24 September 2011

A Guest Writer's Tips for New Bloggers'

Rebecca Brown, a blogger for nearly 2 years and personal stylist, whose blog has been featured on Blogger's Blogs of Note wrote for Blogger Buzz on 'tips on how to get started'.

She says:
"I had no idea that a blog about my clothing choices would grow and become such a fun hobby! And even though I’ve been blogging for a little while, I still feel like I have so much to learn, which is what keeps blogging interesting!"
While definitely not an expert, she shared a few things that's worked for her, as follows:

1) Find a community of bloggers with similar interests. Do you like to write about video games, fashion, cooking? There are lots of great blogs on those topics already. A quick Google search for “fashion blogs” helped me round out my reading list. I always check out the blog rolls of people whose blogs I enjoy, and I also visit the blogs of folks who comment on my blog. Bottom line: interact with bloggers whose blogs you enjoy. You'll learn so much, I promise. This leads me to my next point...

2) Leave insightful comments on blogs that you enjoy - especially blogs that are in the same niche as you. Instead of just saying, "hey, nice blog, follow me please”, call out something specific that you liked about the post. Pure "followback" requests don’t really make people want to follow you.

3) Don't underestimate the importance of good pictures on your posts. The basics: Use a tripod or get a friend to photograph you if the pictures are of you. Take pictures outdoors if possible because natural light always makes pictures look better. Use post-processing (I use Picnik) to adjust the exposure, add effects, and crop to keep the focus on what you want. You don’t need a fancy camera - I use my cell phone most of the time! I wrote about this in more depth here.

4) Think about quality, rather than quantity of posts. Readers would rather see an insightful (and spell-checked!) post with original content and good pictures 2-4 times a week than hastily-written thoughts on a daily basis. Most avid blog readers follow so many blogs that if you post too often, and especially if your posts aren't high quality, you'll get passed over in favor of the other blogs on their blogroll. Plus, a great, high-quality post can continue to get you traffic for a few days - don't truncate its effectiveness by posting again the very next day.

5) Schedule your posts. I typically have a chunk of time on the weekend where I can plan out and write my 2-4 posts for the week, or at least get a rough draft in place. Blogger allows you to schedule your posts and they will automatically publish at the date/time you specify. I typically set my posts to publish around 2am to capture folks in other time zones.

6) Lastly, don't apologize for not posting more often. A blog is a fun hobby - but once you start feeling beholden to it, it stops being fun! Plus, your readers will likely not notice if you don't post for a week unless you write a post about how sorry you are for not posting!

There are so many great resources out there for bloggers looking to hone their craft. Here are a few favorites: - 10 Things About Your Blog That Drive Me Crazy (via B at Beautifully Invisible) - Don't Be A Savage Blogger (Jamillah via Beautifully Invisible): - Build a Better Blog (via Vahni at Grit and Glamour).

Blogging allows you to express yourself, build a community and make lifelong friends. And the great thing about it is that nearly anyone can do it. So have fun with it, don’t take yourself too seriously, and you’ll be a great blogger in no time!

Who says you can't write a blog about anything?

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