Although blogging is a free form of expression for either personal or business reasons, there are a few pit-falls to know before you start your blog. This will make the blogging experience more enjoyable for you and your blog followers, as well as stopping you having blogger burnout.
1. Blogging Is Hard Work
Blogs can be really easy to start, but growing a blog is not unlike growing a business brand; it is not for the faint-of-heart. Coming up with interesting things to write about doesn’t always come so easily, and some days writing a blog post can be like pulling teeth. Once you start gaining followers you can gain momentum but it means keeping your blog going is more important than ever to keep growing your tribe. So even if you are struggling with the worst case of writers block, you need to write something in order to keep your readers interested in your blog. This can be really stressful, and a lot of bloggers quit when they get this stage.
You can combat this by excepting it WILL eventually happen to you, and you can prepare for it in two ways. One way is to hold back posts you write during your more fruitful writing periods. Most blogging platforms have an option to post date your blog posts so they will publish whenever you set them to. This means you can always be writing your blog post ahead of time. I recommend you post one to two times a week, anything more than that will cause burn-out. Often when you start blogging you have TONS of ideas. Go ahead and write as much as you can and post-date them to publish in the future.
The other way to avoid being in this situation is to build up your network of other bloggers in your field. Having guest bloggers on your page is great for everyone! It’s great for you, because you have fresh content to feed your readers. It’s also beneficial to the guest blogger, because they get exposed to a larger audience; and it’s great for their own blog’s SEO. Everyone is a winner!
2. K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid)
It’s a great thing to know when you are first getting started that not every post has to be a 2,000 word masterpiece. I was talking about this with my friend Amanda, a fellow blogger and owner of The Social Elf, and she says she sees it a lot, as well. You don’t have to tell your life’s story in your first blog post! If you want to tell a long story or long tutorial post, break it up into chunks. Most people have a short attention span when it comes to reading a new blog, and it’s better for longer post to be broken up into manageable sections. Have them wanting to know more, so they come back! So keep your post short and sweet.
3. Deciding Your Platform
I highly recommend that when you start blogging you buy your domain and blog there from the beginning. I am not only saying that because I help bloggers, like you, create their blogs on their own domain, but often times I see people unhappy that they can’t get the domain they want. Sure, there are TONS of free blogging platforms, but there will come a day when you want your very own domain, and you have to pay someone (like me) to move your blog over from your free account to your domain. It’s better to fork out a bit of money for a domain and hosting at the very least when you first start your blog. It really isn’t that expensive, and it’s easier to brand, for example www.me.com than www.wordpress.me.com.
4. Have realistic goals
I see it often, the mentality of, “if you build it they will come”. I refer to point 1., building a reader base is HARD WORK. Don’t expect to have thousands of readers in a months time from starting your blog. Having a low amount of readers should not make you feel that you’re not a great writer. I have seen it effect people’s self esteem, and it can be disheartening when you pour your heard and soul into a blog post only for it to have had 2 people read it. You have to be realistic, and just like any business you have to set goals for your blog. Bloggers need to be made of strong stuff; you can’t wear your heart on your sleeve. Don’t take it personally if you have low reader numbers, as with so many social media platforms people may read your blog but comment through a different outlet. Let it light a fire in you to try new and exciting ways to get traffic to your blog.
Though it can feel as if blogging is a hobby, especially if you’re blogging about something you are passionate about. However it is a BUSINESS. There are events for bloggers in every speciality, from special invitation only events to HUGE blogging conventions. Get out there! Be with your fellow bloggers! You can learn A LOT from the bloggers that have been around a while. I have never met a blogger I didn’t like. Most of them are genuine people that want to help others. I mean, that’s a big reason why people start blogging in the first place; they want to help people and share information!
So, there you have it my 5 tips for starting your new blog. Follow these tips from the get-go, it will take a lot of the stress out of blogging, help to avoid burn out, and will make building up your new blog more enjoyable. If you still think you need help you can contact me I help people, like you, to set up blogs, and I also give one-to-one sessions on WordPress. I also highly recommend Amanda from The Social Elf. She can help you with your Social Media and help you with your blogging goals.