Newbie Blogging: I Really Wish I’d Known That…

I have recently been tweaking and changing little bits here and there around the blog in hopes that it becomes a bit more user friendly for you guys and that it’s easier to read and access for you. I have been blogging for about three months now, but I have only had the use of a laptop the past two! Before the laptop, everything was published using my phone and the Blogger app. They were dark days…

But now I want to share with you some really basic and easy tips that I have picked up over the course of my feeble two months floating around the blogverse. For some, they’re painfully obvious, but for me, they were tips that no body told me that proved to be incredibly valuable.

Blogging Tips - Things I wish I'd Known When I started blogging http://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk @gloryiscalling

 

1.Relevant # Hashtags: From my blogging experiences, there seems to be an appropriate hashtag for just about everything. That’s good, because it means there will be a hashtag specific to your blog’s content and you’re going to need to find it if you want to push your blog out there into the big wide world. No one ever told me there were universal hashtags that all bloggers of the same type used, so it took me a while to get the hang of things. In case you’re wondering and you’re a mummy/parent blog, the main #hashtags I use are are: #mummybloggers #parentbloggers #mbloggers #pbloggers #mblogchat. When using Tumblr, I tend to use the #mumblr hashtag most often.

2.Creating A Twitter List: I never used to use twitter too much before I started blogging, as I had no real need for it. Then along came the blog and I discovered that Twitter is an excellent way to make connections with other bloggers as well as being a useful tool when marketing yourself. One of the best things I have done lately when working on all things ‘blog’ was to create a Twitter List. It allows you to create a page and choose who’s updates you want to see – basically, you can categorise your tweets. No one told me this! I now have one set up with all the Mummy Bloggers that I follow on Twitter and I can easily skim through and catch any updates that I would have most likely missed on the dashboard.

To start creating a Twitter list, click on your profile picture next to the Twitter search bar and select list from the menu; the create list option is on the right hand side of the screen. To add people to the list, go to their profile and click on the little setting symbol and click on add/remove from list and make sure the check box is ticked!

3. The Related Posts Widget: I use blogger as my blogging platform and although there are loads of widgets listed when editing the layout of your blog, I have recently found out that there are loads more you can add that aren’t available in that list. They do require you to fiddle around with your coding slightly, but there are excellent tutorials on how to go about this. My favourite widget that I have found is the “Related Posts” widget that shows a list of posts that feature the same lables as the one you’re currently reading. It’s a great way for people to browse through your posts and find other things they’re interested in.

4. All Things Pinterest: I have always loved Pinterest and, like many, I am a little obsessed. But I never thought to use it as an aid to my blog. As it turns out, Pinterest is great for blogging and seems to be the bloggers best friend – it can seriously increase your traffic. You need to make sure your posts include ‘pinnable images’ – these are images that you see on Pinterest all the time that grab your attention. The best pinnable images are long and skinny as these seem to attract more attention than square images. Include text wherever possible on the “main” image of your blog that you can then link up to Pinterest. We all know what sort of images attract our attention when surfing through Pinterest, so replicating them can only be a good thing. Don’t forget to add a Pin It button somewhere on your blog – Pinterest Help Page has a whole section on building widgets and adding Pin It buttons to your blog.

Pictures: A big one I have learnt is: do not underestimate the power of pictures! I try to add a picture to every blog post and there are a couple of reasons for this.

Firstly, it goes hand in hand with Pinterest. If adding a picture and linking up to Pinterest is pretty much a surefire way of increasing your audience, it’s worth it, right?

Secondly, they break text up! I am so guilty of opening a really interesting blog post and immediately being put off by a vast body of seemingly never ending text! You may have written the most wonderful post full of passion, but if it doesn’t attract readers, no one is going to appreciate it. One or two pictures break text up and make long blog posts far more reader friendly.

Rubbish at photography? Don’t have photoshop? Only have your phone’s camera? No worries! I quickly found an online photo editor called PicMonkey that is used by pretty much all the bloggers I know, there are also sites like Canva. It’s free, but you can choose to upgrade your services for a few dollars per month if you wish. As for phone cameras, there are loads of helpful guides dotted around the internet to help you get the best out of your phone’s camera, whether you’re an Android user or not and point you in the direction of some wonderful photo editing apps.

When posting images, do not forget to watermark them! Also, bigger is better! Eye catching, bold and bright pictures are going to capture the readers attention, so use the biggest size picture your blog layout can handle without distorting.

Linky Parties // Newbie Blogging Tips // www.lukeosaurusandme.blogspot.co.uk

5. Linkies: It took me about a month to even come across the term ‘linky’ and another week or so to understand what the blooming heck they are! They are ‘hosted’ by bloggers and focus around a specific subject. Using some snazzy widget software magic, you are able to add the link of your post to a collection of other bloggers who have participated. The beauty of this is that you get to find other wonderful blogs, spread some comment joy, and get your name out there. Usual rules go along the lines that if you ‘link up’, you should comment on at least two other blogs who have also joined in. There are also #hashtags that go along with each linky, helping to spread the word.

6. Everything Takes Time: I never expected my blog to take off just like that, but sometimes I do feel a bit of “blogger desperation”. Hungry for page views and comments, twitter mentions and follows. It’s a bad place to be, kiddos, as it is very noticeable and off putting. It’s far better to sit back and enjoy what you’re doing, whether you’re writing as therapy or because you get a sense of achievement at the end of each great post you publish. Make friends via social networks, comment on blogs and connect with the community – steadily, things will start to take shape. Take your time, Rome wasn’t built in a day…!

So there you have it, a list of things I really wish I had known at the beginning of my blogging journey. If you have any other tips you wish to add, or if you want more posts like this, or you just fancy saying hi, drop me a comment!
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30 comments

  1. helloarchie.blue says:

    Great post! I haven’t been blogging long and these tips are things I haven’t thought about. Especially love the hashtag one as I have no idea what hashtags to use when I tweet. Thanks! Kaye @ helloarchie.blue

    #mummymonday

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      Thank you, lovely! I have read your blog from time to time and I love it, you’re doing great. 🙂 I’m so glad that I was able to help you out a little bit. I really wish this stuff was mentioned to me at the beginning, it seems to be things that more experienced bloggers don’t even think twice about! Thank you for reading, Ray. xx

  2. Carolyn Voong says:

    I’m pretty new at blogging too (only a couple of months) and I’m still a long way off where I want to be, you have reminded me of all the things I need to do! Can you believe I haven’t even started Pintrest yet?! And I blog mainly about style and beauty – shameful really haha! Some great tips 🙂
    #mummymonday

    http://stylishmemories.com

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      I had a crazy weekend of tweaking and fixing blog bits and doing all the things I had kept forgetting too. I love pinterest, it’s seriously addictive. Everyone loves and bit of style and beauty, it’s a really nosey topic for readers and I think that’s what makes it so good – I always want to know what other people are doing! Once you start Pinterest, you’re going to love it for style and beauty! Thank you for reading, Ray. xx

  3. Karen Howden says:

    What a great article! I’m going to organise my Twitter groups now… I didn’t know you could do that! Thanks for an enjoyable read whilst my little terror is wide awake at 2.47

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      Ah, the joys of parenting, aren’t kids such fun? I’m so glad you enjoyed it, it is my first attempt at writing blogging tips and I just went with things that seem to get overlooked by more experienced bloggers when they create these types of post. Thank you so much for reading. xx

  4. Louise says:

    This is a great list and it sounds like you have learned a huge amount in three months of blogging – it took me a lot longer to be aware of some of these things. Twitter lists in particular is something I need to make better use of. Thank you for sharing.

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      I really have – it’s amazing how much there is to learn and how much more there is to blogging than one might think. Creating twitter lists is great and I am so glad I found out about them, it makes socialising and chatting with fellow bloggers nice and easy and I find that makes the blogging experience more enjoyable and relaxing. Thank you for reading! xx

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      Thank you lovely! I think you’re blogging business is an inspiration to many newbie bloggers and I love that you share so much about your techniques with others. Thanks for reading. xx

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      It’s a game changer! 😉 I have loved it since I organised one, I now catch blog updates and I’ve read some brilliant posts that I probably would have missed. You’re welcome, thanks for reading! xx

  5. Ann Winters says:

    Great post! Even though I should not be a newbie at this point, I still feel that my blog is still a baby, and me, the inveterate newbie. I am always searching for tips about social media and how to improve mu blog… That said…You can create lists on Twitter? Whaaat, really?
    thanks for sharing all the tips 🙂 x

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      I know! I was also amazed by the Twitter Lists! I think they get used a lot but never really mentioned – I had to actually google how to make them when I first found out about them. I’m so glad you found it useful – I think I will consider myself a newbie for a long time yet! Thank you for reading, Ray xx

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      I have heard that from so many people. I think when you have a big following/you follow loads of people, it can be a bit of a daunting task. You could start off by adding anyone you have interactions with and new followers/people you start following and then go from there! 🙂 I know that’s how some people go about it. Thank you for reading, my love! xx

  6. mamamim blog says:

    These are brilliant tips – thank you so much for sharing! I’m yet to really get my head around Twitter lists – I’m a bit daunted by the thought of setting them up properly but I know they will be beneficial! #SundayStars

    • Rachael Robinson says:

      I am glad you enjoyed the tips! Twitter Lists are worth it and once you have it all set up, they’re easy to maintain. The initial set up can be a bit daunting when you have a big follow count. Thanks for reading xxx

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