The Best Sure-Fire Tips For Brand New Bloggers
I get soooo many blogging questions – and I love to help you guys out – so I will try and answer as many blogging related questions as possible for you, as I do believe that blogging is a fab way for people to earn extra money online.
If you’re thinking about starting up a blog, I have a step by step guide that I made just for you – as I know that it can be quite overwhelming when you are starting something new, and I remember begin anxious about doing it, especially as I am the least techy person ever!
I’ve also put together a 7 day free email course with some more guidance on the beginning steps on how to set your blog up and get it started on its way!
Now for the purpose of this post I’m going to assume that you have set your blog up (and if not, click on one of the links above and feel free to come back to this post after that!).
The Most Important Step Is The First Step
I’ve seen this happen time and time again, and I was guilty of this as well – dithering over making a decision about whether to start a blog or not. I think we can all do this, and I’ve touched on the psychology of this in previous posts, where our brain doesn’t really want us to try new things because it likes the known.
Sometimes, we just need to give ourselves an injection of courage to take the leap. With blogging, there are SO many people who have become successful from it, that you can be quite confident with the fact that if you work hard and smart, you will earn some extra money from it. There are many people who earn a full time income from their blog, or a part time income, or just some extra on the side to make things easier for yourself.
If you’ve started up your blog already, congratulations! I’m proud of you for taking the first step on working towards your dreams – after all, that’s generally the reason why people want to start up a blog – so that they can work from home, look after their kids, earn extra on the side to travel, pay off debt and achieve their ideal lifestyle. I personally used money earned from blogging to pay off my debt, and now I am using it to achieve some personal goals.
When you ask other bloggers what one of their biggest regrets in regards to blogging is, I guarantee you that the majority of them will say that they wish they had started sooner. I know that I wish I had! Starting sooner means more time to learn, more money to be paid, more people to see your site, more time for Google to work its magic…etc. The sooner that you start the better! And don’t worry…we are all beginners when we start.
There’s Always Something New To Learn
This is something that I’m only just getting my head around now after (need to count a sec…) a year and 5 months of blogging (oh wow didn’t realise it was almost a year and a half!). When you first start blogging you are told about all of the things that you should do, shouldn’t do, you need to do this, that, oh no wait you should definitely do that – and it can be extremely overwhelming!
I definitely fell into the trap of reading a million different posts about what I should be focusing on, which took me away from actually focusing on the blog! Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read advice, as bloggers are extremely helpful and generous with their information, but what I would advise is not trying to do it all at once. If you find a helpful article/course, read it, act on it – and then move on to the next one.
Pinterest is a killer for this – you can be stuck on there all day finding the most amazing blog posts to help you, but they are endless! Your time is better spent on other things.
Figure Out a Posting Schedule
This is an important one. I see many bloggers getting burned out because they have tried to post too often, as well as grow other parts of their blog (e.g. social media) and everything else that comes with it. The ones that I have seen stick with their blog and soldier on, are generally those who work out a posting schedule quite quickly, which works well for them.
Some people are happy with posting everyday, and I applaud them as I would not be able to do that! Please don’t think that you do have to post every day, because if the content is good, once a week or even once a fortnight will be sufficient.
However, it depends on what your content is – for example, if you are posting about deals, this is something quite fast moving and you will probably be posting several times a day. I’ve also seen other bloggers write in a diary style format and post everyday, which works well for them.
The best thing that you can do as a newbie, or at any stage within blogging, is to be consistent. You want your readers to know when you are going to post, and come to expect it. If you are posting four times a week and then don’t post for a couple of weeks, they probably won’t keep coming back. Don’t feel as though you have to post loads – if you want, just start off at once a week and if you think that you want to post more, you can increase it once you’ve got into a routine.
Set Up All The Social Media, But Focus On a Couple
Social media is another aspect of blogging that new bloggers can get a bit overwhelmed about – probably because you don’t realise how important it is until you begin. Writing posts is all well and good, but you need people to find them – and that means promoting your posts on social media.
It’s extremely hard to be active on all social media, write high quality blog posts, learn new things, all whilst I assume you are working/have a family/friends/a life! I would definitely recommend to get on all of the social media sites, but perhaps only concentrate on one or two – the ones that you most enjoy, and bring you the most traffic. The ones that I concentrate on are Pinterest and Instagram.
Some examples of social media sites that you can promote on are:
There are tons more! But these are the main ones that I would recommend you get started on. You will realise quite quickly which ones you enjoy more, and these should be the ones that you should concentrate on the most. You don’t want it to get boring or tedious – blogging is fun!
In regards to each of the social media sites, the amount that you post on each depends on each one. Generally speaking, you are ok to post a lot on Twitter and Pinterest everyday, but Instagram you shouldn’t post too much (I do once a day, well, I try to!), and Facebook won’t like it if you post too often on there either (I aim for 4 times a day).
Make sure that you share other bloggers posts as well – or articles that you think that your readers will like. If they head to one of your accounts and just see a bunch of links to your own stuff, it may put them off. Also, supporting other bloggers is not only nice to do, but they will hopefully repay the favour and re-post some of your stuff as well. It’s a win-win!
Set Up An Email List From The Start
This is something that many bloggers put off and off, and it gets wayyyy down the line and they still haven’t done it. Of course, I was one of these bloggers! It can seem quite daunting and you may not even want to email anyone yet, but when people come over to your blog, you want them to come back. A great way to get them to come back is to get them onto your email list, so that you can let them know about new content on your blog.
I am personally with an email provider called Mailerlite, who are great, and incredibly helpful. I am always nervous when I set up something new, so I fire lots of questions at their customer support, and these guys are not only speedy, but very helpful with their replies as well.
They are free up to 1000 subscribers, and they also have cool features that other providers don’t have, such as being able to set up email courses, like the one I created for setting up your own blog. It was really easy to set up, and I’m so glad that I did it.
All that you need to do is head on over to Mailerlite, sign up, and then come back onto your blog and get their plugin so that you can put it onto your blog. In your WordPress (.org) homepage, you should have ‘Plugins’ on the left hand side. If you click on that, and then ‘Add New’ at the top, you can search for their plugin. Download and install it, and it will be on the blog ready to go.
You will then want to put a sign up box somewhere on your blog, and you can do this by going to Appearance, and then Widgets. You should be able to add it here.
Trust me – this is a very important step that you need to get set up straight away. Please, don’t put it off, you will regret it further down the line.
Use High Quality Photos – That Are Royalty Free
This is something that I wish someone had told me from the beginning, because I didn’t realise how serious it could be! When you want to use photos within your blog posts, the obvious thing to do is to head on over to Google, search for what kind of photo you need, and upload it to the blog.
Please don’t do this!
The reason that you should not do this is because you could be stealing someone else’s work, and they will be none too pleased with you for that. They will find out – and they will slap you with a law suit. It really is that bad!
The best thing that you can do is to take your own photos – but seriously, who has the time for that?! (Ok, I know a lot of bloggers take the most amazing photos themselves, but I’m assuming that like me, you don’t have the time/inclination to do so)! The second best thing, that most bloggers do, is to use stock photos.
Stock photos are created for the sole purpose of being used for websites and similar things, with no credit being needed to be given to the owner. There are also paid stock photo sites as well, with the most gorgeous photos, but most new bloggers are on a budget, so don’t fret – there are a ton of free stock photo resources out there.
I have put together a list of some fab sites where there are free stock photos available for you to use on your blog.
Go Self-Hosted From The Start
This is another one which many bloggers wish that they had done from the very start! When you are first starting out, like I mentioned, you are probably on a budget and don’t want to spend any money. Now I’m a personal finance blogger, of course I’m not going to suggest that you spend loads of money on a side hustle, but I myself would not have started it if I did not think that it would be a viable way of earning extra money, even with the limited time that I had (2 jobs, child, student).
It’s literally a few pounds a month. That is it! I was surprised when I found that out, because I think in my head that I had assumed it would be a lot more than that, so I was quite resistant to it for a while.
A lot of bloggers want to try a free way of doing it at first, to see if it will make them money before they put money into it, but many find that it’s only after they switch to self hosted that the money starts to come in. It looks more trustworthy, legit and professional to readers and brands, when you have your own site which you have paid for. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some people who have done very well on free blogging sites, but this is a small percentage.
You don’t need to worry about the technical side of it either – I created a step-by-step guide (with screenshots and everything!) to lead you through the process of setting it up. It’s pretty simple but I know that it can be nerve-wracking when you are first trying something new.
If you are thinking of going the free way and then switch to self-hosted, this can be a bit more difficult. Many people do it, but they wish that they had just gone self-hosted from the start to save the hassle of switching everything over.
Know That Your Time Will Come
A lot of us (yes, me included) start blogging because we’ve seen that real, actual money can be made from it, and can be made from doing something we love, and chatting about it to other like-minded people. We read the income reports, hear about the people who are able to blog full time and support their family whilst only working a few hours a week and spending a ton of time on Instagram, and we want in on that!
There’s nothing wrong with that – it’s a fab thing to aim for – but you must be realistic and realise that it may not happen straight away. There are rarely any overnight successes – I have personally known new bloggers to come on the scene and do very well, but they had done months and months of reading and preparation, got everything ready and then launched in a professional way. Whereas many of us will dive straight in and learn along the way!
It can be disheartening, especially when you see other bloggers who have maybe started around the same time as you, start making a bunch of money with their blog, when you’ve only made £1 on Amazon and £0.24 on Google Adsense. There are of course things that you can do to increase your blog income (write posts specifically for your affiliate for example), but in the beginning I must assure you that it can take its time to get the momentum that you require.
It takes time for your blog to be picked up by Google, it takes time for your social media following to grow, it takes time to learn little tips and hacks to increase your readership and to build up a loyal following. If you keep on plugging away, writing helpful content, being friendly to other bloggers, answering readers questions, being consistent – and most importantly, enjoying yourself, your time will come.
There is more than enough room for all bloggers on the internet, and we all have a unique voice. Some people may prefer the way that I write compared to another personal finance blogger, some may be able to relate to me better because I am a mature student, some because I am a single mum, etc. Whereas some may relate to other bloggers for different reasons. If you be yourself, inject your personality into your blog, people will love you – and keep coming back for more.
What do you think, what’s your best tips for new bloggers?