So, You Want to Be A Blogger...
So, you want to be a blogger? Great! It can be a lot of fun and a great way to get involved with a community that shares your passion for whatever it is you want to blog about. I chose to blog about writing and my path to publication, and over the years that's expanded to include music and tea because they're an integral part of my routine.
Whatever you want to blog about, there's a community on the internet waiting to invite you in. Blogging is a great way to connect to other people who enjoy the same things you do. I've made great friends through blogging. It's really expanded my horizons. If you're full of thoughts and feelings and expertise on your chosen subject, and also want to learn more about it, blogging could be just what you need.
My blog is very small, but I love it. You may want to start small and become the next big blogging sensation, or you might just want to have a few other people find your little corner of the internet. Whatever you choose, good luck and have fun!
So, in no particular order (after that first point anyway), here are my top tips on becoming a blogger and growing your audience.
- Choose your platform. I went with Blogger, but there's also Wordpress, Tumblr and a whole bunch of others.
- Pick a fun title to stand out of the crowd - I chose the title of mine because I wanted it to be in the style of old-school personal ads in newspapers. It'll change the day I find an actual publisher...
- You may want to use images. If you can take your own, brilliant. Lots of blogs make use of gifs (you know, those funny moving pictures), too. Just know that if you're going to use a lot of photos or images that belong to someone else, make sure you give credit where credit's due. I found a website last summer using one of my photos without permission. Thankfully they very kindly gave credit when I pointed it out.
- Find your focus. Like I said, I focus on writing fiction, drinking tea, and music. The tighter your focus, the easier it'll be for you to find readers.
- Explore your wider blogging community. This can be finding lots of other blogs and leaving comments, or joining forums and leading people to your blog that way.
- If you're going to self-promote, do so gently. If all you're doing is commenting on other people's blogs with "Hey, follow mine!", it may wear a bit thin.
- Take part in bloghops. These are usually posts with set topics to discuss that you can answer and share with others. It's a great way to connect to the wider community.
- It can be helpful when you're starting out to post regularly. It's good practice, and you'll give your audience plenty to read. Pick a schedule that fits your subject, your lifestyle, and will cause the least amount of stress.
- Don't be too upset if you don't get a lot of comments. It can take a while to build an audience, and I know it's not much fun when you put lots of work into something but don't seem to get any kind of response. That shouldn't matter as long as you're having fun.
- If blogging becomes a source of stress, don't be afraid to take a break and see if you want to come back to it later.