I am often asked how to begin blogging and what is required. Being owner of my own blog, Southern Belle's Sense, for a year now, I still don't have all those answers but have accumulated many tips for new bloggers. There are literally thousands upon thousands of bloggers out there, some successful and some not so much. It all depends on how you present your blog, yourself and how much time and effort you are willing to put into it. So, in light of this, I decided maybe it was time to share a few of my personal tips with the internet communities.
- Start small. You don't have to spend hundreds to create an elaborate webpage. To begin, simply sign up for a free account on a blog hosting site such as Blogger. Free hosting sites will not really give you your own domain name, but will place your blog name with their domain. Its a good way to get started, and can be changed later on down the road with a monthly fee once you find blogging is your thing.
- Create a site that is appealing to the eyes. Sites that are packed with too many ads or hard to find posts will create confusion and dissuade others from visiting. You want to make sure your layout is clean, pleasing the viewer and easily navigated. You can use pre-designed layouts or create your own.
- Write content that others will be interested in. If your focusing on a particular group of people, compose posts that will be of great interest to your target reader base. For example, if you want to reach people about living frugally, then write posts that pertain to saving money on utilities, groceries or anything else that you can think of.
- Make social networking pages for your blog. This helps drive up traffic and reach people who would otherwise have no clue your blog existed. Don't expect a million likes in one day or followers. As long as you keep your pages up-to-date, socialize with your followers and share your work, they will be loyal.
- If your looking to make a little pocket change, sign up for affiliate accounts with sites such as Google Adsense, Amazon and eBay. These sites place relevant ads on your page, allowing readers to click the ad and visit the site. You get earnings from these clicks, although the amount is quite small.
- Promote yourself! Shameless promotion never hurt anyone. I, personally, promote my blog on forums via my signature link, social networking, business cards and through other blogs (with permission of course). Network with others online and offline to create a fan-base that will keep readers coming and help you gain new visitors. The more visitors, the more hits to your blog and the more news gets out about your blog.
- Blog daily! I don't care if its one to two posts a day, keep the content fresh and up-to-date. Make at least one post a day to let your readers know you are still there and are still on the same page as they are.
- Speak to your readers. While larger blogs may have a bit of difficulty, try to respond to comments as soon as you read them. Be active in your own blogging community and show your readers that your not just there to promote something but are actually interested in them as well.
- Expect some issues with rude behavior or loss of followers. This is commonly due to difference of opinion. Its not a big loss though. Its important everyone come to respect each other's opinions as our opinions are our right to have and express. There are intolerant people out there so be ready to say Sianara to those who will bring you down. Do not re-buttle, simply remove the offenders from your blog following and go on your merry way.
In the blogging world, you can run into problems but you can also reap the vast rewards of having a say in daily lives of others. You may find some look to your blog for advice while others come to share their expertise with you. The most important thing to blogging is to have fun and network with as many people as you can!