Blogging is sharing yourself, your writing, and your passion for life. You get the chance to be 100% uniquely you, while connecting with like-minded people. Blogging takes your sphere of influence, the one that consists of family, friends, and your local community, and grows it to include people from all around the world.
You get to blog! It is a great gift that comes with responsibility for your words and gives you influence. So blog responsibly and have fun!
5 Tips for New Bloggers
1. Be Passionate
The very best thing you can do as a blogger is to be yourself and find your passion. You were created to be uniquely you. Please do not attempt to be like everyone else. Find out what gets you excited and makes your blood pump a little quicker. Write about topics you enjoy.
Your readers will sense your excitement in your words and it will be contagious. If you love what you write, your readers will love it too.
2. Write Often
Find your voice, the comfortable way you communicate with words. Your voice is something you must discover for yourself, and you do that by writing.
Post often. Set a goal for yourself. Is it reasonable for you to post three times a week, or can you post Monday through Friday? The more you write, the better. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles until you find a way to write that sounds natural and effortless. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll learn how to edit. Your readers may even become your proofreaders, and that is ok. You learn by doing, so write and then write some more.
3. Be Social
Opportunities to be socially active online almost exceed community events, even in the most outgoing of societies. The irony of social media is that we are more alone than ever.
We’re talking up a storm, hoping someone will listen, will respond, will pat us on the back, or pass a tissue, but too often, all is silent.
We pour out our heart and no-one offered a cyber *hug*?
I just told you my dog died, my kid threw-up, and my tires are flat. Won’t anyone commiserate?
As far as I can tell, the lifetime of a tweet is about fifty-two seconds, give or take a second. One minute social media leads you to believe the entire world, or at least all the people on your friends list, care. The next minute, you realize you need a whole new batch of friends, because really, they could care less.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result. The modern definition of insanity is tweeting the same thing over and over again and expecting a retweet.
Let’s get social. Maybe we can actually comment on that “friend’s” facebook status every once in a while, or click on the tweeted link. Start small. Choose one or two platforms and be social.
4. Get Inspired
If the blogs you love to read draw you in because of their beautiful pictures, become a better photographer. If you are attracted to certain blogs due to their layout, create a space on your blog that you can love. Change things up.
Find out what you admire about other blogger’s spaces and then take inspiration from them, thus becoming a better blogger yourself.
5. Pray for Others
Pray for the success of other bloggers. Believe me, there’s room at the top for many successful people. Do not allow personal gain to come at someone else’s expense.
We blog because we have something to say. Our words inspire, challenge, and entertain. What we say makes a difference. Your fellow bloggers are attempting to use their influence for good. Pray for them. Life is challenging, blogging is difficult. Pray for other bloggers.
Praying for their success does not mean you won’t find your own success. The top is big and there’s room for you.
Remember blogging is a gift. Use your words responsibly and have a blast.
When you are passionate about your topic, your readers will sense your passion and they will become loyal fans.
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. My writing began with my grandmother giving me scraps of paper, napkins, and once, she even handed me a paper plate. Then she told me to write her a story.
I suspect it was her way of keeping a pesky grandchild occupied, but it fueled my passion to write.
I wanted to be a writer.
That desire only waned long enough for me to dream of being a private investigator somewhere in Hawaii. I fancied myself a female Magnum P.I., without the shiny red sports car. Although, I would have gladly accepted a candy apple red corvette had someone handed me the keys.
Unfortunately my college professors didn’t love my writing. In fact, they discouraged me, so before long, i gave up on my dream.
Then, just about five years ago, I began blogging atThe Domestic Fringe. It was like being a little kid with a paper plate, only I was a woman with a computer. I wrote and other people not only read, but they also left comments. They liked what they were reading enough to come back the next day, and again the next.
The difference between blogging and schoolwork is passion.
I could care less about a three line Haiku, and I don’t ever want to write another research paper, but I could write for years about my life, my family, and my faith. These are the things I love. These are the topics that stir my soul.
When I blog, I write from my heart, and you should too, because your readers need to see you being passionate about something.
Passion is contagious.
When they see your heart speaking through your words, they’ll want to come back and read more.
Now this kind of passionate writing is a little risky. It will mean sharing the hard things from time to time, but your readers deserve to see you, the real you, coming through in your words.
God created us to be unique. No two people are exactly alike and no two bloggers write alike. We were meant to be different, to meet different needs, to reach different audiences.
God made you special and He put the desire in your heart to write, to blog, to share your life with others,. So embrace you, and allow your readers get to know you through your writing.
If you’re a new blogger, my first tip for you is to write with passion. And if you’ve been blogging for a while, maybe the passion has fizzled. Take pause and remember what it is that gets you excited, that makes your blood pump a little quicker, and then write about those things you love.
We can flood the internet with words, but when we write with our heart at our fingertips, we make a difference that is remembered.
Don’t settle for being just another blogger in a world of blogs, be passionate about what you write, and allow God to use your words to encourage, entertain, and stir the hearts of your readers.
The most important thing a blogger can do is write.
I know, I know. I can already see you shaking your heads and sayng, “Duhhhh.”
Writing is what blogging is all about, but once you get sucked into the web of social media, it is easy to lose focus.
Bloggers not only write, but they are also expected to have a strong presence on several social media platforms. They get dozens of emails every day, and if you are attempting to make money, then you are also busy selling companies on the benefits of partnering with your blog.
Then there are photos to edit and graphics to make. Let’s not even forget about Pinterest, the place where time stands still.
Keeping focus is difficult; however, the most important thing you can do for yourself as a writer is write and write often.
The following three steps are designed to help you develop good blogging skills.
In order to stay focused on writing, you should set some goals.
How often do you want to post to your blog?
Can you write five days a week, or do you have too many employment and family responsibilities? Perhaps setting up a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule is more feasible.
Take some time to honestly evaluate your responsibilities and then set your goals accordingly.
Blogging should not cause imbalance in the rest of your life. We need to pray over our priorities and make sure we are using our time wisely. Then, and only then, will blogging will be a blessing.
Once you have set some goals, stick to them and you will see your writing improve and your blog grow.
Find Your Voice
As students, we are all taught the mechanics of writing, how to structure a sentence and form a paragraph, but we do not often find our voice until we begin to mature as writers.
Your voice is the comfortable way you communicate with words. It is unique to you and should reflect your personality.
While you are finding your voice, do not be afraid to experiment with different genres. Maybe you want to express yourself through poetry, or perhaps you’ve always wanted to try your hand at writing fiction. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Your aptitude may just surprise you.
Once you find your voice, your words will gain the power to influence, entertain, amuse, and inspire your readers.
Your writing will be a direct reflection of you.
Read your words aloud. It is amazing how quickly small errors will appear when you read your writing out loud. It may seem foolish at first, but you will recognize awkward sentence structure and phrases that do not flow smoothly. Reading aloud will give you a whole new perspective.
Remember, writing is the most important thing you can do as a blogger. Carve out time to work on your craft and develop good techniques that will benefit you and your readers. Set some goals, work at finding your voice, and don’t forget to read your writing out loud.
I am excited to see how God is going to use your words as you work to develop good writing skills.
I want you to know that I learn as I blog. I don’t have this blogging business all figured out.
Some days I think I’ve got a handle on writing and interacting, and other days it feels like it may as well be my first morning in blogland.
I am hesitant to share. I second guess my words. I want to crawl under a rock when someone I know in real life visits my blog.
Maybe that feeling goes away and maybe it doesn’t. I have no idea, but I do know that a key to successful blogging is being social.
Be Social: A little encouragement goes a long way
In my introductory post I said that we’re talking up a storm, hoping someone will listen, will respond, will pat us on the back, or pass a tissue, but too often, all is silent.
Interacting with your readers is certainly an important way to be social. I know some bloggers get too overwhelmed with comments and emails to be able to interact with their readers, but I think they are missing out on part of what makes blogging great – community.
I want to visit other bloggers who read The Domestic Fringe. I want to interact on Facebook and Twitter. Being social is important, but I’ve recently learned that being social is not enough.
You must be part of a tribe.
I don’t know about you, but this city born girl isn’t too keen on tribal living, maybe country living, but the outback of North Carolina is a far cry from the tribes of one of those countries whose name I cannot pronounce.
From what I understand, a tribe is a group of bloggers who band together to form a network of support and promotion.
For instance, say I write a heart-wrenching post. My tribe would not only Tweet it, but they would share it on Facebook and pin it to their Pinterest wall.
I think of this less as tribal living and more as being engaged in my blogging community, but whatever. I can get on board with the experts, just as long as you understand that I want to promote you whether we’ve made a pact in some sort of primitive internet ritual or not.
I believe a little encouragement and a Facebook share go a long way.
That said, I like the idea of a tribe, a group of bloggers that commit to encourage and promote, not for personal gain, but so another can succeed.
Here are few suggestions on forming your tribe.
- Pray – Seek the Lord’s direction in forming friendships within the blogging world.
Choose Wisely – Look for bloggers who you can mesh with on a personal and business level, and be sure they want their blog to grow.
Commit – Be sold out for those in your tribe. Read, comment, and share.
Remember that while we do our part as bloggers, God is the one who gives the increase, so don’t be discouraged.
Be passionate, write often, and be social.
I’d love to hear from you.
Do you have the tribal marks of a blogging support group?
What is your favorite social media platform (i.e. blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)?
Inspiration strikes at the most inconvenient times, and I rarely have paper or a pen nearby.
If your brain is anything like mine, ideas enter and then run away as quickly as possible. So take advantage of them when they come and write them down.
I hate to admit it, but my best ideas come when I am showering and when I lay down to go to sleep at night.
I know that sounds insane, but it is true.
Perhaps shampooing stimulates my brain cells. I’m not sure, but I am sure that inspiration comes when I am relaxed, when my mind isn’t thinking about the thirty items on my to-do list or the email my son’s teacher sent because he forgot to turn in his homework.
There is something about relaxation of the mind and body that encourages creativity.
Some days I write full blog posts in the moments before I fall asleep.
When I am smart, I flip on the light and jot down notes as quickly as possible.
When sleep trumps common sense, I always regret it, because in the morning, I never remember the words my relaxed brain strung together.
Then there are times when creativity sounds like a foreign word and inspiration took a cruise to the Bahamas.
I know how bad that feels.
Every time I write something worth sharing, I feel like it is the last good idea I will ever have.
Don’t get discouraged. These times are fleeting.
Before you know it, you’ll be crafting another masterpiece; however, if you are feeling stuck in a blogging rut, here are a few ideas to help get you inspired.
- Take a long walk.
- Schedule a time in your week to do something you enjoy – nap, read magazines, go visit with friends, etc.
- Read other writer’s/blogger’s works.
- Take a long, hot shower. (so not kidding)
- Try something new – a new food, hobby, sport, etc.
- Ask your blog readers if they have questions for you or topics they would like you to cover. Your readers are one of your greatest resources.
- Keep a notebook and brainstorm.
We need inspiration for our writing, but we also need inspiration for the technical aspects of blogging.
There are design details to figure out, organizational skills to learn, and all sorts of technical ‘behind the scenes’ type work.
Veteran bloggers are models for us.
There are two bloggers that I want to be like when I grow up.
Oh, please don’t misunderstand, I don’t want my blog to be just like their blog, because God made me extremely different from them; however, I do want to imitate their organization, their warmth, and their excellence. I want to learn from them, to allow them to be my silent teachers.
We can take inspiration from other bloggers.
And finally, I want to encourage you pray and ask God to give you inspiration.
This should be the first thing we do and not the final, but you know what they say about saving the best for last.
It’s amazing to me that when I am praying over my blog, God nudges me to write about things that impact my readers.
I may never know the full impact of my words, but it is a blessing when God chooses to use something I have written to help someone else.
Be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and He will inspire you.
Just remember to be ready when inspiration strikes, because often, it doesn’t stick around for long, so write things down.
Pray for others.
This is the last tip in the 5 Tips for New Bloggers series and possibly the most important thing we can do.
In light of this series, I want us to specifically focus on praying for other bloggers.
I wish I could say I began praying for other bloggers the moment I began writing The Domestic Fringe, but I didn’t. I would pray for them when they asked, when they shared a specific prayer request for themselves or someone they loved, but I didn’t necessarily pray for their words, their success, their influence. That thought never occurred to me until I began reading Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole by Angie Smith.
I didn’t have to read long before God convicted me of something.
You see, for a while now, I’ve been thinking that we girls need to support one another. We should be in the encouragement business, promoting our friends and their goals and ambitions. We ought to help them see their dreams fulfilled.
Give them a shout-out more often than not.
We are in this life, the good and the bad, together. Why not be a cheerleader to those around you?
The following is an excerpt from Angie’s book Mended.
Maybe while you were reading this, several people came to mind, like women from a playgroup, work, Bible study, social interactions, or anywhere else there would be the potential for you to feel threatened in your role or insignificant in your own skin. I firmly believe Satan gets a major foothold when he convinces us that we have people we need to keep up with, when that voice in the back of your head whispers, “That promotion should have been yours,” or “If you invite her to this event, everyone will just forget about you,” or maybe even something like “There’s room for one, and if you help her up it will leave you in the dust.”
Resonate with you?
Sometimes every little thing in life becomes a competition.
We view the women around us as our enemies instead of as our teammates. I don’t believe there’s anywhere comparison plays a stronger role than in a woman’s life. You may disagree, but keep your eyes and ears open. It’s there like a low drone just below the skin.
Angie goes on to say the following.
There is no competition, ladies. There is no little room that only a few can enter.
There are two choices, and the ironic part is that they don’t affect the other person the way they affect you.
Start right now, and do something bold. Ask God to humble you and raise others up. If that last sentence made you bristle, chances are the Lord desires this to be a place that is fully surrendered to Him, and we can assume that this nudge is from the Holy Spirit. We need to hear encouragement from other sisters in the Lord, and they need to hear them from us. We need to stop believing that these words of affirmation do anything to jeopardize our own standing.
It can be someone you respect, admire, or any other number of things, but before the sun sets on this day, reach out and tell that person that she means something to you, and make a commitment in your heart to pray that God will use her.”
This is only one teeny-tiny portion of the whole book, but it struck a cord with me.
This business of blogging is not a grand competition to see who can collect the most readers, friends on Facebook, and Twitter followers.
Blogging is a gift, a chance to share our words and our thoughts. We have influence and we need prayer.
Pray for each other.
Pray we will use our words wisely, meet our goals, and succeed at the opportunities God gives us.
Praying for another blogger’s success does not mean you won’t find your own success.
The top is big, and there is room for you.