When my hosting service provider notified me about renewing my domain, I realised that this blog was officially registered a year ago! As a new blogger, I assumed my mind would constantly be swimming with ideas and I would be furiously stringing words together at odd hours of the night. I have never been more wrong. Remaining consistent while maintaining well-curated content is probably one of the most challenging aspects of being a content creator of any kind, especially if you are juggling a full-time job as well. It’s definitely not as straightforward as it seems. Through my own experience and observations within the blogging community, I have picked up and noted 6 key tips for new bloggers to keep in mind when starting out.
1. Invest In A Domain
Having your own custom domain with paid hosting is one of the best and most important things you can do for your blogging career. Not only do you come across more professional and authentic, but search engines will rank you higher than if you were using a free domain offered by the blog platforms.
2. Use An Email Address With Your Own Domain Name
Once again, this counts towards your professionalism and credibility. And also, why wouldn’t you want to promote your own brand as much as you can? If you are building your site yourself, this can be a little tricky but there’s nothing that a few google searches can’t fix. Set up email forwarding from your blog email account to your main email account so that you house everything on one platform. Then from there, configure your settings so that you can reply to blog-related emails using your blog email address and to private emails on your normal, main account. Again, nothing a few google searches can’t assist with.
3. Install Google Analytics
When creating content, it’s worthwhile to see where your traffic is coming from, what your best-performing pages and posts are and how many readers you are raking in. Google Analytics is quite comprehensive and it allows you toggle and tweak the dashboard to see specific results or trends that you would like to perhaps zone in on to improve your content. It might get overwhelming on the first view but the more you familiarise yourself with it, the less daunting it becomes.
4. Have a Clean, Mobile-Friendly Layout
Personally, my eyes find it quite frustrating to navigate a cluttered site. I probably skim through for about 10 seconds before I click out. If you are building your site using a theme, there are various blog-specific themes you can choose from – some of which are free. My Google Analytics stats show that 64% of my visits from a mobile device. Therefore ensure your site is mobile responsive and adapts to various mobile screen sizes.
5. Proof Read. Proof Read. Proof Read
After working through a piece, I prefer to give it a few hours before I go back and re-read it. Sometimes working on something for too long can make you overlook a few typos or grammatical errors that just need a fresh eye to notice. Read and re-read before posting. Also take a look at Grammarly, which is a free platform that helps you check that you have crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s.
6. Join A Community Of Bloggers
Scout around social media and see what blogging communities there are. This could either be a hashtag to follow or a closed group you can join. This helps you see the standard to which other bloggers are at, what you can aspire to and just general info on what’s trending in the industry
Most importantly – and what I tell myself regularly – don’t rush. Rather take the time to curate quality, well-written content as opposed to sending out half-baked work in the attempt to remain consistent.