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27+ Tips I Wish I’d Known About Blogging

blogA while ago, I wrote a post about what I’d wished I’d known before I started blogging. You can read the article here; I’ll summarize the six gold nuggets for new bloggers:

  • only reblog 10% of someone else’s post.
  • hot links are bad. 
  • it takes a long time to write a post
  • I need to be myself.
  • it’s easier than it sounds
  • it’s harder than it sounds

I got a lot of responses to that post, with readers sharing what they wish they’d known when they started blogging as well as what they’d learned since. Which one’s resonate with you:

  1. I agonize over pushing the “publish” button.
  2. I needed more tools on how to blog. I wish I’d researched more.
  3. It’s a learning experience.
  4. Keep up a regular schedule of posts (at least one a week). This is the difference between 10 views and 100. Once a week minimally.
  5. I schedule my posts a week in advance, so if fits better with my life.
  6. The first time I blogged, I gave up because I did not know it took time to build a readership.This time, I’m ready.
  7. I like to think of blogging as using your non-dominant hand – it sharpens all facets of my writing brain.
  8. It is hard work, but anything worthwhile is.
  9. I wish I’d set up an email address just for my blog.
  10. Keep personal information private. It’s tempting to hang it all out there, but don’t. Being a digital citizen has rights AND responsibilities; one of those is to protect privacy.
  11. Respond to comments. Engage with your community. Yes, this takes time, but that’s what blogging’s about.
  12. I had no idea how much time I would spend connecting with other bloggers.
  13. Read other blogs and comment.
  14. Blogs cost money if done right. If you don’t use one of the all-in-one-free packages (like WordPress), you need hosting, a domain, problem solving, maintenance help, not to mention SEO guidance.
  15. Your voice is your blog. Don’t be afraid to let it out.
  16. Give lots of credit to others in your posts–especially if you use their material. Linkbacks are easy. Trackbacks bring your blog to the attention of others who might come visit.
  17. Blogging is fun. Make time for it.
  18. Push your blog posts out to your social networks.
  19. Be careful with pictures. If they aren’t in the public domain, you can’t use them without permission. A linkback isn’t sufficient!
  20. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.
  21. You’ll want to quit a hundred times as you wait to build readers, gain traction, accomplish your goals. Remind yourself why you started. If that reason hasn’t changed, continue blogging.
  22. Don’t expect to make money blogging. It rarely happens. Do it for other reasons.
  23. Today’s blogging is not yesterday’s journaling. Now, it’s focused, purposeful, and uses correct grammar and spelling.
  24. Work smarter by using tools that are available: editorial calendars, Hootsuite, Twitterdeck, Google Analytics.
  25. I wish I would have done my homework upfront to research the different blogging platforms and educated myself on the pros and cons.
  26. I had no idea about the communities, linkups, sharing and connecting available to help new and experienced bloggers.
  27. Be proud of what you blog about. If you aren’t, change it.

What would you add to this list?


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is  editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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42 thoughts on “27+ Tips I Wish I’d Known About Blogging

  1. Very useful Jacqui. I would perhaps add, “keep each post bite-sized”. When I read others’ posts, if it is long, I rarely stay till the end unless it really captivates me. Sometimes I think about making my posts shorter for the same reason.

  2. Very informative! Awesome post. think its already there but yes, blogging is fun and fulfilling. So at the end of the day writing or communicating is the most important thing. Worrying about the competitive nature of blogging steals the glory of it.

  3. With regards to #9, I use hotmail (now called Outlook) which allowed me to ‘feed’ emails into dedicated folders in my Inbox. So all blog comments land in my ‘All blog traffic’ folder and don’t clutter up my main Inbox. I should say I have about forty of these dedicated folders for all aspects of my on-line life. It helps to keep personal, writing and any business stuff completely separate.
    With #18, WordPress allows users to echo blog posts across to Twitter, Facebook and numerous other Social Media, expanding your reach considerable.
    I would add: ‘Keep your posts bright and colourful. No-one wants to trawl through acres of text with no images to ease the eye. Also keep it up-beat if you can. ‘Down’ blogs can put people off (and lose you readers) very quickly.’

    • Interesting about the folders. I find myself forgetting to check folders so I can’t use them. Days–even weeks–will pass and I’ll suddenly notice that untouched folder. That’s just me.

      I agree about the posts–positive, communicate in a variety of ways for visual learners/readers. Short–I have trouble with long long posts.

  4. I love blogging. It’s a real community. I’d say be yourself because trying to be something else will become hard to keep up after a certain period of time. And don’t worry, you’ll settle into that voice and relax with time. And lastly, enjoy! :)

      • Exactly. I’ve just finished reading a Seth Godin book tonight actually and it was about being true to your art and there were comments in there about not being able to please everyone and not watering down your art to try to please the masses because you’ll lose the people you were actually aiming for. Be true to yourself. Very sage advice. I might review the book actually! :)

  5. I absolutely am guilty of #1. There’s a Hamlet-esque inner dialogue just before I hit “publish”: to share or not to share?

    I also agree with the other points about it enhancing brain power and that it should be done with purpose (not necessarily in the hopes of money). Blogging and thinking up ideas is great for its own sake.

    Thank you for the information!

  6. Numbers 1, 3 and 4 resonate with me. As well, people who post five and six times a day don’t get my time anymore, same as long posts. I just don’t have the time. As it is I’m online almost the whole day because I do enjoy it but am learning to schedule other time for writing.
    Wonderful reminder, Jacqui, and good to share what works and what doesn’t. :-P

  7. Jacqui I blog once a week, but only if I have something to write about. I find if its forced just for the sake of a weekly post it is never as good. Loved all your tips, I am on holidays and hope to get back into blogging next week.

  8. Great post, Jacqui. I wish I had set up a separate e-mail for just my blog. I’m considering returning to posting once a week instead of every two weeks once I have my wip finished. #17 is my favorite. I’d rather blog than watch a movie.

    Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

  9. Lots of useful tips. if a post is interesting enough for me to share on my own blog, I usually directly Reblog. I didn’t know that 10% is acceptable. Oops :)

    • I learned that the hard way. First, a reblog–properly credited with effusive praise for his work–issued me a take-down notice (which I instantly complied with). Next, a reblog of a full article from a woman I greatly admire–same credit, same effusive praise. She went ballistic that I’d have the nerve to share her words without permission. Again, I pulled it and then went in search of guidelines.

      It’s a touch world out there.

  10. Pingback: Some good tips for bloggers. | The Americanist

  11. Good post, Jacqui! After three years of blogging, I would say my most important lessons have been that one blog a week is fine once you have built a good following and photography is often a popular alternative to words. Be real and engage your readers in the most sincere way. All the points in your list are well worth noting. Thanks!

    • Good point, Patricia–once your readers are settled in, they are used to your voice. Photography is so popular on the internet–it might even be better at once a week.

  12. Wow! I found myself thinking ‘Yes! That’s right!’ to every point and now I could probably come up with my own list of at least 27! But if I have to keep it to one point, it would be ‘don’t fret and worry’. About what? About everything!

    • Isn’t that true! I don’t know how people like Kath over at Miniscule Moments or Medeia or Dianne Gray who have scores of comments keep up. They’ll have a hundred on a post! Though, that is a good thing, too.

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