About 4 years ago I started my travel blog over at StefanRTW.com as a way to share my travel stories with my friends and family. Over the years it has developed quite a bit, as have my own interests and passions, so lately I’ve decided to take my blog in a new direction.
Rather than focusing just strictly on travel I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to start sharing everything that I’ve learned over the years when it comes to running a website and making money online so the first thing I wanted to talk about was some helpful and practical blogging tips for beginners.
When you first start blogging it can seem overwhelming with all of the small details that you need to worry about and everything else that you have to focus on when you’re trying to grow your blog.
Thankfully, these days there is so much information online and you can just quickly Google whatever you’re looking for and after a few moments of research you’re able to overcome just about any of your blogging or blog related problems.
It doesn’t matter if you decided to start your own blog for fun or if you want to hopefully start earning money from it eventually, these tips are bound to help you out regardless of what you are blogging goals happen to be.
Of course I realize that there are plenty of people out there with a lot more experience than me but I still wanted to share some of these helpful blogging tips for beginners with you guys to give you more confidence with your own journey and to make the process of growing your blog a little bit more straightforward.
Let’s just dive right In!
Helpful Blogging Tips for Beginners
Choose a Topic You’re Passionate About
Before you go ahead and start buying domain names or setting up your hosting you want to settle on a somewhat specific blogging topic that you’re passionate about and that you’re going to enjoy writing about for the long-term.
Having a specific topic that you focus on and that you’re actually passionate about is going to make it easier for you to write content and interact with other bloggers that share the same interests as you. If you’re not passionate about your blog you’re probably not going to want to work on it as much once the excitement fades away so it’s a good idea to choose something you’re personally interested in just to give you a better chance of sticking with it in the future.
Having a specific focus also helps with branding and that makes it easier for you to promote your content on social media and other online platforms once you find a community that’s relevant and interested in your topic.
For example, my first blog started as a travel blog and over the years has developed into somewhat of a lifestyle/blogging blog because I gained different interests and more experience across different topics that I wanted to help my readers out with.
Some other topics that you can blog about include things like:
- Healthy living
Choose the Right Platform
Once you have settled on a specific topic that you want to blog about you can go ahead and pick up your domain and start setting up your blogging platform so you can start sharing your content with the world.
There are a surprising amount of different blogging platforms available to choose from both free and paid and even as a total beginner I recommend spending a little bit of money and going with a self-hosted WordPress setup.
This is going to help you look more professional and it also gives you more control over all aspects of your blog so you don’t have to rely on a different platform or provider to keep things up and running for you.
I recommend WordPress as the best blogging platform for beginners and even professionals because it’s very intuitive, easy to use, flexible, and it comes with a wide range of different themes and plugins that you can use for customizing your site.
It’s also a good choice because there is a huge community behind WordPress the so there is always someone available to help you out if you happen to run into any issues.
It isn’t free but it’s definitely worth investing a little bit of money from the beginning so that you can better set yourself up for long term success.
As a beginner I recommend going with Bluehost for your website hosting as they have some affordable plans and they’re really easy to use.
The best time to start blogging is right now and rather than worrying about constantly creating the “perfect” blog post it’s much better to create content and get it online so that you can start sharing it with the community and monetizing if you’re looking to make money with it.
You don’t need to worry about creating a specific first post just focus on something that’s relevant to your topic and get it out there so you can start working on the next one.
I’d recommend looking up some blog post ideas if you don’t know what to write about but if you’re just getting started you should have plenty of things to blog about for now.
Once you have your blog set up you should start out by creating the “About Me” page, a “Contact” page, and a separate “Blog” page where all of your latest posts can be found.
After you get the basics of your blog up and running you can begin working on your blog posts.
I recommend trying to post at least once a week with a better goal being 3 times a week if you have the time. Make sure that the blog posts that you’re writing are full of information that’s based on the topic of your blog so that people know what you’re talking about and can decide whether or not they want to come back to read more of your posts in the future.
Setup Your Email List
It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started with your blog or you’ve already been writing for a few months you’re going to want to set up your email list as soon as possible so that you can start capturing emails and growing your online community.
Having an email list is a great way to promote new posts, share content that you like with your subscribers, and you can even use your list to promote your own products or services in the future. People that subscribe to your email list are also interested in the content that you’re creating so they’re a lot more likely to interact with you another online platforms, such as in a Facebook group.
People aren’t likely to just randomly sign up for your email list so it’s a good idea to create something like a freebie or “lead magnet” that you can offer in exchange for their emails.
Once you have captured the email make sure to send an email to your list regularly to keep everybody engaged and to make sure that you’re fresh in their minds when they’re spending time online.
Keep an Eye on Your Competition
For those of you just starting out you might have noticed that there are a ton of blogs out there already! There’s no need to worry though.
A majority of new blogs end up being abandoned and of the remaining ones very few people will be updating their content and making an effort to grow their blog on a regular basis.
This means that if you’re dedicated and willing to work hard over a long period of time that you can easily outwork the competition and get your blog cemented in the blogging world.
After you’ve come out with a few posts start to check out the other bloggers in the same niche that you’re in. Don’t be scared to interact with them either.
Comment on their posts, share their content on social media, and ask them questions if you want! There’s no harm in friendly interaction and it could even lead to some social shares or links to your blog.
You’ll also get a better idea of what your competition is doing right, where they can improve, and the changes you can make to your own blog in order to do better in the long run.
Do Your Keyword Research
Unless you plan on relying on social media as your only source of traffic you’re going to want to make sure that you spend time doing proper keyword research for your blog.
Along with grabbing your readers attention using the right keywords are going to that your readers know what your content is about and will also help to ensure that your blog posts show up in the search engine results.
This is going to help you get more blog traffic in the long run as well as get more people reading your blog which is going to allow you to grow a community of loyal subscribers and readers that are interested in your content.
Knowing how to do keyword research is an important part of the blogging process and while it might seem daunting at first it really starts to get a lot easier once you know what to look for.
In case you’re not aware, keywords are the search terms and phrases that people are going to be looking up whenever they use a search engine to look for more information about a specific topic.
For example, the main keyword for this post is “blogging tips for beginners” and it’s also full of plenty of other relevant keywords related to tips for beginner bloggers.
There are a few ways that you can find keywords for your blog and personally I recommend using a tool such as KWFinder which makes the process a lot easier and does a lot of the work for you so that you can focus on content and growing your blog rather than spending a lot of time searching for those keywords.
Pick an Awesome Theme
For those of you using WordPress as your blogging platform you’re able to pick out a specific theme for your blog to use.
The theme is basically how your website is going to look to your visitors as well as the different features and functions that it’s going to have for the people that visit your blog.
There are plenty of free WordPress themes to choose from although I would recommend going with a premium (paid) theme because they tend to be better looking, they are more customizable, and it will help you to come across as more professional.
Choosing the right theme is all about how you want to brand your blog so it really depends on what you’re writing about when it comes to how your blog should look.
For example, travel blogs are going to want to go with themes that are bright and upbeat while a sports blog might want to go with something a little more simple and downplayed.
I recommend taking a look at some of the different WordPress themes available and deciding on one that you find best matches the style and attitude that you’re going for with your blogging journey.
Build a Community
One of the best ways to continue to grow your blog is to interact as much as you can with the relevant communities around you.
What I mean by this is that you want to spend time interacting with your readers and making them feel involved with your content and connected with you on a more personal basis rather than just coming across as a nameless face.
You can start to grow a community around your blog by asking your readers questions at the end of your posts, following them and interacting with them on social media, and even having things like contests, giveaways, and polls to make them feel more involved.
This is going to make it easier for you to capture their email and grow your email list because your readers are going to feel like a part of the community surrounding your blog and are going to want to stay up to date with any of your future content.
Along with interacting with your readers you also want to network and build relationships with other bloggers in your niche. You can do this by writing comments on their latest posts, contributing guest posts, sharing their content on social media, and interacting with them whenever you get the chance.
All of these different tactics are going to help you build a community of people that are interested in what you’re sharing which is really going to help you out in the long run when it comes to your blogging success.
The one problem I see a lot of people running into is that they keep postponing their “starting date” for starting a blog and as time passes they never end up getting around to start.
One of the best things that you can do for your blog is to actually start and it’s more important that you get to writing content and building your blog however you know how to rather than waiting for the stars to align and for everything to come together in perfect harmony.
There’s a quote I heard once and it goes something like “it’s better to be finished than perfect” and basically it means that you’re better off finishing something even though it might not be completely perfect rather than not doing something at all.
So check out my post on starting your blog today if you haven’t already and if you’re already deep in the blogging world then keep on going!