Advice for New Bloggers: My Top Tips!

What advice would you give to a brand new blogger? I know when I first started out I spent the first few months feeling really lost and confused, and I bet that was the case for most of us. I'm sure there have been a huge number of blogs that have been abandoned after just a few weeks (even though they had the potential to be great) simply because the blogger didn't know what they were doing. A question I've been asked a few times is what advice I'd give to a new blogger, and so I thought I'd sum it all up in one post- if you're new to the blogging world I hope it helps you out!
Read lots of other blogs
 This is something I never did in the beginning, just because I had absolutely no idea how to find other bloggers. But once you discover the blogging community (filled with masses of content all about things that you're interested in!) well put it this way... you'll become a lot less interested in reading magazines. Not only will you now always have something to read whenever you're at a loose end, but spending time reading and appreciating other people's content will inspire you and give you a feel for what blogging in your niche is like. For example, I quickly realised that the tone of writing on blogs tends to be a lot more chatty and conversational than the formal 'university essay' tone I'd been using (which makes for much nicer, lighter reading too!) In no way should you copy or become a clone of other blogs but being well read on your topic is never a bad thing- and you'll find your own voice and writing style along the way. Now that Bloglovin is widely used it's really easy to find new blogs to read. After signing up, go to 'find blogs' at the top of the page and search the category you're interested in.

Be active on Twitter and join in with Twitter chats
When I first started blogging I spent ages searching things like 'blog directories' as a way to find and meet other bloggers. It turns out that a lot of these are not only hugely out of date but only contain a very small amount of bloggers. Twitter is the place to go, most bloggers have a Twitter account and communicate through different blogging related hashtags (#bbloggers- beauty bloggers, #fbloggers- fashion bloggers and #lbloggers- lifestyle bloggers are the main three) but keep your eyes peeled as there are loads of smaller chats hosted throughout the week. There are Twitter chats scheduled at different times where bloggers can join in and chat about a set weekly topic, I definitely recommend having a look through if you're new to them. Using Twitter will help you get to know other bloggers in the community, if you check your account regularly you'll be able to quickly respond to any replies or messages.

Post regularly
Posting regularly doesn't mean posting every day (unless you want to!) The best thing to do is to set a realistic schedule, if you work full time or have other commitments outside of blogging you could post less often at a pace that suits you. I've never had a set routine or days when I post, some months I'll post every day and others it will be between one and three times a week. As a general rule I don't leave more than a week's gap between posts, and I've found this works well for me. There are always going to be days when you don't feel in the mood to write or sometimes life can get in the way, and so it's a good idea to have a couple of backup posts saved in your drafts ready to go. Write one or two up when you're on a roll, and keep them for whenever the brain cogs don't want to function. Ive written a post on how to overcome the dreaded bloggers block here.

Find a blog design you're happy with
This is something I wish I'd done sooner when I first started out. I've spent more time than I care to admit over the years feeling like my blog looked rubbish, and when you're already having a bit of a negative day it can make you wonder why you're even bothering. I spent a really long time teaching myself html and design skills from scratch to build a template I'm happy with, but if you don't have a lot of time/ patience to spare (because it can be SO frustrating) I highly recommend working with a blog designer. When you're happy with your blog I find it makes you much more motivated to actually want to work on it and spend time on it. You can get full blogger templates including installation for less than £20 (check out Aleelily's designs, she does custom templates and installation for just £12). Or check out Etsy for premade blogger templates. A blog design that's easy to navigate with clear social media icons and follow options is your best bet, if you want to gain a readership you'll need to make sure people can find the links to follow you easily!

Blog for the right reasons
Why do you want to start a blog? Hopefully because you enjoy writing and want to share a passion on a certain topic with likeminded people. If you've started a blog purely because you've heard you might get freebies, invites to big events and loads of cash from sponsored posts- trust me you are 100% setting yourself up to fail. Being sent products to review is a nice perk, but this only happens much later down the line. Are you really going to spend hundreds of hours writing, taking photos and growing your blog (for a year or more) just to get a few samples when your heart's not really in it? With the time and effort it takes getting your blog to a stage where PR's will want to work with you, doing it for the cost of free stuff alone just isn't worth it. You absolutely have to enjoy what you do.

Appreciate every reader, but dont get caught up with numbers
Sometimes blogging can feel like a numbers game, I think every blogger has been guilty of this at some point. I wont deny it's amazing seeing your follower numbers creep up, but keeping constant tabs on them can be exhausting. Every now and then your follower count might stay the same for ages (or even drop) and it can have you questioning yourself and wondering what you're doing wrong. Take a step back and shift your focus back your content and connecting with your existing readers. In the very early days of blogging try not to get caught up with followers numbers at all, and just concentrate on getting lots of high quality content published onto your blog.

Dont be discouraged 
Early on, you WILL feel like you're speaking to yourself. Your views on every post will be low and comments will be few and far between. It can be disheartening when you spend time on a post and feel as though noone is reading, but building up a readership takes time. Don't feel as though you're failing because you're not reaching many people, every single blogger starts at this point!

Dont give up!
Finally, the most important one. Dont give up! If you're fond of a good cliche just remember 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. It's likely to be mixture of all of the above points which causes so many new bloggers to burn out and abandon their blogs after a few weeks or months, but if it's something you enjoy stick with it. Put your spare time and energy into something productive that you can be proud of, and who knows where it could lead.

What's your best advice for new bloggers?