An Amateur Blogger’s Tips For Creating A Better-Than-Amateur Blog

When I surpassed 50 followers, I wrote a post thanking all my readers for listening, and got a lot of feedback. I got asked how I created a blog that 50 people thought was worth reading in just 2 months, so I decided to make this post. (Not that I think my blog is super great or anything. Cause I don’t. I just try to make something that I would want to read.) So here are some ideas that might help take your blog to the next level.

Actually, I liked that thing I just said. Let’s make that #1.

1. Make a blog you would want to read.

This is your space. You have freedom to make it something that is 100% uniquely you. So don’t be afraid to change things that aren’t working for you to make it better. I’ve redone my “About Me” page, which should be quite simple, about 10 times. And I will continue to do so until I’m happy with it. This step will also help you figure out who you are writing for. Knowing your audience will help you write posts that those people will find interesting.

2. Feel what you write.

When I’m creating a post, it usually takes no more than a few minutes to fully formulate it (and maybe you can tell? I hope not.). That’s because I write about things that are important to me, or that I’m passionate about, and it all flows out very naturally. Don’t be afraid to infuse your personality into your style of writing, either. This isn’t a grade 9 essay. If you’re trying to struggle through a post, why are you writing about that topic in particular? Is there something else that really spikes your interest instead? 

3. What are you trying to accomplish here?

Come up with an overall theme. It doesn’t have to be too specific. If you are just writing about whatever comes to mind, and sometimes it’s really dull, your readers will be able to tell. Even a very general idea, like “travelling” or “food” or “parenting” will make your blog flow better and keep you focused.  And you don’t want your blog to seem bipolar or schizophrenic in its content. (Metaphorically, of course. I mean don’t try to do everything at once. You might have two very clear themes, which would make two awesome blogs. Putting them together, though, might make your blog seem confusing and overly broad. A blog about schizophrenia would probably be really cool.)

Writer's Block

Writer’s Block (Photo credit: thorinside)

4. Look around for inspiration.

There are so many awesome blogs out there! Check some of them out! And don’t be afraid to like things and leave comments. It’s an easy way to possibly bring traffic into your site as well from people with similar interests. Notice how people are using titles, pictures, videos, menus, categories, etc. and how those things make the blog unique or easy to navigate.

5. Watch your tone.

I was reading one blog where the person was just bitching about things. And as good as it feels to get that stuff off your chest every once in a while, it isn’t too pleasant to read. Reading hate just spikes my blood pressure and gets me all worked up. I do that enough on my own, thanks. So think about how you want your work to come across, and speak accordingly. Swearing too much is also a no-no because it makes you sound rude and uneducated. (But like all rules, there is a time and a place for swearing, depending on what you blog about. If I see a cookie recipe riddled with curse words, I will flip a table.) AND TRY NOT TO YELL. IT IS ALSO VERY UNPLEASANT.

6. Not everything you write will be a goldmine.

I have done a lot of posts where no one liked it, and that whole day just became a big crevice in my stats report. That’s good, though, because now I know what people don’t care to read about, or maybe it was the style of writing that pushed people away. Making mistakes is a good thing because it gives you feedback you can learn from. Even the best writers write terrible things sometimes.

7. Post often.

I follow a lot of blogs, but some of them only get updated once a month or so. And now I’m questioning why I’m following them since they never say anything. Also, after a few hours your posts get pushed down the list and replaced by newer ones, so posting often increases your chances of bringing in new readers. You don’t need to post every day, but if you can make some sort of schedule where you’re posting at least once per week, your readers will hang on to hear what you have to say next.

8. Tag smartly.

I was definitely guilty of not doing this when I first started. Tags are a good thing to help people who would be interested in your blog discover it. Think about what you might search for, though, and use only those tags. For example, if last Wednesday your dog got sick and you had to take it to the hospital, don’t take it “Wednesday, dog, sick, hospital”, but instead using things like “dog lovers, family” etc. No one is looking for posts about Wednesdays.

9. Don’t be afraid to say what you mean.

Some of the best posts I’ve read are about things that people are hesitant to talk about. A little bit of controversy can be a good thing if you’re able to do it respectfully and not attacking people who have conflicting views. It will keep your blog interesting, and make people want to hear what you have to say next. Don’t be afraid to shake things up once in a while.

10. This is not a diary.

Dear Diary

Dear Diary (Photo credit: incurable_hippie)

Well, actually some might be, but those are the exception. You don’t need to give all the details of everything you’ve ever done, especially not the boring ones. Whenever I’m writing something, I ask myself if I would care about what I’m reading. And a lot of the time I scrap it because no one cares. But that’s a risk you take when you go off on tangents. Which is why you should edit things. A few hours later your post will sound very different to you than it did the second you were writing it. Which is why I wrote this post yesterday, and published it today.

Hope some of this helps! WordPress has a help page with lots of neat tips as well, so for more inspiration I recommend going there next.

Rock on.

Tags: , , , ,

About janinerussell

The transition to adulthood; reflecting on the past to create a better future.

277 responses to “An Amateur Blogger’s Tips For Creating A Better-Than-Amateur Blog”

  1. geethecakelady says :

    Thank you so much for a useful post. I have started keeping my blog regular and this has helped no end. Plus I love writing and having people feedback that they are enjoying reading it.
    Quality writing regularly!!
    Thanks again

  2. joyyounglove says :

    Reblogged this on joyyounglove and commented:
    Thanks! :)

  3. Deborah D. says :

    Reblogged this on Its All About Me Fitness and commented:
    I’m so new to blogging that I found this blog post extremely helpful and wanted to share :)

  4. janellyysh says :

    Yayy! Thanks for these!. I’m a newbie in wordpress but not as a blogger. But I must say, when it comes to mature kind of post i’m also new. :) I’ll keep everything in mind.

  5. outsidetheeveryday says :

    A good bit of perspective :) Thanks

  6. russellchido says :

    The tags in this post are a perfect example of what you are talking about in Tip #8. Thanks for this, it was very helpful. P.S. Also I find it interesting that every blog I’ve liked is from someone who happens to be named Russell (First or Last name), like me.

  7. darlenecraviotto says :

    Okay, now this is a perfect post. Words to follow.

  8. Mike says :

    Well-explained advice, apt and to the point. Well done and thank you.

  9. peterjfoster says :

    Hi, pleased to say I read all your blog; something I rarely do! Normally scan down and catch a few lines here and there. Very helpful.

  10. Angel28 says :

    Excellent.As a beginner I so needed to learn it. Thanx a ton.. :)

  11. transcender1 says :

    Thank You for these very helpful suggestions and tips! Very much appreciated from a newbie in the blogging world!

  12. Everyday Is A Reflection... says :

    I actually had a blog with xanga for many years, and now i want to start new because like you said, no one wants to read about negative things, and I have been bitching fo so long and i’m tired of i’m trying to start new , and hopefully bring back my positive side =) thanks for the useful tips!

  13. skavop says :

    What a good post. Great tips and I love your relaxed, unpretentious style. Very brave to do a post with this title, but you pulled it off. That’s a Follow +

  14. ryanfauglidstories says :

    Those are really helpful tips… next time I write a post I’ll use those tips.

    Ryan Fauglid Stories

  15. enhillstrom says :

    Very insightful. My blog is a “photo a day” diary type blog, and sometimes I do really get lost in the trivial things. I’m going to take your advice. Next time I write a post I’ll leave it for a bit and then come back to it and pretend that I’m reading it for the first time and that I have no idea who this person is. I’ll give it a shot! Thanks!

  16. animamcbrown says :

    Love this! New to the blogging world. Very Helpful. Thank you for this.

  17. luci2nura says :

    not only is this post great, your advice is too

  18. isakbaum says :

    Reblogged this on Isa Baum and commented:
    This will definitely help!

  19. SoundOfLaughter says :

    Thanks for the tips. It is comforting to know there are wonderful people out here that share their keys to success.

  20. Stacey says :

    Thanks for the advice! I’ve recently started blogging and this is great :)

  21. ccgrant2013 says :

    Thanks so much for the tips! I’m a beginner blogger and I’m learning just how to connect with other bloggers and add blogs to my reader. Uhg. I’m a right brainer so it’s challenging me!

  22. absoluteurea says :

    Reblogueó esto en absoluteureay comentado:
    10 tips para escribir en blogs

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  24. aaa says :

    Marvelous, what a webpage it is! This web site gives useful information to us, keep it up.

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