Posted in Blogging

6 Bits of Advice for a New Blogger

You might think I’m absolutely off my rocker for thinking about giving advice to a blogger who is just starting out; surely I haven’t been doing it for long enough to qualify for this role?

Truth is, I’ve learnt that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always stuff you can pick up along the way.

Whether you’ve been actively putting time and effort into your blog for 10 weeks or 10 years, one of the most valuable pieces of advice would be to have an open mind.

So there you have it, one small piece of advice for free there. Put your money away.

Now it’s time for me to lay out for you six more things I’ve learnt in my time as a blogger so far.

(these are all free too)

Take your time

This is one that his really hit home fairly recently so I would say it probably took me about 8/9 months to really have this one down.

At the start of my blogging journey, I thought that in order to be noticed you had to write, write and then write some more. Now, whilst it’s important to keep yourself active in that sense, it’s not the end of the world if you take some time out to focus on other areas too.

For example, if you want to spend time learning about SEO, or experimenting with images on Canva or just looking into different ideas to write about for the future, that’s absolutely OK. You don’t always need to be churning out content to keep your blog relatable. In fact sometimes you might find that you get more pleasure and benefit from doing all the stuff behind the scenes as opposed to writing something your heart really isn’t in just because you feel as though you need to.

Don’t pigeon-hole yourself

Sounds ruder than it is, but if you’re not sure what the term “pigeon-holing” means it’s basically where you restrict yourself to doing something unnecessarily.

I’ll give you an example of this. The last blog I wrote before I stuck with this one was specifically set up to focus on Dyspraxia and the effects of hidden disabilities. What I realised a few months down the line was that all I had done is given myself a topic that I didn’t really know too much about at the time and therefore I didn’t have enough content to make it different and keep it engaging. I had effectively pigeon-holed myself without realising it.

Most new bloggers will enter the fray with an idea or two in mind as to what direction they wish to travel in with their blog. This is absolutely great as it allows you to start working on the content you are passionate about from the off; however if you don’t feel as though you’ll have enough on this subject to last you, you might find it interesting to research or find your feet with some others along the way.

For example, I started blogging about my experiences as a parent and, for a number of months, that was what I generally wrote about. However again I found I didn’t have enough content so I kind of just became someone who writes about whatever they want to at that given time.

Starting out on your blogging journey can be tough! Stock image taken from Canva Pro

Try not to beat yourself up too much

Now this one might seem a bit hypocritical of me as I still do this on occasion, but it’s very easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to other bloggers.

I’m a competitive person when it comes to some things and extremely passive when it comes to others. When it comes to blogging, I enjoy what I do but I know I’m somewhat limited; I enjoy writing and creating content but I also know I have no ambitions to go much further than that so I’m pretty happy where I am now.

I guarantee that, somewhere along the way, if you spend more time focusing on other blogs in a negative way then it’ll eat you up. I look at other blogs for inspiration but more often than not I get held back by both my lack of technical expertise and my laziness.

What is key to remember as a new blogger is that you are just starting out and you will get out of it what you put into it.

Schedule if you can

I always looked and wondered just how other bloggers managed to get such good engagement and how they were so organised; I only recently found out that was due to scheduling!

Depending on what type of blogger you want to be, scheduling your content can be a really good way to go. Instead of wondering when to post and having to go onto each of your social media accounts and write posts, using a scheduling tool can help you organise your posts in advance and take advantage of peak times.

For example, I wasn’t always getting around to updating any of my socials to share my blog until later on in the day, however now I can sort out my life in advance it makes it a lot easier and takes some of the pressure off.

I personally have just started to use “Hootsuite” to schedule my posts, but I know there are a lot more out there that offer a similar service!

Sort out your theme

One of the top bits of advice I would personally give is to take your time and sort out how you want your blog to look.

Now, I’m still not in the self-hosted world and therefore I have a relatively limited selection of themes available via WordPress, however I have found one I quite like and that has served me well for a few months now.

However, I know there’s always the temptation to have a complete overhaul and change things up in fear of things becoming a little stale.

I must admit, I have days where I fancy doing this, but I also know I don’t want this to compromise the work I have done so far in getting to a layout that I quite like the look of. I’ve sorted out my home page and been able to categorise some of my posts and ensure it looks quite user friendly (well I think so anyway). One of my fears is that I try to change too much and not knowing how to get it back to the way it was.

When I go self-hosted I will hopefully have a lot more room for manoeuvre but, in the meantime, I would suggest settling on a theme and layout that you really love, working on the functionality of your pages and then cracking on making the content from there!

Last but not least….

Enjoy it!

There is absolutely no point in entering the blogging world if you’re not going to enjoy it.

Simple as.

I know a few bloggers who do this as a full-time career or are looking to do so and honestly, if I had a hat on, I would take it off to you. I’ve always said that being a content creator, whether it’s being a blogger or vlogger or whatever, takes amazing resillience, creativity and endeavour and for anyone who does this successfully deserves the plaudits they get.

However some people, like myself, merely want to write as a hobby. So again, there is no way you should be taking on a hobby that you’re not enjoying!

Blogging can be stressful and if you’re anything like me, you’re potentially going to have days where you might not necessarily feel like you’re getting anywhere.

However, what I’ve learnt is those days where you are on it? Phwoarrrr, they’re good days.

So there, those are just 6 of the things I’ve picked up so far and I’m sure to learn plenty more in 2021 as the journey continues!

Thank you all for taking the time to read; please feel free to share some of your tips for someone new to blogging. There may be people thinking of starting a new one in the new year and the support we can give them might prove invaluable!

Let me know in the comments!

43 thoughts on “6 Bits of Advice for a New Blogger

  1. Excellent tips Tom. I haven’t figured out scheduling yet. I’m planning to take some time over Christmas to switch to a WordPress paid plan and maybe give scheduling a go.
    I totally agree on the theme and graphics. I love that all your posts are recognisably yours, mine aren’t! Never mind. I also realised I have been putting a (c) on my canva images for Pinterest either. Oh well, too late to fix retrospectively, need to remember in the future.

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    1. Wish you the best of luck switching to a paid plan – it’s something that I want to do but not putting enough time and money into it just yet! Tried to keep a consistent theme on posts and images etc but still worlds away from being where I want to be! Wish you the best for the next step ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are some great tips. I agree, throughout the blogging journey, we learn a lot. There is no replacement for the lessons that are learned hands one, however, we can also learn a lot from hearing the advice of others. I have 2 active blogs right now. The first was started in 2017 and taught me A LOT. This blog is less than a year old, however, I was able to apply a lot of the lessons that I’ve learned from the last blog to this one and it grew FAR faster.

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  3. I completely agree! I think that the most important tip is to enjoy yourself. If your writing feels forced people pick it up, and it’s not a great read. If you genuinely enjoy blogging you also won’t feel the pressure to have a certain amount of views or readers.
    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lucy, writing freely is key to a happy writer I think! When all is said and done if it’s either a hobby or a profession you still need to have a basic level of enjoyment 😊

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  4. Some fab tips Tom. I’m attempting to not be so hard on myself with the content I produce and also not to think that quantity is better than the post quality.
    Good advice on scheduling, I’ve just started using hootsuite too, I find it quite simple to use compared to others available.

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    1. Seen a lot more content from you lately Eddie which I was assuming was down to scheduling – good to have you on board! Agree that quantity is best, no point being present and engaging if you’re not happy with what you’re putting out there.

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      1. Yeah the scheduling is working a treat. I dont usually have the time to keep looking through previous posts and sharing on Facebook and twitter. Hootsuite has worked well for that

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  5. Scheduling is a winner! I’m not always in the mood to write and be creative, it’s a reality. When I am however, I make the most of it and write a few articles which I then schedule 🙂 It’s a great way to stay on track why not, give yourself some time off 🙂

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  6. Definitely agree with a lot of these! Having a nice, easy to navigate and clean theme is so important for accessibility! I think some bloggers really rock a specific niche but if you want to talk about different things, you definitely should!

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    1. Definitely the theme is what draws the majority of people in, even before they get to the posts or the subject matter! It’s one thing I will work on in the future but right now it’s a little daunting! Thank you for engaging as always 😊

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  7. I can’t believe you’ve been blogging for a year, I remember following you early on. Mad where the time goes!
    This is great advice, the last one in particular is so important to remember. When you stop enjoying it, it becomes an overwhelming chore x

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    1. Time flies when you’re having 50% fun and 50% stressing yourself out! You’ve stuck with it Claire so thank you. There’s always going to be times when you don’t enjoy it but it’s so worth it for the times you do x

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  8. All very valid and true points! I especially agree with the taking your time point, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the different elements and sort of rush through the process of trying to understand everything , whereas actually it’s ok to focus on one thing take your time and put everything else on the back burner for a while. This is something I’m still working on haha!

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    1. Thanks Kat – still working on it too! It’s hard to juggle and easy to get caught up in trying to conquer everything at once. If you find the way to do that then let me know 😊

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  9. Great post. Some great tips in there too. I’ve been blogging for 3 months and last night had the “is this worth it” thought. But I enjoy blogging I just need some motivation I guess as I’ve spending 3 month piling content into the blog.

    Some great advice, thanks!

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  10. Fab post, agree with all of it! Scheduling is a lifesaver, I also used to wonder how everyone seemed to be able to push content out all the time and then I realised! Also completely agree about enjoying it as the main reason!
    Tash – A Girl with a View

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  11. Thank you for these tips! I’ve been blogging for over 2 years but I am still learning new things all the time – it’s definitely a process and we can all learn from each other! My blog has changed a lot from how it started out xx

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  12. As someone who’s been blogging many years now I really can relate to this! Enjoy yourself when you start out is honestly so important! I was there years in when I updated my theme and I honestly wish I had done it before hand x

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  13. These are great tips for bloggers, thank you so much for sharing! I also schedule most of my social media posts, it’s such a lifesaver!

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  14. Oh the pigeon-hole point is so important! We should all start off trying everything before sticking to one or a narrow path. Great list 🙂

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  15. These are great tips for bloggers! I definitely agree blogging should be fun & if it starts feeling a chore, you should take a step back & see what it is that you don’t like. I also agree that scheduling posts can be helpful & less stressful & it’s important to not pigeon-hole yourself & burn yourself out on content within a month or so.

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  16. Hi Tom,
    love your post here! Especially the tips about not just writing all day long but also doing other things that help grow a blog.
    And the one about scheduling everything you can. You’re right that most successful blogger automate pretty much everything they can.
    As a beginner I used to wonder how they achieve to be everywhere at once. Now as no longer a beginner I know, but I also realize where I need to improve.
    My automation skill are not something I’m proud of:)

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  17. Very good advice! I started off thinking I was going to be a mommy blogger, but my blog then turned into a mental health spot and is now a lifestyle blog. 🙈

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  18. I’m a new blogger, and now I wander why I’m not getting enough engagement, like I did on my first post, but I guess it’s a process and things will change with time, thanks for the tips

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