After managing to survive in the blog-o-verse for the past year, I officially no longer think of myself as a newbie blogger. I have to admit, when I first started blogging back in January, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. I remember writing my first post thinking "this is such an awesome post, that I'm sure I'll wake up tomorrow to find that I have over 1,000 followers and at least 100 comments." You can imagine my supreme disappointment when I woke up the next day to discover I had not one. single. comment. Or follower for that matter.
So, I picked up the pieces of my tattered pride and came to the realization that I was going to have to get tough if I wanted to make it. I started researching and modifying my blog so that it was more approachable to my readers. Little by little I started to notice I was getting more frequent page views and more followers.
Now I've decided that it's my duty to pass on my lesson learned so that other bloggers will have an easier journey than I. So here are my top 5 tips for new bloggers.
# 1. Choose Your Font WiselyThis is one of the most common mistakes I see in new blogs. As a blogger, You’ll find that it’s difficult to maintain your readership if your readers can’t read what your writing. Although those fancy and cutesy fonts may look appealing, they’re also extremely difficult to decipher. Eventually they’ll stop trying and move on to another blog. Which is the exact opposite of what you, as a new blogger, want. Sometimes it truly is best to just K.I.S.S.
#2. Word Verification No-NoThis is a biggie. If you have word verification on for comments, please remove it. ASAP. I know from personal experience that most readers will not leave comments if you have it turned on. So if you truly want to engage your readers, be sure to fix this immediately. If you’re worried about people spamming your blog then set it up so that no anonymous people can leave comments. Here's how you turn off word verification:
- Go to your blogger dashboard. Click the edit tool between your "new post" and "view blog button". Scroll to the bottom of the drop down menu until you see settings. Select this option.
triangle and change the yes to a no.
4. Be sure to hit the orange "save setting" button in the top right-hand corner of the screen
#3. Don't Be A No-Reply BloggerThis is a common blogging faux pas I just discovered I had been committing myself (again). This may seem harmless, but if you are a No-reply blogger, this means that although you are leaving comments on other blogs, when the blogger receives the notification email from your comment and tries to reply back to you, they are unable to do so. So if you think that bloggers are ignoring your comments, this may be why. If you are a no-reply blogger you’ll want to fix this immediately. Here’s how:
1. Go to your blogger dashboard and click on the blogger profile button. You will find this button in the top right-hand corner of your blogger dashboard. Select the blogger profile option.
2. Once you get to the next screen, click the orange edit profile button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
3. When you arrive at your new screen look for the “show my email” option under the privacy heading. This should be the second option from the top. Make sure the box is checked.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit the save button
#4. Blog Hop Till You Drop
If you've never heard of a blog hop, then please allow me to give you a run-down on what could most possibly be the most important form of networking that a blogger can routinely engage in. Blog hops are directories that you can link your blog to so that others can visit/follow you, and you can visit/follow other bloggers. Most of the bigger blogs have established their own blog hops, and some of them can get up to 300 participants. So it is a GREAT way to network and meet new friends.
The one thing you don't want to do is just add your blog to the linky and not visit others. People will not just magically begin to follow you. You have to get out there and work for it. Visit some of the other blogs and leave RELEVANT comments. Please don't leave a "New follower, love your blog, be sure to follow back" comment on a post that a blogger has just written about how she was just diagnosed with cancer. (And yes, in case you were wondering, I have seen that before). READ some of the posts that you are commenting on. You may just find a new bloggy friend for life. Check out a few of my favorite blog/social media hops:
The GFC Hop
Aloha Friday Blog Hop
#5. Be Genuine
Don't get caught up in the craziness of your follower count. Remember the true reason you started to blog, whatever that may be, and tap back into that. Blog about your life. Your kiddos. Your hubby. What you made for dinner. Whatever it is that makes you smile. Blog about it. Your readers can tell when you aren't being genuine. So be true to yourself and your readers. Even if you feel you don't quite fit into any particular category, blog anyway. Start your own niche. I can promise you that there will always be someone out there that can relate to what you're blogging about. So these are my tips for you guys. I truly hope they help.
Now that I've shared my tips, tell me, what advice do you have for new bloggers?? Sound off in the comment section below.