As I sat down this week to try and bring some kind of order to upcoming blog posts, I noticed that this particular post will be my 100th post! In some ways, it feels as though I have been blogging forever and in other ways it feels as though my blog is still very young and has lots of growing to do…
- Chose your subject carefully – there are millions of blogs out there, pick a category such as gastronomy, parenting, crafts, fashion etc and make sure you are really passionate about whatever you are going to write about (See Wikio Top Blogs for an idea of what’s out there) Some blogs include a mixture of categories and this is fine too as long as you have enough to write about.
- Do try and think of a niche or a particular angle within your category to have more chance of standing out but don’t narrow yourself down too much at the start. Blogging is a creative process and your blog will evolve.
- Think about who you are writing for. So, in the case of a food blog, are you writing for mums, parents, food-lovers, those who are apprehensive about cooking? Are you writing with a particular nutritional angle in mind? Do you particularly like baking or is there a particular challenge you’d like to set yourself?
- Think of a blog name and check it is available through your chosen blogging platform. Consider buying a domain name to make it easier for people to find you and to make it easier to move if you need to.
- Consider how much time you want to dedicate to blogging and when you will blog – try and stick to it otherwise blogging can quickly take over your life!
- Don’t rush posts just to get them out, it is always better to save a draft and come back to it later when you have time.
- A blog ‘grows’ – the more you write, the more your writing and content will improve and more people will start reading it and following it. Don’t get too bogged down with statistics and rankings.
- Join groups and associations to get help, feedback and your first few readers (outside your immediate family!) and join in with blog events as this is a great way to stumble across other blogs, gain readers and inspiration for blog posts. The UK Food Bloggers Association is great for food bloggers and British Mummy Bloggers and The Netmums Blogging Network are both good places to start for parent bloggers.
Yes, blogging can lead to bigger and better things, but book deals and career changes purely through blogging happen to the few rather than the many. Don’t let that stop you though – anything is possible if you put your mind to it! I have met many people along the way even in the last six months who have had some brilliant opportunities through blogging, including book deals and paid posts.
Dianne’s book has recently been revised and includes up-to-date advice on writing a blog, a cookery book proposal, a food memoir, how to write reviews, how to develop recipes and much more. Dianne also quotes and shares input from well known food writers and bloggers, such as David Lebovitz, who also writes the forward.
“If you’d like to blog as a hobby or write articles for fun, you’re in good shape. “A day job and a rich husband helps,” one agent advised me.”
“At this point you’re probably thinking “Why should anyone care about what I have to say?” Good question, and it is a valid one. If all you want to do is document what you ate, probably few people will. Your job is to make readers care. Food blogging is about more than your performance in the kitchen or a list of dishes you ate in a restaurant. Instead, develop your storytelling skills so readers keep coming back.”
The very best advice I can offer came through my friend Jessica Chivers at her recent book launch – “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going” – which I think sums it all up quite nicely.