The Insider's Guide to Blogging

Guys! GUYS! I've just realised that today's post is the penultimate instalment of the Big Blogging Bonanza. How crazy is that? I think I've done pretty well, too, because I only missed two days (one of those was yesterday, but let's skip over that...).

Now, I wouldn't call myself an expert blogger, but I have learnt quite a bit over the last few months, and I figured I'd share some of that knowledge. Here are a few handy tips, brought together in what I call the Insider's Guide to Blogging.

(Don't expect too much, I'm only a simple munchkin.)

Tip #1 - When choosing a name for your blog, always search the internet for it first. Using a couple of different engines, preferably. I've noticed a few quite well-known blogs with similar names recently, so if you do discover something that might be a problem, you don't always have to go back to the drawing board. Here's an example:

Say you wanted to call your blog Confessions of a Book Lover. It's a good title, sure, but after a quick Googling session, you would discover that there's a book by that name, and you're unlikely to get very high up search engines with that happening. However, you could play with a couple of synonyms. Admissions of a Book Lover would work, as would Confessions of a Bookworm. Or, if you don't like the different words, you could rephrase it. How about A Book Lover's Confessions?

Sometimes, when you play with words like this, you can end up with an even better name, and blog names are definitely important. It's worth noting that I learnt this one the hard way - if you Google Another Teen Reader, you'll find IMDb listings for Another Teen Movie instead.

Tip #2 - You don't have to blog every day. Trust me when I say that blogging every day is hard. Unless you really, truly think you can do it, and know you'll have time no matter what, it'll just make you stressy, and you'll want to give up. For the first few weeks, at least, I'd recommend posting when you feel like it. You can always update more regularly later on, or create a schedule for yourself at times when you know you won't be busy.

That's why I did the Big Blogging Bonanza in summer, when I knew I wouldn't be distracted by homework or anything else. My advice is to write when you feel like it: if you make yourself do it once too often, it'll become like a chore, and you're more likely to give up.

Write for the love of it, and your blog will be just as you want. I promise.

Tip #3 - Talk! Communicate! Comment! The blogging world is a friendly place, I promise, and you'll learn a lot from interacting with other people. Posts from other blogs will often inspire you, and comments will help you to get to know other bloggers. Knowing other bloggers makes it easier to arrange guest posts and link-ups, and they can help you through writing slumps and other tough spots.

The comments space on your own blog is very useful, too. Pay attention to your followers, and always reply if you can. Even if it's just a 'glad you liked the post' sort of thing, people love to know that their contributions have been read.

Tip #4 - Social media, in particular Twitter, is insanely useful. If you post links to your blog posts whenever you release one, your readers can easily keep track of new updates by following you, and you can follow famous authors, too! If you want to use Twitter to publicise yourself as a blogger, then make sure you put your URL on your profile. There's a little space for it, look:

There's also Bloglovin', which is an awesome sharing system intended just for keeping all your favourite blogs in one place. In fact, if you want, you can follow me! The widget's just over there. >>
(They also have Bloglovin' Academy, which has some great tips for publicising your blog.)

Tip #5 - Feel free to ignore any of my tips, if you want. That's right, I said it. A blog shouldn't represent your reader's opinions or another blogger's style. It's your thing, and the most important part of blogging is that you enjoy it. If any of my ideas would get in the way of that, then don't listen to a word I'm saying.

Bloggers, do you have any tips you want to share? What helped you in your blogging journey?
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