Are you new to blogging?
I will say now I am NO pro blogger, I think I still count as a new blogger as HTML codes still mystify me. But in the 5 months (ISH) I have been blogging I have definitely made life harder for myself by being completely unaware and jumping in balls deep. So this post is for pointing out the little things that take ages to redo.
Many amazing people have patiently imparted their wisdom to me so I feel the blogging world is kind of Lion king esk in that in ‘circle of life’ style we all share our learning. I would not be where I am today without others generosity, kindness, love of GIFS and jokes about breasts.
There is NO one size fits all approach to blogging.
My tips correlate to what I want from by blog; I want people to enjoy reading it. Some people couldn’t give two hoots about stats, some don’t want to work with brands, some people like to talk about politics while others discuss poo…
NO ONE is better or worse, just different. Diversity is good look how successful skittles are.
Here are 12 things I should have done when I started blogging.
Great for getting your blog out there, as well as Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Youtube and Instagram, there is Bloglovin and Google+ ETC. FFS. You do not have to master all at once, in fact if you try you will get anxious and sweaty. 1 step at a time. Vicki over at Honest Mum has some fab Tips for using Social Media.
My titles were a muddle of capitals and lowercase. You want continuity. On multiple occasions when I used PEEK by Usertesting commenters liked it when titles were the same format. Also my first titles were 4 sentences long. Fail. Make them snappy, that make you want to read them. Like snickers make you want to eat them. Check your spelling and grammar but don’t bitch if you see bad spelling. Even if you are an English teacher
Space out your sentences.
I am a three line sentence kind of girl, I write fluidly, waffling it is part of me. My readability is always in the red. I am learning to punctuate. Headings are your friend. So is a clear font.
The word makes me want to drink. Do NOT write 60 posts then realise Tags are useful. Tag as you go…otherwise you will spend 4 back to back episodes of Silent Witness adding them.
Whether you use Canva in a do-it-yourself job or pay a designer to create one, a unique and professional Logo is an important element to any blog. It should be impactful, relevant and clear. Branding is key. Logojoy offer tips on ‘How to make a logo’ and all the options available. A Logo should be used on email signatures and social media platforms.
They are fun, they bring traffic to your bog, it’s a way to reach out to other bloggers. Becky from The Cuddle Fairy wrote a great post Social Media. Some of my favorites are #ablogginggoodtime #fortheloveofblog #chucklemums TheList #KCACOLS #brilliantblogposts #Abrandnewday #stayclassymama #bigpinklink #puddinglove #FTMOB #PoCoLo #bloggerclubuk #FabFridayPost #FridayFrolics. I have got a stitch. Checkout Aby From You Baby me Mummy’s Linky list. Actually just read Aby’s whole BLOG. That will sort you out.
TAKE A BREAK WHEN YOU NEED Smell the roses, do the laundry…it gets addictive and is a lot of work. Avoid burnout.
Pick the shape and size of your featured images on your posts with care. I originally just shoved them in willy-nilly. I use Twitter & Facebook as my main media platforms and all of my first images had heads cut off. Buggeration. A good design and a design people can see is important. I have found Tweets do better with them. I am an avid fan of Canva to create featured images with my blog titles on. It’s free. They also have some pretty cool Pinterest infographic templates which is my challenge to get into next month. I am all about the visuals (hence my fascination with Thor).
P.S Add images to your posts. You do not always have to produce stunning pictures…my five year old scowls as soon as he sees a camera. There is beauty in imperfection. You can use images that are not yours but ASK. Don’t breach copyright laws and end up in jail…I doubt it is really like Orange is the new Black. Go seek out free stock images on sites such as Pixabay that have permissions and don’t need to be cited. Free editing sites such as Picmonkey are awesome. They also have airbrushing which is handy if your kid is smeared in snot… check out Fritha’s site here if you want to see how to rock pictures #photogoals.
If you want to be contacted of course. Make your email subscription and follow button OBVIOUS. My lovely buddy Katie from Mummy in a Tutu has written a cracker of a how to post for setting up Mailchimp. I will do this one day…
Figure this out early, add each post to Stumble. It is fab for bringing in traffic. I got the hang of it 30 pages in and it’s a pain to add all your posts in a bundle.
I work through the day and (mostly) sleep at night so have a small blog window. Buffer and Social Oomph are my top picks, not just because they sound like characters out of Charlie and the chocolate factory. Find what works best for you. I also try and tweet live every couple of hours as they have a very teeny shelf life. GIF’s are my friends.
FIND A TRIBE
Make friends. They are your salvation in the dark, sleepless nights. I love these Tribals more than wine. Thank you for finding me. Respect other bloggers and how hard they work.
I SUCK at this, I can write 3 posts one weeks and 1 the next. DON’T DO WHAT I DO. Tag retweeters such @bloggersblast @lovingblogs @BBlogUK @FemaleBloggerRT @UKbloggers1 on Twitter and don’t be frightened of a #HASHTAG.
If you can do it from the beginning. Do not be a dick like me and think paying for WordPress premium will mean you can get plugins…not the case. I spent ages perfecting a layout then I moved to SH and the theme did NOT come too. Check out this post about my trials and the nitty gritty (what am I 80?!) of moving. It will involve cursing.
Make the best of them. I use Rafflecopter and share across various competition website such as The Prizefinder. At first I brought the prizes myself but then as I began working with brands they share products as comps promote brand awareness. Use #competitions #win #giveaway #comp and @competitionspy @competitionclub.
There are loads more tips I have picked up but these are some good ones to start.
Welcome to the blogverse! Hold on to your knickers.
Last year I had started a TTC blog and had a pretty good following with a constant flow of traffic. I used bloglovin’ but kept it private from anyone who knew me personally.
Now I’ve publicised my second attempt I have noticed in the one year how social media seems to be more important than the blog itself! I have more traffic there than the blog itself which I would love to change!
I have bookmarked this post as my brain isn’t what it was pre-baby but you have definitely made some very good points!
(I thought Twitter was hard – stumbleupon is even worse!!!)
Yep stumbleupon drives me crazy, I like Twitter but Facebook is a tricky nut, I think everyone has there preferences! You sound like you have a lot of experience blogging! x
Such a great post! I am almost one month into blogging and TOTALLY overwhelmed and terrified…but good terrified! I’m enjoying it so I’ll carry on regardless and take your tips on board. The social media side of things and self-promotion is something I am CRAP at but I’ll learn. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. An amazing resource for newbies! Much, much appreciated. xxx P.S. Love the blog and the whole jungle vibe. Perfect metaphor! 🙂
Very helpful advice thanks
Love the blog.
Can you please tell me (or do a post on it) about picking a hosting site. I’m finding wordpress.com really limiting and have looked around but there are so many options, pros/cons and price points (and horror stories) ahhhh.
You think you’ve cracked it and then you read this. Still so much to learn but enjoying the journey. Don’t think I’m ever going to get the hang of HTML coding, though. Thank you so much for this. Duly bookmarked.
Great tips, I think I’ve just Sussed bloglovin. Still not sure on the linkies, liking the hashtag, what’s stumble? It’s a tricky old world X
Stumble upon is another sharing platform. You stumble things you like 🙂 xx
I am SO new to this whole malarkey you could describe my blog as foetal! And as for Twitter I am trying to get a grasp… but feel a wee bit of a #twit. Your above post is incredibly useful. On a separate note your writing style is wonderfully genuine and witty and having only discovered you a couple of days ago I am thoroughly enjoying your creations! Xx
Brilliant! Thank you so much!
Great post, really helpful. Thank you
Super useful, I have only been blogging one month but am slowly getting the hang of it… I think!!! <3
Love this!! Thank you so much for posting it, invaluable for a new blogger like me 🙂
Agree with so many of these tips. It’s so important to have a sense of humour when you’re a blogger (even though you don’t need to show this in your writing – you’re so funny!!) Especially like the one about not trying to master all social media feeds at once!! You won’t have time to eat sleep drink or see your family!!! It is about taking a step at a time. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed as blog universe is huge. But there’s loads of support out there. Love you techy tips like scheduler apps and MailChimp. X Sunita #thelist
Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. You are so right the blogverse is huge and ever changing! I have just spent a good hour commenting on linkys, it is so enjoyable but makes time disappear in a blink! Never enough hours in a day!xx
Amazing amazing amazing …. That is all.
Really useful for a new blogger like me. I had no idea about stumble upon – I’m off to check it out now. #TheList
This is an excellent list! I wish I had gone self-hosted from the start (I wanted to see how it went with the view to changing a few years down the line if I kept at it). Now the thought of moving over horrifies me but I really want to do it! #thelist
Thanks for this great list of tips! Its always nice to learn from someone else before you get too far down the blogging road! #TheList
GREAT post! I wish I’d have known all of these too. Especially blog titles. Some of my first blog posts were horrendous, haha. I’ve learned a long the way! #TheList
Great tips in this! Some of which I need to do!
What a great post! so many helpful links and webpages too! I’ve been blogging for a month and am now moving to self hosted too, so I get what your saying about going straight to self hosted.
I love how you tackle a not very exciting topic with such humour, whilst still keeping clear and helpful information.
Loved reading this 🙂
Thank you for such a lovely comment..humour keeps me sane!xx
This is fantastic, thanks for sharing, I’ve put on my reading list to come back to and use as a to do list. I’ve only just started and the language is mind boggling and seem to find new ways to be a complete WordPress wolly, every day. I started to write just to help me process everything that was happening and it’s become a release and kind of free therapy. I’ve caught the bug. P.s your little boy is such a cutie x
Blogging is super cathartic, I do love it, I am still learning all the language lol and constantly make mistakes!x
So useful!! I have also made a few of these mistakes too. Can’t wait for your next post…going self hosted is next on my to do list (I think, ha!)
Haha I am not sure how helpful it will be, it was all the bits I was not expecting!XX
I add it to my favourites ? I start my blog 2 weeks ago so is very useful post for me
So happy I’ve found this post, I’ve noted down a good few of the tips and I’ll have to check out some of the links you’ve included. I’ve had a blog for over a year now, but lost my way after a month or so and I’m now just trying to get started again after finding out I was pregnant and wanting to document that! I found it so disheartening last time as I just couldn’t get my head around everything I had to do, hoping this time I can stick with it a bit more!
It can seem overwhelming but don’t try and do too much in one go! Blogging can get a little overwhelming but how to’s and tips are good as is asking any of us bloggers out there! We are always happy to share xx
Thank you for some great tips. I am still quite new to the world of blogging, it’s a lot harder than I thought. I don’t think I have watched any t.v these last few weeks. I have 3 small children and I run a handmade online business, so busy busy busy. Xx
Three and a business….hats off to you I struggle with 1 and going to work…balance is key, I cannot expect to do as much as I like because I have limited free time..I struggled with that at first but seem to have come to a happy medium…
I wish I had figured out photos earlier! I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of it, but it’s always a work in progress. I personally don’t think posting routines are a big deal, but others may need the routine in order to organize their time. As a reader, I don’t read on a routine.
One thing I disagree strongly about is scheduling frequent tweets. Social media is SOCIAL, and scheduling removes that aspect. You aren’t there posting, reading, and responding to content when you schedule. Tweets don’t have a short shelf life; they’re always there (unless deleted) if you scroll down. I try to read every tweet of those I follow and therefore repeating the same content over and over will get one unfollowed by me very quickly. It’s the reason I won’t be following you. Different perspective.
I don’t know if you ever get the hang of things 🙂 as you say its a work in progress there is always more you can learn which I love…Its really good to have a different perspective on the tweeting, I am trying to get a balance between having my phone on during the day tweeting socially, replying to people that tweet me and really enjoying that and scheduling where I am at work all day or at night so I can reach people I wouldn’t be able to..I always reply and talk with any retweets I get from scheduling 🙂
“Hold on to your knickers!” haaaa
I LOVE this post!! You are witting, yet informative and very kind in your sharing of information. Total newby here – suspect I’m making many of the same mistakes, so get will whip myself into shape ASAP! As soon as I stop frittering away time reading cool blogs like yours… 🙂
Hey lovely, most of the info was shared by me through different amazing bloggers at different times…as I said its all abut sharing! xx
Some great tips here – I am still so naive about blogging but probably started at about the same time as you! Need to look into stumble upon ASAP and get better at using images (legally – eek!). Ta for sharing xx
You welcome lovely! I read quite a few how to blog before I started and still ended up in an utter pickle taking aggges to redo my site and sort out the hashed up job I started with lol just thought if I can give a couple of useful suggestions that will be great!x
This is a great post for a newbie! Lots to look at, forget, search for this blog again and try and fail again miserable because I have a toddler at my ankles…
Haha little ankle biters…you can blog anyway you want lovely, there is now best way guide, I just wrote this because I did it in a way that meant I had to spend a while getting it to a not crap standard lol xx
Thanks for all these amazing tips. I’m on mat leave and thought it was the perfect time to start my own blog (wrong! I’ve zero time with 2 under 2!), mainly to understand how they work and how to get followers and engagement. I head up the social media & content team for a FS company so you’d think I know a thing or two about social…So wrong! Working for a big brand with big agencies to do the work compared to when you do it yourself is so different.
I’m learning so much along the way from amazing mummy bloggers like yourself and this is all helping me understand what it means to be an influencer when it comes to finding the right ones to work with when I return to the day job. Keep up the amazing work!
P.s what started out as curiosity has led to a bit of an addiction. Especially on Instagram and Twitter 🙂
2 under 2…you hero! I can barely manage a 5 year old and houseplant…that is such a lovely comment thank you, I am still so new but everyone is so fab at sharing tips its good to share little bits of what helped me…or didn’t 🙂 xxx
Some great tips, all of which j will ignore and live to regret it. I’m a shocking blogger ?
Haha you are not a shocking blogger..you are kick ass…I was enjoying your blog images the other day and general matching colour scheme..I have colour scheme envy!xxx
Totally agree with all of the above. We started at about the same time and I’m glad to hear that it’s not only me that feels a bit clueless some (in my case – ALL) of the time!
Haha I think I went self hosted a week after you and was frantically searching for what you had asked as I was so bloody clueless to the point of tears…TSO I think were just like oh dear god…xx
This is just what I needed! I’ve still got so much to learn about blogging and posts like this are so helpful – thank you!
Thank you lovely, this is a very basic tips post! And I am constantly learning and picking things up too, I just enjoy how the blogging world is very much a share knowledge and help each other out place!xx
Even though I’m no a blogger, this was still a really good read for me as I social media idiot hole…. although I may have to google some of the terms (If you’re 80, I must 160!) I’m differently going to head over to some of those other blog posts. Thanks lovely 🙂
We love your leggings! I am hysterics at the phrase social media idiot hole…im actually almost crying into my cuppa! xx
Well, it seemed like the most appropriate way to describe it, lol.
Glad you love the shark leggings! I’ve got a 1000 like GIVEAWAY on the Facebook page at the mo, so worth heading over 😀
Fantastic, glad people are loving your clothes as much as we do!!xxx
Great post! Thanks so much. I am new to blogging and feel completely overwhelmed. There’s so many out there and it’s way more time consuming than I thought it would be. I will definitely use some of these tips. I’ve gone self hosted from the start on the advice of my cousin who works in web stuff. But other than that I am completely in the dark. I’ve done one linky so far but there’s so many out there! I’ll definitely have a look at the ones you’ve recommended. Thanks again!
It definitely takes up a shed load of time, but you don’t need to do it all at once! I tried and ran rings around myself…go at it at your own pace and enjoy…and if your stuck shout out to Twitter we are all floating about and are happy to help where we can!xx
Thanks so much for these tips, I have saved this page as I feel I need to go through them one by one! I only started blogging a month ago and there is so much to learn! But I do love it and already feel there is such a nice community of blogger’s out there to tap into. Must get myself organised! Thanks for sharing.
The community is amazing and hey in the first month I was only just figuring out how to post to WordPress! You will totally get into your own pace! Enjoy!x
Ooh you sound like a complete pro and are definitely doing a better job at 5 months than I’m doing at a year!! When you write that self hosting post, can you send it my way (@MrsLighty on Twitter) as I desperately, desperately need to make the move now and don’t have a clue what I’m doing!! ?
Haha I will indeed, much of it will involve..Ii did not know you had to do this…or this…or this….:) xx
Thank you!! This is SO helpful!
I’m 5 months in too and still have so much of this to do! X
We just all go at our own pace, I kind of just skip along, go whoops that should have been done..skip along some more then learn about and redo something else..there is no perfect way of blogging 🙂 xx
I LOVE your blog. The end. Brill post, it’s going in my ‘save’ box. Ok, I said the end a while ago. The end.
Haha this comment had me in giggles..THE END. I am not sure if in giggles is proper English but ah well…xx
This is such a brilliant and helpful post – thank you! I have been thinking about going SH but still a bit scared! I think I need to make the transition soon.
Like you I also need to improve on my posting consistency! 🙂
I love being SH now I am actually here…the plugins are really cool, like having commentlove and the comment boxes etc it is a bit of a pain moving but I think half of that is because I am SO computer unfriendly xx
I’m so glad I went self hosted last month best decision ever! Lovely post with lots of tips xx
Some great tips here. Thank you.
One tip I’d add is that if you’re interested in getting a good DA score then DON’T have what’s called a TLD (top level Domain) for example, .Wales as MOZ doesn’t trawl them 🙁
Wow now that is like pro level tippage! xx
Fab tips Jade! I’ve definitely made lots of those mistakes – particularly the long titles thing. Have to say though that bad spelling makes me mad still. I never say though ? Thanks for mentioning #fortheloveofBLOG too! We love ya! #triballove
Haha you totally deserve a mention…Its funny because they are such little things but are such a pain in the bottom to rectify..I still have about 10 pots I need to re image and re title..grumble…xx
Going self-hosted was the best decision I made. I also enjoy making post headers in Canva. That’s been a fabulous tool to use. #triballove
what a fab fab fab post, I will most certainly put your tips to use x
Verrrry useful post. Thanks for the tips and advice!
You are very welcome, they are very basic level tips I know but they are things I did not know! xx
I am so glad that someone else has struggled as I have! I am at a total loss with the acronyms and lingo. I had no clue WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two completely different things. I am currently working on a post describing my 2 am phone calls with WordPress and Bluehost. Still have no idea how to import my followers from .com to .org. That will be tonight’s phone call.
Lol ask wordpress to move your followers for you..and your stats…I forgot those..luckily I took a screen shot before hand…have a glass of wine..it helped me..xx
You’re too funny! This is so useful, I wish I had gone self-hosted from the start and I often forget to taaaaag. Don’t even want to begin to think about the work involved to rectify that *sigh* xx
Hi Jade, What a great post! I’m going to have to read it a few times and write your tips down to get my head round it! I’m now on blog post 4, so still such a newbie. I’m having up and down moments as to if blogging is for me, mainly because I didn’t think anyone was actually reading what I have written. However today I have put up a new post and there has been a fair bit of interest and even some comments!
Joanne – Mummyofthesuburbs
Don’t doubt yourself, and regular readers take time 🙂 I still have up and down days but as long as you enjoy it that is what is important!xx
Fabbo read and loads of grand tips. I’m 2 months in and have no clue what I’m doing so this was a great help ?
Five months in you wont have much more of a clue but you will do things with purpose so it will seem like you do!xx
Great information! Thank you! I must admit.. I don’t post according to a routine and I KNOW I should.. Just waiting for these 12 weeks of Summer vacation to be over and then I feel like I can sort myself out.. #backtoschool
I loved this post especially the #hastag tip, I always forget to use certain hashtags to promote posts etc #TribalLove x
The one thing I would say about Stumble Upon is don’t always add your own content. They don’t like that and you risk getting banned.
Laura X X x
This is a great tip I did not know that!xx