Closing out my first week here on WordPress, I’ve accumulated 35 followers, published a couple of lifestyle posts, an art post, and guest posted to a fellow bloggers site. I’ve managed to build a couple of relationships and made an active attempt at engaging with the community. Its been fun, busy, frustrating, worrying, and exciting. I have more posts in the works, some literary magazine submissions being concocted in the background, and more plans than time to manage it all! Overall, I feel my first week has been a success, so here’s some tips to help you survive the early stages of your blogging venture.
Engage With The Community
If you take anything away from this blog post at all, let it be this. When you first start your blog, you have exactly 1 follower: yourself. Regardless of how amazing and well written your blog posts are, nobody is going to see them unless you get out and meet some fellow bloggers.
If you head over to the reader, you can type in ‘tags’ that suit your tastes. For example, short story, flash fiction, blogging, psychology, etc. Start reading posts that interest you from bloggers in the community, and be sure to leave a thoughtful, grateful, or encouraging comment, and follow those blogs. This period is all about building friends and connections, and it’s equally the most fun and time consuming task when it comes to starting a new blog.
Once you start getting out there, you can be sure that a few are gonna follow you back. Just keep posting, and hang in there!
Guest Posting & Collaboration
My follower count increased from 8 to a whopping 30 on the day my guest post went live on Beetleypete’s blog. As a brand new blogger with a few scattered, non-niche posts, that kind of growth is all you could ask for and more. All of a sudden, every time you post a new piece, thirty people are gonna get an email and see it on their reader wall, without all the extra traffic you’ll get from correctly tagging your work.
Now that you’ve put all the work into building friends and connections, get to work on sending out emails with your ideas for collaboration. Many bloggers love to work with each other, and if they haven’t got time to work on anything new with you, they’ll be more than happy to post a specific piece of writing that you write for their blog. This is a great way to get your words, style, and personality out to the world. Why show your thirty followers, when you could potentially show thirty-thousand? Stay positive, friendly, and helpful within the community, and your new blog will soon be bursting with traffic!
Correctly Tagging Your Content
You may not know, especially if you use a mobile device to post your content, but under post settings, you have a built-in feature to add tags to your post. This is a great place to tell users, WordPress, and search engines what your post is about. You can add tags such as ‘lifestyle’ or ‘blogging,’ and you can add longer form tags, like search terms. For example, one of the tags I’ve elected for this post, is ‘starting a new blog,’ alongside ‘new blog’ and ‘blogging.’ This helps not only WordPress users find your content in the reader, but search engines in the long term.
The more tags, over multiple posts, that point more or less in the same direction, seriously ramp up the strength of your site. If you have a lifestyle blog, or a life coaching company, tags such as ‘how to turn your life around’ and ‘affordable life coaching online’ are great choices. The more of your content that falls under that broad lifestyle category, the stronger your site, and consequently your traffic, will become.
Beyond all that, simple touches such as sharing photos, polls, and videos in your posts, goes a long way for the readability and engagement on your site. Don’t Be afraid to ask your community to answer a question, vote on your next post, or get involved somehow. Photos add a real inviting and personal touch to your posts, more so than plain walls of text. It’s hard enough getting readers to your site in the first place. Once they’re there, get them comfortable and make the a hot cup of tea.
What do you think of these simple tips for starting a new blog? Have a few more to add, any questions, or a personal favourite? Are you a new blogger looking to befriend a member of the WordPress community? let me know in the comments!
In the meantime, have a look for bloggers that enjoy hosting guest posts for both new bloggers and seasoned vets alike. Nicholas Rossis is a good place to start… I have a post going live on Saturday! His site is filled to the brim with useful articles to do with writing, blogging, publishing, and everything in between.