It’s been one complete cycle round the sun again. 2016 marks my first year anniversary as a blogger. What a journey it’s been! I wouldn’t want it any other way. With the start of the new year, one of your New Year’s resolutions might be to write a blog, if so read on. If you are an avid blog reader and simply curious as to what goes into blogging and content production, you’ll find these five pointers informative. Either way, here are a five snips and tips from my first year of blogging. 

Choose a topic that you love

What are you passionate about and what are you good at? Each one of us is really good at a skill that someone out there is looking to learn. You might be an expert stylist or braider, or maybe you make great hair products. Trust me, someone would love to learn from you. I choose healthy and length retention as the focus of my blog, as I’d been natural for four years and grown my hair to waist length. I had picked up a few useful tips I knew others were looking to learn. In my first year of blogging I not only sharpened my natural hair skills and knowledge, but also inspired and informed my naturalistas who are eager to maintain long, healthy natural hair.

Be authentic 

Just be yourself. Your voice and story are unique. I’ve seen lots of newbie bloggers lose their creative direction, because they are trying to fit into a mold. There might be a style to blogging that’s been set in place by more experienced content creators, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change things up! Blogging is a free and expansive space so set your own standards and themes, and you should stick to them regardless of what might be more mainstream. For me, this means writing from my heart based on what I think is interesting and not just what’s trending.

Put in the hard work

I didn’t realise how much behind-the-scenes work goes into blogging until I started my own! Phew! Blogging is a fun but very time-consuming hobby. Depending on the frequency of your articles, you’ll find that you need to carve out a significant chunk of your day for content production, editing, publishing, pushing, and responding. You might have to cut down your hours of sleep or maybe narrow down your interests. Either way, just like everything else in life, I’ve learned to put in the hard work to see results.

Get your tech right

Blogging is all about creating great content for your readers. You’ll need a sturdy camera, access to a computer, internet, and some editing and publishing skills to be an expert blogger. Most of my skills in photography, I’ve picked along the way by trial and error and by watching YouTube tutorials. I’m still perfecting my skills in the Adobe Creative suite using Lynda.com. I’ve also had to learn some basic code to improve the layout and presentation of my website. There’s lots of information online on photography and website hosting that’s free and/or easily accessible, so take some time to do your research.

Have fun and connect with your readers

I’m not looking to put on an impressive show or become famous fast but rather to share the fullness of life with my readers. While I create content, I also love connecting with my readers in the comments sections of my web platforms. I’ve learned that this is probably one of the most important aspects about growing a faithful readership and building trust. Rather than focusing on growing artificial numbers on each of my platforms, I’ve focused on building relationships with my readers. I’ve found that my growth has come naturally.

I hope you’ve found these tips informative! If you’re a newbie blogger, welcome to the blogging community! I hope that your first year of blogging is just as fruitful as mine has been. If you’re simply interested in knowing what it takes to be a seasoned blogger, this is a sneak peak. Either way, here’s to many more delightful blogs and articles!