Recently I hit the ‘publish’ button on my 400th blog post. And by recently, I mean like two minutes ago… So, if I could only give you my 10 best blogging tips, these would be them!
A few days ago, I also hit the ‘re-subscribe’ button on my domain name, meaning that I’ve been slogging away at this little corner of the internet for over 24 months now (I’m still wondering how that happened!) Anyway, in the past 63072000+ seconds since I bought my domain name (and therefore chose a blog name I love), I like to think I’ve picked up a few tricks and tips for running a blog.
#1 Don’t worry too much about what everyone else is doing
‘They’ say ‘comparison is the thief of joy’. I don’t know who they are… But it’s true! Your biggest goal in blogging should be to set out what you aim for, and it should definitely not be endlessly comparing yourself with others, especially other bloggers. The truth is, not everyone is going to like your blog, nor will you like what everyone else is doing!
Instead, set little goals for yourself each month (e.g. ‘I’ll publish once a week’ or ‘I’ll create new pins for each post’). This way, blogging becomes a lot more manageable, fun and you’ll find that you progress faster rather than spending countless hours looking through someone’s Instagram (oh come on, we all do it!)
#2 Write only about what you’re passionate about! (!!!)
When I was starting out, people would tell me to ‘find a niche‘, that it was ‘too late’ to start certain types of blogs. I say: that’s just not true. If you’re truly passionate about something, people will find you and you’ll become known as an ‘expert’ on the subject. Whether it’s knitting patterns, high street fashion or ancient history (shameless self-plug), there’s room for you. After all, this is the internet: there is room for (almost) everybody.
#3 Read anything (and everything…)
I once read (see what I did there?) that the best way to improve your writing is to read. And to read a lot. This will teach you new writing styles, improve your vocabulary and maybe even give you something else to talk about with your Aunt’s-new-boyfriend-you-can’t-quite-remember-the-name-of.
If you don’t have time to read a whole novel right now, then start by reading other blogs, checking out the back of your cereal box, or simply tackle a chapter of a book a day on the work commute. Read a variety of content, and you’ll soon learn what works well (and inevitably, what doesn’t). Want more? Here are my very best writing tips!
#4 Practice Writing. Every. Single. Day.
Many people will tell you that the only people who can write well were born with the gift of crafting a good story. While that may be partially true, the only way that those of us who struggle with writing will ever improve is by practising! Write, write, and then write some more. The same goes for if you want to improve your photography, even if it’s just for ten minutes a day!
Carry a little notebook around with you for when ‘inspiration’ strikes (or if you just have a really good idea). It’s also good to go old school with pen and paper because technology often fails. (I know my phone always runs out of battery since the invention of Instagram stories!)
#5 Have other passions & interests (other than blogging, obviously)
Some of the best bloggers I’ve met (of which I’ve been lucky to have met quite a few) have a million different passions: i.e. they’re interested in everything around them. They want to know why the sky is blue, the best way to rank #1 on Google, or even where your Grandma lives.
They’ll be interested in other people, and actually, listen to what others have to say. After all, some of the best stories are often just around the corner, just waiting to be told… Finally, if you’re looking to make money travel blogging, then having other creative outlets is an absolute must!
#6 Become friends with other bloggers!
Honestly, if there was one thing I would do differently (and perhaps one of the best blogging tips I can give you today), it’s that you should network from the very beginning, and become friends with other bloggers. The first blogger I ever met was the lovely Emily from The Glittering Unknown.
We’ve since become fast friends, and I chat to her most days; whether it be a quick complaint about a Social Media algorithm, or something more important like how jobs and life, in general, are going! Become friends with other bloggers, who likely share the same passions as you and collaborate.
After all, blogging is more fun when it’s shared! I even now have my very own Facebook Group dedicated to fellow female travel bloggers, and it’s called Female Lifestyle Bloggers. In there, no topic is too silly to discuss and we can talk about everything from SEO to travelling without your SO. As long as you identify as female and have a blog, you’re welcome to join! (click here to join our inclusive community!)
#7 Don’t get too caught up in Social Media
Six months ago, I was quite literally on the brink of blogger burnout (and at the time I alluded to it in my post ‘how I manage social media stress‘). Well, one of the main things I did to combat the burnout, and subsequently continue to produce daily content for my blog was to stop getting caught up in Social Media.
Rather than spending hours each day pouring over my Instagram feed, I’d set myself a time limit of around 20 minutes in which to upload, comment and interact with others. For things like Pinterest and Facebook, I started automating as much as possible so I wouldn’t have to spend so much time online.
Like I said before, it can always be tempting to keep comparing yourself with others, and this is especially true when you’re constantly scrolling through your Facebook homepage!
#8 Blogging is not a race, it’s a marathon
If you’re just starting out, or even if you’ve been plugging at your website for a little while, then try not to get disheartened when the readers don’t immediately show up- I know, easier said than done! (If you want tips on how to keep writing when no one is reading your blog, I’ve written a post here.)
Blogging is and never has been a race to get more numbers, more visitors and more traffic. After all, if your ultimate goal is to get rich quick, then you should probably stop. There are much quicker, and more lucrative ways to make money online than sharing your thoughts on the internet via a blog!
If you keep writing, and the quality of your content is constantly improving (and you’re very very very very very) passionate, then the readers will eventually come. They will! I think one of the hardest things about blogging is that it can often be quite lonely, and it can take weeks, months or even years to see any traction on a post.
We are so used to seeing the likes (or one or two, at least) roll in on Social Media almost as soon as we post. But after 24 hours- 48 hours, that post is pretty much dead. There is no more traffic coming in from it. Like, pretty much, ever!
However, when it comes to articles and blog posts, pretty much the reverse is true. While nothing much may happen in the beginning, thanks to SEO optimization and some clever Pinterest designs, you can continue getting traffic on a single post for years to come!
#9 Post consistently, regularly, and (mostly) to a schedule
Although blogging may be a marathon, that doesn’t mean you can neglect your blog for weeks or months on end! After all, it’s harder to get more traffic, and easy to lose it. Posting on a schedule and a semi-regular basis will keep your regular readers (as well as the Google algorithm) happy! After all, posting on a regular basis is by and large part of how I grew my travel blog to become a full-time travel blogger!
#10 Never be embarrassed about your blog!
The other day, I was out with a friend for a drink. We were chatting with some other people at the bar about our studies and inevitably ended up discussing what we would like to do with our lives (ie our careers, our aspirations etc.). From the moment I said “Oh, I’m a writer, I have this blog and it’s kind of now my job,” I received the kind of pity look reserved for people who have something a bit silly. So one of my best blogging tips may sound a little ridiculous, but it’s simply this: don’t be embarrassed about your blog! After all…
“Fear Kills More Dreams Than Failure Ever Will” – Suzy Kassem
I guess my point is, for the longest time, I refrained from telling people in my life about my little ‘blog’, for fear that they would judge me for it. However, I now say I ‘just’ have a blog because I’ve dedicated months of my life into turning this into an online platform with (hopefully) useful information and inspiring others to go out and see the world. So perhaps my best blogging tip of today is: never be embarrassed about your blog. Like, ever.
BONUS: Invest in blogging tools
In the beginning, I would shy away from investing anything into my blogging hobby. Now, I look back and wonder why I never did! After all, if I were going to grow succulents then I would purchase special cactus soil and pots, while if I were to take up knitting, I would surely buy myself some needles and wool!
As such, I’d say that of all my best blogging tips, investing in your blog (and therefore, yourself) is one of the top things you can do to grow your traffic and the like. If you’re just starting out, then I recommend Siteground Hosting. Once your blog is a little bigger, then you’ll want a more managed solution (an extra pair of hands, as it were). I use Performance Foundry.