10 Tips for an Aspiring Blogger

I’ve been asked for advice from someone thinking about starting a blog to cover an interesting international trip. Here’s my top tips.

  1. Easiest way to start is to sign up with wordpress.com. You can have a blog set up in five minutes and have your first post up there for all the world to see in six. Just do it. You can then change the look and feel through picking the kind of template you like. WordPress blogs have personality – yours.
  2. Enable comments from the get go. A blog without comments makes you look arrogant even if you are not. Answer comments promptly. Pay special attention to those who disagree with you – they are a gift and a joy. If they go too far and stop being a joy, you can simply not let their comments through. (That’s called comment moderation – worth knowing about, but don’t be too severe unless people are very naughty).
  3. Use your twitter feed to promote your blog and your blog to promote your twitter feed. Go on, sign up for both. Twitter is just a form of one-line blogging.
  4. Tweet hourly. Blog daily.
  5. Write as though you are writing to a few friends. You are. A few hundred. Or more.
  6. Write your frustrations, blog your opinions, explain your insights, tell us what you found funny or moving today.
  7. Aim for slightly outrageous at least now and then. Most people would like to be able to be oh so slightly outrageous now and then. Now and then, you can.
  8. Put your blog address on everything you write – every e-mail, business card, letter or report. It is part of your identity now. (So choose wisely when you are setting up the blog in the first place).
  9. Collect other people’s blog addresses and follow them in something like google reader. Comment on their blogs. Argue with them on your own blog and freely recommend good things to your readers.
  10. Remember that blogging is not merely a dance but a strip-tease. You are offering to show and tell. You are offering to reveal. But keep them guessing and never offer everything. Your readers want to come back for more. Give them hints that the best is yet to come.


  1. To this I would add,

    11. Interact with other blogs.

  2. Thanks Beth. Other advice?

  3. 12. Keep at it, even when you feel are going no-where.

    Comment on 8 and 9 – when commenting on blogs make sure you link back to your own, as Beth and Kelvin have done above.

  4. I’d add these..

    1. Refer to and link to other blog posts in your own posts on similar topics. Sometimes a comment on someone else’s blog is just not enough. if you are inspired enough by something you read to write a post yourself, hyperlink to that inspirational post, news article, person, or tweet.

    2. Have a ‘Blogroll’ of blogs you enjoy reading… This is easy in WordPress and Blogger.

    3. Try to develop a reputation. Areas of expertise and passionate interest always make good bloggers..

    4. If you’re planning a trip, project, journey, or holiday..use your blog as a public journal. It’s unlikely that you’ll bore most readers, and it’s not the same as the old ‘holiday photos’ thingy..


    Hmmm, you’ve got me thinking now..

  5. Never forget that you have a readership – think before you write, and how you write.

  6. Ha! I love the strip tease comment…hahaha.

  7. I’d just add that if you are going to be adding images it would be worth getting to know how to use a free online image editor – there are several ie http://advanced.aviary.com/tools. WordPress and other blogging systems will crop images you upload, but it’s best to get your image into a publishable state first, using image editing controls like contrast, exposure, sharpness etc. Nicely polished images really make a big difference to the quality of a blog, in my view.

    Also Tumblr is another good blogging platform – https://www.tumblr.com. I would avoid Blogger – WordPress and Tumblr are much more up-to-date.

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