Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers”
Top Ten Tuesday is a fun way to spice up Tuesdays (because everyone hates Mondays, Wednesdays are the halfway point, Thursdays are “little Fridays”, and everyone knows about Fridays… :)) and it’s hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
I haven’t been blogging for even a year yet, but these are some helpful hints that I’ve found along the way and through the trial and error of my own findings of what worked and didn’t work. I’m excited to see what other bloggers are giving for advice!!
Shop the blogging sites.
WordPress, Blogger, Live Journal, Type Pad, etc. Find which site works best for you. Look at the pros, cons, and reviews from websites or people like yourself. Ask friends or family who blog what they use and if they like it. Ask yourself questions like, do you want to be paid for your reviews? Do you mind advertisements? How much media storage space do you need/want? etc. I love my WordPress account and abandoned my Blogger account to move over….(just saying!)
Read, re-read, and re-read again.
You’re excited to post your post out to the world…we get it. Make sure it makes sense (and not just to you). When you’re done writing your post, the best practice is to let it sit for a few minutes (physically walk away) and then come back and read it out loud to yourself. 9 times out of 10, you’ll find an error or think of a better way to phrase something.
Create a “heartbeat”.
I read this from a successful blogger once. Create a consistent schedule (like a heartbeat) so your readers know when you will be posting. My own schedule is to post a review at noon on every Monday and Friday. It also helps to keep you accountable to your readers when you know they will be expecting something from you.
Visit other blogs and leave comments.
You can’t make friends with people by being the shy guy in the corner! Go out, find other bloggers that write on topics that interest you, write a small comment on one of their posts, and possibly follow them. More often than not they’ll visit you back and possibly comment; if you have enough in common they might follow you as well.
Reply back to comments
Common courtesy people! If someone takes time out to write you a little note or comment, write back! They’ll probably come back in the future to see what you’ve been up to and are more likely to comment again if they know you care enough to say “thank you” or to respond! (…and we all know that getting comments is the best part of our day!)
Post to Social Media sites.
I didn’t publicize my blog updates to Facebook until I was at least a few months into my blogging. When I finally had the bravery to do it, I had family encourage me and had a few friends (some that I would never have expected) comment on different books I had been reading and gave me ideas for other books to review!
Get involved with blog challenges/memes.
These are great for finding other people who are interested in the same topics as you! I am involved with 2 weekly memes “Top Ten Tuesdays” (Broke and Bookish) and “Waiting on Wednesdays” (Breaking the Spine). I am also involved in 2 challenges: “2012 Debut Authors” (The Story Siren) and “2012 Standalone” (I Like These Books). A few sites that I have found for book bloggers are: Should Be Reading, GReads!, and Book Journey. There are other blog memes for photography, cooking, news, etc. Once you join a meme, the hosting website will often let you link your “meme related” post to their site. Go around and simply visit links participating bloggers posted and leave comments, they in turn will probably visit you and leave comments.
Do NOT Give Up.
By now you’ve probably hit a brick wall. Writers block, lack of views, no one commented on your latest post (and you thought it was Oscar nomination or Freshly Pressed worthy). Under no circumstances does that give you the right to quit. Say it, sticky-note it, tattoo it… Do. Not. Quit. Last week I was bummed when had 4 views one day and then a whopping 2 the next. Imagine my surprise when the very next day I had 240 views! (I think I bugged my husband a million times updating him on my stats.) You NEVER know who’s going to find you next!
Do NOT plagiarize.
How would you like it if you had spent a few hours working on a story, a post, an idea, etc. and found someone copy-catting your work? That’s the fastest way to make enemies. Give credit where credit is due! It shows a lack of creativity to just copy someone’s work and claim it as your own! We’ve all heard: “Imitation is the best form of flattery.” Have you ever seen what a girl does when she sees her same prom dress on another girl?….yeah…she’s “flattered”.
Take a break if it has become a chore.
If you’ve set up a rigorous schedule or have been blogging for a while, you might get burned out. Take a quick hiatus. Let your followers know and try to set up a time frame for your return. I’ve heard stories of bloggers that come back to encouraging comments from followers that missed them and that helped boost their confidence to “get back in the saddle” and keep riding. I’m from Texas and couldn’t help the saddle comment!
Did I miss a crucial tip? Let me know!
*Please note that each photo used was found by doing a Google search; a click onto any picture will take you to the site where the original picture is posted!