I asked the question on twitter 'Give me your 1 piece of essential advice for a new blogger' and I got a great response. You can always rely on Twitter, which brings me onto the first tip -
- JOIN TWITTER - @photopuddle said just that 'Join twitter! It's a great way of promoting your blog and you really feel part of the blogging community'. Set yourself up with a Twitter account and start following people and chatting to anyone and everyone. One rule - do not be shy! Jump in to anyone's conversations on twitter, do not sit back and wait - go for it! I found it very hard at first and it probably took me 6 months to really get into it and now I love it. I was a slow learner, I know others who are more confident in an unknown social situation who cracked it in a weekend!
- JOIN BMB - @cherrymumof6 tweeted 'Join BMB, they are a Godsend'. As per twitter, be brave and just say Hi. Start new discussions, add to discussions that are there already and any question that comes to mind - just post it and ask. Remember, like any other online forum, manners and good etiquette are a must. Join the new to blogging group and find some new blogs to check out.... hang on that's the next tip.
- READ OTHER BLOGS AND COMMENT, LOTS! A few tweeters had the same advice - @dawnie_brown 'Go visit other blogs and comment, you can't expect lots of views and comments if you make no effort yourself :)'. @susurem agrees 'read other blogs! And comment if you like what u read! Gain inspiration from the fab blogs + always link back to them' and an important reminder from @misssym 'Don't be put off by the lack of comments in the first few months. People will start reading if you stick at it. And just because people don't comment, it doesn't mean they aren't reading'. @bodfortea expands on this 'I'd recommend following and, importantly, reading and commenting on as many other blogs as you can manage both in and out of your genre to get inspiration and hopefully reciprocal comments/follows'. Then on the note of comments - @suburbanmummyuk says 'respond to comments. If Dooce can do it we can too lol'.
- ASK FOR HELP New blogger @bodfortea states 'I have met such wonderful mummy bloggers out here in blogland (including your very good self of course) and people are very willing to help so don't be afraid to ask questions' and fellow new blogger @SAHMLovingIt agrees, '1 piece of essential advice - interact with other bloggers, use the knowledge that's out there'. Use twitter, BMB, Bloggered or any blogger you have interacted with and ask what ever you need to. We were all new to blogging once and I have never yet had a bad response when I have asked for help. Some people might be too busy to help, but it is not personal, move onto the next person.
- RELAX AND ENJOY BLOGGING @savvymum4 tweeted 'Enjoy blogging, if it is getting a chore its time to have a break'. @lesleyannp1 offers an interesting view 'don't be scared. If people can read a blog about what someones cat ate for breakfast, they'll read about your topic too!' I must say I have never thought about it in this way before but it is true. Sometimes a subject is a bore to me but the post in question could get tons of comments - different strokes for different folks they say. So make sure you use your own original voice. Be yourself, bringing us nicely onto the next tip...
- @Livingwithkids 'BLOG FROM THE HEART' - Have you noticed what my blog is called? lol I always try and be really honest on here and in real life too. People can tell if everything you say is a put on. @cosmicgirlie agrees, she said 'Write from the heart, for you. Don't worry so much about what everyone else is thinking'. Being true to yourself is so important. @tiddlyompompom states 'be yourself, don't try to be something you're not' and @savvymum4 offers some good advice 'pick a subject you know about and don't just write a post for the sake of it'.
- DON'T FORGET TO LIVE REAL LIFE - I find the really interesting blogs are those where the family have a full and rich life. If you ever sit at the PC stuck for something to write my advice is to turn the computer off and go and live, you will soon find some good blog fodder! @notesfromhome agrees, saying 'live a full life - do, read, love, so on - and that will give you plenty of inspiration for blogging :)'
- PACE YOURSELF BUT PERSEVERE - @liveotherwise keep writing. Even if you think no one is reading, keep writing but heed @Tonihargis advice 'Pace yourself. Don't blog every day if you won't be able to keep it up'. This became a popular subject with @3bedroom jumping in too 'I second what @ToniHargis said. I tried to blog everyday except the weekends and burnt myself out for a while' and @cosmicgirlie responded 'Gotta jump on board that one. No WAY do I post every day. Pfffft no'. @mumsmyname independently also tweeted the same 'Dont put too much pressure on yourself to do it daily or weekly, enjoy it and it will just come to you'. @MumVersusKids also commented 'Schedule in some time for blogging and try and do it on a regular basis rather than just as and when you feel you have something to say. (e.g. 8 pm every night, or every Sunday night - whatever!). I know it sounds ridiculous but the biggest risk in blogging is that it is easy to get so wrapped up in writing about your experiences that you are too busy to actually experience them. Your kids will thank you!'
- TIPS FOR WRITING POSTS - Keep a notebook with you at all times suggested @tonihargis @3bedroom @nickie72 and myself @michelletwinmum. While @cosmisgirlie uses her iPhone as a dictaphone. I admitted to dreaming of my blog and waking to write notes and @3bedroom composes her posts in the shower! See, we bloggers are a varied bunch! @nickie72 also want to remind you to 'always credit ideas with linkbacks and don't forget to credit photos - even from google'. @crystaljigsaw said 'Don't make your posts too long. There are many interesting blogs out there and people have limited time'. Sorry CJ, this has ended up a long post, so many great tweets to include! Lastly in this section @bodfortea suggests 'Use Reuters for ideas from news stories that you can comment on too'.
- THINK FIRST - Before you hit that publish key think about what it is you are revealing to the world. Remember blogs are public places that anyone can view (unless you have a private one & then you do not need to be reading this post! lol) I had not thought about this really but @3bedroom remind us that 'unless your friends and family are cool with you using them in posts, don't or ask permission to tell the story'. Lastly @notesfromhome gives us some really good advice and says 'always keep safety in mind, don't reveal too much personal information (there r some crazy people out there). Unfortunately there are. Before you start writing your blog make a conscious decision if you will name your children, your partner, if you will show photos and if you will reveal your home town. Just the start of a very long list you need to think about really.
.....and if I can be of any help, just ask! Mich x
(If there are particular subjects relevant to new bloggers that you would like to see me post on then leave me a note in the comments and I will endeavour to get to them all)