Well, I am a new blogger started on WordPress about 3 months back. At this point, I feel that I have done well so far. I have been getting constant feedback, likes and the followings from people, the feeds I am seeing are relevant to me and I enjoy reading “most” of them.
Everyone starts the similar journey at some point. Lots of new bloggers come in daily as seen in “First Friday” section of DailyPost. But what we don’t see is, the number of bloggers abandoning the blogging daily. So I was thinking about the later part, what makes people go away? Hence I thought of writing a little post here just to understand and help any newcomer if possible.
One big pitfall the new bloggers may fall into is, hungry about followers count! They just want to get more followers. For some reason, follower count is very important to them. Probably thinking that bigger number means more famous. I have seen many people even saying, “I Followed you, please fallow me”, or “please check my blog”.. its become more like a give and a take. But I think totally a wrong approach if you want to be a successful blogger.
That brings us back to a basic question ..”Who is a successful blogger?” What makes a blogger a successful one? According to me, its nothing to do with the number of followers, it’s about keeping yourself occupied with your writings and posts. It’s about having an inspiration to keep yourself going. Enjoy writing and reading the comments on your posts. Remember its not about just posting, it’s about reading too. Unless you read you will not be able to write. So to keep reading you have to get quality feed, to get the quality feed you should be following like-minded bloggers with the similar tastes as yours! If that happens then you are a successful blogger.
On the other hand if chase those numbers, soon you will be bored because you have followed someone whose posts are not interesting to you. There are no interactions happening with your with your blogs. Eventually lose interest and finally, you are no more interested in reading nor posting.
So I just wanted to write some pointers which might help new bloggers. I am trying to follow it and I think that makes sense to me. (If any of the below does not make sense please do let me know, I am a new blogger myself, pardon my ignorance)
- Layout: Choose a nice layout, we all need nice package before even we open and see the content. Make sure it fits the style of posts you are doing. Initially, don’t go for micromanaging stuff like changing the font sizes or background colours etc. Since these themes are designed by experts, proper thoughts on the font, size, colour combinations already given and don’t disturb it. Choose the colour theme provided by them.
- Menus: If you are posting multiple categories of items, make sure people can access these categories easily. Supposing you are writing poetry and also about travel, make sure both those categories available through a separate menu(say “Poetry” and “Travel”). There might be a follower who just wants to browse through your poetry section but not travel. These menus will help him. Also categorizing you posts very important as you add a new post.
- Social Channels: WordPress allows you to add social icons to your blog and link them to your personal social channels. If you want exposure to your social channels then make sure to link them. There may be a situation where people do not want to follow your blog but want to follow you on Instagram. If you don’t want to publicize your social channels delete those social widgets.
- About page, I feel its very important to have an about page, your about page should give a viewer the objective of your blog and something about you. It’s like an author info of your book. We all read it before buying a book.
- Contact Page: There are situations where people don’t want to ask you directly on the blog posts (because everyone can see those comments) but discretely want to contact you. So make sure you add this page. This is also a great way to keep your email address hidden.
- Tags: Add appropriate tags to your posts, this will help people to search for stuff they are interested in. For eg, you are interested in photographs, and add a tag saying DSLR, or Landscape or Beach etc (but add what is appropriate for your post, don’t misguide the people too)
- Write what you want to showcase, don’t write because someone else is doing it. Writings have to come from the heart. Unless it comes from the heart you will not enjoy it. No point taking one week to write a short poem, you are struggling to write a poem because it’s not your cup of tea. Instead, write about something where you have skills for.
- Try adding quality content than quantity. Even if you cant post daily its fine, make sure the quality is maintained.
- Add pictures whenever possible and I strongly recommend the “Featured Image” for each post even if your post is not about photography. Pictures attract people to your post. But make sure picture resonate with your post. If you are using images from the internet give proper credit and make sure they are free.
- Do not add too many pictures to your posts as pictures are data hungry and your followers may not like too many pictures, they take forever to load especially when used through mobile connections. Don’t post the same kind of image in the same post. (eg. you standing in front of your favourite car, next photo your sister standing in front of the same car)
- If you are running out of inspiration, go to “Daily Prompt” section of Daily Posts or take part in challenges etc. You will get connected with like-minded people.
- Follow people only if their posts are interesting, do not follow just because they followed you or with the hope that they will also follow you. You will be disappointed with hundreds of unwanted feeds soon. When that happens, ready to unfollow them.
- Although likes are generally accepted as you liked the post, I have seen people just keep liking the posts one by one without even reading(you can do it from the blog reader), but I feel the comments are the best way to express the appreciation on posts. Everyone likes personalized comments. And also if your comment is useful then other followers of that post also might be interested in your blog.
- Try not to post like “Nice Post” or “Great Shot”, try to be a bit more descriptive in your comment.
- Do not like the posts which you did not really like. Everyone needs a sincere feedback on the quality of their posts.
- Don’t just be hungry for follower count. I have seen bloggers with 2000 followers but generating only 10 like per post!
- Do not beg users to visit your blog, or link your blogs unless there is a need. If people want to check your blog they can always check it by clicking on your avatar.
- Be very careful about online awards, I have seen many people here do not like it. Nominate people only if previously they have participated in award nominations.
In the end, I feel quality posts rule. Try to create quality posts, that will generate the quality followers and hence the feeds.
Hope this write-up is helpful to someone to understand how I see it. I am not seasoned blogger. Please correct me if something is not right or you suggest something to be added. Do comment below. Don’t hesitate to share it or reblog it.
If you like this post, you might also like my other WordPress related posts and tips, please check here.