Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Did you know that there are over 600 million blogs on the Internet? Now, blogging is everywhere, whether that's on Pinterest, Instagram captions, or this very website. Blogs have become one of the biggest browsing resources. You can get to know an author you love, find a new recipe...basically anything you need to know, you can find a blog about.
Blogs are surprisingly easy to create. You have something to offer the world and a website is a great platform to share it on.
But it's way too easy to get discouraged. New bloggers have trouble figuring out how to get their website noticed, what they should even write about, and how to create a good site design. Blogging can be overwhelming, but it doesn't need to be.
Today, I'm going to share with you nine pieces of advice every blogger needs to know. This post will be especially helpful to bloggers just starting out, but if you're more experienced, you can definitely still learn something.
Since I've started blogging, I've figured things out from my mistakes and read too many articles to count about blogging. I've narrowed everything down into this comprehensive list that will get you off your feet, help you create a website that shares your vision, and get everyone reading your blog. Enjoy!
1. Pinterest Will Get You Everywhere
One of bloggers' biggest concerns is getting attention. Sure, your mom always reads your blog posts, but how do you build a wider audience that keeps coming back? Utilizing your already set-up social media definitely helps, but I've found that my biggest source of traffic is Pinterest.
On Pinterest, you never have to worry if you're promoting your blog posts too much. Users on Pinterest are trying to find blogs. I've also found that my Pinterest has grown faster than my other social media, as well as bring in consistent pageviews.
I could write a whole blog post about Pinterest for bloggers, but for now, I'll break it down into these four points.
1) The More Content, The Better
Pinterest actually prioritizes users who post more. Don't overextend yourself - it's still better to post consistently than all at once - but work to create multiple pins per blog post to get your work noticed.
2) Make Your Pinterest Page Look Professional
Users will most likely only glance at your Pinterest page before deciding whether to follow or not. Make sure you fill out all the fields, upload a cover image, and label and organize your boards to boost your chances of gaining followers.
3) Keep High-Quality Images a Priority
Pinterest is all about images. Pin photography or stock images as well as graphic designs. I love Canva for creating pins that capture attention and also abide by Pinterest's 2:3 ratio.
4) Schedule Your Pins
Scheduling your pins is a lifesaver. For me, it's not realistic to pop on every hour to upload a new pin. Luckily, you don't even need to use a pin scheduler like Tailwind. As you create pins on the Pinterest website, simply schedule them in advance. They'll publish automatically. (Hint: Look up when Pinners are most active and post consistently at those times. Pinterest's algorithm loves it when you most around the same time on certain days.)
2. Learn How to Pitch
Some of my best blog posts have come from collaborations with others. I even have a whole section on this website dedicated to author interviews! Teaming up with other bloggers, working with brands, and interviewing people will keep your content fresh and add pageviews.
In order to be able to work with others, you're most likely going to have to write an email pitch. Almost all of my collaborations have started with an email from me or the person I work with. When writing an email pitch remember to introduce yourself and your work, be clear with what you're asking, stay polite and professional, and keep it short and sweet. Be prompt with your replies and don't sweat if the person turns you down. They've probably got a lot on their plate and there are plenty of others you can work with!
3. Stay Inspired
Burn out is real, and it's not pretty. Consistency is key with blogging, and you don't want to lose readers because you can't figure out what to write about.
Somedays you won't feel like blogging, and that's okay. Do it anyway. You've got a message to share and it's important that you keep chugging. I promise you won't regret it in the end!
One of my biggest causes of burn-out is not having any ideas. To remedy this, I have a huge Google Doc filled with different blog post ideas for every category I typically blog about. Any time a blog post idea pops into my head, I put it in the Google Doc. This has helped me figure out what to write about, as well as schedule my blog posts in advance.
4. Loud & Proud
There's always a little bit of nervousness when you start a blog. You might ask yourself if anyone cares about what you're saying and if your website will ever get off the ground. (P.S. The answers to these questions are yes and yes...even if it takes a little bit!)
I find it easier to promote a blog post on social media rather than bring it up in person when someone asks. But you've got to do it! Be loud and proud of your blog. This is your baby that you're bringing into the world, and all of your hard work deserves to be celebrated.
The truth is, your friends and family are going to be your biggest cheerleaders in the beginning. When you tell them about your website, chances are they will become loyal readers and even recommend it to others. Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising...so don't be afraid to tell people what's new with you.
5. Determine Your Reader
One of the most important things you can do as you're building your blog is to ask yourself what type of person your website is aimed toward. (This isn't just for beginning bloggers. I have to ask myself this question almost every time I draft a new post.) What type of person is going to be reading this blog? What do they need? What do they want?
Most of the time, answering this question is easier than you might think. For example, if you're starting a DIY lifestyle blog, your readers are going to want home decor and recipes more than audition tips for clowns. Envision your ideal reader and think about what they want to know and you can help them.
6. Stay Consistent
I mentioned in the Pinterest section that consistency is key for blogging. Not only is posting regularly going to boost you on social media and Google, but it also builds rapport with your readers. Maybe for you being consistent means that you post every Wednesday. Your readers will notice this and start tuning in every Wednesday to see what you've written.
This extends to social media as well. Make sure you're portraying yourself in the same light on every platform. Don't make your Instagram username @playstoomuchbagelhockey if you're writing a book blog. That just doesn't make sense.
Remember that anytime you're trying to grow anything, you have to do it regularly. No one's going to be able to find your content if there's no content for them to see.
7. Get a Domain...Or At Least Set Yourself Up For One
Domains are the URL of your site. If you don't have a domain, your website URL will most likely be the name of the website builder followed by a long string of code. This works while you're just starting out or a small hobby for friends and family.
But if you really want to grow your website, chances are you're going to need a domain. Domains aren't too expensive. Most of them you can get for $10-15 a year. Mine was very easy to set up as I did it through my website builder Wix.
Personally, I think a domain is a great investment. It's a lot easier to say that you can find my website at mypen2paper.com rather than spouting off a long line of code.
But if for some reason you're not ready for a domain, make sure that you're able to get one later down the line. Choose a website builder that will let you switch to a domain while keeping all the work you did on your website. You don't want to lose everything!
8. Spend Time on Your Site's Design
Really play around with how your website looks. What colors do you want to use for branding? What emotion does your homepage give off? Does it appeal to your ideal reader? And most importantly, is your website easy to navigate?
One of the worst things you can do is have lots of broken links or website pages that are tricky to get around. You want your readers to immediately see something they just have to click on, rather than them getting frustrated by dead ends.
9. Wait For It
Blogging success is not going to happen overnight, no matter how much you want it to. The most important thing is to stay consistent, keep working, and create a website that you're proud of. Getting thousands of readers might take months or even years, but in the end, it'll be worth it when you see your hard work pay off. Keep creating something you're proud of. See you in the big leagues!
Let me know down below what you learned from this post and any other blogging tips you have. Have a blog of your own? Drop the URL in the comments and I'll go check it out! Ciao, Zoe.