Blogging 101: 10 Things Every Blogger Should Do When Starting Out

Make sure your computer is reliable (and ideally from this century!)

Make sure your computer is reliable (and ideally from this century!)

It used to be that blogging was a pastime people would employ to make their opinions known. These days, blogging can be a great way to either supplement your income, and many even make a full-time living at is! Businesses are willing to pay good money for great blog content in order to keep their audiences engaged and coming back for more, and because search engine optimization truly requires this.

Here, we share ten tips for new bloggers on things you should do when you are just getting started with your blogging career.

The right writing sample is key to winning business. Every potential customer is going to want to see samples of your work. Make sure you have a writing sample that is relevant to the topics you would be writing about for each customer. For example, if you want to write about health and wellness, you need to have samples of writing that apply. Customers want to know that you can speak effectively on the topic(s) they are interested in.

Build an online portfolio. Your new resume is the writing you have done–showcase it! Having an online compilation of this work organized by subject and linking to the published version online is extremely important if your wish is to work with more customers, and with reputable customers. Few customers are willing to take a risk on someone who doesn’t appear to be an experienced writer.

Find multiple customers. If you seek to make a living at blogging, it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket (unless that basket is extremely reliable and strong). So find additional sources for work so that you have a steady stream of work and thus a more reliable and consistent income.

Monitor your online reputation. Online reputation management is critical as a blogger since any new customer you start to engage with will likely Google you not only to see what work you have done (and hopefully it looks plentiful), but also to do a bit of a background check. Allowing a guest blogger on one’s blog is like bringing a guest to a party where they know no one (and hoping they don’t have any negative background you are unaware of that will come up!). Customers will not want to associate with a blogger who has a negative online reputation, as their customers can Google you, as well.

Make sure you have a reliable computer. Nothing is worse than being on a deadline and having a computer that crashes with any frequency, or is unreliable for one reason or another. Make sure your computer has all of the proper anti-virus software installed and that you can rely upon what is arguably your most important tool (other than your fingers for typing!).

Get into the habit of backing up your work. Saving and backing up your work is important. You will want to maintain an archive of prior work (who knows, you may use it again, even if only for a portfolio or reference piece). You may also need to reference your archive for billing purposes. Regardless of whether or not one is a blogger, getting into the habit of backing up our data is something everyone should do. (The next time you spill a Diet Coke on your laptop and fry it, you’ll understand why!)

Find a reliable source of free imagery. Images are a key component to a compelling blog post. They help to break up the monotony of reading, and they are also useful for search engine optimization. Websites like MorgueFile.com have a great library of imagery you can use free of charge, while many other sites charge for imagery. Also, be sure that each image you use in a blog post has an appropriate title that incorporates keywords important to the customer for whom you are blogging.

Do some research on writing for SEO. Having an understanding of what makes a blog post useful to its owner will help you craft your blog posts properly. Many businesses keep blogs to help them with the search engine optimization. Use of keywords is critical for SEO, so know the keywords that are most important to your customer and use them (but don’t overuse them). Having content that readers want to share is also important for SEO–the more times the post you write is shared, the better it is for the customer’s SEO.

Follow the experts. Check out what other bloggers are doing–observe their tone and how they format their posts. If a blogger seems relatively prolific, read several of her posts and look for similarities or trends across the posts. Find out what it is she is doing that makes her so darn good at her job, and consider employing some of the same tactics.

Set up a separate bank account. In order to track your finances more easily, set up a separate bank account where you can accept payment for your work. This is, of course, assuming you are a freelance blogger, in which case you will be paying taxes quarterly and will want an easy way to report out on earnings. A separate bank account will more readily enable this.

It’s an exciting creative journey you are embarking upon as a blogger! Make sure you have all of the tools and processes in place to make yourself as successful as you can be–with a little luck and a lot of hard work, you’ll be living the life of a full-time blogger in no time.

About katrinarobinson

Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer and editor who covers a wide variety of topics ranging from online reputation management on behalf of Reputation.com to best blogging practices. You can connect with her at https://www.facebook.com/calliopewriting or on Twitter @katrinarobin

Comments

  1. Thank you, this was very helpful. I added some things to my checklist that I’d been neglecting.

  2. With so many blogs being launched every month, it is important for any new blogger to be socially active on all the media platforms. The more new connections who will make with other bloggers, the more it will help you and your blog grow quickly. For this, you must share each new post everywhere on social media.

  3. Your article is very much on point. The sad thing is, a lot of companies would want to settle for the easy way out which is through spinning that as a reader, you would definitely know if the content doesn’t have any substance or at least cold.

  4. I like your suggestion of setting up a separate bank account to handle the finances. Most banks offer some sort of free checking or what not that would work for such a purpose. I’m glad you mentioned backing up your work. I can vouch for this one. You never know just how important a file can be until you don’t have access to it anymore. The 5 minutes or less it takes to back up your work is well worth it compared to the hours of frustration you might experience when you have an unexpected computer crash (or cup of coffee spilled on your laptop).

  5. Good one Katrina,

    As they say never underestimate the power of doing something right the first time.

    Planning will always have the biggest impact on results.

    What ever you do though make sure you know which metrics to prioritize.

  6. Some great points you have figured out for any new blogger… eSpecially the research on SEO . . .

  7. Your 1st tip, selecting the right writing sample I think is very important. It really is one of your strongest playing cards when it comes to generating new employment. A writing sample is in essence a blogger’s “handshake” at an interview, will it make a lasting impression, or end up in the waste bin?

  8. I think adding pictures to a blog can really step it up a notch so I applaud your mentioning finding a reliable source of free imagery. What I really like to do is keep a digital camera in my car and so I snap a few shots here and there, especially on the job site for my business. Using your own photos not only makes your post more personal, but you also know there is no trouble in using an image or infringing on a copyright.

  9. Many often forget to put in free image resource in their “blogging 101″ post, I’m glad you mentioned it here! Although now that my blog has grown I often pay for the stock photos just to avoid and copyright troubles. Thanks for the excellent post!!

  10. I’ve been blogging since 2008 and still need to do some of these things! Thanks for the list:).

  11. nice tips katrina
    i think if you are a blogger then learning SEO is must. because without SEO you can not do much. SEO is the best way to get free traffic. thanks for the tips

  12. such a very wise tips for a newbie blogger like me. Thank you so much for this I’m gonna try all this tips that you mention

  13. thnx for another great article,,,,,too much helpful for me. everu points are valid

    manoj rawal

  14. hi Katrina , I am Lucky to get engage with this post as a blog starter . I am doing pretty well overall but these tips really gonna help me allot . Thanks dear

  15. Some really good points for newbies, Produce quality content, build links, build relations, be active on Social media, it is important for any new blogger to be socially active on all the media platforms. Good post, thanks for sharing.

  16. Great and complete article about blogging! especially for focusing on specific SEO task.

    Sure I’ll do it

  17. It’s quite important to leave good first impression and that’s possible by showing catchy visuals on your blog. That’s why it’s important to have good design, easy navigation system and nice images.

  18. Some useful tips for newbies. I’m blogger since 2 years & these 2 years proved to be wonderful. In the beginning found it tuff but gradually I started producing good content, built some good relations & now I’m pretty stable. Newbies follow these tips, definitely gonna be fruitful.

  19. Nice post!
    Being a blogger i learned a lot from your post. Even i have to follow few tips from your post. Newbies will learn so much from this post. Thanks for the wise and wonderful share.

  20. I’m so glad that you’re all enjoying the article!

  21. Very interesting article; in this period i’m collecting information about how starting correctly a new blog, in order to make it more and more important in the net. Thanks for these useful information!! Regards

  22. Very interesting informations for a newbie blogger;
    A lot of times, when starting a blog someone is a bit confused, and
    make actions without reflect on potential conseguences.
    But this can explain a lot of things. Thanks!

  23. Some great points you have figured out for any new blogger, I’m blogging since 2 years & enjoying it but not earning much. Trying hard to produce qualty content & building links. Good post, thanks for sharing.

  24. Great post formulated with amazing points, btw thanks for posting a note on free imagery :)

  25. These are good points to bring up for new bloggers, especially since some of them are not usually found in tips for new bloggers but they’re good reminders (especially about backups and maintaining separate finances). It’s also good to mention, as you did at the end, that it takes a lot of hard work to be a full-time blogger! There are no short cuts.

  26. Wow………… superb. Nicely said….. and given selected points. thank you so much.. I have learnt many things from your articles….

  27. Hi Katrina,
    Nice post with great information. I really enjoyed this post and I think all the newbies surely gonna some benefits after reading this post. In starting days lots of hard work is required to do these things but at the end we all gets benefits. Thanks for sharing this post.

  28. Building online portfolio is a great idea. It helps us to exhibit our work in front of our customers and thus it makes them believe in us. Moreover, making a data backup is essential while maintaining an official site.

  29. I’m so glad you’re all enjoying this post!

  30. I suggest that a new blogger should start out with a lot of research work on the niche he wants to work in, type of content he should write, various methods to market his or her content and also take help from other well established and known bloggers.

  31. Personally, I do suggest everyone to take some serious time for researching before starting a blog. Sometimes, newbies got sources, and information to share with readers but they lack how to power up their stuff, and sometimes they are very known to all marketing stuff but fails in acquiring good sources.

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