This week’s topic comes to us from Rafaela @ The Portuguese Bibliophile, who asks:
What are some things you wish you had been told before you started blogging? What do you think are the BIGGEST Dos and Don’ts for people who are newer to the blogging world? Give your fellow bloggers some friendly advice!
I’m still so new to this that I don’t know that I am the right person to offer any advice. My blog is only 146 days old, so I am definitely still in the taking advice space, rather than giving it.
A couple things that I guess I would tell a friend who asked about starting a blog, though, are these—
One, blog about what you love. If you do, you will spend every day in a playground. This is my seventh or eighth blog, and the only one that does not feel like work.
Two, don’t get TOO wrapped up in stats, but do try to find a community that writes about similar things. Read other people’s blogs. Comment on them, and comment on them with specificity. Don’t just say “great post!” Say ‘that story reminded me of my grandmother…your writing is so evocative.” Reading what other people do on their own blogs has been the best blog education I could have asked for, and commenting has been the best marketing. When you comment on other people’s blogs, they will want to come read yours. It’s a win all around.
Three, don’t overcommit. Let your blog grow organically. Don’t start planning to write every day. You will burn out fast. I started with one post per week, and grew that to where I am now, which is at 5-6 posts per week.
Four, try to write some things ahead and schedule them so you aren’t scrambling for content every single day. I usually write all my content for the week over three or four days, which gives me three or four days away from writing every week. I think that keeps it fresh for me…plus it gives me more time to actually DO the hobby I am writing about.
Five, find a way of organizing that makes sense for you. Some people use paper journals, some use bullet journals, some use online planners. Some use spreadsheets. Some use google calendars. So, look around and find the thing that (again) feels more like play than work. Organizing your blog life shouldn’t be a slog. It should be something you look forward to.
I use a basic monthly calendar spread in Zinnia. I write what I plan to post, the days I plan to post it on, and I use stickers to remind me where I am in the process. At the end of the month, I have a record of how awesomely productive I was for the month. I use another spread to keep track of what I need to read. And a final spread of what I have read. I build that spread throughout the month, so that I’m ready to post it as soon as the month ends.
So, that’s it. My newbie thoughts on how to start a blog. What have I missed? I crave your advice, which I will take in the comments. 💕