I often forget how long I’ve been blogging for. Some days it seems like I’ve only just started and on others I’m reminded that it has in fact been almost six years since Writing and Works came into existence. Back then I had very little idea what I was doing and even less idea of where this blog would go. I still don’t know where this blog will go but oh well. Things seem to be going well and people seem to like what I post.
So for those of you who are interested, here are my top five tips for new bloggers.
- Make use of the tools at your disposal. The Daily Post provides a new prompt everyday. If you don’t like the current one you can cycle through until you find something that suits you. There are loads of link ups and prompts across the blogging platforms and many of them don’t require you to use the same platform as everyone else. All you have to do is write sometime based on what they give you, submit it, and spend a little time reading the other entries. You’ll quickly find a community of people happy to engage with your work and feedback on what you create. Below are four of my favourite link ups, if you’re new, or perhaps haven’t heard of them before, go and take a look. You might find yourself inspired or you might find yourself in the middle of something you can’t get enough of.
- Don’t let a lack of views, comments or likes put you down. I was looking back at my own ratings from right back at the beginning and it went to show, an audience takes time to build. You might not make it big to begin with, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t listening and it certainly doesn’t mean that people don’t care. Stay patience, stay positive and keep blogging. Manage that and you will be halfway there.
- Blog about what you love. Don’t put something up just because it seems like the thing to talk about. One of the best bits of writing advice I ever heard was ‘write about what you know’. Not while the saying has it’s limits, it’s a very good starting place. Play to your strengths, your passions. Love what you write and write about what you love.
- While I this blog is mostly about my writing, from time to time there will be a smattering of history, of art and of sheer randomness. Variety can be good for a blog and it can open your work up to readers who might not have stumbled across it otherwise. If you’re stuck for something to post why not experiment with a theme or topic you’ve never touched on before?
- Try Doodle-A-Day for a week. Each day draw something new. It doesn’t have to be good, it doesn’t have to be in depth, it just has to be fun.
- Follow a tag you don’t normally read. Steampunk, history, science, whatever it is that normally slips under your radar.
- Find a post from another blogger and do something in response. You could create a whole series of posts challenging yourself to try out new ideas and connecting with other bloggers in the process.
- Finally, and this is the most important snippet of advice that a writer can give: read. Read everything and anything that falls into your hands. Reading shapes your writing and the way you think. It teaches you how to shape words, how to create stories and at the same time how not to write. Reading other blog and interacting with them helps you to build the connections that will grow your audience. Like everything, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
So there you go. My top five tips for new bloggers in response to the Daily Post’s ‘Key Takeaway‘ prompt. Feel free to add any of your own below or ask any questions that may be bobbing around in your head. Until the next post.