a powerful, customizable algorithm.
- Yoast SEO – The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
11. Post at Least Once a Week
Practice makes perfect.
Producing frequent content for your WordPress blog does a couple things:
- Improves your writing – that’s right – the more you write, the better you get at it.
- Keeps readers coming back for more – repeat readers of your blog are most valuable asset. The more you write the more they will return to see what great stuff you have to blog about.
- Improves your Google search rankings – the more topics you discuss, the more you have a chance to get someone conducting a Google search to find your blog.
Final Thoughts – 11 Super Helpful Blogging Tips for New Bloggers
I trust that you will find these 11 super helpful blogging tips for new bloggers to be of great assistance to you if you are just getting started with your new blog. I wish I would have had a list like this when I first started blogging over three years ago. Do you have other tips to share? If so, please leave them in the comments below or send me an email.
Are you interested in starting your own blog to make some extra money? I created a simple guide to help you setup a WordPress blog on Bluehost in just 15 minutes. With my special link, you can start blogging for only $3.95 a month! If you have been on the fence about starting your own blog, now is the time to get started! Click here for my free and simple guide that will walk you through the process.