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Blogging Tips, Everyday Lifestyle

12 Tips To Help You Blog With Confidence

I’ve been blogging in one form or another for just over 12 years. I’ve gone through several platforms, site iterations and changes of direction; which have all supported reaching a point where I can provide some advice based on my own experiences.

I wouldn’t consider myself an expert (I’m constantly learning), but since starting back in 2009 — initially, with no concrete idea about what I was doing — I can definitely say I’ve honed skills over time that have fostered a knowledge about blogging that may be of some use to those who are new to this endeavour.

Foreground Image: An off-white rectangle with the words ’12 Tips To Help You Blog With Confidence’ written on top in sage green text. Background Image: A desktop computer with an open laptop in front of it sitting on a light wooden desk.

Here are my 12 tips to help you blog more confidently … 

Be Consistent, But Be Flexible

Cultivating a consistent blogging schedule that allows you enough time to write, edit and publish quality content helps to build readership; never post something because you feel like you have to (sometimes the motivation/inspiration/time just isn’t there). Sometimes work, family life or studying can bring blogging challenges so don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn to be flexible during hectic or overwhelming times; understand that reducing your output for a while or reposting updated, older content is a completely reasonable adaptation to develop.

Ensure Readability

Presenting clear, knowledgeable, well-researched information will help build an authentic voice your readers can connect with. All your skilled work, sharing personal experiences or calls to action — whatever content you’re exploring — will be undermined if it’s unreadable. Certain colour combinations employed to differentiate text from post backgrounds can be very visually disruptive even for sighted visitors; not to mention the lack of accessibility this creates for the visually impaired. You don’t have to avoid using colour in your site design, but you do need to ensure there’s appropriate contrast. I recently had to leave a site because the red text/green background it used made it impossible to look at.

Use Alt-Text

Alt-text is a written description that appears in place of an image if/when it gets blocked or fails to load; allowing search engines to better crawl and rank your blog. Most importantly, it enables screen-reading tools to describe the graphics, illustrations or photos to visually impaired guests; this is accessibility 101 so make sure you use alt-text for all your site images

Make Use Of Keyword Research

Keywords are related to the questions or terms search engine users utilize to discover the information, services or products they’re looking for. Researching keywords allows you to find which phrases if incorporated into your writing, will increase traffic through organic search engine results; commonly referred to as search engine optimization or SEO. You can use free sites like WordStream to discover which keywords to use in your writing that have a high, medium or low search volume (number of times it was searched for). Other keyword research tips include:

  • Do not only employ high search volume words/phrases in your posts because they have a lot of competition when being indexed by search engines. Use targeted terms that you have a chance to rank for; go for a mixture of low, medium and high keywords instead.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing; filling your post with a significant volume of unnecessary keywords. Not only does it interfere with readability (sentences often make little sense or repeat themselves too much), you can end up being penalized by search engines who detect it as spam.
A woman with a buzz cut, wearing a yellow knitted sweater sits at a desk working on her laptop. Around her on the desk is a camera, notebooks and a couple of small plants.
photo via George Milton

Improve Site Loading Time

Patience is a virtue that can be tested when site pages/posts take too long to load because images files are too large. Help create a smoother, faster experience for your readers by using compressed images; specifically compression that doesn’t reduce quality when file downsizing — a great free resource for this is TinyJPG. If your site loads easily, you’ll reduce your bounce rate (visitors leaving after only viewing one post); they’ll be able to navigate around your site, visiting more pages without difficulty.

Use Quality Images

After putting so much effort into including alt-text and compressing image files; it would be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t ensure quality graphics and photos are being used. High calibre imagery makes your content look more interesting and well organized; here’s a post I wrote about 5 of the best free stock photo sites for bloggers you can use. There are also online design tools/sites like Canva that will help produce clean, crisp and engaging visual content. Additionally, this may be an unpopular opinion, but I’d advise against using GIFS in your blog posts. They are often poor quality, low resolution and extremely distracting/visually disruptive; GIFS are best suited for use on social media.

Figuring Out Your Niche

Don’t panic if you aren’t absolutely confident about your blog’s niche, that will come with trial, error and time; it’s all part of the process. To assist you with figuring this out, get into the practice of tracking your site’s most popular posts. Check out the analytics on your dashboard and see where engagement is at its strongest. This will tell you what delivers people to your site and can aid decisions concerning what content to include/focus on.

Make Navigating Your Site Intuitive

Visitors want to be able to move around your blog with ease and will become discouraged if they have to spend time multi-clicking their way through pages and posts to seek out what they’re looking for. Here’s how to support intuitive site navigation:

  • Most recent posts should be obviously displayed, preferably on your Home Page.
  • Have a site search box widget on your sidebar and/or footer area so people can quickly find specific content.
  • Have your contact information, social media sharing buttons and ways to follow your social media accounts clearly displayed.
  • Use internal links in your posts so readers can find more of your writing on a related topic.
On a white desk sits an A4 paper monthly planner (left blank), a notebook open at a to-do list and an open laptop.
photo via STIL

Audit Your Content

It’s good practice to update older posts with current information and recent links. This allows you to promote and reshare your content and for search engines to crawl for relevant content to re-drive traffic to your site. It’s also fundamentally beneficial to check for and fix errors like broken links. It’s crucial for a positive visitor experience that the links you provide still work and that clicks to your blog from other sites do not return a ‘404 not found’ page; here are some of the best tools to check for broken links.

Protect Your Site

It might seem like a bit of a hassle, but I highly recommend implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure your blog from unauthorized access. Blogging is a labour of love so you should safeguard it from being hijacked; you may think you won’t be targeted, but this can happen to anyone. If your site offers 2FA, sign up for it. You should also enable comment moderation or spam detection to limit/prevent your site from being flooded by spambots or accounts that link to harmful websites/content.  

Promote Your Site

Using social media to highlight, share and champion your accomplished work is well worth doing; join blogging and writing communities on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. There are many post sharing blog accounts on Twitter like Bloggers Hut, TRJ For Bloggers and The Cliqué Bloggers RT, for example.

Be Active Within The Blogging Community

The blogging community is typically a very welcoming and encouraging place. Make sure you become a part of it by visiting, liking and commenting on other people’s sites/posts. Share the work you enjoyed on your social media accounts and cultivate a genuine interest in what others are doing; they will likely return the favour. You can’t go wrong with being actively supportive, interested and connected to other creators.

There is so much more I could add to this list — I’ll probably do another post on this topic — but these are some of the most valuable things I wish I had known when I first started blogging. I hope you found them useful!


Further Info:

How To Write A Blog Post In 2021: The Ultimate Guide – SmartBlogger

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84 thoughts on “12 Tips To Help You Blog With Confidence”

  1. Great tips! I need to check on my site speed for sure as I know how important it is for Google. Thanks for sharing 😊

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  2. These are all great suggestions and based on over a decade of blogging! Well done! I will definitely be looking at making a few changes on my blog as a result of this post. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I have definitely learned that being flexible is by far the best way I have come to love how I write and share my writing. Defining my niche, though, is still a work in progress yet, with every passing day, I find myself closer to that one-line sum up.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. At first when I had to spend large amounts of time away from my blog I got really stressed about it but then realized I could be flexible and try different things to keep it going in a paired down way. Finding my niches has changed multiple times over the years but I finally settled on what this site is now and so far so good, haha! Give your niche time — it will reveal itself to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All amazing tips! I’ve learned most of these over the last 8 years of blogging and I definitely agree that if you have most of these in place then you can be confident that your blog will be read and that people will enjoy the experience too!

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    1. It can be so disconcerting or overwhlming when we start out so I figured anyone new to this would benefit from some tips. It’s definitely a learning curve, which I’m sure you’ve noticed in your extensive blogging history! Thank you for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love all of these tips! I didn’t know you had been blogging for so long! I wish I learned about SEO and keywords from the beginning! Community is such a great space x

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  6. These are really great tips. I find that no matter how long you’ve blogged for, it’s a constant learning journey and there’s always something new to keep it fresh. So so important to protect our sites, I learned that very early on. Definitely agree with being flexible but also being consistent. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. These are great tips! I think no matter how long you have been blogging, there is always something new to learn. It’s good to go back to the basics everyone in a while, like auditing…something I need to do more often!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

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  8. This is a really helpful post for me! I’ve been blogging just few moths so lots of the tips you share, like Alt text for images and Keyword search I was not aware of. I will definately start working on them.
    The blogging community is great! I am so glad I have found you all!
    Reading posts of others inspires and motivates me. It is nice to feel tht you belong somewhere.
    Thank you Molly!

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  9. Some great tips here! I truly believe what you said about being active in the community. I’ve virtually met some great people online and feel like I’m part of a small community, which is awesome.

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  10. Wow… 12 years of blogging! That’s amazing! I’m only in my 3rd year and there’s still so much to learn esp. SEO, keyword search, etc. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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  11. Consistency is so important! I see so many bloggers post several times in one week but then don’t upload another post for the rest of the month. Keyword research is also really important, it’s something I need to work on more. Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips!

    Alexis| http://cafe-beauty.com

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  12. I’ve really been struggling lately with my confidence in my blog. I just feel like because I’m not making a lot of money, that I’m not doing well enough.

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    1. I have so many thoughts about monetized blogging that I have a rather complicated love/hate opinion about it all. I fully support bloggers who do ads and affiliate links, etc but I do find that the ones who appear to make the most money do nothing but paid content. For me, this just means I’m being sold something and/or I end up seeing the same ads/products over and over again on different sites. In the past week I’ve encountered 12 blogs that had the same product being reviewed. I lose a connection with what’s being written about — but this is just a personal thought/sidebar.

      I have visited your blog many times and the topics you skillfully cover are really valuable and much needed. You often discuss things that not many other bloggers are covering — and this sets you apart (which to me means it is a success). It could be that monetizing your blog, much like mine, is difficult because of the issues and topics we share don’t easily lend themselves to selling something. If this is the case with your site, then you are most definitely not failing at anything. The pressure to monetize blogging is pretty high, and even though I’m open to having some paid content, I don’t do any at the moment. If making money from your blog is where you want to be at, it could be that you need to get creative with how you do that. The blog Stray Curls [dot com] has some really good info on how to do this. I’ve also heard that working exclusively alongside a charity/business/company/org that pays for a certain number of posts a month is a good idea for very niche-specific sites. That way there is a relationship/connection with what you’re sharing/getting paid for.

      Ultimately, a successful blog is measured in many different ways, and I think what you do is incredibly needed and people respond very well to what you share. I’d say you’re one of the more well regarded, established blogs that I’ve come across so I hope you don’t lose too much confidence over this issue.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Molly,

    What an excellent post.

    I think that many of us did a quick Google on ‘Blogging’ and then dived straight in without giving it the thought that, in hindsight, it warranted. I completely agree with all of your tips – certainly all things that a new blogger should consider.

    And how refreshing to see a post about blogging and not to see an affiliate link for a hosting company that has poor speed, poor service, but high commission rates! 😉

    Like

    1. I am so happy you enjoyed this post. I certainly didn’t think there was so much to learn about blogging when I first started out so I finally decided to offer some key tips. Everything I have learned (and continue to learn) came through trial and error, haha! I really appreciate you taking the time to read!

      Like

    1. I sometimes forget to check site speed too (currently working on improving it, haha)! Flexibility is definitely key because, as you say, life happens and I think we need to be kinder to ourselves if we can’t get everything done during those times. Thank you so much for reading!

      Like

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