You have a desire to write, and you are thinking about starting a blog. Or it may be time to gear up your blog after a long break. That’s great!
I have some tips for you today, but don’t worry — today’s post has not been written by a money-making blogger, someone from a marketing company, or an SEO expert.
So why should you read further?
Because I am an everyday blogger, like you, who wants to write useful content. And I was in a wavering, apprehensive spot — probably where you are right now.
You may be thinking that it is too late to start a blog, or that maintaining a blog can be overwhelming. You have questions about SEO, content calendars, mailing lists – all the things you’re supposed to know to have a successful blog.
I get it. I felt the same way. In fact, I’m still learning about SEO, content calendars, and mailing lists.
But I can still help.
This post isn’t going to tell you step-by-step of setting up a new blog. I can tell you that there are many choices out there: WordPress, Blogger, Weebly, Wix, etc., that you can use for free, and they have their own tutorials to walk you through it. (Although, I do suggest starting on WordPress so you can update and upgrade later if you wish.)
Instead, I’m going to share my seven encouraging tips for blogging beginners (and re-beginners) — ones that have helped me.
7 Tips for the Beginning Blogger
#1: Forget all the technical stuff . . . for now.
Blogging ten years ago was much different than today. With advancing technology, there is a lot to understand about such things as keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) so readers and search engines can find your blog. If you are reading (and worrying) about all the technical stuff, don’t let it discourage you from starting! This goes for restarters too.
Just spend some time writing first.
I have a homeschool blog, Muses of a Mom, where I post resources for homeschooling teens. When I began that blog, on Google’s format Blogger, I didn’t know anything about blogging. But I was able to set up a basic template, add my profile information and begin writing. A little at a time, I got better acquainted with the platform and added more features.
#2: Just begin writing.
You have my permission to just begin. Begin writing. It’s okay to feel like a beginner. We have all been there. You also have my permission to fake it until you make it, Baby!
The reason I suggested you not become engrossed in the technical side of your blog right now? Because it’s not a blog unless you have some content!
Content = posts.
Do you already know what you want to write about or what your main message will be? Fantastic! If not, that is entirely okay. It takes time for some of us to find a niche that works. Your blog can be a way to experiment.
If you aren’t sure what your blog should be about, begin writing about things you already know: topics related to your job, hobbies, an organization where you volunteer, places where you’ve traveled, or a specific life experience. If you are an avid gardener, share gardening tips, photos of your recent plantings or DIY landscaping projects. If you are a caregiver of an elderly parent, you could journal your daily experiences, healthcare hurdles, and successes.
3. Keep your posts to a 1 to 2-minute read.
There is debate about the correct number of words for a blog post. Many of my posts average 1,000 – 1500 words, which many professionals call “short-form content,” which I believe many of us write. Anything over 1,500 words is considered “long-form content.” These types of posts are more detailed. They are step-by-step instructions, presentation of research, or anything else that needs more space to discuss. Keeping your post around 1,000 words is about a two-minute read. (This post is about 1,400 words.)
However, it’s a good start if your posts are well-written, concise, and only 500 – 750 words! What’s important is that the reader leaves satisfied with useful and complete information.
Even with shorter posts, it’s good practice to end with a “call to action.” Ask your readers to do something once they’ve read your post, such as answering a question or giving their opinion. You want to give them a reason to leave a comment! (Be sure to return to your posts and respond to comments!)
4. Choose one social media platform to share your blog posts.
Another place where a beginner or re-beginner bloggers can quickly eat up time from writing is social media. You may be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, but pick just one where you can begin sharing immediately. Don’t worry about hashtags if you aren’t familiar with them – that can come later.
Facebook is the easiest place to share. No need to create a new page, start sharing on your personal Facebook page. Post a link every time you publish a new post. And not just a link – give that call to action. Ask your friends to do you a favor by reading it and giving their honest reviews. That sounds scary, but feedback is essential; it will determine what content impacts readers and help you find your niche.
The goal is to start sharing, not learning about social media demographics and algorithms. That’s later. Again, concentrate on writing so there is content to share.
5. Find an outlet for encouragement.
Sometimes a post doesn’t come together as planned, or life gets in the way. (Finding time to write is another subject to talk about!) I totally get it! This happens to me too!
All writers need camaraderie and encouragement. Find a community of other bloggers in a blogging Facebook group. Don’t join all the groups, or you will have another distraction from writing. When I returned to regular blogging, I joined six blogging help groups. When I realized I was spending more time reading group posts than writing my blog posts, I left five of them!
One group that I do recommend joining is a blog challenge. That solution has helped me put the gas in my blog tank. It pushed me to write more content and get into a writing groove.
My challenge of choice is the Ultimate Blog Challenge, held quarterly through a private Facebook group. The benefits of this challenge are several: You will
- Meet other bloggers
- Read other blogs within a wide variety of categories
- Receive prompts to spur you with ideas to write
- Get free training
- See traffic to your blog
- Receive comments on your writing
These quarterly challenges are something I look forward to. Even though it is a daily challenge, I just write as many quality posts as I can that month. I have met other bloggers who blog similarly and differently to me, and I’ve read fantastic content. Some blogs have given me ideas for my own blog. Comments from other bloggers in the challenge have been encouraging, helping me to improve my writing.
The next Ultimate Blog Challenge is in April. Check their website this month to register and access the Facebook group where all the action happens!
6. When in a groove, pick one new thing to learn.
When in a routine with adding content on your blog, it’s time to pick one thing to learn about blogging while you continue to write.
Here are some ideas on where to begin:
- Learn how to create the best categories (and tags)
- Discover the gadgets available for your blog, then add one.
- Find out how to add links within your posts
- Use hashtags when promoting blog posts on social media
- Choose the best photos to include in your blog posts.
Notice I didn’t start with the heavy subjects, but simple things that are easy to accomplish and encourage you on your way. Making your blog good-looking and user-friendly will encourage return visitors.
7. Remember: You are not in a writing race.
Finally – DON’T compare yourself to other bloggers and what they are doing and how fast they are doing it. You aren’t even in competition with them! You are doing YOU. Have fun. You have your own message the world needs to hear. (I have been giving myself this pep talk for a long time now, and the more I repeat it, the more I believe it!)
You can do this. You can write. You can write anything. YOU … are a WRITER.
This post was originally published on my blog, Muses of a Mom, in 2021 but republished here with updated information.