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A Dozen Tips for New Bloggers

eye Did you know that most people who register a blog will quit blogging within a few months time?  Their original enthusiasm fades and they abandon their blogs in less than a year. If you are determined to blog over the long-term, it’s critical to focus on creating high quality content on topics you are passionate about.  Keeping your blog updated with fresh content will maintain reader interest and stimulate discussion. Increasing traffic will be the natural consequence of visiting other sites and commenting.  But it’s always helpful to take a peek at your blog through a visitor’s eyes.

First impressions are important

Is your blog looking fresh and lively? Will your theme, colors and customizations appeal to your target audience?

According to Canadian researchers, web users form first impressions of web pages in as little as 50 milliseconds (1/20th of a second). That means visitors to your blog will  judge its visual appeal in the  blink of an eye, affirming that first impressions are important.

When we visit a blog that’s cluttered and disorganized and find it’s difficult to navigate, we conclude we aren’t likely to find  content of value in it.  We aren’t likely to linger long or to return to it.

What does your About page communicate to first time visitors about you and your purpose for the blog?

Whatever your style, background, personality, profession or purpose, your About page is a way to introduce yourself, let visitors know what to expect to read in your blog and when it will be published.

Will first time visitors to your blog find your blog address ie. URL, blog title and tagline easy to recall when they leave the blog?

If you do intend to create a new blog I recommend you do your homework first. Wherever possible, your new blog’s url, blog title and tagline ought to contain keywords (products and/or services) (topics, concepts, themes) that define your blog’s intended brand.  A short tagline can help define who the blog is for and what’s in it for them.

How do I find my way around here?

  1. Is your blog structured and optimized in a reader and search engine friendly manner?
  2. Is your blog easy to navigate?
  3. In blogging content is the draw to your site. Have you created pillar posts (flagship content) that has timeless value and brings back readers again and again?
  4. Are you organized, publishing regularly and are your readers aware of your posting schedule?
  5. Do you deep link to your earlier posts in your recent posts and use correct anchor text to do so?
  6. Do you backlink to posts on the same subjects in related blogs?
  7. Do you encourage your blog readers to comment?
  8. Do you reply to all comments?
  9. Do you promote your posts after publishing them?
  10. Do you link to related blogs and keep your blogroll or links page updated?
  11. Do you subscribe to the RSS feeds of related blogs?
  12. Do you comment on other related blogs?

The best way to introduce your blog to other bloggers and to attract traffic and comments to it is to seek out blogs in the same niche (subject area) as your own blog.  Focus on leaving meaningful comments, creating blog centered relationships with fellow bloggers, and encouraging them to read and comment on your posts.

59 thoughts on “A Dozen Tips for New Bloggers

  1. Its interesting reading the comments on this blog, I don’t think too much about the looks I have to admit, because for me, the act of writing is the motivating force. Because I am frustrated by my limitations (fibromyalgia!) I use blogging as a creative tool to keep myself engaged in the outside world, and to keep me curious. I need to pay attention to the tekky bits, like back thinging etc, . What puzzles me is why I have so few readers from Britain, when I am posting in their time zone. Where are all the Brits? Hope your health is improving. Thanks for following. You are a favourite with me!

    • Thanks for the list, its just what i needed. I love the prompts, but am having a hard time keeping up with all of time and deciding which ones intrigue me. Great Idea-keep it up, please! beebeesworld

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  3. As a newbie in this blogging environment, I value your experience and advice. As our British cousins would say, your blog “is spot on!” Good luck with the remodeling project. Your part of B.C. is truly stunning. Aloha from the Big Island of Hawaii.

  4. Hello TimeThief,

    I’m trying to add tags to my WordPress blogs and they are asking me for the “name as it appears on my site”?

    What do they mean by “name”? Maybe my own name or the title of my blog? They don’t explain.

    Thanks, John

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for that read of my post. New bloggers start every day and it’s important for me to remember they are out there so that leads to reviews and summaries.

      Hope you are enjoying your summer. We are about 25% through our home renovation.

  5. Great post! Do you have a post for you how modified your blog with graphics? I use this theme and would love to be able to modify it and make it look better but I am not sure exactly how.

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  7. What solid advice! I’ve been figuring this out on my own for a while, so it’s nice to get some confirmation. Looking forward to more of your posts.

  8. timetheif, please save a good writer and terrible technophobe from a big question. exactly where and how to i list links, back links etc in order to be most effective. I like your site, it is informative, many great suggestions..i am just so far behind with the terminology, it is difficult for me to implement…i need a 101 SO bad-I will stay with yours, appreciate your help and welcome other suggested sites-seems the wordpress tutorials sorta leave me hanging…thanks beebeesworld

    • Hi there,
      I’m so glad you think there’s value for not so new bloggers in my post too. As soon as I find time to I may even follow my own advice more closely. ;) lol

  9. Another great article for new bloggers (and old ones who don’t know all they need to know!). Number five is the only one that I’ve got to deal with more as my blog progresses, but I shall when I need to, I’m sure. I’m doing it differently this time, much more conscious choices about what I’m blogging and when, the tags, categories, backlinks and so on.

    You may have noticed a visitor from the UK over the past few months via your stats (all assuming you look at them) – that was me, checking on a lot of your articles to make sure I was doing things right! :)

    Thanks TT.

    • Hi Val
      It’s great to see your new blog up and running. No doubt if I started this one again from scratch that I would be doing things differently than when I fist began it. When I have time I do read old posts and then edit them.

      I have been spending my evening on home renovations. I haven’t had time to blog in my personal blog . :( I haven’t had time to view my stats either. Frankly, stats viewing and analyzing is at the bottom of my to-do list so I rarely get to it. Oh well, by the end of summer this whole house will be completely renovated and then I can devote some time to looking at the numbers.

  10. A great many bloggers don’t pay much attention to how their blog looks, or how easy it is to navigate through them. Themes like Twenty Eleven can look very unique (like yours!) with just a bit of effort, but many bloggers just don’t seem to think about how boring this theme can be when it pops up in blog after blog after blog with no customization.

    • @Margie
      I agree that some bloggers don’t seem to pay much attention to how their blog looks and that’s their loss. I’m thinking they probably don’t subscribe to any blogging tips blogs and they should, at the very least, subscribe to mine. :D

  11. Blogging to some people is like a new toy, they’ll get bored with it eventually and get rid of it. Coming up on my first year of blogging I wonder when I will call it quits? Or when will you who has been blogging for over 6 years call it quits?

    Surely we won’t be blogging until we’re all in a retirement home. But then again, maybe we will.

    “Got soup again today, pea soup. I hate peas.” :)

    • Hi Pete,
      I agree that some people take up blogging to “toy” with it. I’m not sure what indicators there are of longevity in blogging. It’s been over a week since I published in my personal blog simply because I don’t have time to. When hubby isn’t traveling we spend evening on the home renovation work we are doing. Evenings were the timeframe I previously used to create posts for that blog. When the reno is done I’ll gain the time back but I just don’t have it now.

  12. Even though I have been blogging for a few months, your check list made me mentally cross out each item to see if I already do it. Thanks again for a great post. :)

  13. You should bring this to my blog party! Great advice! Especially the commenting. It’s one of my pet peeves when a blog host skips over comments only to answer a few. It reminds me of a rock star in sunglasses who only gives out a couple of autographs because they don’t want to be bothered.

    • Hi Susie,
      I suffer from chronic pain and have health conditions that flare up and then go into recession. There have been times I have been so ill or so behind in my offline work that I have not replied to every comment I approved on my blogs. There have been times when I belatedly discovered I had approved a comment and forgotten to respond to it. However, overall I strive to answer every comment I receive.

      P.S. Thanks for the party invitation. :)

      • timethief ~ so sorry to hear of your health problems & will keep you in my prayers for more good days than bad ones. I have done extensive research on FM, Chronic Fatigue, Lupus, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis & can certainly understand. I don’t know where you’re located, but here in Ontario, Canada, we have only 1 doctor who is dedicated to research/ treating patients. There is a 14 month wait list. Unfortunately she has decided to move to B.C.

        • Your research topics are line with my own and I thank your for keeping me in your prayers. I abandoned looking for cures years ago. I took charge of my own health. I consult both with medical doctors and naturopaths and then make my own decisions. In other words, I have learned how not to trigger flare-ups and how to cope whan they occur. I live in BC in semi-remote location in the Gulf islands. I love where I live. You might be interested in this article I published in my personal blog >

  14. Oh, how I wish I had had this advice when I started blogging. Great post, my friend–so helpful! However, I’m not sure I do number 5 correctly. I need to work on that. I hadn’t heard the term “deep link” before.

    • Hi Kathy,
      An “orphaned post” is one that’s not linked to from any other post in your blog. Deep linking draws attention and traffic to older posts that have related content in them. So deep linking is a great strategy to use to insure readers can locate related content and to insure you have no “orphaned posts” in your blog.

    • @Jocélio
      Peço desculpas por usar o Google traduzir e espero que eu tipo faça sentido para você. Você é bem-vindo. Fico feliz em ouvir você acha que este post tem informações importantes. Espero que novos blogueiros entendem que atualizar seu blog com freqüência é vital para manter seus leitores voltar para ler mais.

  15. You have lots of useful info here, thank you, which I’ll have to read a bit at a time. I think one problem with attracting readers to a blog is that you don’t start blogging when you are an expert, you learn BY blogging. This means that in the early days, when your posts maybe don’t seem very professional, you may lose some potential readers who won’t come back when the blog is a few months down the line and maybe much more interesting. And it is very difficult to get people to leave comments.

    • @oliviarosen
      Thanks for raising those two very good points.
      1. We learn to blog by blogging.
      2. Comments are difficult to get.

      I have edited some of my older posts that I felt weren’t up to the standard I wanted to see on my blog. I enhanced them with new information and resource links. I have also deleted some old posts that had no traffic and no backlinks.

      When it comes to comments I encourage them but I also accept the reality that there are bloggers whose strong suit is not commenting. They prefer to follow ie. read without commenting and that’s okay with me. After all is said and done it’s not a commenter button that we click when we want to recieve posts from a blog for our reading pleasure. We click a follow ie. a read blog button.

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