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Blog Tips

5 Tips For New Bloggers

By Feb 20, 201551 Comments

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Once upon a time ago, I was a new blogger, completely wet behind the ears. Back then, I honestly didn’t know the fine details that comprised what being a blogger meant or entailed.

I always loved to write, and when I first started, I thought it was all about the writing and the writing only. Don’t get me wrong, writing is still a huge part of it. You should definitely know the written language and grammar thoroughly. But as much as I did love to write, I never could have imagined what kind of joy that writing online on my very own blog could bring me. Nor could I imagine what frustrations and pitfalls may await me.

I truly wish that I had a manual to dispense years worth of wisdom of what was to come, or a crystal ball even. I hope that I can pay it forward with these tips for new bloggers as I share some of the lessons I have learned over the the last few years of blogging.

Started a blog and wondering "Now what?" You aren't alone! Our 5 tips for new bloggers will help you answer that question and get you headed in the right direction.

5 Tips for New Bloggers

1. Networking Is Key for Bloggers

If there is one piece of advice that you leave here with from reading this article, I hope it is to network as much as possible.  Blogging is all about the connections you can and will make. There are a sea of bloggers in all niches, and you can’t blog in a fish bowl of one.

In order to succeed, you need to venture away from your own blog by reading, commenting, and even sharing (using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more) other blogs in your niche.

Don’t get me wrong, bloggers need to write great, original content first and foremost, but without reaching out to others in your similar blogging world, not many will be reading this great material you do write.

I can tell you from personal experience, even many years in for myself, I am constantly networking and meeting new bloggers each and every week, which helps keep my work not only read by my faithful readers, but new readers, as well.

Networking is integral to succeeding in the blogging world.

2. Choose the Right Blog Platform For Your Blog

I know this one is easier said then done, but you need to educate yourself a bit before getting too heavily involved with blogging on the different blogging platforms available.

I started out on Blogger, quickly switched to WordPress.com, which were both free blogging platforms. I didn’t last long on either of these platforms before realizing I wanted to seriously blog.

So, I made one last switch (where I have stayed for over 3 years) to self-host (using WordPress software) my own blog. The reasons to self-host are limitless, but the biggest reason for those who self-host is to have full control over all aspects of your blog, including content (owning your own writing), design and themes (mobile-friendly responsive themes are huge right now as many will read your blog on their smartphones or tablets), and even plugins (there are millions, including ones to help share your content, such as Click To Tweet & Co-Schedule).

Trust me, it is better to self-host earlier rather then later. You can switch anytime, but it is more time consuming and difficult when you have amassed many blog articles and subscribers.

Hosting your own blog does incur some initial and annual costs, such as hosting and domain name services (owning your own blog name without wordpress or blogspot in the web address). So if you aren’t sure how serious you are, you can transfer your content later; I actually do this professionally for clients. The decision is yours and yours only in the end, but just make sure you know what each platform has to offer before you get too comfortable where you are blogging.

3. Learn To Be Blog Maintenance And Tech Saavy

Once you are blogging for a bit, it won’t take long for you to realize that as much as you love to write, you also need to know how to fix minor or even major issues on your blog, as well as maintain your blog. Many, like myself, will learn as time goes on how to deal with the basics and sometimes more technically advanced blogging challenges, as well.

But still others may continue to struggle or just not have the time or patience to learn. I can tell you that with blogging comes the need to be able to maintain and even fix blog technical issues. If you can’t learn or don’t want to, then you will need to make sure you have funds set aside to hire someone who can step in when these issues do arise, because trust me, they will.

When I was a little over a month into blogging, my theme was updated and my whole background where my article text should have been seen was now showing the lovely brown background that was only supposed to be seen in the border area of my blog.  I had no clue how to even begin to go about fixing this and was totally frazzled.  I did some research, and realized that the theme update held the issue, and I needed to switch themes, but I spent hours before I hit upon that solution.

I had other issues as I went along, too, but I was willing and happy to learn by trial. If I hadn’t been willing to learn though, I would have needed to hire someone.

4. Images are essential and possibly just as important as what you write

Nothing is worse then opening up an article that sounds promising by the title, only to not find any images/graphics that can be pinned or ones that don’t fit with the actual topic. Even worse? Finding images they don’t have the rights to use.

Here is the thing, it goes against copyright laws to just Google a topic and swipe a photo you think could work for an article you wrote when you don’t have permission to use it from the original photographer or creator.

That being said, you will want to invest in a descent camera to capture your own images to use for your blog articles. At the very least, a point and shoot camera will do the trick. Many Smartphones (the latest Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy particularly) have amazing cameras and editing software apps, so they are becoming a great alternative, as well, but nothing truly replaces the good, old DSLR.

You may also want to invest in online editing software, such as PicMonkey or subscribe to Photoshop to learn how to use image editing to your full potential, because these are truly helpful in making your article images stand out and get noticed.

5. Walk Away When You Need A Break

Trust me, no matter how much you love to write and be a blogger, there will come a moment when you might question it all or just feel that you don’t have anything to say because you are suffering from a bout of writer’s block.

I have been there.

I even wrote a whole article on writer’s block, because I have dealt with this myself on few occasions in the past few years, even in the last month.

I did exactly what I am about to share with you here: Walk away from your blog and just live your life.

I swear to you, each and every time I have stepped back, something happens and I am immediately taken over and possessed by the writing bug.

The latest time this happened to me, I found myself writing my whole article on my iPhone notepad during the earliest morning hours when I could finally put it all into words in my quiet home while everyone in my family were finally sleeping. It was just oozing out of me. I couldn’t contain myself, and I was drawn back in once again to all I love about blogging.

So, when all else fails, remember you blog because you love to write and it is just who you are – the rest will fall into place.

About Janine Huldie

Janine is a published author of the books, The Mother of All Meltdowns and Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, Mamapedia, Today Parenting Team and SheKnows. She also writes at Confessions of A Mommyaholic, as well as running her own graphic design company at J9 Designs. She's busy with two beautiful, zany, energetic daughters and a husband, but still trying (key word) to keep it all in perspective by attempting to make the days and nights a little bit brighter. Find Janine, also, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

51 Comments

  • Divankar says:

    Hey Sir , thanks for this article . this is really good article for new blogger and i really appreciate your work . and i follow your instructions thanks a lot.

  • Thank you! These are tips I haven’t heard before. I’m very new at this but determined to be successful. Anyone please feel free to head on over and critique me!

    sunshinemomma.weebly.com

  • Wonderful tips! Thank you for sharing them with all of us. It’s helpful to have just 5 things to focus on as we all know blogging can be overwhelming. I especially agree with networking, although time consuming, it is wonderful to meet others in our niche and also learn from them. Plus they create great content that is motivating and even helpful. Thanks again!

  • Sinea Pies says:

    Janine, what a great post! Excellent advice.

    I started on and have stayed on Blogger. Though I have toyed with the idea of swtiching, I have found some very successful blogs that have national recognition that have stayed on Blogger (Skinnytaste and IHeart Organizing are two of them) so it gave me peace of mind that I didn’t HAVE to switch to WordPress if I didn’t want to.

    • Sinea, I love hearing that you have had success on Blogger and do think Blogger has great opportunities for many who use it. I just happen to love WordPress a bit more and just my personal preference from my own experience. But still glad to know this and truly so happy to hear this 🙂

  • Lauren Downs says:

    Thank you for this post. I actually read it right before I started putting my blog together. I spent a lot more time researching what I needed to know and even learned how to write a little html code! Thank you very much, I am wanting to reach out and meet more bloggers (just like you said we should!) So feel free to come check out my blog http://www.mathmomwithablog.com and let me know what you think!

  • For me, the hardest thing is the walk away part.

  • Chris says:

    I am new to the world of blogging, but I am so excited to be here. I realize that I have so much to learn and, honestly I think that is part of the fun. Thank you so much for these tips, they are very helpful.

    Chris

  • Reelika says:

    Great post and advice! I am quite a new blogger myself and I have to admit, it took a long time to set up the blog, design and educating myself. I think the good thing was that I really Googled a lot before starting a blog. I guess I spent few months about reading how to start a blog, and then I took an online course that showed me exactly how. However, even after that I have to keep educating myself how to maintain it and how to keep everything under control and running. It is not as easy as most people are saying “anybody can blog”! But it is fun and once used to it, life is great 🙂

    • Reelika, I love that you did research before and even took a blogging course, as it does sound like this has indeed helped you be better prepared. Thank you so much for sharing this with me 😉

  • Lisa says:

    I am new to the blogging world and like life I have a lot to learn. Thanks for the helpful information!

  • Great tips Janine, as always!

  • Ashton W. says:

    Great post! Thanks for recommending click-to-tweet; we appreciate it!

  • Great, easy to digest tips, Janine! Being a new blogger myself I really appreciate when more experienced bloggers take the time to share what they’ve already learned along the way … so thank you! Also glad to see that I am doing the things you mentioned above. I prefer using stock photos, btw, and have found a really affordable and high quality solution through dollarphotoclub.com.

    • Jill, thank you for sharing about dollarphoto.com as I have been meaning to look into it better and now after hearing this am definitely going to.

  • Janine: Excellent suggestions..However when I have a problem in techy dept or design I call my favorite fixer upper to take care..you of course. I am going to get back into blogging and also finishing up a series of books. Will let you know when ready to put the books on my site. Thanks for all your great work and support.

  • Diane Roark says:

    Janine,

    You know I love your tips. They are always so practical. I have made many changes on both my blog Recipes for our Daily Bread and Our American Travels since the beginning of this year. Just this week, I found a great plugin for comment replies but I cannot get it to work. I have cried and cried about it. The people who made the plugin have been so very helpful. They have emailed me at least 10 times in two days. It is not working yet. It has a lot to do with having 3 different emails and everything is set up on a different email. I highly suggest when you start blogging to get an email with your blog name in it and stick to it. As for me, I am not giving up on this plugin. Which is another thing I have learned while blogging, never quit. Everything will eventually work out. I totally agree it helps to have a network of blogger friends who help each other make it through difficult blogging times.

    Thanks again for sharing all your valuable tips!!
    Blessings,
    Diane Roark

    • Diane, you said a mouthful and love that you are giving up on this and stay the course. I also give the plugin creators tons of credit for helping you, as I have found many to wonderful and others not so much. My pleasure in sharing and thank you, too!! 🙂

  • WONDERFUL post Janine, as always. They are very lucky to have you guest post! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

  • Pam says:

    Great tips! My current blog has been through so many visual changes over the last few years, and I’ve recently returned from a prolonged break. I’ve been on Blogger for so long now, that the thought of moving exhausts me! (I had a little craft blog on Blogger before my current one.) I remember that when I first started blogging, my thoughts came more freely and easily, because I didn’t really think many people were reading, and as I gathered readers, I got a little more self conscious! But that faded.

    • Pam, I know in the beginning I was totally unsure, too and sometimes even I still have my moments as to what I am writing and sharing hoping that it will resonate with others. Thank you so much for sharing with me today! 😉

  • Echo says:

    Awesome tips, Janine! Wish I had known them when I started!

  • mickle says:

    amazing tips , thank you

  • Tara Newman says:

    #1!!! And I would say to have fun finding your voice. I was really uptight about every word I put out there in the beginning. Also, learn how to format and break up text to make it easier to read.

  • Wendy Wisner says:

    Great article, Janine! You’re so generous with your knowledge!

  • Excellent advice here. I learned the hard way to follow these rules.

  • Thanks for the great tips. When I started blogging four years ago I really did it with little knowledge and just jumped and learned along the way!!

    I totally agree with you that blogging is all about connections. And it’s one thing that I love most about it, I have met the most amazing people through my blog and have gotten opportunities that I never dreamed of when I first started. Plus, there is so much amazing content being created! Thanks again!

    • Kathy, I know between the connections and the content, I truly feel blessed with all that blogging has brought my way, too (especially our friendship!).

  • Great tips, I love these articles 🙂

  • Nancy Man says:

    #4 makes me kinda sad, but it’s so true. These days images probably *are* more important than what you write, especially for blogs in high-competition niches — cooking blogs, fashion blogs, fitness blogs, travel blogs, DIY blogs, etc.

    • Nancy, I know images are really key and really does make an article that much more compelling to have high quality images that are your own in your articles.

  • Great tips & so useful article 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us!