So, You Want to Blog? Tips for New Bloggers
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to LP Tutoring,
Happy Birthday to you!
This little blog turned 2 this week and no one is more surprised about this than me.
I was a high school teacher and loved being in the classroom. But, when my oldest daughter was born, I decided to stay home with her. However, I really like teens and I paid a lot of money to learn all the information in my head. So, I became a tutor and started blogging on the side.
Until the side gig took over. When I started, I wrote about 6 or 7 posts and thought I was done writing. Ha! I’ve since written over 100 posts, so clearly there was more for me to write about.
Reflecting on 2 years of blogging, here’s what I’ve found!
My Tips for New Bloggers
Just do it
Just start the dang blog and write. This was my approach and I am so glad that I did it this way. Do I cringe when I reread some of my first posts? Yes. Have I rewritten some of them? Absolutely.
But I also know people who are too scared to hit publish and therefore never do. Just write it and publish it. You can always make changes later.
Overnight Success Isn’t a Thing
Yes, I have had a few posts that did surprisingly well, but most of my posts grew slowly over time. Just ignore the articles about how someone “exploded” their traffic. Slow and steady wins the race.
On a similar note, don’t expect this to make you a ton of money. Are some people successful at it? Absolutely. Are most bloggers making money? Um, no. It’s really more like an expensive hobby. Even if you do make money, it will take time – don’t expect to quit your day job next month.
Focus on the writing
While you need a decent looking website, if the writing is bad, no one is coming back. Focus on building solid content in the beginning and worry about the rest later.
Who are you writing to? Moms, teens, fashionistas, aspiring bloggers? What are her problems? How can you solve those problems? Those are the questions that should guide your writing process.
I took a free writing class, Sticky Blogging, and highly recommend it. I think it helped me format my posts and I still use her advice when I draft posts. She also finally explained SEO to me! (FYI – there is also a much more intensive paid version of the course as well.)
And Then Think About the Visuals
While writing is still the most important, it also needs to look good. I spent a few days picking my website theme, really looking for one that looked clean and had the functions I needed.
I quickly found Canva and use it every.single.day to create visuals for my blog, pins, my logo, and digital products. Most of my readers find me via Pinterest, so having attractive pins has been vital. I have zero design experience (which some might have figured out), but if I can do this, so can you.
One Thing at a Time
New bloggers can quickly become overwhelmed with all the things out there – e-mail lists, SEO, affiliate marketing, social media. You will fry your brain. Instead of trying to conquer all of them at the same time, pick 1 thing at a time to focus on.
I chose to start with social media, moved on to my e-mail list, then SEO, and finally online courses. And again, you can always come back and change things after the fact. Yes, it took me a while to create all new pins for my posts, but that was not something I was prepared to do in the beginning.
There’s nothing wrong with frugality
Contrary to what others might say, you don’t need to spend a lot of money in the beginning. I solely used free apps and resources until I started making money. I did reach a point where I simply had to start paying, usually because I needed more advanced features.
Here are my favorites that I used in the beginning (and still use!)
- Canva – for creating visuals
- Unsplash – free stock photos
- Mailerlite – email marketing
- Buffer – social media scheduling
Hopefully, my tips for new bloggers calmed you down a bit and will help you make a plan to start that blog. And seriously, just hit publish already!
Related Posts: Becoming a Tutor: Why I Kissed My Gradebook Good-Bye