Blogging Advice For Newbie Bloggers

Blogging Advice For Newbie Bloggers

I’ve been blogging for over three years now, but I gotta tell ya, I’m learning new things every single day.

There is absolutely no way that I already know everything I need to know about blogging.

But what I DO know is that it’s awesome, and it’s something that brings a tremendous amount of purpose to my life.

Could I say that three years ago?? Heck, no!

I didn’t even know what a blog was. I had ZERO clue what I was doing.

So here’s some advice for any newbie blogger or for anyone who’s even flirting with the idea of creating a blog.

I hope it helps, and I hope it empowers you to take your ideas to the next level!

1. Just freaking do it.

I can’t tell you exactly how I started this blog. That’s because it wasn’t something pre-meditated. I didn’t sit in my room analyzing the pros and cons of blogging on some wonderfully designed excel spreadsheet. No, I didn’t do that. I had ideas in my brain, I must have come across a post about how to create a blog, and I just got started. You don’t need all the facts and all the answers to start your blog. You just need the desire. Everything else is at your fingertips.

2. Find your host.

When it comes to hosting your blog, you want a host that’s gunna make your life easier. Because, let’s face it, we’re not all the most tech-savvy humans on the planet. I mean, if you’re reading this post, you’re probably more tech savvy than A LOT of people, but still, we didn’t all study computer-science.

So for that very reason, you may want to check out Host Gator.

Host-Gator-Image

HostGator’s a solid hosting company that so many bloggers use, and here’s some of the stuff they provide:

  • 24/7 live support via chat, phone, and e-mail (because when something crashes or you get lost, you NEED to have someone available even at 3am to help walk you through whatever problem you may be having)
  • Domains- HostGator’s your one-stop-shop for domains
  • Design services for all of us who want professionals to build our sites for us
  • Super easy to use website builders if you’re brave enough to build it on your own
  • In-house experts to help you with your marketing
  • One-click WordPress installs

So yes, you can sign up with HostGator, and within the hour be looking at this…

wp-dashboard-host-gator

BAM! Welcome to WordPress. You’re ready to start blogging.

You see, when you choose the right host, you’re able to focus on what you love doing the most…writing, creating, collaborating, connecting. That’s what you get to spend your time doing. The tech-y stuff? A good host takes care of all that stuff for you.

And if you’re looking to make things REALLY easy for you, check out HostGator Optimized WordPress. It’s specifically built for an optimized and managed WordPress environment, where HostGator handles all of the core, theme, and plugin updates without any action on your part.  In other words, you won’t have to worry about logging into your WP-Admin panel to handle common updates. An even more hands-off approach for all bloggers like me, who just really wanna write.

3. Buy yourself a journal to write down all the millions of thoughts and ideas you have.

When you first start a blog, it’s like your brain just vomits out ideas. So you definitely want to have a journal where you can write them all down until you’re ready to do something with them. That journal’s gunna come in handy later down the road on those days when you’re just not feeling all that inspired and need to figure out what you’re gunna post next.

4. Pay attention to the details. Make things look pretty.

You want to focus on creating great content. But at the same time, you also need to focus on the aesthetics. Because let’s face it, no one wants to look at an ugly blog. So try finding pretty high-quality pictures to include in your posts. Take pretty high-quality pictures yourself, even. Make sure that your fonts and your formatting for posts are consistent. And when you stick stuff on your sidebar, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE center things! I learned this maybe just a few months ago, but if you’re adding images to your sidebar, above the html for the image, add <center> (just like that) and then at the end of the html code, add </center>. It’s amazing what something that simple can do for making your blog look clean.

5. Create some draft posts ahead of time.

You’re not always going to have the desire to write. You’re gunna wake up some days, look at your computer, and just walk away. You’ll fight a mental battle because you DON’T WANT TO WRITE ANYTHING. Nothing. Nada. Just the thought of writing stresses you out. So for days like this, it’s always good if you have draft posts that you’ve written ahead of time so you can grab those and post those so your readers don’t miss you. You know those days when you have so much energy and you CAN’T WAIT TO WRITE??!! Take advantage of that motivation and write tons that day.

6. Read other blogs.

I could spend hours and hours and hours at a time reading other blogs. And some people may think that’s not the best use of your time, since it takes time away from writing your own content, but I completely disagree. Discovering other blogs and reading through their posts totally inspire me and I’ve learned so much through that process.

7. Join Facebook mastermind groups.

I’ve had the opportunity to connect with so many bloggers through several Facebook groups that I’m a part of. Not only do we share our posts amongst each other, but the groups really serve as a support system. They’re groups where we can ask blogging questions and receive responses from people who really know about this stuff. So here are a few you may want to check out: The Blogging Elite, The Blog Loft, and The Blog Love Project.

8. Do your research.

The past few months I’ve spent so much time reading articles online and reading books on blogging. Blogging is no different from any other hobby or sport or skill that you’d like to master. If you want to be successful, you need to do some research, read up on the industry, and learn from the best of the best. There’s nothing better to invest in than knowledge.

9. Listen to podcasts.

If you don’t have time to sit down and read books, there’s tons you can learn from podcasts. I’ve been listening to Patt Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast on my drive to work, and I absolutely love it. When you listen to successful bloggers being interviewed and you hear their stories of how they got started, it really motivates you to keep on going and ideas start flowing through your head. So yea, every once in a while, instead of jamming in your car listening to music, turn on a podcast and you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in 30 minutes.

10. Keep track of your stats.

The only way you should be comparing yourself throughout your blogging journey is to look at where you are today, and compare it to where you were a week ago. Yes, there are tons of bloggers with 100k+ page views a month. So yes, if you compare yourself and compare your blog stats to theirs, you’re gunna cry. So don’t do that, because you have no idea how long they’ve been blogging or how much time they devote to their blog and at the end of the day, their story is not YOUR story. Don’t let anyone else’s success kill your motivation. Instead, let it drive you. So track your stats- your page views and your social media followers, and as long as you’re seeing continued progress on a weekly or monthly basis, that’s a pretty clear indicator that you’re doing something right.

11. Enjoy the process.

HAVE SO MUCH FUN!! Blogging is SUPPOSED TO BE fun! If you’re dreading every second of blogging, then maybe it just isn’t for you. At this point in our lives I fully believe that we should be focusing our time and our energy on things that bring us joy and make us happy. So although blogging may be stressful at times-with deadlines and consistent posting to keep up with- make sure you enjoy the process. Write about topics that interest you. Go to new places that excite you and blog about your experience. Make blogger friends, and build your community. Because if you’re sitting on your couch on the computer hating life, you’re totally doing it wrong.

So that’s it! Any other advice for newbie bloggers?

And again- be sure to check out HostGator Optimized WordPress if you’re looking for more info about site hosting!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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38 Comments

  1. Ali @ Anything You Want

    July 28, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Great tips – thanks! I’m new to blogging but I have already started doing many of these things. The two that stand out are writing down all your ideas – I keep an Evernote file so I never forget anything! – and drafting posts ahead of time. Sometimes I have SO MUCH to say (and other times nothing) so I always try to capitalize on my writing energy when it comes.

  2. Sarah Noel

    July 28, 2015 at 8:36 am

    Great advice! I hadn’t heard of some of those FB groups. I’m going to check them out right now.

  3. Lindsay

    July 28, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Thank you for posting some great advice for me- do you have any favorite books on blogging that were especially useful?

  4. Suzi T

    July 28, 2015 at 8:43 am

    This is an excellent concise article. After two years of blogging I have just learnt a few new things. So thanks .

  5. The Blog Centre

    July 28, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Great Tips – have repined from A Whipped Green Girls blogging board

  6. Cynthia @craftoflaughter

    July 28, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Great tips! I love your suggestion of keeping an idea journal!

  7. Lindsay

    July 28, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Great tips hun! I use HostGator myself and have nothing but great things to say about them.. I love that they have 24/7 live support – you can’t beat that. And they’re really reasonably priced for what you get.

  8. Summer @ Coffee With Summer

    July 28, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Enjoy the process – that’s one for newbies and pros!

  9. Paige

    July 28, 2015 at 10:51 am

    As a new blogger, I love all of these tips and hope I’ve been sticking to them! I love reading other blogs to see what they do right. This blog is one of my faves!

    XO Paige
    http://eyelinerwingsandprettythings.com

  10. Becky @ Disney in your Day

    July 28, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Great advice. I’ve been blogging for over 2 years but I always find posts like this helpful anyway – sometimes just as reminders! Having posts in drafts has been a lifesaver for me. And I so agree with you on not comparing yourself to others. Sometimes I get down on myself about that, but then I look at how far I’ve come compared to the same time last year and it’s really amazing when you think about it.

  11. Fresh,Pure, Sweet

    July 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

    So helpful! Thank you for taking the time to detail all the steps. Do you think it is worth purchasing a “fancy” camera to take better pictures than a phone can take? Thanks! Emily http://www.freshpuresweet.com

  12. Jac

    July 28, 2015 at 11:31 am

    You have definitely hit the nail on the head, Kayla! These are GREAT points! #1 is awweeesoommmeeee! Just freaking do it! 😀 😀 😀

  13. Heather

    July 28, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Love these tips. The one about reading other blogs is HUGE. It goes along with the idea of if you want to be a good writer you have to read a lot. I get a ton of inspiration and motivation from reading other blogs and interacting with other bloggers, too!

  14. Madelaine

    July 28, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I started my blog just a few months ago. Great advice so true about comparing yourself to other bloggers. Thanks again for sharing.

  15. Aishwarya S

    July 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Those are some great tips! Writing drafts for emergencies is so necessary! And joining Facebook groups is also really fun! 🙂

  16. Miranda @ Miranda Writes Blog

    July 28, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    I agree with each and every one of these! I am so glad I jumped in with both feet and just started. Things really picked up for me when I joined a few groups and found other bloggers in my area/niche. I’m about a year-and-a-half in and I love it!

  17. Brie Hemingway

    July 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I started blogging much the same way as you! It’s been over two years now and I’ve learned a lot but I definitely need to do more of #8! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

  18. Brittany Bergman

    July 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Yes, yes, yes to all of these! I think the best thing I did when starting my blog was to write a bunch of extra posts and save them up for a “rainy day” when I either didn’t want to write or felt like my brain was on overload from learning all the new blogging things. Great tips!

  19. Janet Yarwood

    July 28, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I’m still quite new so this is really helpful 🙂

  20. Maegan Dockery

    July 28, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    I love number one! This is awesome; pinned it for future reference! 🙂

  21. Jes @ Mommy Envy

    July 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    #11 is so important! And probably one of the hardest to remember!

  22. Natalie

    July 28, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Thank you for sharing these great tips! I love #7 and #11. Enjoying the process is so important if you want to enjoy blogging and continuing to grow! And Facebook groups seriously help so much!!

    http://a-tiny-traveler.blogspot.com

  23. Very Erin

    July 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    #7 is huge! I credit the networking I’ve done in Facebook groups as a huge source of my success so far. I simply can’t explain how useful that has been for my blog!

  24. Kari

    July 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Great advice! I use blogger and whenever I have an idea I start a draft then finish it when I get a moment. Anything I wrote on paper is usually nonexistant as soon as I write it down.

  25. Shannon Ketchum

    July 28, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Great tips, thank you so much for sharing! I already requested to join all of those blogging groups on FB 🙂

  26. Sherry

    July 28, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Great post! Thanks for these great tips and awesome suggestions.! I am new to blogging so still pondering on what to write that will make my blog unique form others living with MS.

  27. Kara Benz

    July 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Great post, Kayla! I definitely agree with #11. Enjoying the process and the learning aspect of it all is one of the things that has kept me going and kept me growing too!

  28. Alyse Schember

    July 28, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Awesome advice Kayla!! Your blog has been amazingly inspiring for me over the past month or so that I’ve been building my blog. As a new blogger, I could use all the tips and encouragement I can get! I’m enjoying every second of it.

  29. Katie @thebrooksielife

    July 28, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Thank you so much for these tips! I am pretty new still but I am learning everyday! I appreciate all the tips I can get. There is sooooo much to learn!

  30. Nakeya

    July 28, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Hello. I’m so happy I found you on Blog Loft. Great tips and suggestions for new bloggers…

  31. Brittany

    July 29, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Yes! You are on point with all of these! I especially love that you included listening to podcasts. I need to start to doing that! My boyfriend absolutely LOVES podcasts, and I have a list of a bunch I want to start listening to, so I need to get on that 😉 Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips!

  32. Bohemian Wanderlust

    July 29, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Really great tips and so easy to read and understand. I wish I had known a few of these before I started my blog! xx Rianna

  33. My Hustle: A Day In The Life of A Blogger - GEN Y GIRL

    July 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    […] mean, sure, it’s easy to start one. But to keep it up? Ask any blogger you know…it sure isn’t […]

  34. Jack

    August 2, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Content is far more important than a good looking blog. If your content is poor you’ll never retain readers.

    1. Kayla Cruz

      August 2, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Absolutely, Jack. Agree 100%. Thanks for stopping by!

  35. Fiona

    August 7, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Fantastic advice, I wrote a lot of this stuff down to look into! Thanks so much 🙂

  36. iammikes

    February 5, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful and motivating write up, i am deeply happy; i came across it today. Once again thanks, it’s surely a changer for my blogging life.

  37. Rachael Gneiting

    February 5, 2016 at 10:30 am

    This was a fantastic Post! My husband is in Business School and he keeps coming home with all these ideas!!! Blogging was one of them, but I just had no idea where to start! Great tips!!!

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