Blogging Advice for Beginners from a Beginner

So, you’re thinking about starting a blog, eh? Or you just started one and you’re wondering why no one has commented on your first post yet because YOU know it was freaking amazing! Do you keep checking your blogs main page to see if it looks good and get excited when you see you have 20 page views then put two and two together and realize it was just you (and probably your Mother) checking it out?! Yeah, I did the exact same things too and I’m not afraid to admit it, I knew NOTHING when I started. I saw the Pioneer Woman and just KNEW I could do that and be just like her. There couldn’t be THAT many food blogs (or craft blogs, or DIY blogs, or mommy blogs, or money saving blogs, etc.) out there, I will get noticed! WRONG. Now, I am definitely not claiming to have all the answers let’s get that straight right away. I’ve been doing this blogging thing for almost a year now and I do think I’ve learned a thing or two. But I am still learning every day! I am going to tell you some things that are good to know if you are thinking of starting a blog or have just started one. Things I wish I would have read about or checked into more before I started! Here it is, my blogging advice:Blogging Advice for Beginners from a Beginner

People are NOT going to check out your blog unless you have set up social media accounts.

Before you get started writing ANYTHING set up your blogs name on all the top social media sites. And make sure when adding those cute social media buttons on your sidebar that they DO work and they are easy to find on your site. The biggest peeve I have is when I’m trying to follow you and I can’t find your social media icons. No matter what you think, you are blogging for others. Unless you have a password protected blog you want others validation. If not why would you want to put it out there to the world? Give us a way to connect!

Β Join in on linky parties.

Linky parties are the best way to get your posts out there into the bloggy universe. You can visit my linky party directory to see all the parties I link at. That’s a lot isn’t it? I do so many because on many of them I wont get clicked on at all so the more you spread yourself out there the bigger payback you will get. And make SURE to follow each parties rules. Some hosts like you to place their link in you post, some don’t care if you link back at all. If you follow the rules the more likely you will get featured at the next party and guess what, that’s more exposure for others to see your amazing-ness.

Know your strengths and weaknesses.

Now, this one is very important and might take a little while to figure out. Your posts have to be good, really good. To get noticed. If you’re not crazy about it, no one else will be. The hardest thing I had to do was get rid of my book review posts. In my niche (I write mostly about food) people just don’t really want to know about the so, so free books I was reading (big surprise there!). And to be honest I was pretty shocked about that. I put all my energy into writing these amazing book reviews (or so I thought) and wouldn’t get one comment. But, writing about how I make the best cheeseburger in the world (and I do…) got people drooling and interested. So, you have to pick and choose what you are most passionate about and what will bring others to return again and again.

Make blogger friends.

This one is SO SO important. You HAVE to reach other to other bloggers. Now, I wouldn’t try getting in good with the bloggess or six sisters stuff because that is just a fail waiting to happen. But, when visiting the link parties or blog hops (more on that later) look for others that are similar to you. Similar in followers and niche. This will benefit both of you to grow. I was a lone blogger for a while. It was scary. I was sad and alone. With so many questions I had no one to answer them. Then along came a friend, and another and then more! It’s great having others to talk to about all this crazy stuff!! Just message someone who interests you, they won’t bite… and if they do you don’t want to be their friend anyway now do ya?!

Join blog hops.

Woah now this one is freaking awesome! And I actually just got into them, I’m not totally sure how long they have been around but they are perfect for helping you grow your followers. These parties just help bloggers connect where you follow them and they will follow you back on various social media sites. NOW, do be warned some don’t follow back. Some will even say they did and they didn’t. So, just be careful when joining these parties to make sure you get a follow in return.

Get organized.

You need a blog planner. You do. At least just something you can jot down what needs to be done that day and a few things that are coming up. Have a page where you can just write down post ideas. I have so many ideas I don’t know when I’ll get to them all and then I keep piling more on! I will never be stuck for a post because I have this by me at all times and I won’t forget that amazing idea I had a month ago!

Have fun!

The most important thing is to have fun. Don’t start a blog thinking you will be able to quit your job in 6 months. For some this might be true but for most it’s not. It takes time and a lot of persistence to grow into something others will look up to and be coming to you for advice! Imagine that! I have to be honest I wasn’t sure if I would be blogging for this long and I am just as obsessed with it as I was when I got my first comment (even though it was from once again my Mother, ahem…) as I am now.

Welp, that about sums it up I think. If I think of any additional points I will make a part 2 to this post! These are all things I wish I would have done right off the bat with my blog. I hope you learned something from this and I encourage to you email me with any questions you may have, I will answer them to the best of my ability. You can reach me at ThisSillyGirlsLife (at) aol {dot} com and as always thanks for reading!!

sillysig

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** This post will be linking up at these Linky Parties: Setting For Four: It’s Party Time, Sunday Showcase Party: Under the Table and Dreaming, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Tutorials and Tips: Home Stories A to Z, I’m Joining Kara for Look What I Made, I Gotta Create!: Wildly Original, Handy Man, Crafty Woman: Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Fine Craft Guild: Time For A Party!, Hungry Little Girl: Wednesday Extravaganza, The Shabby Creek Cottage: Transformation Thursday, Beyond the Picket Fence: Under $100 Linky Party, From My Front Porch to Yours: Treasure Hunt Thursday, 4 Little Fergusons: Weekend Potluck, House of Rose: Inspire Me Please Weekend Blog Hop, Serenity Now: Weekend Bloggy Reading, Tidy Mom: I’m Lovin’ It, French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday, See Vanessa Craft: Do Something Crafty, Whipper Berry: Friday Flair, Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special,
More the Merrier Monday504 Main
…to see the other linky parties I link to or to see all my blog party buttons please click here!**
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90 Comments at Blogging Advice for Beginners from a Beginner

  1. Hi there, Dana. Thank you so much for your experienced insight. As a new blogger {Wow, 7 months already!}, I appreciate reading all that other bloggers have to say about what works for them and things they’ve learned along the way. I know what you mean about the book reviews. They are what I am most proud of on my blog but they only receive light traffic. I’m still undecided about continuing them. Maybe I need to find a book review link party. Do you know of any?

  2. Hi Dana! Saw this post listed on the Show Off Weekend Blog Party and being a new blogger, I figured it was worth checking out. I wish I had read it 4 months ago when I started! I was slow to figure out how important it is to network with other bloggers and I’m even slower figuring out how to manage my social media networks. Your advice is spot on! New or wannabe bloggers–follow this advice!

  3. I’ve been blogging for a year (since yesterday) πŸ™‚ but I only REALLY started in March when I switched to WP and started dipping my toes into the waters of blog hops, link parties and started social media pages for my blog. And YES, that’s when things really started to pick up. My numbers are not anything to brag about yet, but I feel like I’m gaining traction and my stats are a little higher every single month. I agree with everything in this post!!!

  4. Dana, I honestly thought you had been blogging for a long time. You were one of thefirst people to befriend me, it really means a lot to reach out to someone.

    Great post!

    1. LOL, that’s such a huge compliment, thank you! Sometimes it feels like forever that I’ve been doing it but then you see the big bloggers out there and get put back in place.

  5. Hi Dana…going back to point #4, would you be my bloggy friend? lol…no really I just love this post, I bookmark post like this because it helps me improve in areas that I’m weak and mostly are a constant reminder of I’m not the only one going through issues and asking myself the same questions. …and yes..my first comment was also my moms, lol,,,and I think you wrote the introduction to this post with me in mind….oh yeah…all those page views until I discovered that Do not keep track of your own page views” option!!!
    Thank You so much for posting, keep them coming. These post become my study guide! Hugs, Lizy

  6. Found your post on Cheerios & Lattes’ Saturday Show & Tell #66. This is really great advice for new bloggers like myself. I didn’t realize how important it is to use social media and to reach out to other bloggers through link parties, etc. for your blog to be successful. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  7. I found you on the Weekend Showoff hop and as a new-ish blogger I really appreciated this post. I’m in month 4 and I constantly debate between giving it up or muddling through. You’ve got some great tips. I guess I am still looking for my strengths and my comfort zone! Thanks for sharing.

  8. These are some amazing tips πŸ™‚ I am a quite a new blogger, and just switched from wordpress.com to a selfhosted wordpress. My biggest advice would be to set up your own domain at the start. Dont wait until you get some traffic etc. Everone who has ever pinned or shared your post will be directed back to your old blog. Also it is important to comment on other people posts πŸ™‚

    1. Yup, two huge ones I missed, I knew it! LOL… with the part about the “everyone who has ever pinned or shared your post” you can actually set it so everyone gets redirected to your new domain. I personally don’t know how to do that it was done for me. So, no worries there! Commenting is huge, that is how I got my initial traffic.

  9. This is so spot on! I’ve only been blogging seriously for about four months, and the best tip I would give is make blogger friends! You are so right about needing people to talk to or vent with or share ideas. And – just as important – make sure to pay it forward when a new blogger asks you for help!
    Hooking up from the Showoff Weekend blog party. (see, they do help!)

  10. This is a great post, and really encouraging. As a brand new baby blogger (gone public 3 weeks now!) I really needed to read something like this. I am definitely trying to link up daily and comment on different blogs with the hopes of making some blogger friends. I found this off of Craft O Maniac link party and wanted to say hi!

  11. Hiya…Nice to meet you.. I’m a new follower from the show off blog hop. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for hosting, loved your post defo food for thought which I will take on board being a newbie. πŸ™‚

  12. I’m a newbie at blogging and I really need these tips. Thank you for the great post! Can you please teach me how to make those cute social media buttons on your sidebar? I’ve been trying to figure it out but I haven’t had any success.

    I’m visiting from Memories by the Mile Link Party. Hope you’re having a fantastic week!

    Ritchil
    http://chengand3kids.blogspot.com/

  13. These are all really important things that no one seems to mention because it is assumed if you blog you know to do this.
    I notice a huge difference in traffic to my site when I slack on participating in Linky Parties. I have made a personal rule for my self to visit and comment on at least 4-5 posts for every one that I share.

    Sarah M Schultz

  14. Hi Dana,

    These are great tips! From one new blogger to a newish blogger, I totally agree :). I had to do all of what you listed to get to where I’m at AND I am still learning. Can’t forget how addicting this is too :). Thanks so much for linking this up with us @ My Favorite Posts SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party!

    Jessica
    The Wondering Brain

  15. {Melinda} I’ve had two blogs over a three-year span and I can’t believe how much blogging has changed during that time period. All your tips are great ones — I’ve seen payoff from each and every one. I would emphasize that the sooner you get started with Pinterest the better. We see a TON of traffic. In fact, we see 3x as much traffic from Pinterest than FB. Never thought that would happen!

    Pinning this! πŸ™‚

  16. Thank you so much for the tips! I found you on the linky party at aglimpseinsideblog.com. My website/blog just went up a couple of weeks ago and I feel sooooo overwhelmed. I just keep trying to remember to take one step at a time. I would love it if you would visit my site and let me know what you think! http://www.amothersshadow.com

  17. Thanks for such good advice. I am now doing that. It is alot of work but I have fun doing it. I am blogging about my experience after the Joplin Missouri Tornado. Sometimes it is easy to find linkups other times not. Yet like you I love blog parties. It so cool for this to be there. I needed the encouragement. πŸ™‚

  18. Thanks so much for sharing. It is always so helpful when other bloggers share tips and encouragement from their prospective for new bloggers. I appreciate the advice and am pinning this article. There were a few suggestions I haven’t tried yet. Thanks!

  19. I would agree with all of these points! People just aren’t going to come read you unless you connect with others. And I’ve developed my own blog crushes. πŸ™‚ It took me a while to figure out just what I wanted to write about that I’m passionate — children’s development and family health. My blog is all about evolution and I believe that information is the key. Thanks for writing and sharing on my Friday Flash Blog Linky party.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution

  20. Hi Dana

    Stopping by from the Chicken Chick Blog Hop πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the great advice! I’ve been blogging on and off for a little over a year but I really want to step it up now, as I have definitely caught the blogging bug πŸ™‚

    I agree with everything you said, especially social media and linky parties, they really help! And yes, my mam was one my the first viewers too πŸ˜‰

    Shel @ Sweet Petite

  21. This has been so helpful Dana! I can presently be compared to your first paragraph.. Word for word! I felt like I was the only one suffering with beginner blog syndrome! I’m eager to try out your advice!
    A BIG thanks to you!!!

  22. Thanks for the great tips! I’ve seen blog hops around for a while. But I’ve just ignored them because I figured it was just another name for a project link party. I’ll definitely give them a looksie. I’ve only been blogging for about a month or two now and I haven’t done much at all in the way of promotion.

    Funny thing – I actually came upon your blog when I was setting up one of my sites on wordpress because I was looking for examples of the patchwork theme (it’s what I was set up on at the time). I must’ve spent an hour on your blog that day. I never bookmarked you and have been wanting to come back to your site and found you on Pinterest tonight. I will definitely be following you on social media – don’t want to lose your awesome blog again!

  23. Hi Dana – I found your blog thru a linky party and am now following your FB page πŸ™‚

    This was a very informative post! I also read part 2 and liked that one as well. I have GOT to find some more blog hops! Thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚

  24. You’ve got it darlin’. Great advice and it really does make a difference. Parties and comments are the key. Since summer has come and my time has transferred to my kids the traffic to my blog has dropped significantly, when you put the time in, you certainly see the rewards! You are doing great πŸ™‚ Krista @ A Handful of Everything

  25. Dana~ Wow so much really good advice and information! I’m not a foodie but so much of what you said crosses over to any topic. I hopped over from Life With The Crust Cut Off via Restoration Redoux’s hop πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing. I noticed you’re in FL., are you planning on attending the Fl Bloggers Convention in Orlando next month?

  26. Thank you. I just started my blog the beginning of August. I’m excited and over whelmed. Its not going as planed but I’m posting everyday. Lol
    Thank you for this encouragement and advice. It means so much to us newbies.
    <3

  27. Hi! I just wanted to say a quick thank you! I never had expectations that I was going to make millions on my blog, but I never knew about linky parties or blog hops before. I’ve only been blogging steadily for a couple weeks now, but it’s so much fun just to write things out. I love looking at other people’s challenges and thinking “Hey, I can do that and blog about it!” If you have any suggestions on where to find challenges that would be great! Thanks!

    1. It’s really up to you what you want to blog about. If you want to try doing some pinterest pins to see if they really work or something like that it is fine. There are other bloggers that do only this like the Pintester. The main thing is that you need to credit them back. With a link to the original blog/website. I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

  28. Thank you so much for the awesome advice! I am so eager to launch mine but definitely want to get as much advice and information before the big leap! Congrats on have a successful blog in just a years time, thats fantastic, I hope for that!! πŸ™‚ Keep up the great work!!!

  29. Hello! I’m just starting off….about a week in! I was wondering if when you started, you hired someone to create your blog or if you did it all yourself? Your homepage looks great and I love your media icons. I feel like my head is spinning half the time trying to figure it all out. And not sure if I should start writing or wait until everything is in order on my blog…..which I’m starting out with blogger. Thoughts?
    Thanks so much! Great tips!

    1. When I started I did everything myself. I had a free template on blogger, switched to wordpress and got another free template. It wasn’t until about a month and a half ago that I got this design from one of my best bloggy friends Cami at TitiCrafty.com. If I were to do it all over again I would have waited until I had better pictures and a better design. BUT, thinking how it was first starting that wouldn’t have been possible at all. So, if you have the means and are very serious about blogging then I would say wait a little while to start posting and get everything set up exactly how you want it first. THEN, jump in with the actual blogging part. Others will probably disagree with me on that but it’s just my opinion. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  30. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Your clarity and personal insight are just what I needed to read as I start working on my blog (haven’t even posted yet)…grateful for you today.

  31. A gift from my son Christmas 2012, my blog was just a hobby and I was actually working on it so my children and family would have our treasured recipe’s, gardening and craft ideas on our website. Taking a few months off and getting close to retirement, I have decided I want to get serious about this blogging thing and see if I can generate extra income. Your advice is so helpful…. A Big Thank You!!!!.

  32. love your post! i just created my blog and haven’t made it as far as writing my first post yet πŸ™‚ i have read tons of tips and your post is the first i have found with the tip to “have fun!” this is an obvious tip, but just getting started has been somewhat overwhelming. thank you!

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