Tips for Beginning Bloggers

Hello, hello. Happy Wednesday!

As of late, I’ve been really working on owning the “blogger” part of my life and personality.

I added it to a few bios, brought it up in conversation with new people, and gotten back in the hang of taking photos with the disclaimer, “It’s for my blog!”

It’s a good feeling. Lately I have read a lot of posts along the lines of “I was struggling with my blog for awhile, but I’ve since taken a break (or stepped back or changed topics) and am feeling more confident about what I’m making in my life and sharing on my blog.”

Me, too.

Sometimes I try really hard to get back into my mindset before I was a blogger, when I was just an avid blog reader. What made blogs something I just couldn’t get enough of?

The answer I keep coming back to is connection. Human connection. It’s fun to know that other people struggle (whether it’s with the same things I do or different things). Or that they’ve learned something cool and can teach it to me. Or that they’ve found and shared a bit of beauty when I’m stuck staring at the four walls of my cubicle.

Little glimpses into the lives of others paired with a dialog and a conversation (albeit in a digital sense) has kept me coming back to read blogs for years.

Once you’re “on the other side” of the story and doing the sharing, blogging can get a lot more complex. There are a lot of opinions out there telling you which way is up and which is down, which is wrong and which is right. So naturally, you seek out the advice of people who have been there, done that.

Whenever anyone asks me for advice on blogging, I tend to come back to a handful of truths and encouragement that I would have loved to have heard when I was starting out (about 2 years ago now, whoa).

So if you’re out there, new to the “blogger” side of the equation, this list is for you.

All Things E

Encouragement + Tips for Beginning Bloggers:

  1. Live a life worth blogging about. Lead an interesting and adventurous life filled with colorful people and you’ll never run out of blog post ideas.
  2. Don’t feel like you have to follow any rules. The beauty of a blog is that you can do whatever you want with it. Take all advice (including this advice) with a grain of salt and DO YOU.
  3. Simple is usually better. In blogging, and in life. Use normal, everyday words. Choose simple images, easy-to-read fonts, complimentary colors. Make your words stand out.
  4. You don’t have to blog every day. Or even multiple times per week. I took a bit of a hiatus this summer and my readers haven’t completely abandoned me. Life happens.
  5. Make ‘Internet friends.’ Connect with other bloggers (I’ve found Twitter and the blog comment section to be best for this). Your real life friends might make fun of you, but it’s whatev.
  6. Good things come with time. Very few (read: no) blogs were awesome from the start. Practice makes perfect. There is no “success” in blogging. Go at your own pace.
  7. Great things happen when you make the first move & talk to other people. I’ve learned that you get what you ASK for in life. Start asking.
  8. Write the blog you want to read. Chances are, someone else is looking for the same type of blog you are. Write it for the both of you.
  9. Everyone just wants to relate. There’s a special magic in “me too.” Don’t shy away from sharing the less-than-perfect parts of your life (remember when I wrote about the obstacles of single life? Or dealing with painful grief? Or how hard it is to make friends? Those are my most popular posts.)
  10. Have FUN. Try new stuff. Get overly excited about seasons. Bring your zest for life to your online space. People like that shit.

This list was pretty closely adapted from a list I put together for my Resources page. You can check that out, right over here.

Tell me in the comments: what’s the best piece of blogging advice you’ve ever gotten?

xoxo -E

P.S. Things About Blogging That Bloggers Have No Idea Are Things // Blogging: The Numbers Game // On Blogging Confidence

62 Comments

  • These are great tips, and I appreciate you pointing out that it takes TIME. No blog is going to be perfect and beautiful from the start, and honestly – I think all blogs are a work in process. I saw a quote yesterday that “another blogger’s success is not your failure” and I think that’s really important to remember, because I know that at least I am constantly comparing my blog to others that I feel are doing so much better than me

    • Erika says:

      I concur – ALL blogs are a work in progress. I’d add also that the more we support one another and celebrate one another’s successes, the better off we all are! 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    I think that there’s some great advice here, and none of it revolves around taking on sponsors and doing promotion. While some may do really well with that, a lot of readers get turned off by the less-than-blogger-written posts. What I’ve found is that most people do want to interact and letting people know it’s okay to make the first move is a really good piece of advice.

    • Erika says:

      Thanks Kristen! I really think sponsors and promotion are something that should come much later in a blogging endeavor (and that most of it is poorly done and on it’s way out). I’m glad you found this helpful! There is SO MUCH more to blogging than sponsorship and promotion so I wanted to make sure to note that! 🙂

      • Kristen says:

        It comes off as THE THING you have to do, you know? So a little ways back I decided to rid my sidebar of ads altogether and I love just writing for me. The only thing I keep wishing for is more comments! So I’m trying to be better about commenting on what I read as well.

        • Erika says:

          It does seem to be popular, but I also know a lot of bloggers that have gone down the sponsorship road and quickly backed out (I am one of those bloggers). It sounds like a nice revenue stream… but it’s actually a huge headache. Whenever other bloggers ask me about sponsorship, I tend to caution against it. I know a handful of bloggers that do it well, but on a whole, it’s not really sustainable, in my opinion. Glad to hear you’re working on commenting more though, I think that’s one of the best parts of blogging and often wish I had more time to comment on all of the posts I read!

  • What a lovely list of practical, simple tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is so great…pinning it! 😉

    • Erika says:

      Thanks so much Amy!

  • EncoreVoyage says:

    Once again, this is just what I needed to hear today. I am very, very new to this whole blogging deal. Not really sure what I’m doing, but wanted to give it a try anyway. I’m not in it for money, or sponsors, or any of that…just wanted to share what we’re learning. Your post today makes me feel like I CAN do this – that if I just keep moving forward, readers will come. Thanks!

    Lynn

    • Erika says:

      So glad to hear, Lynn!

      Quick suggestion – add your URL to your Disqus profile so that others can find your blog through your comments. If you click on your photo, you should be able to edit your profile to include your link. 🙂 I’d love to check out your blog!

      • Lynn Jeffers says:

        Thanks again! You’re so sweet! I didn’t even know I hadn’t already done that! Told ya…I’m a newbs! I do love your blog – you have lots of beautiful things to share!

  • This is all great tips. I really thought I needed to blog everyday and would stress out. Now I haven’t blogged in almost a week and a half.m

    • Erika says:

      To be honest, there are no blogs that I read everyday. So my logic is “why bother writing every day if I can’t even show up to read everyday?!” I also used to have a lot of blog-related stress, but removing the pressure of a posting “schedule” (and completely bowing out of the sponsorship game) alleviated a lot of it.

  • I love this list. I’ve been blogging on and off for almost 7 years now, on different sites, for different businesses, and different reasons. The times I’m enjoying it the most are when the acts of writing and sharing are my main intentions. I think that is a huge bit to really understand, especially with all the voices of others that are telling you how do it, like you mentioned; you’ve got to enjoy blogging for the sake of blogging before anything else. I bet some new bloggers will realllllly appreciate this list, and thanks for the reminders to us who’ve been at it a while.

    • Erika says:

      Oh wow, 7 years! That’s awesome and impressive. It’s such a fulfilling hobby. I’ve seen a few people say things like “Blogs are going out. Social media is just going to take over” but I really don’t forsee that simply because of what you said in this comment – “The times I’m enjoying it most are when the acts of writing and sharing are my main intentions.”

      That’s what blogging is all about. xox

  • Love this!! I haven’t quite reached a year yet in blogging and it has had it’s up and downs in terms of my confidence in what I’m doing and direction. I guess I would say it just takes time and don’t take to heart to much of the “rules”. I think write for yourself is also good advice, don’t over think it 🙂

    • Erika says:

      I have to say that the ups and downs in confidence don’t really go away, from my experience (I’m 2 years in now). I had a bit of a confidence crisis this summer after taking a little bit of a break – for some reason everything I wrote did seem “good enough” to come back with. In hindsight, I’m like… dude, what does “good enough” even MEAN in blogging? It’s a weird mental game we play with blogging, but I love it!

      • Too true….I always say blogging is weird 🙂 It is such a weird mental game, and very contradicting at times. For example, I do this for myself but I also want followers and to grow. I guess it can be hard to define since it is extremely defined by the blogger but exists in such a public format; especially for lifestyle/personal blogs. I think at the end of the day it is about what feels right to you and blocking the rest of the noise (self-inflicted or otherwise) 🙂

  • Ashley C. says:

    A quote I have to remind myself of every now and then, “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”. I feel it’s so easy to get wrapped up in what X blogger is doing, or how big Y blogger’s following is, but everyone has to start somewhere! Be consistent and stay true to yourself. That’s important.

    Great advice for beginners 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I love that quote! I heard that a while ago (I think from my dad), and it’s stuck with me. Everyone started out at the beginning, and that’s easy to forget but something we need to remember!

  • Jamie Cathie says:

    Great reminders, Erika! <3 🙂 When I first began my blog I was over-thinking it way too much, which resulted in choosing a blogging direction I didn't really want to go in. These tips you advice all lead back to the one's that blogging in the first place… It all has to come from the heart, pure, honest, and filled with love and passion! That's what I now know, and do in everyday life as well. 🙂

    • Erika says:

      You are so right. The posts that come from the heart are always the best, most well-received and enjoyable to write. I think over-thinking is a very common “new blogger blunder.” It’s like you start the blog, then you go, “WHOA, I need to know and do ALL THE THINGS.” and you go crazy. I definitely did that.

  • Hi E! I often get fed up with no one engaging with my lifestyle posts (but I do desperately love to write them). Melyssa from the nectar collective advised that I should connect more with other lifestyle bloggers. Love it! xo Jessika, http://www.jessclassy.com

    • Erika says:

      That’s a great tip (Melyssa is so wise, isn’t she?!). I’ll be sure to check out your blog! 🙂

  • So… I do also pull out the “it’s for my blog!” when I get caught taking photos of whatever I’m doing… but I usually say it apologetically. Or, like, “I know this is absurd. I am in on the absurdity of this situation.” I need to own it! These tips will definitely help me own it. I need to remember these when I’m feeling ironic about my blogging!

    • Erika says:

      Haha I also say things like the absurdity comment. Last night it was “I know I’m being ridiculous, okay. I know. It is what it is.” Hehehe the off-chance that I get an awesome photo out of it is worthwhile!

  • Erin says:

    Love this! Even as someone who’s been blogging for gosh… 3 years?? It’s a good reminder to just keep doing what I want to do, not doing things because blogging rules say so!

    • Erika says:

      Right on. I probably could have just posted this image and really big text that said “JUST DO YOU, BABE.” and gone on my way with this post, haha.

  • Amanda says:

    I think #4 is huge for me. I never started out blogging every day anyway, but as I am exposed to more and more “tips on blogging,” so many of the big bloggers talk about blogging every day to keep readership. That is just so stressful! Being free to not blog every day keeps blogging fun even after 4.5 years!

    • Erika says:

      So with you! I’d rather post something valuable than be there everyday. I once tried a month-long “blog everyday” challenge and it got to the point where I was throwing up a picture and a few sentences and calling it a “post.” NOPE, not for me. I’m pretty pleased with myself when I show up here 3 times per week (though lately I average 1-2, which is FINE). Gotta have a life beyond the blog, ya know?

      Happy Friday!

  • I’ve just started my blog over on lifeassummer.com, and I found it quite hard to get started, as I was sharing some personal things. My Father passed away, and my Fiancé is now an amputee due to meningitis. I was sharing my life so others can see that no matter what you go through, you make your life what it is. I then stood back and questioned if this is what people will want to read, but you’re right in saying write a blog that you would love to read.

    I want my blog to be a record of events, and proof that I have lived as a true human in this world. This post has really inspired me to keep going, so thank you. I hope you are well, and what can I say, your blog is beautiful.

    • Jamie Cathie says:

      I just read your blog post about your fiancé, Summer. Gosh, it touched my heart on a whole other level. It’s intense, it’s personal, it’s raw, in all it’s honesty and purity. Thank you for sharing that. It shows so much strength, hope, and love. I wish you and Jacob all the best <3 🙂

    • Erika says:

      Hi Summer – when I read this comment on Friday (on my phone so I couldn’t reply!), it brought tears to my eyes. You are so so brave and I promise you that you sharing your story will uplift others (and in the process, help yourself more than you can imagine).

      Thank you sharing, I look forward to reading along with your blog! xox

  • Venus "Goddiss" Walton says:

    I’ve recently started my blog (again) at Goddiss.wordpress.com and Number 1 stuck out to me like a sore thumb. Why? Because I always think I’m living a boring life. I figured if I could help myself live a more exciting life then I could help others as well. At least that’s my goal….Today:)

    • Erika says:

      Great goal! Life can be super boring and uninteresting if you’re not intentional about making it less so – that’s why I started this blog! 🙂

  • Great advice that I will be sharing with a good friend looking to begin blogging 🙂

    • Erika says:

      Awesome! Thanks Shane, hope it helps them! 🙂

  • […] will see, or it’ll be awesome and no one will see) (the things that keep me up at night). I read 2 tips that really resonated with me: be the blog that you want to read, and live a life worth […]

  • Constance says:

    I just found this post on bloglovin’ (I’m new on the scene) and I just love it!! I took a blogging break this summer as well to figure out the overall direction of my blog. I decided get back into blogging by blogging what is near and dear to me!! I love photography and nature and travel and expat-life, so my blog has a little bit of everything.

  • Jess @ inpursuitofsimple.com says:

    I love “make internet friends” and not feeling like you have to follow any rules. Trying to do what people THINK you should be doing on your blog is a great way to lose track of why you started in the first place.

  • gofrockyourselfblog.blogspot says:

    I really love the “Live a life worth blogging about” advice!

  • […] Tips for Beginning Bloggers […]

  • […] A few things that I put onto my list of ways to use these strengths more as a blogger were sharing more informational articles on Twitter again (I used to do well at this but have gotten lazy) and writing more helpful and/or technical articles on this blog for other bloggers to benefit from (like this one and this one). […]

  • Haley Bohon says:

    Just found this via Pinterest…love it! Especially a fan of the “write the blog you want to read.” So good to have in the back of my mind!

  • tetched1963 says:

    Thanks for the great advise. As a newbie blogger it’s intimidating. But I jumped off the cliff and started a blog at http://www.troywilliams.us . It’s definitely a work in progress.

  • Lindsay says:

    So simple yet some of the best advice I’ve seen yet!

    • Erika says:

      Thanks Lindsay! Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  • ThaliaStefania says:

    I simply love your blog! Its fun, its helpful, its sooo cool. jaja I feel like I just made a friend + the best advice I’ve seen you’ve really inspired me to just go ahead and publish my blog. Thanks!

    • Erika says:

      Aw, thank you! So nice to hear that. And YES! Go publish that blog! 🙂

  • […] P.P.S. How to Talk About Your Blog in Real Life // Blogging: The Numbers Game // Top Tips for Beginning Bloggers […]

  • Cindy Prindle says:

    I love #2, Do YOU! I’m sort of new to blogging, beginning again I guess you might call it. I tried a couple of years ago, and even tho my subject was my passion, (horses) I got bored with it. There are too many good horse blogs out there already. So this time I’m making it about what I am, a stay at home grandma who loves to cook, garden, can, preserve etc, and I’m willing to teach others!

  • Deborah Cicurel says:

    Hey! I love these tips. I’ve just started a new blog and I’ll definitely keep all this advice in mind!

    http://www.theyounglondoner.com

  • MandyonDuty.com says:

    Thanks for the advice. Very helpful!

  • mcsharry4 says:

    I appreciate this stuff. Still at the point where traffic is extremely low but i’m ploughing on I guess!

  • […] Tips for beginning bloggers– by All Things E […]

  • Love this. I have been working on improving my blog and getting it noticed. This sure will help! Thank you for the useful tips !!

  • Sue Gordon says:

    I too agree, the tips in this article helped me learn about how to handle starting my blog, Create Me 365. Since you are experienced I this, do you know a good blog that fits the niche active independent artsy type? I’m have trouble locating good ones, because of multiple meanings for words that describe elderly. Thanks for a y help.

  • Great tips, I thought starting out that I had to blog 5 times a week and the content was not as good as when I wrote 3 times a week. The greatest advice was commenting and connecting with other bloggers.

  • […] Tips For Beginning Bloggers: All Things E Blog […]

  • Cassie says:

    Thanks for these tips. Sometimes when you blog you think you have to follow a set of rules. I love your take on blogging.

  • Great tips! Are there specific places where you would recommend connecting with people? I’ve tried Instagram and Twitter but both have never seemed to materialize into new blogger friends or even increased traffic.

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