Learning how to blog is an ongoing process – and it’s much easier when you get these “best practices” under your belt. Blogging, social media, website design, and content creation are new to us women in midlife! We didn’t grow up on smart phones and iPads, and the learning curve can be steep.
Speaking of learning curves…do you know how to “do” social media? In The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users, Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick share over 100 practical tips, tricks, and insights on how to promote your blog. They present a bottom-up strategy to produce a focused, thorough, and compelling presence on the most popular social-media platforms. You’ll learn how to build your foundation, amass your digital assets, optimize your profile, attract more followers, and effectively integrate social media and blogging.
In this post, I share my most recent discoveries on how to blog. My focus is on preparation, best practices, and resources. Today is Day 3 of my Four-Day Series; Day 1 was How to Blog About Something You Love and Day 2 was Overcoming Obstacles When You’re Starting a Blog. Please feel free to share your questions and thoughts in the comments section, whether you’re a new or “old” blogger!
How to Blog – Best Practices and Resources
The most important thing to remember is that your blog is a work of art – which means it’s imperfect, unfinished, and symbolic of you. Do not saddle yourself with the burden of perfection.
You may not know “how to blog” – and it doesn’t matter. Don’t wait until you’re ready before you start publishing your posts. Jump in with both feet, even if your swimsuit isn’t on yet! The internet is an ocean, and the only way to learn how to swim is to dive right in.
If you’re worried about being judged and criticized, you’re not alone. “I went for years not finishing anything,” said Erica Jong. “Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged…I had poems that were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.”
Connect with other bloggers in your niche
This is one of those “best practices” for blogging that I don’t actually do. I’ve been blogging for eight years and I still haven’t found my community, tribe, Facebook group, GooglePlus hangout, or Pinterest peeps. My writing and blog design takes up all my time! When I was first learning how to blog, I regularly visited CopyBlogger and ProBlogger to learn best practices….but then I was off and running.
That said, however, I do believe it’s important to unite with others. My goal for this year (today is the last day of 2015!) is to prioritize finding people to connect with online. Last year, I learned the importance of creating my Blossom newsletter and sending it regularly. This is part of connecting….but admittedly, not with other midlife bloggers.
What is your blog niche, and how will you connect with other bloggers? Make this a best practice when you’re learning how to blog. It’ll help you stay motivated and interested in your blog, and will no doubt increase your traffic.
Create an editorial calendar
This isn’t necessarily an essential best practice for casual bloggers who only want to write about their hobbies every so often. I’ve been blogging as my number one source of income for years, and it was only a few months ago that I created my editorial calendar. But boy, did it change how I blog! My productivity has increased by more than 150%, and the topics of my blog posts are more meaningful and thoughtful.
An informal form of an editorial calendar is simply a list of topics you plan to write about. Knowing how to blog is much, much easier when you have a roadmap.
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Keep your eye on professional bloggers and online entrepreneurs
I recently discovered Melyssa over on The Nectar Collective, and I love her work! She is encouraging, educational, and supportive. If you’re learning how to blog so you can take your business further – or if you want to earn money blogging – follow her.
There are hundreds of professional bloggers, social media experts, and online entrepreneurs to learn from. I’ve found that most of them offer the same “best practices” for how to blog. They say the same thing, but sometimes you find a fresh voice who offers a vibrant twist.
I won’t list all the bloggers and social media experts you could follow. Instead, I encourage you to ask specific questions about how to blog – such as “How long should a blog post be?” Ask your questions on specific social media sites, such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, GPlus, etc. You might ask Google, but you’ll get a zillion results!
You might also consider asking specific bloggers your questions about how to blog. Comment on their posts, tweet them your questions, share your queries on their Facebook and other pages. This is a great way to get answers to your specific questions.
Learn about social media
I kicked off this list of best practices with Kawasaki’s book on social media because it’s indispensable to blogging! Unless your blog is solely for your own edification, you’ll need to learn how to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social networking sites.
Finding social media experts is easy. The more challenging part is finding ones that give you solid information from years of experience. This is difficult to find, because social media is still a baby! A strong indication of whether someone is actually an “expert” on social media is their activity and presence on various social sites. How did you find them? How many followers do they have, and what is their content like? You can learn so much about how to blog from studying what they post, how they share their articles, and who they interact with.
Question for You
What resources and best practices for blogging have I missed? I welcome your ideas and feedback.
I also welcome your questions about how to blog! I love blogging – it’s the only job I’ve ever been able to stick with. I love how much it changes…though I have to admit that I have trouble keeping up.
On Blossom this week
Every week I write a Four-Day Series on specific topics for women in midlife. This week, my theme is “starting a blog.”
Here’s the lineup:
- Mon – How to Blog About Something You Love – Day 1 (Imagine)
- Tues – Overcoming Obstacles When You’re Starting a Blog Day 2 – (Dare)
- Weds – Resources and Best Practices for Blogging – Day 3 (Prepare)
- Thurs – Foolproof Blogging Tips for Women Over 40 – Day 4 (Leap and Flourish!)
“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam.
If you have any questions, resources, blogs, books, ideas, or thoughts to share about women over 40, starting a blog, or Blossoming – please do comment below! I’d love to hear from you.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.