When you are new to blogging it can be challenging to figure out the best practices. I remember being in the same position not too long ago when I first started out. It’s important to know that there is no “secret sauce” to writing content, everyone has their own style and way of doing things….it all depends on what works best for you.
I don’t want others to have to struggle the way that I did when first starting so I compiled my own list of blogging tips and tricks for beginners. I hope you find some of these helpful!
1. Write Like You Talk
The number one fear that most new bloggers have is that they are afraid of writing. There is a common misconception that a blogger has to be an English major, or someone with a background in writing/publishing, and so forth.
This could not be further from the truth!
A blog is not a place that perfection is expected, rather it is a place for informal and conversational style writing. Some of the best posts are those that aren’t perfect grammatically but the writer was able to effectively get his or her point across to the reader. At the end of the day, that is the most important thing.
The best way to write your blog post is to literally write just as if you were having a conversation with
someone. I know that sounds like it could take some getting used to, and it will, but once you’ve done it a couple of times it will be like second nature! I think that by midway through my third post I had the hang of it, hopefully you’ll be able to get it down pat after your first post!
As you write what comes to your mind, you’ll be amazed at how quickly your word count piles up. There have been times that I just get lost in writing what’s in my head and then I look up and suddenly my post is over 1000 words and I’m not even done yet!
Much like anything else, the more posts you write the better you will get at it. The first few may take a little bit longer to finish but you’ll figure out how to write your blog posts faster and then you’ll be able to easily crank out post after post!
2. Make Sure The Content Is Your Own
An integral part of good keyword research is checking out the competition. By that I mean doing a search for your keyword and reading what other bloggers have written about that exact topic, or similar ones.
It is more than acceptable to get ideas from what your competition has done, it’s an excellent way of getting inspiration about what to write. One important thing that I need to really stress: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE know that you absolutely should not, under any circumstances, copy their work verbatim.
There’s a good reason that I am stressing this so much. The Google bot runs and collects all of the data from all websites and does its magical analysis on it. Eventually it will find your post and it will see that it was duplicated from someone else, and you will be penalized MAJORLY for it. I’m not saying that someone will hunt you down and you’ll have to pay a fine or anything like that, but your website will suffer the consequences and your rankings will plummet.
Plagiarism is not something that Google tolerates, even if you copy one of your own posts from one of your sites to a totally different site! Just don’t do it!
3. Develop A Quality Call To Action
You’ve done all of your research and you have written a fabulous post chock full of internal links, external links, and lots of great images. Visitors will read your post and then what? You need to be sure that you lead them down a particular path, most often times towards a product or service that you want them to buy.
Guiding the user to do something at the end of a post is referred to as a Call To Action. Surely you’ve seen fancy looking buttons with phrases like “Try Now For FREE” or “Get Yours Now” or “Supplies Are Limited”. When done correctly, it is extremely tough for a visitor to not want to click on the button…and that’s how you create conversions.
There’s a whole science to effective call to actions; everything from colors to the text to placement on the page is considered. You would be amazed at how the human psyche has been analyzed to help others predict behavior.
4. Create A Catchy Headline
The headline of your post is the first impression to a reader, and as your mom probably told you: “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression”.
The majority of your visitors will read your headline while a smaller number will actually read the actual your post.
Lets examine how you can create a catchy headline that captures the attention of your readers.
The most important job of the headline is to spark emotion because that will make the reader want to know more and they’ll click to find out. Words like Amazing, Incredible, Brilliant, Shocking, and so on are perfect examples of emotion words.
People don’t usually like to be told what to do but your headline should help guide the user towards clicking your post link. The headline should use direction, and by that I mean words like You, Your, You’ll, or even “groups” like business owners, bloggers, beginners, and so on. By using those words you make the post seem like it is something specific for that reader.
Include Your Keyword
When you decided on the post you were going to write, you did your keyword research. One of the most important places to insert your keyword is in the headline so don’t forget to include it!
There is a whole science to creating catchy headlines, check out this great infographic that explains it really well….I HIGHLY encourage you to bookmark and share this page so you can easily reference the image!
5. Anticipate Failure
You have so many choices when it comes to making money online and blogging is one of them, and it happens to be my method of choice. 🙂
The reasons I like blogging so much are because you get to express yourself in any way you choose while also helping people solve problems or make purchasing decisions…earning commission on the affiliate link sales definitely helps make it all worthwhile.
That being said, you should know that success does not come overnight. It does take a while for you to gain trust in the search engines and subsequently for your posts to rank high. If you’ve done everything right it WILL happen, but it takes time to grow…just like a regular brick and mortar business would.
One of the best pieces of advice I got from someone at Wealthy Affiliate (the best online business training platform around, try it for FREE!) was to anticipate failure. He emphasized that traffic and sales won’t happen right away. Yes it takes work, but it will pay off in the end. Keep your eye on the prize and keep going was the message.
6. Patience Is A Virtue
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip. I know it can be tempting to go and check how your site is doing, but trust me, it’s better that you don’t look too often in the beginning! It will do nothing but get you discouraged and you’ll start to lose interest.
Once you hook up Google Analytics to your website, you’ll be able to see how many visitors you get each day, what they’re looking at, and much more. In the beginning it is best to check it only a couple of days per week…..my schedule in the beginning was to check it Sunday and Wednesday nights.
Checking too often in the beginning won’t do any harm to your website, only to your motivation!
7. Be Honest And Transparent
I personally take this tip extremely serious, in fact it is one of the pillars of every piece of content that I write on this website!
So many people are trying to make money online these days, and unfortunately not everyone has people’s best interests in mind. Sadly, there are people out there that will try and trick you into buying into their overnight money making schemes….you have surely seen them and hopefully were able to detect the scam and run away!
When writing your blog post, always remember to be honest and transparent in what you are telling someone. Real people are reading this stuff and they are making real decisions based, at least partly, on it. I always try to remember to list the positives AND the negatives about what I’m promoting.
8. Know Your Audience
It’s very important that you do your homework when it comes to writing content that your readers want to read. You need to fully immerse yourself in your niche so that you can make sure you stay relevant and up to date with what you post.
So how do you know what your readers would want to read? Here are some ways in which you can find out:
- Ask them! Send an email to your subscribers and ask them what questions or concerns you may be able to help them with. You’ll be surprised at how many replies you get!
- Reread Comments. I’m sure you read and replied to all the comments on your posts as they came in but take a few minutes to reread them. Questions asked there could give you insights.
- Browse Forums. Visit forums in your niche and see what topics are being discussed.
9. Keep Your Content Timeless
In this day and age things happen very quickly and things become obsolete at warp speed. People want the latest and greatest, that’s why manufacturers make slight changes to a product and give it a new “version number”. People will go in droves to get the newest model.
Blog posts are no different so be careful not to include too many time sensitive things in your posts. Definitely stay away from using a year in your headline (unless it’s an end of year countdown or something like that)
People tend to shy away from things that seem outdated so make sure you keep it fresh and new!
10. Short Paragraphs, White Space Is Good
Everyone has their own writing style, but one thing that should all bloggers should consider is keeping paragraphs short. Readers tend to scan a page before they really dive in, and one of the biggest turn offs is a page that has long paragraphs of endless text.
Breaking longer paragraphs of text into smaller chunks makes the post look less intimidating to a reader. It will add white space to your page which also makes it more aesthetically pleasing.
Speaking of aesthetics, don’t forget to add images into your content. Images provide another great way to break up all that text. It gives the readers eye a nice break, and posts with great images tend to get shared on social media more.
11. Post Lists and How Tos
People are constantly on the internet searching for answers to questions and are looking to learn. As they read through the results of their search, they are often looking for things that stand out to them. They are looking for the quickest information they can find.
Since they tend to scan pages quickly, one of the best kinds of posts you can make is a List Post…much like this one! Visitors will scan through each bolded headline and read the ones that interest them. Remember to add images and information that will make them stop at each one!
The other really popular kind of post is a How To post. The number of searches done using the phrase “How to …..” is increasing exponentially. We are becoming a more DIY society so posts that (either done by you or someone else) share knowledge of how to do something are internet gold! Make sure you include a Youtube video in your how to post!
One Last Thing…
I hope you have enjoyed my 11 blogging tips and tricks for beginners, and I hope that you were able to learn something.
I’m always looking to learn more so I would love to hear about any other ideas that you may have. Please don’t be shy, share in the comments or you can contact me directly!
What blogging tips have worked for you?