I’m no expert in the subject, but I have learned so much from my fellow bloggers. A good place to start (says me because this is how I started) is by following The Daily Post. There really is a wealth of information on WordPress for new bloggers! In this post I will teach you the highlights of what I have learned (as a blogging 101 and blogging 201 student) in the past few months. There are tips and tricks for both new bloggers and experienced bloggers here. A Holistic Journey has some great tips on how to succeed as a blogger.
First things first, make sure you set up your Gravatar and Blavatar. It amazes me how many bloggers have not set up a Gravatar profile and linked their Gravatar to their blog. Make it easy to find you, link your Gravatar icon to your blog. When someone clicks the icon next to a comment you’ve made on another blog, they will go to your Gravatar profile. As I’m writing this post I am clicking on the icons next to the readers of my blog to get a better sence of who they are and their interests (specifically for my blog why my readers are interested in advocacy for children with autism and special needs.)
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while and I still have no clue who you are, it could be because your Gravatar isn’t set up and I have no idea how to find you. It could also be because you haven’t left a comment. In my humble opinion, commenting is the best part of blogging. It’s a way of networking and interacting with people who share common interests.
Before I started blogging I followed only one blog faithfully – gluten free on a shoestring. The reasons I followed that blog were 1. The personal style of the writer and 2. The blogger connected with her readers on a regular basis through the comments on her blog.
If you don’t know what to say, check out this awesome page I made (that no one has left a comment on – lol) Corner Café. But seriously, please do drop by and say hi. I’d love to hear from you! You could also check out this perennial fave on the daily post: How to Think Up Good Comments.
If you’ve been blogging for a while and you’re wishing you could get featured on freshly pressed, check out: Five Ways to Get Featured on Freshly Pressed. I haven’t been featured on Freshly Pressed (yet) but since I’m a new blogger my focus has been on developing good blogging habits.
Those of you who have read my blog from the beginning may have noticed, I’ve changed my name and I now write under a pseudonym for privacy purposes. I often write about my non-verbal 7-year-old son, so I’ve asked myself this question: Should I Let the Cat Out of the Bag? I’ve read many articles about blogging ethics, and as a result I’ve begun to use pseudonyms for family members – especially children. I’ve never used my full name or my son’s full name. So far I have chosen to use my son’s real first name. The reason I decided to keep his name is because my blog is a great place to share our story with his teachers, therapists, friends and family. I feel that by writing I am helping people to get to know my son (in a positive and productive way.)
I’ve also looked into easy and free ways to customize my blog. Truth be told, I don’t have much extra cash to spend. Someday I hope to make some money at this, but for now I’m happy to write, learn, and improve my skills. I use evernote to clip webpages with blogging tips and little by little, I incorporate these tips in my blog.
I’ve recently learned how to properly attribute images to the owner. This is a good habit I plan to use faithfully for several reasons: 1. I’m an honest person and I wouldn’t want to steal someone else’s work. 2. I’m not greedy – if the image isn’t mine to begin with what right do I have to use it without giving credit where credit is due? 3. I appreciate the artists who allow me to use their images free of charge. If you happen to like an image I’ve used and want to use it too – Who am I to say no?
Last but not least, I’ve learned to network with other bloggers who write on similar (or entirely different) topics. There’s enough room here for all of us. If I read something I really like, maybe you will too! This is not a competition (at least for me it isn’t.) I have my own unique voice and I really don’t mind sharing the stage. There are many great blogs out there just waiting to be discovered. Do onto others as you’d have them do to you ❤ 🙂
Liana (and Stephen)
p.s. stay tuned for blogging award nominations!