So you have decided to get into the rapidly expanding world of blogging. Good for you! Blogging opens many doors and offers some incredible opportunities to those willing to put in the work. And boy, is it a lot of work! To help you get your new hobby off to a flying start, and maybe even transition it into a successful side hustle, here are Six Blogging Tips for Beginners.
Before we started blogging, I had always read about how much time and effort is required. “Yeah yeah” I thought, “there are so many people bragging about working 1 hour a week. It can’t be that hard.” Well as far as I am concerned, those people are liars. Blogging is an incredibly time-consuming and hair-tearing hobby that, if you are solely in it for the money, you will not succeed. Getting your blog off the ground takes a lot of time, effort and passion, so be prepared for some late nights and early mornings!
1) Start Early Before You Travel
One of our best decisions when it comes to our blog, was how early we decided to start it. Growing an audience and setting your blog up takes an incredible amount of time and effort. Luckily, our initial decision to start blogging was because of how many incredible experiences we have already had. We felt we just had to share all of these, as well as the tips and tricks we learnt from them. We therefore decided to start blogging as a side hobby while we worked full-time to save for our travels. This allowed us to build the highly engaging community that we currently have before we become too busy enjoying our adventure.
2) Engagement NOT Numbers
The biggest realisation we have had recently, is the importance (or here lack of) when it comes to the raw number of your followers. Being a blogger is all about influencing others and spreading your opinion through the web. In order to do this, people need to actually read your work, not just follow you and ignore everything you say. It is therefore much more important to have an intimate, highly engaging community than a huge audience that don’t care about you or your work.
This realisation came to us after our Instagram account grew to over 5000 followers, yet the engagement was as low as it had been when we have half of that. We realised that although we were growing in numbers, most of our audience weren’t engaged in what we were putting out there. This meant that all of our effort to encourage people to our blog was going to waste as it was aimed at the wrong people.
Our advice for anyone starting out would be to develop an audience of people who are interested in your work and are highly engaging, rather than a stagnant audience with no participation. This requires patience, as well as plenty of networking on other peoples posts and in support groups.
3) Support Groups
A side of the blogging community, that until recently remained undiscovered by us, are support and engagement groups on Facebook and Twitter. These aim to to bring together likeminded bloggers and encourage increased interaction, engagement and support. We recommend getting involved in these ASAP to starting your blog, as they provide a way of networking with experienced bloggers that do not seem possible. They can also generate engagement in your work or on social media posts, all of which helps to generate further, organic engagement by your followers.
We discovered this side of blogging only one month ago and our engagement, site traffic and community has exploded. In addition to this, the amount of priceless knowledge and inspiration that we have gained from experience and supportive bloggers is incredible! Our favourite Facebook groups at the moment are
- Tribe of the Travel Bloggers
- Travel + Lifestyle Bloggers
- Bloggers Support
- Support for Travel Bloggers
4) Our Favourite Platforms and Why
As a blogger, social media provides you with a way of promoting all of your own work for free. This can encourage people to click on your website and read your work. As well as this, it is the perfect place to network with other like-minded people. Optimising your use of social media is crucial to driving valuable traffic to your website and growing your community.
When it comes to social media as a beginner blogger, deciding what platform to use is an overwhelming thing. My best advice is to focus on one platform and build from there. My first mistake was producing a profile and every platform I could think of and then becoming overwhelmed with what to do on each one. The better decision would be to choose one and focus on it until you become comfortable with what you are doing and then choose another to build.
We are currently spread across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, and our developing platform is Youtube. Once we master this platform we can then move onto something different. Drop by, say hi and follow us if you aren’t already!
5) Scheduling Assistants
Another recent, lifesaving discovery we made was the existence of social media scheduling apps. These allow you to optimise your time spent on promoting your work, and spend more time networking or creating new content. Through using this technology, we were able to spread our presence across more social platforms and grow our audience without spending more time than before.
Our favourite scheduling apps just now are
- Later for Instagram
- This app allows you to upload a bank of photographs that can then be remotely accessed to schedule posts. This means if you do not have your phone you can still log into your account and access the photos.
- It also allows you to save hashtag templates to add to posts quickly and easily.
- The downside of this app is it does not automatically post to Instagram. This is annoying if you are somewhere with no internet connection, as you cannot remotely post.
- Buffer for Twitter
- Using the free service, you can schedule up to 10 posts in advance for your twitter account.
- There is also the option for Facebook, however we had problems with it not showing our featured image.
- Facebook Scheduling Assistant
- On your Facebook page you have an option to schedule posts for the future.
- You can schedule an unlimited number of posts, all of which will remotely post regardless of your internet connection. This makes adventures to places with low internet connection a lot less stressful.
6) Photo Design for your Blog
Studies have shown that the engagement of your post can be greatly increased by the inclusion of a memorable picture. This also goes for your social platforms, tweets with pictures receive 150% more retweets, 89% more likes and 18% more click throughs. Creating the perfect picture is therefore incredibly important for your blog.
Our go to site for picture production is Canva. This free service offers an easy interface for producing pictures suitable for a wide range of tasks. The preset dimensions give you the best frame for different social platforms and the free designs provide a great way of mixing up your website.
So those are the tips that we have learnt in our short time in the blogosphere, and are ones we definitely wished we had known before. If you can think of any others, drop them in the comments below! Thanks for stopping by and make sure you check out our other handy tips. Also follow us on our socials and see what we are currently up to!
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