Top tips for new bloggers, from bloggers

Looking to set up a parenting blog and not sure where to start? Or just starting out and would like some blogging tips? Read on...

We asked our TalkMum bloggers to tell us their top tips for newer bloggers, drawing on their own blogging experiences.

So sit back and take a minute to read - here are tips on everything relating to blogging, from setting up your own domain, to making time for blogging in a busy life, to gradually growing your audience:

  • Just do it! I took almost a year to get started, mainly because I worried about getting it wrong. I’m still learning all the time but I’ve realised that’s ok. There are so many other novice bloggers out there, so I’m in good company. Getting set up (I chose WordPress.com) was much easier than I thought it would be too and there are loads of free online guides and resources to help. Clare, Mummy's to do list
  • Do not get caught up with stats and comments and what rank you are at when it comes to ranking your blog. The enjoyment of blogging dies when you get caught up in all that. Blog for you! Fozia, Muslim Mummy
  • Just be yourself. Chloe, Knittenden
  • Always try to remember why you started blogging and use that to keep you 'grounded'. It can be very easy to get swept away with reviews and sponsored posts once those emails eventually begin landing in your inbox, but it could risk your blog losing its voice. It also takes time to build a readership and social media following so don't compare yourself to other bloggers out there. It's easy to do, but you'll drive yourself potty if you're forever looking at other blogs and thinking 'why don't I get as many comments as them?', 'why don't I have as many social media followers?', 'why didn't I get to be an ambassador for that amazing company?', 'why isn't anyone emailing me about getting paid to write stuff? I could do a MUCH better job' etc. etc. It all comes back to remembering why you began blogging in the first place and writing from the heart - that's why people will visit and want to associate themselves with you - so the best thing to do is to concentrate on what you're doing rather than everyone else. Laura, ChezMummy
  • Find your own voice, and write for you. Don't do it for readers or comments or any of that stuff. Do it for yourself. Think carefully to about privacy. Will you be naming and photographing your children? If not perhaps think of pseudonyms from the very start. Kiran, Mummy Says
  • I’d advise new bloggers using WordPress (or any other content management system) to self-host; that is buy your own domain. This means you can have a more succinct URL, which doesn’t include WordPress or Blogspot in it (and makes it a little clunky in my opinion). Self-hosting provides you with a lot more flexibility and also enables you to host adverts on your site. Sally Whittle, founder of the Tots100, has written a great tutorial all about it. I certainly couldn’t be classified as an expert, but I would say – if you’re thinking about blogging - don’t go into it with an agenda; blog because you want to and then let it develop organically; you never know where it might lead… Fran, The Parent Social
  • It's great fun and can be incredibly liberating, as well as addictive. Most likely, you are not going to make your fortune or get a book deal, although it is true that either of those is technically possible. The blogging market appears quite saturated, so your idea will have to be well thought out and executed. Take and consider constructive criticism. It is true that there are people who set out to troll and destroy, but the majority of dissenters are trying to be helpful and supportive and may have a point. Use this to learn. (You need a thick skin if you are going to blog anything that is in anyway controversial.) Consider anonymity and privacy when setting up your blog. If you want these you will need to set up names and new email addresses and keep them entirely separate from your ordinary persona. It can be exhausting remembering the difference between the two. Additionally, remember the internet never forgets. There is only a very small window to remove things. Rachel, The Little Pip
  • Read as many other blogs as you can, as often as you have time for - use an RSS reader like Feedly or Bloglovin to keep up - and comment on the posts you like or find interesting. Pick a slightly different niche or angle to write about, and a name that's different, meaningful or memorable. Write the type of thing that you like reading. It can be incredibly hard to find the time when you're a parent, so I always tend to draft posts in the notes app on my phone as I always have it with me. Make sure you fit it in around your life, not the other way round. Gill, A Baby on Board.

A huge thank you to all our bloggers for sharing their wisdom. If you have any top tips for blogging or questions you'd like answered, leave a comment and let us know.

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