Blogging can be overwhelming, whether you're just starting out - or - you've been in the game for a while. There are so many questions: What should I write about? Who is my audience? How do I sustain a blog?
Before the unknowns spiral out of control, I thought it might be useful to share some of the advice I have collected over the years that has helped me stay focused. I should start off by saying that I am not an expert, however, these simple tips have kept me motivated and remind me why I love to blog.
I won't get into the technical parts about blogging (we can address that some other time). Below is a basic list of blogging "Dos & Don'ts".
Write about things that interest you
If you write about anything that doesn't interest you, you will likely be bored and eventually give up. In addition, if you are bored with your own content, then any potential readers will likely be bored as well. If this means changing the angle of your blog to be able to write about what you love, then do it! There's nothing wrong with mixing it up. Over the years my site has transitioned from a wedding blog, to a blog mostly about crafting and coffee, and finally to a lifestyle blog about anything and everything that I enjoy.
Expand on and continue to improve your skills
Remember that this is a learning experience. Over the last few years I've learned some coding basics and I've taught myself enough of Photoshop to get by. I recently bought a new DSLR camera and signed up to take a beginners photography class in the Spring. No one becomes a pro overnight. Cut yourself some slack, leave room to grow, learn, and have fun along the way.
Follow and be active with other bloggers
There are many great ways to keep up with what your favorite bloggers are doing: Bloglovin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. If you read a post that you enjoy, let the writer know, or at the very least- share it. One of my favorite parts about being a blogger is reading what other people are blogging about and feeling like I'm a part of something.
Expect people to read your blog
This might sound harsh at first, but it's the best advice anyone ever gave me. If you don’t count on anyone reading your blog, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised when people leave comments, “like it”, “re-tweet” it, etc. This will also help you relax and write without having to continuously stop and worry about if someone will approve of what you’re saying. Start writing for yourself, and eventually people will follow.
Feel like you can only post 100% original content
Chances are, someone else has already written a blog about what you want to write about - and that’s ok! If we all only wrote 100% original content, then I don't see how anyone would be able to post new content. Also, if you feel inspired by what someone else is writing about and you want to expand on it, just make sure to give credit when it's due.
Be afraid of sharing your blog with the world
Don't shy away from sharing your blog posts on your personal Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. The people that want to read your blog, will, and the people that don't, might click on it anyway (people do crazy things). It can feel annoying to send out a blast whenever new content is up on your site, but just remember, there are other people over-sharing things on social media constantly. Your new blog post is not nearly as annoying as seeing someone post selfies at the gym.
The bottom line is that you should have fun with your blog. I really enjoy looking back at where life has taken me over the years and seeing my interests evolve. It makes me happy when people read and enjoy what I have to say, but if they didn't, I would still blog anyway!
Do you have any advice to share?