I realised the other day that I’ve been officially blogging for over a year now. That got me thinking about everything I’ve learnt this past year, and what I would do differently if I were to start again from scratch. Now I know there’s a lot of new bloggers that read this site, so I thought I’d create a post and share my advice to help you guys out!
So if you’ve just started a new blog, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s my top 10 tips for new bloggers...
1. Spend a lot of time choosing your niche.
To be honest, this is something I wish I spent more time doing! I know starting a new blog is exciting and you just want to get it up and running, but I highly recommend you spend some time thinking about exactly what topics you want to cover.
Don't try and do it all! Not only does this make things more complicated for you, but people will be less interested in your blog if you blog about too many topics. This is because they probably only follow along for your posts on particular things.
It’s better to try and hone in on a specific niche. You’ll have more success because you know all your followers are very interested in that one specific topic. You’ll also find it a lot easier to make an income from your blog because you know your entire audience is interested in a specific topic!
2. Have a direction of where you’re heading and plan your content towards that.
Lots of advice out there suggests that you shouldn’t start thinking about creating products or offering services until you’ve build up and audience and know exactly what they want from you, however I disagree with this. I think it’s important to have a direction and know where you want to be heading before you even start. This way you can focus your content around what you are best at and what you’re passionate about, then the right audience will follow!
3. Be intentional with what you post.
This leads me onto the next point, which is to be more intentional with the blog posts you put out. Don't just post for the sake of posting!
Plan your content in advance and have a purpose of each post. How will you benefit from publishing this post? Will it give you more exposure? Will it help get people on your email list? Will it promoting your products or services?
How will your audience benefit from this post? Will they learn something new? Will it inspire them? Does it give value? Will it encourage them to come back for more?
If your post doesn’t really do any of these things, then you’re better off writing something else! Remember each piece of content you create is a representation of your brand. You want all your posts to be good quality posts, so don’t rush things to reach a deadline!
(Struggling to create purposeful content? Read this!)
4. Choose a few social media platforms and focus on those.
When I first started blogging I thought to be successful I had to be on all the social media platforms. I thought I needed a complex social media plan and I thought I needed to be giving each social media platform all of my attention to be successful. But this isn’t the case at all! Like with most things, if you try and do it all, you just end up spreading yourself too thin. Plus, social media platforms might not even be the best way for you to get your blog out there, it all depends on your audience and your niche.
You’re better off picking 2-3 platforms and focusing your time on these. Just choose wisely and really think carefully about where your followers hang out online. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, Instagram will probably be an important social media platform for you. Or if you’re a food blogger, you’ll probably find Pinterest to be a great way to get your posts shared.
5. Don't be afraid to invest in the things that are important and will bring results.
I tend to be quite a determined “I can do it myself” kinda person, so I often put off investing in resources if I feel like they aren’t 100% necessary. It took me about 10 months of running my blog and business before I finally made the leap and started investing in online courses and learning materials.
Looking back, I really wish I’d done it sooner. Sure, I managed to teach myself what I needed to know, but I probably could have learnt it in a quarter of the time, had I invested in an online course. The same applies for software. If you know a particular tool will make things run smoother and easier, don’t be afraid to invest in it. Consider your blog like a business, you need to invest for it to grow.
Had I invested in the resources I needed from the start, I could have spent that time learning more and progressing further and faster. So I say if you’ve got the money, invest in education and tools because you won’t regret it!
6. Don't act like you're "trying to start a blog" act like you're running a successful blog already!
This is another massive thing I’ve really struggled with. Again, for about 10 months whenever I thought about my blog, or mentioned it to anyone else, I would always say “I’m trying to start a blog” or “I’m trying to start my own business”. What I didn’t realise is that this mentality was majorly holding me back from being successful. The whole time I was telling myself that I hadn’t done it yet, or I hadn’t done enough and I was just putting myself down and not appreciating the efforts I had put in.
I realised you can’t expect others to take you seriously if you don’t value your own efforts, and as soon as I changed my mindset and treated my blog like I was already running a successful business, I had a lot more success and reached some major milestones that I’d been aiming for for ages!
7. Build an email list.
Building an email list is a game changer! As soon as I started using ConvertKit for my email service provider and focused my attention on building a list, my business really started to kick off.
Having an email list is the best way to communicate with your followers, the best way to build a connection with your audience, the best way to understand what they want from you, and overall one of the most effective ways to earn money online! Plus, your email subscribers are 15x more likely to purchase from you than your social media followers, so if you’re looking to turn your blog into an online business, an email list is the place to start!
Don't know how to start an email list? Or struggling to get people to signup? Click here to download my free No List to Pro List workbook, it will help you launch your email list and get your first 1000 email subscribers!
8. Try and find inspiration outside of what other bloggers are doing.
I highly recommend you try and find inspiration outside of what other bloggers are doing. It’s easy to fall into the trap of copying other bloggers in your niche, but the problem so many people do this and there ends up being hundreds of blog posts with the same regurgitated information.
There’s nothing unique, different or valuable about that. If you copy other bloggers, there’s no reason for people to come back and read your blog, because it doesn’t stand out from the rest! If you're struggling with inspiration I recommend you focus on your audience and helping them. Every question your audience has on your niche could be turned into a blog post!
Still struggling with this? Check out my post on how to stand out in an oversaturated market.
9. If you want to earn money blogging, then monetise your site from the start.
I keep reading everywhere that new bloggers shouldn’t monetise their site until they are more established and have x number of followers or monthly views, but I have to say I disagree with this.
If you want to earn money from your blog, I think you should start monetising it from the very first post. Not only will this make your blog look more professional, but it will also get you where you want to go quicker! If you’ve started a blog as a way to earn some extra money, there’s no point spending months blogging and purposefully not making any money! If you know where you want to go, then set yourself goals and starting working towards them straight away!
You can apply for affiliate networks and start earning money through referrals, you don’t need a massive audience to this! Affiliate links can be added into posts as soon as you launch your blog. In fact you're actually better off adding them in from the start, or you’ll have to go back and add them in in the future!
If you’re wanting to create and sell your own digital products through your blog, I recommend you start working on this straight away as well. You can work on creating a product as you build your audience, as opposed to once you’ve “build one”, like most people suggest. I mean, if you have 10 followers then that’s 10 people that might be interested in what you have to offer, so don’t hold yourself back because you think it’s too soon!
10. Be consistent.
And finally my last piece of advice is to be consistent. I can’t really stress how important this one is!
The number one reason why blogs fail is because people don’t blog consistently, and their readers lose interest! If you want to be successful you have to be on it and posting regularly.
Staying consistent is always the hardest part, but there are ways you can make it easier on yourself...
I recommend you plan your content in advance. Write your blog posts ahead of time and schedule them for the following month, that way you're never rushing to meet a deadline and if something comes up and you find yourself too busy to blog, you don’t have to worry because you’re content is already scheduled!
I hope you found this post helpful! Leave a comment below letting me know what you think.