Today’s post is a very helpful article by Julia Nelson about blogging! Blogging can be hard, but Julia shares five simple tips that will make it easier.
Hello! My name is Julia Nelson. I write mainly non-fiction articles, historical fiction stories, and weekly blog posts at my blog Willowcreek Pines. As a Christian, I love encouraging others in the Lord and writing for Him. Being a member of the Young Writer’s Workshop, I enjoy connecting with other young writers like myself, as well as learning more about the writing craft from amazing instructors.
Beginning a blog can be terrifying. Having a blog can be sometimes stressing. What if you don’t know what to write about? What if you make a huge mistake?
Observing different blogs, I have noticed common mistakes several of them make, and I have learned from them so I wouldn’t make the same mistakes.
Today, I’d like to share with you those common mistakes, as well as a few things to remember so you can serve your readers well.
1. Stay Consistent.
Be consistent. Stay consistent.
Whether this means posting once per week, every two weeks, or once per month, just stay consistent. Strive to give your readers something new consistently. I love following blogs–including Bella’s here–who post consistently. I know when I can expect new content from them.
One way to actively do this is to “batch create” content. Sit down and write six blog posts at once and schedule them for the next six weeks. Then you don’t have to think about blogging for a while.
You could also prepare the way I do. Currently, I have several drafts written, but not many polished posts that are ready to be scheduled and published. I have to keep working on them so they’ll be ready to go up on my blog every week. It means more weekly work, but I don’t mind it.
Posting consistently might sound scary, but there is a great benefit: You force yourself to sit down and write something. Then you have to polish it for your audience to read. You are making yourself write and publish something consistently. It’s great practice for writers!
This is a good place to add that the reason I was afraid to start my blog was consistency. I was so afraid I would run out of ideas so I wouldn’t be able to post consistently, and it scared me enough that I didn’t even want to start a blog! Now, however, I love having my blog and posting every week!
Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. Every blogger will. But if you learn from your mistakes, you will grow as a writer and a blogger.
2. Reply to Comments.
When someone comments on your blog, reply back to them. This not only is polite, but it also shows that 1) you are actively trying to serve your audience, and 2) you appreciate your readers reading and commenting on your post.
Bloggers who don’t respond to comments seem vague and far away. Sure, they’re writing blog posts for their readers, but they aren’t making relationships with them. Writers strive to make relationships with their readers and serve them well.
I love getting comments on my blog. It makes me feel that my writing is appreciated. I definitely want to respond back to the person who commented, thanking them for reading my post and answering any questions they might have asked.
Replying to comments might also encourage other people to comment on your blog. So do your best to reply to each of the comments you receive on your blog.
3. Be Professional, Be Personal.
Having a good balance of professionalism and friendliness is key. Depending on which site you are writing for, you might have a casual tone of voice, but for another site, you might have a more professional tone.
For example, when writing on my personal blog, I write more casually, while on bigger sites like TheRebelution.com, I am more professional and formal, while still maintaining a personal voice.
As you continue to blog, you will continue to grow. No blog is going to be perfect from the start. Don’t worry; you will find your writing and blogging voice soon.
4. Keep Your Blog Simple.
Having a simple blog is important. Too many tabs leading to too many things makes your blog hard to navigate.
All blogs are different. Depending on the purpose of your blog–platform, writing, or business, to name a few–you will have a different set-up.
One way to apply this tip is to give the link to your website to family and friends and ask them to give you feedback. Is anything confusing? Is my site easy to navigate? Do you have any other suggestions to make it better?
Take the suggestions gratefully. These people are taking the time to give you advice. They want to help you make your website even better.
5. Make Your Blog Look Professional.
For whatever domain you use, make your blog look professional. Never use blurry photos and graphics. It makes readers step away when they see the lack of professionalism.
Take a look at other blogs. Read the posts. Study their photos and graphics. What draws you to their blog? What makes you step away?
Learn from the blogs. Don’t copy. Just imitate.
Learn from Others’ Mistakes.
Learning from others’ mistakes is the best way to learn. You know that you shouldn’t touch a hot fire because it will burn you. How do you know? Someone told you, and that someone has learned from either his mistake or another person’s mistake.
It’s the same way with blogging. You learn how to create a great blog that will serve your readers well by watching how other people do it.
Learn from others’ mistakes. Learn from their achievements. Try to incorporate the good stuff while avoiding the bad.
I hope you found this post helpful! Enjoy blogging, my friends!
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Which of Julia’s tips is your favorite? What are some things you’ve learned from blogging? What do you blog about? Let me know in the comments!