1. Write about what you know
Sounds simple doesn't it but it's important to write about what you know? People don't want to read duff information. I started this blog as I owned a jewellers and wanted to promote it but as it evolved I decided to write about other subjects that I knew about such as travel and food.
It's important that you write about what you know and that you write with a real passion. If you get bored reading your posts so will other people, so think about creating the best content you possibly can.
2. Think carefully about a blog name
If you don't it could restrict you, but alternatively it can also show your niche. Write down the topics you will be writing about and brainstorm ideas related to this. Also consider the audience you are writing for and what you think will appeal to them.
If you want to monetise your blog at any time I would recommend buying a domain name, it also adds a professional touch to your blog. Once you have thought of a blog name, check the availability of the domain name on a site such as Go Daddy.
If I was starting this blog again I would pick a shorter name as it's too long to put into a search bar and jewellery is spelt differently in the US than the UK. I think the diary part of the name does imply it's a lifestyle blog, which is good as it is!
3. Which blogger site will you use
Blogger and Wordpress are both popular sites but there are other blog platforms too such as Weebly and Wix.
4. Who are you writing for and why
The main reason people write blogs is as a catharsis, to inform, to educate and to entertain, and often these overlap.
Think about why you want to write your blog. If you are writing it mainly to express yourself in a cathartic way your tone will be different than if you were writing the blog for your business.
Think who is the target audience and what they will get from visiting your blog. Some bloggers have downloadable content such as blog planners and printables and competitions also drive people to your blog. Give people a reason to come back and whilst they are there they may read your other content too.
5. Write your posts in a conversational manner
People don't want to be lectured to. Use the words I, My, We and speak as if you are taking to someone in person. Conversations should be friendly and not formal.
Don't be afraid of adding some of your personality into the post but also be aware that the post will be out there for all to see. You may not want that joke you've said after a few glasses of wine to be published but humour can be a great addition to a blog post.
It's said that the more you blog the better you get so I would say try and write frequently. This doesn't have to be every day but be sure to sit down and write at least weekly, if not 2-3 times a week. Your readers will get used to the frequency of the posts and your writing will improve. The more frequently you blog the more visitors you will often get. People want to see new content or a regular basis.
6. Build your blog on social media
Bloggers want people to read their blog, so it is important to build your following on social media. You could have written the best post in the world but if no one sees it then I personally think, what is the point? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus all drive traffic to my blog. If you haven't got time to build these followings, focus on one or two social media networks. Stumbleupon is also worth getting to know. If your post goes viral on Stumbleupon you will get a huge spike in views. Some of these people may not stay around, but some may.
Interact with people on these sites to build your following, follow other people, like their posts, comment on their posts and they will be more likely to do the same for you.
7. Take photos of everything
A picture tells a thousand words and adds a visual cue to your blog post, making it easier to remember so add photos to your blog posts. You don't need expensive camera equipment as many smart phones have a camera these days. Make sure your photos aren't too big though to improve browser speed. I make sure all my images are around 100k to 150k.
If you photos need a little improvement use a photo editing package. I use Picmonkey which you don't have to download as it's available online and most importantly it's free! There are also free image sites out there if you need to source an image such as Pixabay, Unsplash and Flickr creative commons.
Don't forget it's not ok to take a photo from a site without making sure it's free under the Creative Commons license, you could be sued!
8. Read topical information
Reading newspapers, other blogs, online articles and social media is a good way of informing and educating yourself and keeping topical too.
A topical post can bring lots of traffic so you may want to write like this at least on an occasional basis. This post I wrote last year about flat shoes being banned on the Cannes red carpet created a spike in traffic on my blog and was posted at the right time.
9. Consider using scheduling software
Buffer and Hootsuite are two such products that can schedule your posts at all times of the day. Think about your audience and schedule accordingly.
If you have a parenting blog, you may find after lunch and before the school run is a good time to schedule a post. I write a lot about travel in the US so I schedule my US posts for late afternoon in the UK when the US is waking up and around midnight when the US is at home after a days work.
10. Join Facebook support groups
There are many groups that can offer help and advice out there. My personal favourite is the UK Bloggers United Facebook group. Many also offer a chance to share your posts with a like for like, comment for comment basis.
So these are my top 10 tips for new bloggers. Do you have any tips or advice for new bloggers?