One of my favorite past times is writing for my blog. About 16 years ago I started one for the very first time and wrote about whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. It was freeing being able to put my words out there into the world and have others come back and comment. This was back when blogging wasn't a way to make money and so everything about it was pretty casual and fun.
Nowadays you have to work balancing writing for fun and making sure that your content gets seen. Whether you are writing to increase your SEO for your business website or just writing for fun, if you are a beginner and want to get your stuff out there, it's important to set up your blog so that others can find things easily. I thought I would share with you blogging for beginners in a quick guide!
Create Clear Navigation
There are so many ways to get started with blogging as a beginner. One of the most important things to have is navigation. It helps your readers find articles and browse around. One of the best places to put it would be at the top where your readers can see it straight away. All of your important pages that you want readers to get to should be, at most, one click away. You can also create a secondary navigation that holds all of your categories. This makes it even easier for your readers to find what they want under a particular topic.
Choose No More Than 6 Categories
It can be hard to narrow down your categories as a blogger. You have so much to write about! If you take some time to strategize your target audience, and what exactly you want to share on your blog, you can generally narrow everything down to at least six. Categories are meant to be VERY broad. If you want to get more specific, you can then start to strategize subcategories! Even tags can be used to help organize stuff, but this is mostly used for organizing your site for SEO.
Have Clearly Defined + Related Titles (Subtitles as well)
This is something very important for SEO (learn more here), but it is equally important to have titles that give readers an idea of what the post will be about. It brings them to a place where they need to make a decision on whether or not what you have to share is interesting to them or not. You don't have to create click bate. Just make sure that you include your keywords and have it coincide with your topic. It's gotta flow!
Enable or Disable Comments
Here you have a choice to make! It's easy to think that having the comments section set up would be a given, but it isn't always the case with whatever site platform you are using. There are also many different settings you can set comments. Like whether you want to approve them before going live or not. Another thing you might also want to consider is whether you even want comments. I have seen several bloggers turn the comments section off on certain posts for sensitive reasons. Sometimes you might find that a particular post doesn't need to have a conversation. Decide the intention of the blog and move from there. You pick!
Include LOTS of Visual Content
So SEO and Google might like words, but people LOVE pictures. It is a quick way to inform readers of what your article is going to be like or lure them into your post. If your images are bright, clear, and authentic people will want to click. If you don't feel confident in your photo skills, it's ok! More and more, readers are wanting to find people to follow that are real and down to earth. The styled shoots are great and all, but sometimes just a real life phone picture that is clear and bright is going to touch more readers.
schedule posts consistently
To be honest, I don't always schedule out my posts well in advance. But one thing that I do do is work to be consistent with my posting. Figuring out how often you think you can post is really important. Be realistic with yourself and make a commitment that you know you can keep. Sometimes starting out small is best. For me, I post once a week because I create a lot of content for other projects. Social media helps in this area in that I am definitely able to micro blog on Facebook and Instagram everyday during the week. Creating longer posts with lots of information in on this website takes a lot more time and planning. You can post once a week, two times a week, or everyday (if you feel that determined!).
This quick guide will hopefully get you started as a beginner blogger. It takes a lot of time to develop an audience and I know that there are a lot of people that have huge followings now that didn't start out with amazing pictures or fancy websites. Make sure that you are true to yourself and only work within your means. People love good content, the pretty websites are just an added bonus for when things really develop! Trust me, I love beautiful things and it's hard not to fully develop your dreams. Stick with it and you will get there.