Recently I have been in touch with some newer bloggers and I have been lucky enough to be able to pass on a few suggestions to them about how to get going and to carry on their blogging journeys.
Now, I have only been blogging for a couple of years and do not in any way claim to be an expert, but I thought that some of my thoughts might be useful if you are newer to this bloggy world.
The first thing is to enjoy it. Have fun. You probably don't stress about your other hobbies so don't stress about this one. Be real and just get on and do your thing.
Write about what you like. Whatever that is. If you have enjoyed something, then chances are that others will enjoy it too. By writing about what you enjoy your enthusiasm will come through and that will make it interesting to others.
Write regularly. That doesn't have to mean every day, but if you write every day for a week and then nothing for 2 months then people wonder where you have gone. I like blogs that write fairly regularly. Now, regularly for me is pretty much every day, but regularly for some people is once a week, or once a month. You do not have to have a rigid schedule, just some sort of rhythm to your blogging. Readers then get an idea of how often they will hear from you and I think that they like that. I know that I do.
That said, if you miss some posts for a few days, weeks or months, don't stress and don't give up. Just get back to it when you can. People understand and know that life gets in the way!
Pictures add a lot to a post. They are always great, but aren't always needed. I try and get a mixture of posts with and without pictures. This post is a no pictures day!
Don't worry that your pictures are not "perfect". As you take more pictures you will get better at taking them. When I look back at some of mine from when I started I can see the difference between now and then. It is all due to practice.
Try and share pictures that are relevant to what you are talking about. If though you are doing a post of "randoms" then perhaps you could include a photo of something pretty from your garden in between each random thing. Do not worry about styling your pictures. Yes, it might be nice to shove the mixing bowls out of the way when you are photographing your delicious cake, but don't worry if they are in the background. It just means that it is real life and that you really did make the cake!
Go and visit lots of other blogs. Read lots of blogs to see how others do things that you like and just as importantly don't like. Also comment on the blogs that you read and like and let them know that you are there. Say something like - I am new to blogging and just starting following you - then people will come and visit. Go back and visit them regularly and comment again. You don't have to comment every time, but the more you do they will remember and recognise you and come and visit even if they didn't notice at first. Sometimes I don't notice a new reader straight away, but as they return I realise and make sure to go and visit them. As you build your readers more people will come. It will surprise you!
Follow the blogs that you read. There are several ways to do this either via Google or something like Bloglovin. Make sure that you have buttons on your blog for people to follow you as well. Just as you want it to be easy to follow blogs, make it easy for your readers to follow you. Some people say that they don't like to direct people to other things away from their blog, but I like to know where else I can find people. So if you are also on Pinterest or Twitter for example include links to those as well.
Join a link party. There are some good ones out there. You can of course join in Five On Friday - everyone is welcome. Some others that I like are Mosiac Monday and Good Fences. They are good general link parties. Link Parties are also called Meme's by some people. They are the same thing though. You write a post, add a link to the link party post back to your post and then go and visit some of the other people taking part and leave them a comment. People will come and visit you too. It is a great way to meet new bloggers and find new blogs.
Write a regular series of posts. For example once a month I do my Monthly Mantel post. It gives me a focus for at least one post a month and readers like it when the new post appears as they anticipate it coming. Plus you can link back to the previous posts for newer readers to go and visit which gives them more of a flavour of your blog.
Be consistent. If you are a grumpy person writing about grumpy things then stick to that because that is what people come for. If you start throwing in posts about flowers all over the place it will confuse people. Equally, if you are writing about flowers, writing about things that have made you grumpy occasionally is fine, but if all of the posts in your flower blog turn out to be grumps then that will confuse readers too. I write about all sorts of things, but they are centered around being about my home and what I do there and my travels. Plus I consistently write about a range of things. Does that make sense? I hope so!
If you want to share something, feel free, share away. I can pretty much guarantee that you will only get love and support. Equally, if you want to keep things private, firstly, no one is likely to know what you are keeping back, and secondly, everyone respects that and understands. You can tell all, but you don't have to!
Most of all, as I said at the start, have fun. Enjoy it. Enjoy what you write and what you do. Be yourself and be natural. If you are not yourself you will not be able to sustain it.
Of course, having said all of this, the most important thing to do and to remember is this.
It is your blog, do with it exactly what YOU want to do and don't let anyone else tell you what to do! So it would probably be best to ignore everything that I have said and just find your own way. I do hope that this will be useful to you though in some small way.
If anyone else has any suggestions for new bloggers please add them in the comments as we can all learn from each others experiences can't we. I know that I am learning things all the time!