If you’re a new or aspiring blogger, you probably have some worries about if it was the right choice, or if you’re good enough, or if people are going to like it. But don’t worry. I want to help put those thoughts to rest, inspire you to get blogging and to make it fun.
All those thoughts went though my head before I started Healthy and Psyched at the end of 2015. And honestly, I needed a little encouragement from my friend Clare (TheLoveOfFood/ Clare’s Cakery) before I decided to start blogging.
In case you’re not friends with any other bloggers at the moment, I decided to write this post to help support your decision to start a blog.
The best thing I can say is
Just Do it!!
You’ve obviously been thinking about blogging for a while and feel you have something to say so take the plunge and just do it!
If you’re really not sure then start on a free site, such as wordpress.com. You can always move to your own domain later (that’s what I did).
Also, if you’re still not sure then you can always write in secret. I didn’t tell my family or friends about my blog for at least 5 months!
Or in other words, accept that everything doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’.
You will learn so much as you progress with your blog, so don’t expect everything to be perfect to begin with (or ever really). Just do your best, publish some posts, see how people respond and take it from there.
For example, take a look at one of my first posts- Spiced Apple and Almond Porridge.
Not brilliant photos right? I was taking them with the camera on my old phone and in poor lighting, then doing some funky editing. But since then I’ve upgraded my phone to one with a better camera and also bought a digital camera my photography has improved (although I haven’t worked out how to use my digital camera yet so I’m still using my phone!). Plus, I’ve also learnt to use natural light and a few other tricks (see this post on ‘how to create an insta-worthy breakfast bowl’ and ‘expert tips’).
That said even now I struggle with finding photos for some posts and I have had to accept that the one I choose might not be perfect but in most cases it will do. People probably aren’t going to unsubscribe from my newsletter or never come back to my blog because of one photo! At least I hope not!!
This point doesn’t just apply to photos. You might not be 100% happy with your layout or some other aspect of your blog. But something is better than nothing and you can always edit it later.
Get to know your readers.
Get to know your readers by engaging with them in the comments section of your blog and on social media. Be grateful for them and their lovely comments, constructive criticism or even all out criticism! This can really help your blog to grow and it will help you to get to know who your audience are.
You might read some tips on other websites saying that you should write posts for your ‘target audience’ or ‘ideal reader’, which I think is a great tip. But in my experience it takes a while to find out who your readers are, so don’t feel pressured to try and write for a specific audience to begin with.
As I said before, just publish a few posts and see how people respond. If you see something has been popular then you can try and make similar posts that people will also find useful. For example, the matcha zoats (a.k.a. oatmeal with matcha green tea and grated zucchini) recipe below gets read every single day, so I decided to make matcha ice lollys and chocolae zoats, which have also proved popular posts.
Getting to know your readers is important to help you improve your blog. But it’s also the fun part of blogging. I really enjoy engaging with the people who read my blog or comment on my instagram photos. I’d like to think I’ve made a lot of new friends because of it.
Join a community
Another great way to make friends and to get advice is to join a blogging community.
Joining the Health Bloggers Community was one of the best decisions I made. It’s totally free to join and you can share your posts, get feedback on your blog, take part in online blogging courses and attend face to face events. I’ve made some wonderful friends and I’ve learnt so much.
You can also take part in twitter chats, use instagram hashtags and find face to face meet ups in your local area.
But most importantly,
Do it for yourself
Write from the heart. I know it sounds cheesy, but don’t write a post just because you think you ‘should’. If you do that it can be frustrating and you won’t enjoy it. When you’re writing about what you want to the words will flow and you’ll get it done in super quick time. I’m my opinion, having a blog should be something that makes you happy and enhances your life.
I will admit that I put off writing this post for a while because I wasn’t ‘in the zone’ to write it and I just couldn’t think what to say. I felt like I ‘should’ write it because a lot of people have asked me for blogging tips since I won ‘Blogger of the Year’ at the That Protein x Health Bloggers Community Awards! But I’m so pleased I that didn’t rush into writing it. I wanted to give you a post that is authentic and helpful, not rush out some generic tips that you could find on any blog.
I hope you did find this post helpful if you’re a new or aspiring blogger.
And if you’re blog has already been running for a while feel free to add your best blogging tips for newbies in the comments section.
Please note these tips are for if you start a blog as a hobby or for extra income, not if you want to be a professional blogger. My friend Pam at spamellab.com has a post you might like if you want to be a professional/ freelance blogger.