People ask me about blogging all the time. How they can make money from blogging? How they can get people to read their blog? How do you keep "inspired" to post every day? Now I definitely don't have all the answers to these questions. I hardly have any answers to these questions. I didn't start this blog to make money or to gain a following. I started it because I like writing and I had had a bad day. In fact, here's my first post ever (cringe) if you're feeling up to reading it.
But since I recently started working in Social Media, reading blogs and writing blogs have become a part of my day. I read a lot of blogs. All kinds of blogs; from lifestyle to food to beauty to wine to mommy to music to entertainment. I spend lots of time researching blogs and bloggers and I think that through doing this, I've learned a few things that could be valuable to people looking to start their own blog.
So here are my tips. Feel free to add any in the comments section below, and remember that I'm definitely not saying that I am the queen of blogger knowledge. This is just what I've come up with through reading and researching many, many blogs.
Stop talking about starting a blog, and do it. Play around with hosting sites like Blogger or Wordpress (there are lots of others, but these are the two I have played around with, and are most customisable) and write your first post.
2. Get Some Design Help
People have reeeeaaaally short attention spans when they're online. No matter how good your content may be, if your blog isn't nice to look at, some other pretty, shiny blog is going to distract your readers. Find one of your friends who has some design experience and get them to help you out. Or you could always pay someone to design your website for you if you've got the cash.
3. Use The Platforms You're Already Active On
Post links to your blog on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Don't be weird and direct your Tweets to people with large followings or spam people's Facebook Walls. If your friends read it and like it, they will share it.
4. Be Visible
This is my most important tip: Let people know who you are! Unless you are an anonymous blogger, it makes sense to put up a picture of yourself with a little "my name is Natalie and I live in Cape Town". Have an About page that tells people a little bit about yourself and your blog. And if you have any dreams of getting approached by brands: Have a Contact page! I can't tell you how much of my day is wasted looking for email addresses for bloggers that I'd like to approach for work.
5. Be Real
This is actually my most important tip. There are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there and the only reason people will read yours, is if it offers something unique. Lucky for you, you already are unique. Add your own voice, your own opinions to your posts. Don't just relay information that people could find anywhere on the internet. You are not a newspaper. Keep it personal and people will stay interested.
6. Treat It Like A Job
Want to know how bloggers find time to blog? We make time. I spend a few hours on Sunday's drafting posts and at least an hour after work most evenings. Treat it like its a part of your day. I often find it really relaxes me and helps me to unwind. But unless you dedicate time to it, you're never going to do it.
So, those are the few tips I can offer. If you're a blogger, what are your tips?