So, you want to start a blog – YAY, go you! Deciding to go for it is the biggest and probably scariest step in the right direction, but what’s next?
There is an overwhelming amount of information out there on the do’s and don’ts of blogging. Don’t stress that pretty little head of yours, you’ll need it for all the writing you’re about to do. I’m throwing you a life raft in the sea of information, rounding up the 5 things that helped me start out.
Know (and stick) to your topic
You want to be a travel blogger – great, just don’t diverge. This is particularly important in the beginning. When readers first find you, chances are they came across your page because it is a travel blog. Give your readers what they expected when they first visit, and chances are they will come back for more. No one wants to find what they thought was an epic travel blog, only to discover that the author spent the whole time talking about cars or spaceships. Unless you saw a spaceship on your latest trip… then definitely include that.
Check (and re-check) for mistakes
This includes both written and visual content. Yes, that means no spelling or grammar mistakes. Put that proof-reading cap of yours on and double, triple, quadruple check your work. If you are worried that your skills aren’t up to scratch, don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. In the meantime, grab an English savvy friend to help you out. In terms of visual aspects, no one wants to read an essay, let’s add some images to break up the text. See, that’s the great thing about travelling, you are in jaw-dropping locations on the daily, so take advantage. Snap some pics and add them to the mix. You don’t have to be a professional photographer; the beauty of today’s world is that all you need is an iPhone. Just try to avoid blurry or low-quality images as they will detract from the beauty of the piece you are writing.
Put your personality into it
A big part of blogging is you. This is your life, everyone else is just lucky enough to be joining you for the ride. You’ll find it’s not only about quality content but also the connection you have with your audience. You are what will bring your readers back to your site and you make your content relatable, so stay true to yourself. In the digital world we’ve all developed a very keen BS radar, so best not to trigger it. The best way to avoid this is to just be you, the good, the bad and the ugly out there for everyone to see.
Secondly, there is this thing called social media. Use it. In today’s digital world a strong online presence is essential for success. Keep the good vibes from your blog flowing across all platforms and you’ll give your audience a VIP pass to all things you.
Believe in yourself
Confidence is key. If you’re feeling unsure about what or how you are writing it will show. People will intuitively pick up on your uncertainty and therefore be uncertain themselves. Readers won’t have confidence in you and what you are saying, unless you first have confidence in yourself. I’m not saying you have to be confident all the time because that may just be impossible, but I’m a big believer in ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’
Understand that success doesn’t happen overnight
Quality engagement takes time, so please, please don’t be disheartened or give up if you don’t go viral overnight. Some of you may, which hey good for you, that is amazing – but for most of us it won’t happen straight away. Keep doing you, quality content will in turn attract quality readers – your time will come.