7 (Super Tasty) Blogging Tips for Beginners
My first ever life goal was to be an all-star flutist. (Yes, insert an American Pie band camp joke...I’ve heard them all). I started playing in the fourth grade by enrolling in private lessons from a family friend. On the way to my first lesson, I imagined myself totally slaying a beautiful sonata on a big stage, bowing in front of my friends and family, and becoming the star (nerd alert) of the high school concert band overnight at the ripe age of 11.
The reality of playing the flute for the first time, however, was much different. When my instructor asked me to make a sound, nothing came out. Zip, zilch, nada. Not even a little mouse-like squeak. The only thing slayed that day was my self-confidence.
But, over time, I practiced, refined my skills, honed in on my talent, and took a lot of tips from my teacher - eventually I was able to play (decently well).
Why does that matter?
My experience starting my first blog was a lot like my experience learning to play the flute. I thought I would write a post, share it on Facebook, watch my audience multiply overnight, and collect a monster paycheck from all of the affiliate marketing partners knocking down my door (I had a lot of big dreams…and a lousy understanding of affiliate marketing).
I was so wrong.
My first blog post got about 17 views - 15 of which were my own and two which were my from my dad. (That equals all 17 in case you were wondering.) Luckily, I remembered the perseverance my younger band-loving self had to learn and never gave up.
Today, a lot of blog posts and content writing later, things look a lot better.
If you are currently wandering through beginner blogger hell wondering how in the world you’re ever going to summon a following - take a lesson from my band camp book and don’t give up! Better days are ahead of you. All you need is a few (I mean 7) blogging tips to get you started.
1. FIND YOUR NICHE
First and foremost, to be successful with your blog (whether it is personal or for your business) you have to find your niche. Unfortunately, you can’t wrap advice for the average mom, bomb recipes, fashion expertise, and tips for top businesswomen into one URL and expect it to go swimmingly. Blogs like that are the equivalent of a mid-life crisis - not pretty or fun to be around.
Your audience deserves to know what you are best at and what they can trust you with. So, before you go writing on every topic under the sun or anything that holds a remote possibility of attracting someone to your business - ask yourself “Does this blog fit my purpose?” If the answer is no, don’t write it.
You can begin to find your niche by looking at those you consider to be your top competition. What type of advice or value does your competition offer to readers? How can you (as an individual or business) use your expertise and skills to make that advice more relevant to your readers?
2. DEVELOP YOUR VOICE
There are a lot of analogies about snowflakes, fingerprints, and zebra stripes I could use here, but I am going to save you the time and just tell you that you are unique. There is no one else like you. You are one-of-a-kind.
Because you are unique, you have YOUR OWN VOICE. And, believe me when I say, when it comes to blogging your own voice is a beautiful thing.
Don't try to mimic the voice of the blog that is your biggest competition or uses big words if you're someone who prefers contractions. One of the best things you can do for your blog is to develop an authentic voice that makes your readers feel like they are sitting down next to you, sipping a cuppa joe, and sharing great conversation.
It might take a while to develop and feel comfortable with your own writing voice, but with practice and refinement, you can totally make it work for you.
(And, if you can't, our team of pro writers at Buzzy Blogs can work their magic. Think of them like writing experts who are damn good actors too. They can step into your shoes and deliver a performance that is as incredible as Lady Gaga's in that movie with Bradley Cooper. What was it called again? Jk. Jk.)
3. LOVE YOUR AUDIENCE
As a blogging entrepreneur, you will always have a boss with an opinion that matters. That boss is your audience. Your audience will tell you when you're not hitting the mark and, likewise, they'll definitely let you know when your blogs are entirely on point.
What gets my audience buzzing?
What are the most significant problems in their lives related to my expertise?
What brings them joy?
As a beginner blogger, you should look to your audience for direction. No, you don't have to put out a poll about what topics they want to see on your blog, but you can make a note of their actions on your website, social media, and other communication channels. Data from these sources will likely point you in the direction you need to go.
4. LEARN (A LITTLE) ABOUT SEO
For a lot of beginning bloggers (and well-seasoned bloggers for that matter), the term SEO is incredibly intimidating - and for a good reason! There are so many facets of SEO that it is difficult to know where to begin or how to manage anything remotely related to the concept.
The good news about SEO is you don’t have to learn everything all in one day. There are loads of SEO tips and tricks on the internet you can use to get a good jump on the matter. And, if you are a beginning blogger, choosing just a few of those tips and tricks is the perfect way to get started.
5. STICK TO A SCHEDULE
Although to do lists aren’t really a top priority in an entrepreneur's world, you need to have a schedule for your blog that will keep you on track to your goals. The members of your audience are (most likely) creatures of habit. As you find your niche and develop your voice, they will begin to look forward to hearing from you regularly.
And, if you do not create a schedule that defines what a regular basis is for your business, you will lose audience members as a result.
A content calendar is a great way to develop a blogging schedule and keep you on track to meet your goals. It will help you outline topics for your content and manage when and how you deliver it to your audience.
6. ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Like my flute instructor always said, practice makes you better (not perfect - perfection is ugly). When you practice your blogging and seek feedback from your friends, mentors, and/or audience you’re likely to get better very quickly.
Every time you make a post for your blog, send it out for feedback from your most trusted advisors. Let them know the goals of that blog and ask them if they feel it meets those goals. Of course, grammatical feedback is always welcome (especially if you spelled your own name wrong), but remind those you ask that what you are really seeking is feedback regarding the quality of content you have provided.
Feedback might hurt sometimes, but if you learn how to handle professional criticism, your blog will be better for it.
7. KEEP GOING
Making an investment in your blog is making an investment in your business and future success. Today, people expect businesses to have a blog or a place they can turn to for advice. And, if a business doesn't deliver, they are likely to go somewhere else.
If you truly want your blog to buzz with super tasty content, you’re going to have to ‘do the damn thing’ over, and over, and over again. You’re going to have to write posts, engage with your audience, and seek feedback continuously to make it happen.
So, my friend. Just keep going. Keep writing your blog and keep working to make it better every day. Because, when you do - you’re going to hit the jackpot!
And, if writing your own blog or coming up with your own content calendar seems overwhelming, Buzzy Blogs is here to help! We can help you develop your niche, find your voice, love your audience, and stick to a schedule. Oh, and we know (more than a little bit) about SEO too