Blogging is an evolving journey, and over the years, I have developed my own knowledge base and I like to try and share what I know…it’s my way to pay it forward for those just starting out. So, with that in mind, here are…
1. Blogging will bring more to your life than you ever imagined. Through blogging you cultivate new friendships, find an outlet for your creativity and for some, it even opens the door to new professional opportunities and interests.
2. It Takes Time to Find Your Voice. It doesn’t happen overnight and you will tweak it as you go until it feels right, but eventually, your personal writing voice will develop. Bloggers that I adore who have really mastered the art of their “voice” include Amanda from Parenting by Dummies and Jenny from Jenny on the Spot. They are unique and shine through their individual writing styles.
3. It’s O.K. to Break a Few Rules That Would Make Your English Teacher Cringe . I’m not saying you shouldn’t be editing your posts or that you should ignore quality grammar and spelling (their, there, they’re anyone? Please get these right!), but the beauty of blogging is you can overuse ellipses or say things like whathaveyou and people get a better sense of what you are trying to convey through that individual writing style – so if it works for you, step outside of the term paper MLA style of writing and throw a bit of clever prose in the mix.
4. Humor Rules. Bloggers who have the funny mastered have a larger following. Unfortunately, I’m not funny – so I will likely remain outside of the “big-time” circle, but I’m ok with that… Ok not really, I want to fit in, but I’m just not funny like Mama Kat, Scary Mommy or awesome like Amanda from Parenting by Dummies who knows how to string lines and lines of funny together. So, if you can do funny – make sure that it’s a part of that voice you’re cultivating – it will serve you well in the long run.
5. Burn out is Real. We all get to a point where we wonder if we still want to continue on this blogging journey. Sometimes it just takes a week off to regroup and feel rejuvenated again. Be willing to take that break so you come back to what you love because blogging really can be a lovely addition to your life.
6. Setting Boundaries for Time is Key. Blogging can be all consuming between the writing, commenting and interacting on various social media platforms – it’s important to set time boundaries so you aren’t letting other more important things in your life go by the wayside.
7. Photography Rules Apply. We all know that we should be using the highest quality photos we can when working to enhance our posts, but if they are not your own, be certain you are following copyright regulations so you don’t end up on someones bad side – or worst case… sued. Yes, it has happened. Be honorable – ask for permission or only use creative commons pictures and make sure you understand the varying rules behind each type of creative commons license.
8. Social Media Is Important. Dedicate time to 2-3 social media platforms for maximum exposure. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest all have value for cultivating relationships with other bloggers and for driving traffic to your site. If you’re not on these three, you’re missing out.
9. Pay It Forward. If you can help another blogger out by guest posting, promoting a post or participating in their twitter party, you are fostering relationships and helping them reach more people through your influence. That’s one way to begin developing those friendships that often come from blogging and make it so much fun. Supporting one another is a positive thing – we’re not in competition…at least we shouldn’t be.
10. Your Blog Should Be Authentic To You. Whatever goal you have, stay true to that goal and to the person you are as a whole. Your audience will notice dramatic shifts, wavering of values and loss of focus – so set out as you mean to go for the long term. Planning is important and sticking to your personal boundaries as to what you will and won’t write on is extremely important. Additionally, choose who you work with carefully.