Live and Learn: My Tips After 12 Years of Blogging

When I first started blogging I was a girl at the peak of awkward adolescence: thirteen years old with a whole lot to say! Every day I logged on to my dinosaur of a computer and would dial-up the Internet so I could update the world on my day as a middle-schooler. Slowly, as I began to realize that blogs were separated into categories, I began focusing my writing on subject specific articles and daily happenings. I always wanted my blog to have a personal twist! Now, a lot of my colleagues have asked me how to blog, how to start, and if I have any tips for breaking into the blogosphere. A lot of people don’t realize that blogging takes WORK if you really want to gain a following and meet new people! For me, blogging is a balance of the right tools and the right attitude. Let me know what you would add to this blogging list, too!

  • The proper tools are imperative for blogging! The first thing I recommend is having a computer that is ALL YOURS and a good computer safety program. As a young blogger it was all too often that I would end up opening e-mails that I thought were from “fans” and turned out to be something else. So, protect yourself and your computer with something from us.norton.com/antivirus, especially if you are going to allow fans and readers to e-mail you. Try using e-mail forms and remember to scan your computer regularly if you’re a link clicker.
  • Next up, images! If you’re going to start blogging, remember that we live in a visual culture. Usually, I like to include images to go with my blogs, especially if I’m blogging about somewhere I’ve been or something delicious I’ve eaten. Make sure that you take your own photos for these posts. It lets your readers look into your life a little more. Plus, it’s always nice to have a face to place to the blogger.
  • Choosing your niche: Now, I’m torn on this topic a little bit because while I DO consider my blog a niche blog, I don’t only stick to one particular niche. You might want to have a loose niche for your blog when you begin, but remember to branch out, too. For example, my blog focuses on health and beauty, but I also write about being a teacher, being a partner, and I talk about Shakespeare, too. Just look at blogs that have already chosen a niche and see what interests you the most. Of course, you can always try and create your own niche, too.
  • Conversation: Reply to your comments and carefully read others’ blogs. If someone is coming to your blog and offering comments, feedback, and compliments then you should do the same. No, it’s not easy and, yes, it takes work–but the point of blogging isn’t just to broadcast yourself, it’s to connect with others and share information as well.

After over a decade of blogging (I’m dating myself here!), I’ve learned some very important things about materials and rules when it comes to connecting with others and living online. Bloggers who make it look easy often have an arsenal of tools that they have tested and tried throughout their careers that have helped them come to where they are now in the blogosphere.

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