Why am I doing this?
Because I can.
A lot of people do lists on how to “EXPAND YOUR BLOG AUDIENCE WITH TEN SIMPLE STEPS! DO THESE AND YOU ARE GUARANTEED 500000 FOLLOWERS WITHIN A DAY!” (Okay, not really, and that’s kind of insulting… Whoops sorry)
No. I’m not doing that. I’m coming at it from the view of someone who, when I started, was literally TERRIFIED of the blogging world. I didn’t know where to go, how to write anything, how to TALK to people, and I couldn’t even follow any “how to be a good blogger” lists because I didn’t know they were out there, and I felt like they wouldn’t work and that I was just “fake” for trying to follow them. You know?
If you’re new at all of this, like I was a year ago and you’ve stumbled upon my strange thing I call a blog, then I hope these will help you. It’s based off my own experiences and from what I’ve seen, they work? And apparently I’m relatively okay at this all so I’ll trust myself for once. I’ve changed my style of writing over the past year, and I’ve changed a lot, and most of it was because of blogging and what I’ve gone through.
First off, when you start, you should TALK TO PEOPLE. That sounds like an obvious thing, but I wish someone had told me that because I was an unsocial moth before I started being Elm, and it took me a WHILE to pluck up the courage to comment on random people’s blogs. It’s a really good way to get people to visit your blog, especially if they’re new as well, but it’s also great as a way of making blog friends and just talking to people in general. That’s the main thing that makes me happy when blogging. So, comment on people’s blogs, like, follow, all of that standard shit, but also ENGAGE. Show you’re a person and that you respond to the posts.
On the subject of that, and it took me a few months to even realise this was a thing, but I’d suggest making a blog twitter and/or email. Emails made it so that I could talk to many more bloggers OUTSIDE the blogosphere itself, and it made and makes me extremely happy whenever I get an email on that account. And Twitter gets you in with the community too (“in with the community” what am I saying), and there are SO many bloggers on there. That doesn’t mean you should just “follow the herd” – it’s up to you.
You’ll probably wonder why, at some point, your posts don’t get many views. Firstly – it WILL happen with time, as cliché as that is. Don’t stress about it too much, but just make categories for your blog to organise it, and tag your posts with the relevant things. It took me bloody ages to know WHAT those relevant things are, but just think: what’s my post about? Who am I writing it too? Who do I want to READ it? It’s all very well to say “tag your posts”, but if you don’t know what to tag them with, you’ll be confused as hell.
I can’t give you many tips on making your blog look pretty, because sight is something I heavily lack and my version of pretty is laughable. All I can say is, make your blog so that it looks good to YOU. You can take advice from people, but first and foremost, it’s YOURS. It would be like someone screaming at you to change everything about your appearance, until you don’t feel like yourself any more.
The main thing? The thing that has made blogging into a REALLY positive thing for me? BE. YOURSELF.
If you don’t get many views, keep writing. If you only have 10 followers, keep writing. Your blog is for YOU, to shout your thoughts onto or to get advice; to show your talents and talk about something you’re passionate about. Don’t fall into a pattern of constantly wanting to get more – more views, likes, comments – because at the end of the day, people visit your blog because of your content, or because you’re a lovely person. Keep that at the forefront of your mind, because that’s who you are.
You won’t want to do all of these, and if you don’t, you’re NOT a terrible blogger. Far from it – things work different for everyone, and something that works for me might not for you and that’s okay.
I know I’m not one to talk – I’m not professional, my grammar is sometimes attrocious, and I call myself arrogant on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean I can’t give advice when I think that my points are somewhat “valid”. Blogging can be like jumping from the bottom of a cliff to the top – it can feel impossible – but don’t give up on it. There are so many people who will support you and who KNOW what it’s like to get no comments on a post and feel terrible about it.
I hope this has somewhat helped – because though you will probably have heard it before, I wanted to put my spin on it. To explain WHY I think these tips are really good, even if they’re not new. They’re what I used; that, and just bumbling my way through a year of being REALLY personal on le blog.
As always, keep writing!
From Elm 🙂