Blogging 101

Hello everyone!

Today's post is just about blogging in general. I thought that I would share what I've learned over the time I've spent blogging and create a handy list of key tips, and also things to avoid. I'm not saying I'm an expert because I'm far from it, I'm still learning every day, but these are just some of the key things I've learned so far and I wanted to make a post about it so that any readers can use these tips to help on their own blogs.

- Post regularly. I'm one of the worst people for timekeeping so things often get on top of me and I forget to do things in the process - blogging being one of them. Blogger has a handy stats tool though which allows me to see how many hits my blog has got at any given moment in time, and I have noticed that without fail, every single one of the times that my blog has had high traffic has been when I've been posting lots, and similarly, I get next to no views when I don't post anything for a while.

- Keep it simple. When I first started out, my blog was a horrendous mix of clashing neon colours and crazy fonts when I formatted it for the first time. Even I struggled to read what I'd written with all of the distracting visuals and strange background colours. Looking back, it looked awful, and I'm so glad that I realised it very quickly. I much prefer my blog black and white with just a splash of colour, it looks much more professional. I've noticed that many popular blogs look very simple and clean, probably because they don't want anything to overshadow the content, which makes a lot of sense. I also have a lot more readers now that my blog is actually, well, readable.

- A picture is worth a thousand words. No, really. The posts that I've made which include pictures have all attracted far more views than any of the larger posts I have made which don't include pictures, which makes me think that it's a good idea to use them when possible.

- Stay connected. One of the biggest tools that a blogger has is other bloggers. Blogging is a community after all, and when you help each other, it benefits you both. You can each guest post on each other's blogs and help to promote each other, and you will both benefit from it. And don't forget to communicate, great friends can be made when you comment on each others' posts regularly!

- Be yourself. I know that it seems obvious, but there is a lot of pressure to be competitive in the blogging world and that sometimes leads people to shy away from their originality. However, I know that when I read blogs by other people, I prefer it when the writer seems friendly and human and I don't mind if that means weird and slightly messy, in fact I find it endearing. Don't be afraid to make mistakes because nobody will judge you for it, and people may even like you more for it.

... and here's what to avoid...

- Background music. It drives me crazy! We came here to read, and we can not concentrate with music blaring uncontrollably while we're trying to do so!

- GIFs as decoration. They're fine when they're used in posts, but when your blog is filled with them just for the sake of it and they're constantly dancing around and flashing when you're trying to read, it's very distracting.

- Bad grammar. I know it's petty, but spelling and grammar checkers are there for a reason. Use them, because if you don't, it makes your blog look incredibly sloppy.

- Horrendous colour schemes. I learned this the hard way.

- Negativity. Be nice to each other! There are already too many wars in the world, we don't need them online, too!

Lauren xxx

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