So you want some tips to start a successful blog, one that people actually want to read? I’m no blogging expert, hell, I only started this blog a few months ago but I’m pretty proud of what I’ve created here. I’ve got over 4000 people reading A Mum Track Mind, small fry compared to some of the big bloggers but it’s growing every day. My social media followers have rocketed, I’ve started my own YouTube Channel and I’ve even managed to pick up a nomination for Blog of the Year in the Mad Blog Awards! Companies and PR people are approaching me to do sponsored posts and I’ve got several guest features for other, much bigger blogs coming out. It has been and continues to be exciting and creatively rewarding as well as incredibly time consuming and a lot of hard work. Once you start to get into the world of blogging it quickly becomes all consuming, confusing, technical and if you’re not careful somewhat overwhelming. However, my advice to newbies is just to concentrate on doing the basics really well before you let yourself get bogged down. So, if you want a piece of the action, read my tips and I will share with you what I’ve learned in this short space of time.
Top Tips for a Successful Blog
- Use WordPress as your blogging platform – From speaking to other bloggers there is no comparison with other companies. WordPress provide loads of great blog designs to choose from, customize and edit so that you can create a beautiful new blog with just a few clicks of the mouse. If you are thinking about getting really serious with your blogging, it is worth looking into using a self-hosted version of WordPress as this will allow you so much more freedom with the design and look of your blog. Whilst you are just starting out though, the normal version of WordPress is just fine.
- Start writing – anything and everything that pops into your head. Chances are you haven’t settled on a particular niche for your blog just yet but the more you write, the more it will become obvious where your strengths lie. In a few months or a few years you will no doubt look back on your earlier posts and wonder what the hell you were thinking writing such drivel but it is still an important part of finding your creative feet and if you don’t try you will never know.
- Be consistent and post regularly – Once the creative juices are flowing, you should put together a list of the posts you want to write and plan out when these will be published. If you’re hoping to work with companies in the future, they will want to see that you are posting consistently and can be relied upon. There’s no point posting three times one week and then disappearing for a month. I aim to post every day, which sounds a lot (and it is) but it has really helped get my blog up and running a lot faster than if I was only posting once a month.
- Use good quality large images to break up the text – overly long (over 1000 words) posts can lose readers. After all, we are all busy aren’t we? Keep your posts on the shorter side and break up large chunks of texts into lists or bullet points and include large, good quality images (beware of copyright and try to use your own images). It sounds rather infantile but it works.
- Create a page on each social media channel to share content – basically once you have started to create content you need to put yourself out there for people to find you. Name and brand your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts with your blog name and the logo that you are using so that everyone who visits them will instantly recognise that it’s you. Share your posts to all of your social media accounts each time one is published. There are some brilliant posts out there on how to use social media to boost your blog traffic but this post from BritMums has to be one of my favourites.
- Engage with other bloggers – they are a friendly bunch and the blogging community is for the most part a really welcoming and inclusive place. I’ve had help from several of the big bloggers on numerous occasions and they’ve never been too busy to answer my questions or point me in the right direction. I find Twitter to be the best place to contact people as it seems to be the most widely used of the social media forums.
- Aim to comment on at least 3 other posts a day – in the world of blogging, I’ve learned that the more you give, the more you get back. If you aim to read and comment on at least three posts a day then you’ll find that people will get to know you and will be more than happy to return the bloggy love. Not only that but the more content you read, the more you will start to form ideas on what you like and don’t like. You’ll find inspiration and maybe even a few new friendships.
- Be professional – Think of your blog as a business and you are the brand. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave snarky or sarcastic comments on other people’s blogs no matter what you think and you should aim to reply to everyone who has taken the time to leave a nice comment on your posts. The same goes for dealing with PR people and companies – always reply in a timely and professional manner even if you don’t want to work with them.
- Use a scheduling tool for tweets – I use Social oomph and Buffer to schedule my tweets. It takes me a few minutes each day and allows me to advertise my posts at regular intervals (even at night!) so as to maximise the amount of people who see them. I’ve ended up with quite a few subscribers from Australia from my middle of the night tweets!
- Linky’s – Get involved in sharing your posts through Linky’s hosted by other bloggers. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then read Cuddle Fairy’s guide to Linky’s for newbies and then get involved. So much of my early blog traffic came through this channel.
I hope these tips have helped – let me know in the comments box if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. If you have any tips of your own then also leave them below. It can be a daunting experience starting off in the world of blogging but have patience, flex your creative muscles, put yourself out there and most importantly enjoy the experience. If you do all of these things then you are well on your way to being the owner of a successful blog.