When you first start blogging, there can be a lot of pressure on your shoulders.
You’ve probably read a variety of posts on what you should be doing and how you should be doing it to get started. And, more likely than not, most of these posts will have confused you, as they all say different things.
While there are certainly things you should be doing when you begin blogging, there are also a number of things you don’t need to do. Here are 7 of the most common pieces of advice that you don’t necessarily need to follow.
1. Post Daily
Not when you are starting out.
There is no point is spending hours creating content when nobody’s looking anyway. And sometimes that’s not a bad thing either.
Remember, in the initial days you are testing the waters and you are bound to make mistakes. There is no need for the whole world to know.
Spend more time educating yourself about all aspects of blogging; design, content, promotion, marketing, SEO, etc.
Spend one third of your time creating content. Spend the rest of the time learning about what it takes to sustain a successful blog, developing meaningful connections with fellow bloggers and writing guest posts.
2. Comment on Blogs to Drive Traffic
Comment away, but comment for the right reason.
If you have this notion at the back of your mind that you are commenting to drive people to your own blog, then you are writing for the wrong person – the other reader. You need to be commenting for the author of the post.
Comment when you have something valuable to add.
Comment even when you just feel like saying ‘awesome post’.
You might have read that bloggers don’t like receiving comments that just say things like that. I don’t know about others, but I sure do. I dig them.
Go ahead and say that if you want to, only don’t always expect to have a long response from the blogger.
Leave a comment when you want to let the blogger know that you enjoy their posts and you think of them as a friend, perhaps a mentor. If you are being genuine (and bloggers can always sense that), they will love you for that.
3. Invest Every Second in Creating Content
If you are new, this is what you believe, right?
If you have been at it for a while, you know this is simply not true, at least not any more.
In the beginning there were a few talented bloggers, but now there are many. Before there was a low supply of excellent writers, now it is huge. And it is becoming impossible to stand out with your content alone.
It is when you have allies in the blogging world who help spread your content that people sit up and take notice. Once you have reached that stage, you can relax and focus on your content only. Then it will be the right time.
4. Add Your Blog to Catalogues and Online Portals
People find blogs through “Word of Blog”, not by searching through millions of blogs listed in catalogues.
I admit I submitted mine to a few when I started out. I have yet to see any traffic from these places.
This is how I find blogs:
- I look at the blogroll of the blogs I am interested in.
- I find it through the links on the blog.
- I follow a guest poster’s links to their own blogs.
- I look at the retweets of bloggers I follow closely, and always find great blogs through that.
- I very occasionally find blogs through comments.
I reckon – and feel free to disagree – you can skip this one.
5. Write Guest Posts on Famous Blogs
Most people do not bother to click and follow links to the blog of a guest poster, especially when they are ‘resource’ type blogs. Although, I’d love to be proven wrong on this one. (Have you checked my Author Bio below this post?)
It’s far better to post on relatively small sized blogs that have readers who might enjoy reading your blog as well.
Pitch to those bloggers who seem to get a lot of comments on their posts. This means they have engaged readers, who are loyal and who are more likely to pay attention to you as you have been endorsed. They are more likely to check you out as well.
6. Follow A-list blogs to stay inspired
There are many A list Wannabe bloggers who mimic the influencers. There is one big difference though; they keep telling you how they got from 19 subscribers to 6000 subscribers in 6 months.
Firstly, it’s hard to believe. Most probably these so called A-list bloggers are not counting from when they first started blogging. They are not taking into account the time taken to learn everything and form connections with other bloggers.
If a blog is making you unhappy, stressed and even depressed, dump it immediately, you don’t need them.
Connect with bloggers who are in the same boat, or who are genuine in their claims. And often they won’t be making any.
7. Write to Solve Problems
Not every post has to solve a reader problem. Yes, your posts must be value-ridden but value could also be entertainment – the post doesn’t always have to be educational.
People might stumble on a blog looking for a specific question, but they stay if they are interested in the general topic, and because they like the blogger.
I have yet to find a blog I subscribe to while looking up a specific question.
Often I search for my question, type in my ‘key phrase’ and find the answer. Then I move on. Unless, that question is related to my area of interest. In that case, I may explore further and decide to stick around.
My conclusion? I follow blogs that talk about the general area of interest. Then I get to read about things even when I wasn’t aware of these issues. Naturally when I wasn’t aware, how could I look for answers?
Moreover, I follow blogs when I like and respect the blogger a lot. The blogger has gone through the trouble of forming a sense of connection with me and I trust them for that. It feels like I know the blogger, like they are their friend. A like-minded friend, talking about the same things they are interested in.
So, with all that in mind, if you want people to follow you then:
- Keep educating yourself.
- Write regularly.
- Form connections with other bloggers.
- Be authentic in your writing and
- Offer something of value to your readers.
Do that, and all will be well.
image: Tie Guy II