Recently I’ve been asked by several friends of mine how I started my blog, how they could start their own and if I have any advice for them. I told them all the tips and recommendations I had, but I thought it would be useful for me to write a blog about it as well. Hopefully through this post I can encourage others to take the somewhat intimidating leap of starting their own blog!
Here are my top tips on how to create a blog that is sincere, interesting and relevant, so let’s get blogging!
Make It Yours
First of all choose your perspective and the main topics you’ll include. I focus on a range of student life material to PR, all stuff I can relate to on a personal level, but everyone has a different perspective and skill set. Maybe you’re studying abroad, or maybe your a creative writer in your spare time. We all have characteristics and skills that are great to focus blog content on and create a unique blog. People will also notice if you know what you’re talking about, so make sure you’re commenting on a topic that you would feel comfortable answering questions on or talking in more depth about.
Also, make sure you aren’t following in other people’s footsteps and really try and be unique and fresh with your content. People aren’t going to follow or return to a blog where they read the same content 10 other people have posted about. If you’re the first on a breaking topic regularly or are always original in your ideas your following will increase and just keep on growing!
This is a great way of drawing more readers in and if you’re similar to me and either studying or working in the PR industry you’ll know this is an incredibly useful tool for raising awareness. Basically the idea is that you create or compile content that relates to the ‘product’ that will encourage people to view your page and therefore your product. For example, in my case my product is me, I use my blog to engage with others in the PR industry. To content market myself and encourage PR professionals to view my blog I post about the top PR successes and fails and relevant events I’ve attended, for example the PRCA debate. By sharing relevant and useful content (check out my LinkedIn top tips) and compiling information that otherwise people have to hunt around for, I increase my chances of people checking back in or following my blog.
Also people love a good list. So add a number to the title (obviously only however many points you’ve included, don’t say there are 10 top tips when there are only 5!) and break up your post into key points with subheadings, similar to what I’ve done here.
Always include visual aspects to your blog, but please, please, please make sure they have a high resolution. The amount of times I have seen professionals 10x more experienced than me post a pixelated feature image and it just makes me cringe. There is nothing eye-catching and engaging about a pixelated image, so trash it and find a new one! There are plenty of stock image sites that have free, high resolution images that are perfect for blogs and feature images or even simple and easy ways to create your own!
It’s all about the timing. Decide how many times you want to post a month or a week, set a day or days that you’ll post on and do your very best to stick to it, especially when you’re starting out. If people know when your blog will be going live they’re more likely to check back in at the same time each week.
Also, time your blog posts so that they go live when people have the time to check in and actually read them. Posting at 3pm on a Monday obviously isn’t feasible, so think weekends, lunch breaks or evenings around commuting time.
The beginning is always the most nerve-wracking, but have faith in your self and to begin with stick within your comfort zones. Obviously when you start out it’s normal to feel a little nervous, but if you’re writing about a topic that you are worried about posting chances are you shouldn’t be posting about it. Make sure you’re confident in your content. If you have knowledge or an opinion on a topic someone will be interested and may even find it useful then post away! However, if you aren’t very knowledgeable on the subject or it’s likely to offend someone it may be better not to post it. Most people stay away from religion and politics as a rule, but obviously use your common sense and stay away from anything that may offend others.
Finally, always share your content, especially when you’re starting and not many people know you’re blogging. I tend to share my content on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even on my LinkedIn. Sharing at the beginning is what gets you your views. People will follow your blog, but how can they follow it if they don’t know it’s there. Regularly sharing your content on social media and linking back to older posts when you get a chance is a great way to raise awareness of your blog.
So give it a go! Use your common sense and trust in yourself. Who knows, you may be the next best blogger! If you have any more questions for me, please get in touch and let me know how you’re blogging goes. I’d love to have a read!