So, you’re a new blogger?
It can be a daunting task setting up a blog and writing stuff you’re passionate about whilst running the risk that no one will read it, people will hate it, or your friends and family discover it and disown you.
It can also be daunting trying to build your own website from scratch, setting up a hosting plan, buying your domain, keeping on top of dead links and learning SEO.
Basically, there’s a lot of daunting stuff.
I get it. I’ve been there.
But all that you need to concentrate on from the off is the actual bloody blogging. In this article, we’re going to go over my advice to new bloggers in this article. It’ll be my top 5 tips that you should be making a note of and trying to implement as soon as possible.
Do as I say and your blog will be as top banana as it can possibly be. Maybe.
What qualifies me?
There are absolutely all sorts of how to blog articles out there and there are some genuinely interesting people writing decent pieces, but so much of is just churned out by ghostwriters who are regurgitating and rephrasing existing articles that were written by other ghostwriters doing the same thing.
And so the cycle of misinformation and un-implementable advice continues.
I am always one to bang out the self-depreciating humour, but on this occasion, I’ll actually big myself up a bit so you know that the advice you’re getting isn’t just wishy-washy drivel that won’t get you anywhere.
In the 2 and a half years since starting this blog I have done the following;
- Published over 150 articles.
- Been nominated for a best male blogger award.
- Published my own book.
- Worked with brands like Reiss, ASOS, Bvlgari and Canali.
- Had over 100,000 visitors to the blog
- Used my new writing skills to earn thousands of £’s doing freelance copywriting for businesses.
- Started my own creative writing studio, later expanding to social media marketing and web design.
- Have now worked for myself for over 18 months.
- And of course, the obligatory…met loads of great people!!!!
Please don’t think this is a big brag list. I mean, obviously it is, but I’m just trying to illustrate a point. There have been times where I’ve felt like I’ve made absolutely zero progress, felt like a failure and really had to battle with imposter syndrome. But when you list out all the things that you have accomplished, it can put things into perspective.
As the famous quote from C.S. Lewis goes; “day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different”. Don’t underestimate the power of small but consistent steps and always make time to look back and assess how far you’ve come during your blogging journey.
Way back when, I did an article featuring interviews with already-established bloggers on how people could get started and succeed in blogging because at the time, I had absolutely no idea. I never thought one day I’d write a big bastard of a post all by myself. Maybe all the other bloggers in that article have better advice than me so go and check that out when you get the chance.
But for now, PLEASE READ WHAT I HAVE TO SAY.
I could give you a million and one mind numbing stats about why and how blogging is taking over the internet, with bloggers being the new rockstars, travelling the world and making millions.
The fact of the matter though, is that I’m too lazy to do so and you probably don’t need selling on the idea that blogging is the dog’s bollocks if you’re reading this.
Should I have said “the blog’s dollocks” there? That would have been a bit funnier wouldn’t it?
My top 5 bits of advice to new bloggers
Now for what you’re actually reading this godforsaken article for. My wise words. The blogging grand master is about to impart his eon’s worth of experience and #knowledge upon you mere mortals/peasants/n00bs.
So grab a notepad and pen and get ready to have your head swelled to dangerous proportions with ancient blogging wisdom.
1. Niche down (at some point)
Listen, when I started, I was writing slow cooker stew recipes. I knew I wanted the site to be about lifestyle and self-improvement, but I had no idea how much of it I wanted to cover.
So I just covered every bit of it.
I had all sorts of categories like book reviews, politics, album reviews – it was so scatterbrained.
Eventually, I niched down. I decided on my 3 categories about 18 months ago; Style, Wellbeing & Culture. They’re still quite broad, so if I wanted to go off on a bit of a tangent I could probably still put it under one of these. But that’s beside the point.
The point is, I tried everything – literally everything – and eventually found what I wanted to write about. Then I doubled down on doing my very best work in these subjects.
It’s that simple.
2. Write 400 words every single day
This is very similar to the Jerry Seinfeld ‘ don’t break the chain’ method. I split the 400 words up into 2 chunks throughout the day. 200 words is extremely easy to write so it won’t be as scary to start as if you had set a goal to write an entire blog post in the day.
Once you reach 200 words though, you’ll likely find yourself in a flow state and you won’t want to stop. This often means you’ll end up doing closer to about 500 words instead of the 200, meaning 1,000-ish words per day if you keep that state going.
Don’t beat yourself up if you just want to write your two, 200 word chunks and be done with it though. 400 words every weekday equates to 2,000 words per week. Depending on how long your blog posts are, that could mean as many 4 blogs written in a week just from about 20 minutes of writing per day.
If you want to really up the ante, try carrying on your 400 words per day on the weekends too. This will amount to an extra 41,600 words written per year.
Blogging really is all about them little, consistent steps.
3. Fall in love with what you write about
It goes without saying, you should start your blog with the intention of writing about things that interest you. But what is often overlooked is the journey that you need to go on to really fall in love with the stuff that you write.
Treating each post almost as its own piece of art is an important step in making the best content you can possibly produce. It sounds so daft – trust me I know – but you have to fall in love with the process.
So many people set out with the grandest intentions of having all these catchy-titled blog posts with amazing photographs, eye-catching formatting and witty prose, but they get de-motivated when they have to start from scratch.
They throw the towel in when they need to actually go out, get some pictures for the article, sit down for several hours per week to plan and write their dream blog posts, SEO-format the text and all the other nuts and bolts that make up a successful piece.
Do you think Michelangelo got in a huff when he had to climb up ladders and chill on a ceiling for four years to complete his work in the Sistine Chapel? Well, yes, probably. And you’re not Michelangelo. But let’s not dwell on that – you know what I’m getting at.
If you want to become a blogging pro, you’ve got to love the work that it takes and that becomes so much easier when you are also in love with whatever it is you write about.
4. Reach out to people
When I was getting started out, I followed as many bloggers as I could find. I’d message them, like all their stuff, read their blogs and just interact with them.
This sounds a bit generic I know, but just casting your net out, being interested in what other people are doing and generally just being a sound person will get you far in the blogging game.
I’ve actually met up with a load of bloggers in real life from doing this and it genuinely is a great way to meet people who are probably a lot different to the types of pals you normally gravitate towards.
Being active and always checking out other bloggers’ content is also a great way to steal ideas. Don’t tell anyone I said that though…
5. You want collabs? Email, email, email
So many bloggers are scared out of their minds to approach brands. They daren’t email or message companies they want to with out of fear of being rejected, laughed at or blacklisted (which is an absolute myth).
I used to email the likes of Ted Baker, Rolex and John Lewis pitching for collabs when I had less than 500 followers. Hell, I rang the Gucci head office to try and get a meeting with the marketing director even before that!
This is the sort of embarrassing self belief you need to have in what you do and what you can offer. It goes without saying that I obviously didn’t get anywhere with these brands, but since then, I’ve sent over 5,000 emails and had all sorts of collabs as a result.
I even worked with the Lisbon Tourist Board when I had less than 1,000 followers on Insta! It just goes to show, if you know how to pitch, you are clear and confident in what you can offer and most importantly – you send out an absolute boatload of emails, you’ll get the partnerships that you’re after. It’s a numbers game, simple as that.
I know people will say it’s not all about freebies and getting paid as they gallop off on their high horse with their zero readers – and they’re sort of right to be fair. If you’re in it for fame, freebies and money, you’re probably not gonna get any of those.
That being said, collabs are a great way to boost your profile, get more readers (thus helping/entertaining more people with your content), making somewhat of a living online and having nice things in exchange for a few hours of your time.
Why not go for them? Don’t be one of those sourpusses who is too afraid to go after what they want and then scorns others for doing so. Just go balls to the wall and start whacking those emails out.
That’s pretty much that gang.
They are my 5 best tips. Hopefully this advice for new bloggers has really helped you in your quest to start and grow your very own little corner of the internet.
I don’t think there’s many better things than having a space where you can be truly yourself without having to care what anyone else says or does.
And it doesn’t matter whether the blog ever takes off because you’ll always have it to look back on and be proud of for even having a go and having the bottle to do everything by yourself.
But enough of that motivational nonsense. That’s the loser’s mentality. Go out there, implement my tips and smash the backside off it will ya!