Seven Tips For New Bloggers

6 Aug
"blog"

“blog” (Photo credit: inju)

A lot of my subscribers are fairly new bloggers  (which, I suspect, is why they subscribe here – they don’t know any better).

Thank you, new subscribers, for subscribing, however misguided you may be.

Formalities over and naming no names, I have noticed some common errors on my visits to your new blogs, and I thought I would give you some tips that I wish had been given to me early on in my own blogging career:

  • Use no more than ten tags, including the category.  Any more than that and search engines think you are spam and put you to the bottom of the list.  Good tags encourage more hits.  Failing that, they garner amusing searches which you can shamelessly turn into their own posts.  Or is that just me?
  • Break up paragraphs.  It is difficult to read one huge block of text; people don’t have time to persevere or just can’t be bothered, and you might get hits because of your perfect tagging, but no possibility of a relationship with your visitors.  Short paragraphs/bullet points/photographs/bold/italics all make your post more attractive and easier to read. Your mantra should be:  Illustration Illustration Illustration. It is easy to upload your own photographs but if you don’t have any that are suitable, use Zemanta, to the right of your new post.  Type in a key word for a royalty-free illustration. 
    Punctuation ahead

    Punctuation ahead (Photo credit: mag3737)

     

  • Interact with your readers. Respond quickly to comments and always return visits, leaving a friendly comment when you do.  To begin with, it is worth having the Like and Comment Notifications sent to your email inbox; as you get busier you can turn it off again.  As your blog grows and becomes more time-consuming, your regulars will know that you are busy like them, but you won’t ignore them.
  • Use 140 character titles.  Search engines like them.  Get key words into the title.  If you can’t make it relevant, make it interesting or amusing, to catch readers’ attention.
  • Write right.  Bad punctuation, spelling and grammar can be off-putting. If it’s not a skill of yours, sign up to blogs that offer tips; turn on the spell checker (but bee warned: it is not infallible); and read read read!  Reading is the best way to improve your skills, find interesting topics to blog about, and to cultivate good blogging relationships.
  • Link to other blogs.  Links not only publicise those blogs you like (the only reason I do it, I swear), they encourage search engines to find you (a fortunate side-effect, that’s all).
  • Learn to count.  Readers get seriously annoyed if you promise them seven tips and only give six.

There are lots of other great tips, but these are the ones I think most important to new bloggers.

Blogs and Coffee

Blogs and Coffee (Photo credit: BrotherMagneto)

Here is a good link, which is in no way a shameful flatter of my WordPress masters in an attempt to get myself Freshly Pressed: sign up to The Daily Post; they send out all kinds of useful information.

Happy blogging!  Remember who set you on the right path when you are a superblogger, and throw a link my way (no slighting the hand that reads you).

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109 Responses to “Seven Tips For New Bloggers”

  1. allworldissues August 6, 2012 at 11:58 #

    Good tips, would love some feed back from you on some of my posts :)

  2. vivinfrance August 6, 2012 at 11:59 #

    Most important tip, if you are as clever as Tilly: Make ‘em laugh.

    I love spoonerisms and your sign-off line was a cracker.

  3. jmgoyder August 6, 2012 at 12:12 #

    Generous Tilly!

  4. katharinetrauger August 6, 2012 at 12:15 #

    I always heard the sign language y’all use is different from ASL, but — sure wish I had two right hands so I could form at least the one word I’ve now learned! ;-)
    Just goes to show, y’all’s pronunciation is always more right than ours, even in sign.

  5. mairedubhtx August 6, 2012 at 12:16 #

    Very good tips from the Master (or Mistress) of Blogging.

  6. Piglet in Portugal August 6, 2012 at 12:51 #

    Excellent tips. Never knew about the 140 characters for titles

  7. sanstorm August 6, 2012 at 12:52 #

    Good stuff, Tilly. I am a big fan of paragraphing also.

  8. puddinggirl August 6, 2012 at 12:53 #

    This is not just for newbies Tilly… It is also helpful to old timers! I would like to reblog this, I have lots of new bloggers who followed me recently! :-)

  9. misswhiplash August 6, 2012 at 14:48 #

    thanks Tilly

  10. Katherine Gordy Levine August 6, 2012 at 15:08 #

    Pinned you on Better Blogging and Writing. http://pinterest.com/pin/147141112796380400/ Did not know the tip about short titles. So as always thank you, but not just for laughs.

  11. Katherine Gordy Levine August 6, 2012 at 15:10 #

    So do you know how many links kill search engine interest. Cannot find where I read the limit on that?

  12. laurieanichols August 6, 2012 at 15:23 #

    Tilly you are my blogging mentor so I can attest to your wonderful advice, you are a peach!

  13. laurieanichols August 6, 2012 at 15:25 #

    Reblogged this on laurieanichols.

  14. judithatwood August 6, 2012 at 16:25 #

    Tilly B., this post is great — you have put a finger to most of the biggest problems, and reminded me that I need to brush up on some basics. Thanks so much!

  15. Lizze August 6, 2012 at 16:33 #

    I’ve been blogging for a while but thanks to a hacker I’m starting from scratch and building from the ground up. These are awesome tips and I’m definitely going to be using them this time around. Thanks! (Thanks for the info on the weekly photo challenge too! :-))

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife August 6, 2012 at 20:14 #

      That’s horrible! Perhaps you should write a post on how to avoid being hacked. I would read it :)

      • mylifebeyondlabelsizze September 21, 2012 at 15:25 #

        That’s a fantastic idea! Quick question: Can I cross post this to my blog? Or would you be will to write something similar as a guest post? I have quite a few friends who are looking to get started with a blog of their own but are feeling very over-whelmed by the whole idea. I know that your blog but this post specifically would likely help the immensely! Just shoot me an email at:

        lizze (at) mylifebeyondlabels (dot) com

        and let me know what you think, please. :-)

  16. macilane August 6, 2012 at 17:01 #

    I am a Swedish blogger and I have a lot about the “blogging life” in my blog. When I found this post of yours I really want to show that in my own blog with reference to you. I will use your English text too, but I naturally want to hear your comments about this “proposal” first. Please tell me and perhaps give me some instructions….

    http://macilane.wordpress.com

  17. gigihawaii August 6, 2012 at 17:13 #

    Good tips, Tilly! I especially like that hand sign showing the word BLOG. Lol. Too cute!

  18. viveka August 6, 2012 at 17:23 #

    Write right. – thanks for this one .. *smile … great post – great tips.

  19. Three Well Beings August 6, 2012 at 17:41 #

    I’d also add to new bloggers the reminder that there are millions of blogs/bloggers in the mix. With all of us struggling for adequate time it simply takes awhile to develop a social circle, much like if we were all dropped into a huge cocktail party…circulation is important, but not everyone will feel comfortable with each person at the gathering! It takes time to just let that be…and then when it begins to happen, it’s so much fun! And thank you for The Daily Post recommendation, Tilly. I didn’t know a thing about it, but will now! :-) Debra

  20. Gobetween August 6, 2012 at 18:23 #

    Poor beginners, your are such a bad example. When do I get a Malteser I am running out of insults?!

  21. Pseu August 6, 2012 at 19:02 #

    Two new things here for me. Ta Tilly.

  22. SchmidleysScribbling August 6, 2012 at 19:59 #

    Great tips. I won’t read if the blog is more than 600-700 words. I took me a while to realize longer was difficult for others. Another tip is make your type large enough for the sight impaired. I can’t read type that is small.

    Also, who knew I usually have a bunch of categories and no tags. Must be confusing for blogger?? Dianne

    • Westie August 8, 2012 at 14:02 #

      you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the sight impaired – they will tell their browser what font, contrast and everything else.

  23. Tom (Aquatom1968) August 6, 2012 at 20:11 #

    Never too late to pick up a trick or two, Tilly, and I’ve picked up three. Have a Malteser! :D

  24. jacquiefioramonti August 6, 2012 at 20:38 #

    Awesome. Thanks for the six and a half tips :-)

  25. I used to be indecisive August 6, 2012 at 21:58 #

    I didn’t know about Zemanta – I now have it enabled on my dashboard – thanks for the tip! :)

  26. musicgal2012 August 7, 2012 at 00:36 #

    Ha, I’m getting finger cramp from scrolling to the end of the comments….he he lol.
    Thanks for the great tips Tilly. I admit I’m not sure what the 140 charactors thing is..being a newbie some terms are a bit foreign as yet. I’m still struggling to find my way around on this site at the moment. Learning, learning, learning.
    Thanks for the great tips. I will certainly keep them in mind.
    You’re right about the paragraph thing too. I’m a shocker when it comes to things that look “too meaty” I tend to tip toe away. Yeah I know, not good.

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife August 8, 2012 at 21:21 #

      Just like with Twitter or a text, the 140 characters is the total number of letters and spaces. So this comment has a total of 143 characters.

      That comment above, I mean :)

      It’s all a learning curve; the more you blog, the easier it gets.

  27. barb19 August 7, 2012 at 01:21 #

    I didn’t know about the 140 character title, so thanks for the heads up; must check mine from now on. Lots of other useful tips too; thanks for a very helpful post.

  28. sunshineofthetropics August 7, 2012 at 02:11 #

    Lovely post. Thank u…it is indeed a great help for new bloggers like me :) Can you tell me how to reblog a post? I am still not able to figure it out. :(

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife August 8, 2012 at 21:15 #

      It’s easy. Go to the black bar at the top of the post and there is a reblog button to click. A box will come up so you can add your own comment.

      Good luck with your blogging career!

  29. Jodie August 7, 2012 at 05:37 #

    Great tips Tilly!! It’s a wonder you haven’t been freshly pressed…oh wait.. there was that prompt thing.. and the… lol. ;) Oh well it doesn’t matter your blog is still one of my favorites at least. :)

  30. shovonc August 7, 2012 at 09:21 #

    I thought all six of your tips were excellent.

  31. D.Rene. August 7, 2012 at 15:14 #

    This post is kinda awesome. I only say kinda because #1- I want to make myself seem much cooler and less uptight than I really am and #2 – Because the only thing better than you writing this post is you blogging on my behalf (smile).

    Seriously though, thank you. I actually took out my notebook and wrote some of these down.

  32. Robin Coyle August 7, 2012 at 17:47 #

    Good info for all of us! Thanks for the link to the Daily Post. I didn’t know about it.

    When you say link to other blogs, what do you mean?

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife August 8, 2012 at 20:55 #

      Mention them, including the links so people can click on them.

      I like to do it anyway, to promote other blogs. I don’t accept awards so it’s my way of sharing the love. Any benefit is just a bonus, not the purpose.

  33. evilnymphstuff August 8, 2012 at 18:01 #

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing :) It’s great to be reminded of such things even if I’ve been a blogger for more than a year now.

  34. sheilarosebelmonte August 9, 2012 at 08:32 #

    Very helpful! Thank you.

  35. sarsm August 9, 2012 at 09:06 #

    I feel like a new blogger.

    I didn’t know about Zemanta or the 140 character thing!

    I absolutely agree with ‘breaking up the paragraphs’. It’s so difficult to take in one constant stream of writing. No matter how well written the post is, I’ll tend not to go back…

  36. grannymar August 9, 2012 at 20:39 #

    My scrolling finger is numb in my endeavour to reach this box. My own fault since I am way behind with visiting this week, but hope to get back to my normal routine at the weekend. A suggestion from me is to think of your blog as an extension of your living room.Your blog posts are the invitations, when guests arrive, interact with them and they will want to come back again.

  37. LubbyGirl August 10, 2012 at 05:00 #

    I seem to have stumbled around in cyberspace and landed on Malteser. Obviously a planet inhabited by blogrites of the highest echelon – let the learning begin! I shall return to my corner of the blogosphere now, fully pumped, primed, and prepped for perfection in proper punctuation and posting. Oh, and don’t forget the platitudes. With attitudes. And alliteration.
    But seriously, folks – this is very good information that I am grateful to you for sharing. I found this through this link: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/submit-my-morning-coffee/. From there I wandered around your blog until I landed here, and the rest is . . . . . .
    (Do I get a Malteser now???)

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife January 20, 2013 at 08:49 #

      Hi LubbyGirl.

      I’m sorry, I must have missed this comment when it first appeared. I don’t usually ignore my visitors for five months, I promise.

      I love the idea of living on Planet Malteser. If I ever re-name my blog, I’ll send you a box :)

      Hope you are enjoying blogging as much as I do.

  38. benzeknees August 11, 2012 at 03:36 #

    I wish you’d written this last Christmas when I started blogging, it would have been really helpful. Maybe you should make this a recurring blog post?

  39. baywifey270 August 12, 2012 at 13:24 #

    I have a couple very silly questions. I’m a new blogger, and I can’t seem to figure out how to make my blog look pretty. 1. How do I use Zemanta for free illustration? 2. How do I link others’ blogs into my blog? Help, please? I can write all day long, but it’s no use if no one is interested enough to read it.

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife January 20, 2013 at 08:46 #

      Hi, Baywifey.

      I must apologise: I’ve only just seen this comment, five months later.

      Do you still need this advice or have you figured it out?

      Thanks for visiting and sorry for ignoring you.

      • baywifey270 April 10, 2013 at 21:26 #

        Hey! I apologize too. I’ve taken an unexpected 7+-month hiatus from the blogging world. I definitely still need this advice as I plan to get a fresh start on my blog very soon. Thank you!

  40. Perfecting Motherhood August 15, 2012 at 00:41 #

    Haha, I remember reading that daily prompt and you followed every single step on cue! Did it work for you? Did you get freshly pressed? If not, you should complain to the WP people.

  41. Barbara October 18, 2012 at 19:10 #

    Reblogged this on Day One and commented:
    Oh why oh why oh why didn’t I read this post at the start of my blogventures! My titles are over 140 characters long, I have been consigned to the spam bin forever for too many tags, and despite being a maths teacher, I am also Dyslexic & can’t count! Maybe I should just ‘Rip it up and start again?’

    • Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife January 20, 2013 at 08:54 #

      Hi Barbara.

      I seem to have missed an awful lot of comments on this post. Sorry to take four months to answer yours.

      My tips are just advice and not set in stone. If you are happy with your blog, no need to listen.
      :)

      • Barbara February 2, 2013 at 21:15 #

        Lol, no worries, I forgot I had commented…… I was being a bit silly when I wrote it… but you made some good points, especially about not using too many tags!

  42. Simone December 18, 2012 at 19:54 #

    This blog post is very helpful! I’m a new blogger and getting traffic seems a bit overwhelming at times.

  43. May De Jesus-Palacpac January 4, 2013 at 13:39 #

    so glad I found your blog site, i found it hard to stop once i started on the topmost one. :) these are great tips, too. thanks for posting

  44. Jackie Paulson January 7, 2013 at 03:34 #

    I am so glad you know Laurie as I am coming over to see your blogging tips, what great tips! I have been blogging for three years and you have more followers and comments than I do….You go girl.

  45. Amba Nair January 19, 2013 at 21:59 #

    Really useful pointers Tilly! Going over to my blog right now, to fix some of the errors you mentioned. Thanks for the tips :) Have a happy weekend! :)

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