I started blogging in 2014 and came into it with no expectations. Blogging was nothing more than a hobby to me. Sweet Little Ramblings was a space to air my thoughts about anything and everything. It was the starting point for what I hoped would help improve my writing ability. But since the beginning, it has done so much more than that.
Sweet Little Ramblings became Lucy Rambles because over these years I’ve grown as a blogger and a person. The initial blog URL no longer felt like me. Since changing my URL only a short few weeks ago, I have worked extra hard to improve my space. It made me remember what it felt like to be a new blogger. I wanted to write a ‘Blogging Tips’ post to help other new bloggers out on their journey. There’s a lot more to learn than you initially think.
Blogging Tip #1: Schedule Posts In Advance
I only wish I’d done this when I first started because it is the only way to stay on top of blog posts. Bottom line is, I’m not a person who often has a lot of spare time to write posts. Scheduling posts is the only way I don’t run out of posts. Honestly, you lot are getting this weeks after I’ve written it. The best way to do it is to have one day where you work on writing posts and one where you focus on photography. You’ll find you have a lot more content ready to be published on your chosen days. I find that the scheduler on WordPress is often not reliable.
To remedy this, I’ve installed a plugin that forces unpublished scheduled posts to publish and it has never let me down. The downside is plug-ins can only be installed if you have a WordPress business plan (very expensive) or you go self-hosted.
Blogging Tip #2: Go Self-Hosted
I had no idea what being ‘self-hosted’ meant when I first started blogging. I was totally fine with using a WordPress site without the extra costs. After so long, you start to see everyone talking about going self-hosted and you’re forced to find out what the hype is all about. Being self-hosted essentially means you own your domain and your entire site. You can be self-hosted on any blogging platform, e.g. blogger, WordPress, Wix, etc. No, it’s not free but it also doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
I’m self-hosted with the lovely Lyrical Host. They do cost more than other hosting sites but their packages and customer service are second to none. I spent a week sending them emails every day and the response was fast and extremely helpful. These guys really will go above and beyond for you, no matter what hosting package you buy. By the way, this is not a sponsored post/ad I just genuinely have a lot of love for the team at Lyrical Host! I can’t recommend them enough.
Being self-hosted also means you own all your content and brands favour your site more as it looks more professional. I’m not saying brands will avoid you if you have a WordPress hosted blog (for example). That’s just not the case but they will take you more seriously if you’re self-hosted. By no means, do you have to go self-hosted to have a successful blog. You just have a lot more freedom with your site/content if you do.
Blogging Tip #3: Don’t force yourself to write
If you’re not motivated to write, you won’t create your best content. So it’s really important not to force yourself to write because you feel you have to. It’s easy to panic and think you’re letting yourself and others down by not having a post on the go all the time. But it’s not necessary to burn yourself out trying to write when you really don’t want to. Take a self-care day and have a breather. Come back to blogging when you feel you’re absolutely ready or you’ll dislike every single thing you do. It’s ok to miss posting for a week, we all need time off occasionally. Heck, I took a year out of blogging at one point so seriously don’t stress about it. You’ve got this and your writing mojo will return eventually.
Blogging Tip #4: Having a Niche is NOT Important
I’m aware that did not sound like a tip, but I’ll get to that. When you first start blogging, you come across thousands of other blogs and they all seem to be beauty or fashion related. And you’re like damn I have to focus on only one thing. That’s absolutely not the case. You write about what you want to write about it’s as simple as that. If beauty is your thing, write about beauty. Likewise, if books are your thing, write about books. Go nuts and write about them all in the same place! I genuinely used to think it was completely taboo to write about more than one topic. This mentality was partly to blame for my loss of interest in blogging. I was writing about beauty but I wasn’t bothered by it. I was writing for other people and not myself. Be selfish and put yourself first when it comes to your blog. Nobody else controls it but you so write about lizards if you want to!
Blogging Tip #5: Use Social Media
We live in a time where everyone is obsessed with airing their opinions online. Not complaining because that’s exactly what I do too. However, if you want to engage with more people, you have to utilise social media into your blogging game. It’s as simple as that. Try and use hashtags when you post on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Twitter is easily where most of my engagement comes from. You have to put yourself out there and get to know as many bloggers as you can. I promise we’re not as scary as we seem and we will talk to you. Don’t be afraid to tag RT accounts because they are there to help you reach more people. And also, the people who run them are really lovely and often do great twitter chats.
If you’re a book blogger, you always head over to @BookBlogRT and include them in your tweets for a helping hand. I’m obviously not just saying that because it’s my account or anything. (I am shamelessly plugging but I’d love to help more of you out).
I hope these tips were helpful and gave a little insight into this huge blogging world. Are there any other blogging questions that you’d like answers to?
Until Next Time,