Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Wordy Wednesday - Blogging

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!

Amy

54 comments:

  1. What sound advice Amy. With all my house moving activities at the moment I'm finding it hard to keep up the regularity of my blog but I think that you are right about that point in particular - plus trying not to stress if you don't get it done in time. I might try to have a monthly focus too - not something I've ever done before. Judy.

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  2. What a lovely, helpful and encouraging post Amy. It's always good to discover new bloggers isn't it, hopefully you'll encourage someone to start today! CJ xx

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  3. That's a lot of very helpful advice, Amy! I can remember feeling that blogging was a whole new world when I first started, and that there were bound to be lots of rules and regulations that I didn't know about, but the more you write, the more you relax about it. I would just add that it takes a while sometimes to find your "bloggy voice" but it's OK to have fun with what you're writing in the meantime! xx

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  4. Great advice Amy. When I started blogging (years ago now!) my advice was pretty much the same... Blog regularly, add lots of links, read and comment on other blogs... and enjoy it!

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  5. Excellent advice. I love my blog but there are times when you feel under stress to produce a post. At times like that it's important to remind yourself why you are doing it. As you say it's supposed to be fun.

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  6. Great advice Amy...the thing I love most about blogging s that each one is unique..x
    Hope you're having a lovely week!
    Susan x

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  7. Very useful tips Amy. Maybe I ought to put a Follower button on mine, I'm just pleased to use your Five on Friday link. x

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  8. This is such a helpful and encouraging post Amy. Xxx

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  9. Lots of useful tips, Amy. It's important to remember that your blog is *your* blog and you can write whatever you want - or don't want. I prefer to blog about happy things but, life gets in the way and sometimes you have to blog about sad things. When I did, my commenters were so supportive - it felt like I was being hugged by friends from all around the world. :o)

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  10. Good suggestions for those just starting out.

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  11. Great advice Amy, its always good to be reminded that blogging is for fun. I have to thank you for all your comments and encouragement on my blog, you have been a great source of inspiration.

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  12. I'm sure that will help those new to blogging- it's always useful to have suggestions and a template to start from xx

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  13. Some good tips there, especially about commenting and letting people know that you're a new blogger. I often read through the comments on other people's blogs, not only my own, and will go and visit a blog if they've said they're new

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  14. Handy Info, I started blogging everyday but then when I had a day without everyone wondered where I was, so I'm more random now. One tip - NEVER EVER say you are going to be away on holiday because there are clever people who might be able to work out where you are and if you get burgled and have mentioned on any social media that you are on holiday then the insurance company won't pay out.

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  15. Very useful and has obviously worked for you by the number of followers you have. Keep up the good work or should I say good blogging:-)

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  16. Awesome advise Amy , Well written and so true . I have been blogging for 5 and 1/2 years now and I love it , I have so many wonderful blogger friends Like you (smile). Yes make blogging a fun hobby and enjoy the world from your comfy seat at your computer at your fingertips and make lots of new friends and get wonderful new ideas on crafts , photography, gardening and so on , sharing and support is one of blog lands many wonderful traits . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  17. Great post and really helpful tips. I remember reading advice somewhere when I'd just started my blog about writing for yourself and not obsessing about traffic stats. This made sense (and still makes sense) as I've never wanted blogging to be about numbers. But I guess it's different for those who are, or who aim to be, rewarded for their content by sponsors and advertisers. To each his/her own and all that!

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  18. great advice on blogging. I think having fun and being consistent is what makes blogging a great social platform.

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  19. I agree with what you've written Amy. Like everything you want to be a success, you need to stick with it and give of your best. Have a great day!

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  20. As a new blogger, I found your advice very helpful. Thanks Amy.

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  21. What a great post.so very helpful .I wish I had read something like this when I started my blog .I think the linky party is a very good idea and one I might start doing once I get back. Thank you for starting it one.

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  22. Amy, I remember getting advice from some long-time bloggers when I got started just over a year ago, and it was soooooo helpful. Great tips.

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  23. Very wise words thanks Amy! I need to get my blogging mojo back and this has given me some excellent pointers :) xx

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  24. Great advice Amy. I started my blog so I could stay in touch with my far flung family and I still write for them, but along the way I've met some wonderful fellow bloggers.

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  25. I totally agree with all of that. That must be how we became such great bloggy friends!! I have a personal blog mantra and that is that my blog is positive. As much as I want to sometimes have a moan, I never do it on my blog and don't think my blog is the right place for it but that is personal to me. I sure do agree with regular posting how ever often that may be, it makes you feel like following I think. Jo xx

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  26. Very well said my Dear! These are exactly the kinds of tips I took to heart when I started my blog last year. Been loving it every since -especially due to friends like you. xoxo

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  27. Really good advice, Amy!
    A very interesting post, as always.
    xx

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  28. Wonderful links. I love group blog topics like carols ten on tuesday too!

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  29. Wonderful post, my friend!!!
    Wonderful! : )

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  30. Well said. A lovely post!

    I've blogged a few years in secret, only a few readers who knew me real ... but then I started to visit Link parties and to learn English and today a lot of bloggers friends.
    For me it is a lot of fun to be creative and make posts for photochallenges. They give us a new prompt every week. And that helps attentive to look, if you are looking for photo opportunities for the theme... and I'm strolling often through my area to find pictures -
    Here is a list of such challenges for every day of the week:
    http://memeaholics.blogspot.de/

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  31. Lovely advice Amy, thoughtful and encouraging. I couldn't use a computer before I started blogging and was pretty useless with the camera as well but with the encouragement from fellow bloggers I have found my way and enjoy the companionship. As a carer I don't always get out and about as much as I would like so this is ideal for me.

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  32. All very good advice for new bloggers - and the one that struck me is to write what you want ..... when I started I got fed up with a (now ex) friend who kept telling me what to do ....... if that's what she wanted in a blog then she should have written her own!!

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  33. Great advice Amy! I've only been blogging for a few months and your tips are spot on! Xx

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  34. Good suggestions for all bloggers, old and new. For me, the biggest commitment is to devote some time each day to leaving comments on my friend's blogs. If you don't comment, you won't get them. It's that simple. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  35. Good post Amy and sound advice for new bloggers. I agree about being yourself and writing about what you're interested in. To new bloggers, I would add that if you're a no-reply comment blogger it means that people can't answer by email any questions/comments you leave on their blog. This is a default setting on Blogger and of course if you'd rather not have your email address visible for other bloggers to respond to, then that's fine too.

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  36. Very good advice Amy, I'm sure it will help some of us that have been blogging for a while too.
    Amanda xx

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  37. Great tips Amy! Very interesting post. Barbara xx

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  38. I have to admit I struggle sometimes to find my style, I keep thinking I should be more quilts only, but then realise I like other things too. and I like to share pretty flowers, interesting books, bits of NZ.
    So good advice from you was to stick to your style of blogging

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  39. Great and reassuring advice for any blogger, new and established xx

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  40. You go girl!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  41. What a great post! I am not a new blogger but I need all the help I can get!!
    I am still not clear about how to do things, so I only do the few things that I do...that's it.
    I am embarrassed to tell you how little I know about blogging. It's a bit sad really.

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  42. Good advice, Amy! And good of you to take the time.
    Amalia
    xo

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  43. As usual I'm late in commenting (which I try to do as time permits because it's the interaction that I most appreciate about blogging). You've given some good advice that's helpful for new bloggers as well as those who've been blogging a long time. This post has made be think over one or two points that you mention so thanks for sharing.

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  44. Thanks for the tips Amy - As a new blogger I really need any advice I can get. Joan at www.aviewtothefells.com

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  45. I so agree with everything you listed above! I think it is easy to feel overwhelmed when starting to blog so remembering to have fun with it as you said is so key!!! Great advice you! Nicole xo

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  46. Hi Amy, Having read this blog post again, I then read it all out to my husband (who bless him never really understood what blogging was all about and why I did it) he found your comments really interesting and absorbing due to the warm and amusing way you had written it and can now grasp why bloggers blog ! I'm afraid I am not as good as you at explaining things and I think he really thought I was spending much too much time on line! A big fat well done! P.S. He's not the sort of chap who would say something just to pacify me. Barbara xx

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  47. I have often considered having a blog but never taken the plunge, mainly because of the time factor - I already write a monthly magazine column for a national glossy, plus other one-off pieces and now for the local paper, too. But one day I might ...
    Margaret P

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  48. Brilliant Amy! I agree with everything you have saide too....Bestest d xxxx

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  49. Thank you Amy, I really needed to read this today. I have only been blogging for 6 months and need all the advice I can get. xx

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  50. Great advice, Amy! I think the biggest one that bloggers forget, is to be themselves. After almost a decade, I've seen people lose themselves and become something they're not. It the fastest way to lose readers.

    xo,
    rue

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