New Blogger Tips & Intro to Blogging Greatness

As some of you know, I recently finished up teaching a course for beginning bloggers. It was a great experience for me, I met some awesome people and got them to revamp their blogs and some just start out. But I feel like in blogging, you are always learning. It's an every-growing community and as we established these blogs, I feel like I learned just as much from my students. Especially one student, Nan, who started writing a comedy blog for the 65+ crowd. She's hilarious and so insightful and I'm excited to see where her blog goes.

With that in mind, I think the November Blogathon prompts for Thursday and Friday (both of which I'm doing today) were right on point to what I've been thinking a lot about recently when it comes to blogging. So here we go!

If you could tell your novice blogger self 3 tips...

1 - Build a community.
I really just started writing this blog so my family and friends would read it and know that I was having fun and was safe while living in downtown Pittsburgh. I have had other blogs before and this one was not started to get lots of page views, it is not created to be SEO friendly, even though at the time that's all I was doing in work. But when the greater Pittsburgh community started to catch on to what I was writing and more people became followers, it started to find a bigger purpose for this space. Which was nice and I'm glad to see that a lot of those early followers continued to read even when I moved out of the city, because my content has certainly changed since then. But those followers, bloggers and non-bloggers, have really opened a lot of doors for me and while that wasn't my intention, I really appreciate it.

2 - Fellow bloggers are not your competition.
I do not like that a lot of bloggers are just in it now to monetize and a lot of "How to Start a Blog" posts are dedicated to making money off your blog right away. I feel like doing that leads to you being unauthentic and leads you to not make friends with other bloggers because you view them as your competition. That is dumb. Blogging is supposed to be about the community not the advertising dollars, and while those are nice, hating a fellow blogger in your niche is pretty lame.

3 - Allow yourself a break whenever you need it.
I hear about blogger burnout too much. If you've followed along here for a while, then you know that I believe in giving myself mini-breaks from blogging whenever I feel like it. I wish more bloggers were like that, because readers can tell when your heart isn't into it and I never want that feeling to come across to my readers. Give yourself time off if you want/need it.

Now skipping over to Friday's prompt - Introduce 3 bloggers you follow and why.

Sarah Hartley | Midwest Muse | Sincerely, Sara
Photos are the property of Sarah, Jessica, and Sara, respectively.
Sarah Hartley - Sarah has made an appearance here a couple times, and she will always be my first blogger pick. She's one of the first bloggers I really started to follow consistently and I like that she's built a community that has followed her from fashion blogger girlfriend to mommy of the cutest little boy, with the perfect husband. I like that she's become more open over time to sharing about herself and now I cannot even believe how transparent she is with her readers. She's really grown and it's been an amazing journey to watch unfold over the screen. She's got great style, a fresh sense of humor and plenty of baby pictures to show off her cute little man.

Midwest Muse - Jessica is amazing. She has the best style that I have ever seen, has the best taste in music and generally just doesn't give a shit what people think, and I LOVE it. Jessica takes a week off from blogging and doesn't really need to give an excuse as to why because her readers pick up right where she left off. She changes her hair drastically on a whim and still knows how to style it better than anyone who has had that hair for years. She's basically a unicorn living in Ohio and I cannot get enough of her and her blog. Also, her photographer boyfriend takes the most gorgeous pictures of her that her whole blog just looks like an indie magazine you need to be reading.

Sincerely, Sara - I found this Sara through reading Sarah Hartley's blog and have to say that I'm glad I did. Sara is someone I admire because she is so consistent and her blog reads like she wrote it just to you. She has clear goals about her future and her blog, she tells you upfront what she blogs about and when, and she is always producing quality content in her niche. She's making the rest of us mid-twenties bloggers look unorganized and I actually love it because she is just so good. She's also a bookworm, so always one to recommend good reads.

So, who are your favorite bloggers?
And what wisdom would you share with new bloggers?


  1. Great tips! Will have to check out these cool bloggers :) I love how there are some blogs who have such a unique niche (like the 65+ comedy!) so awesome!

  2. I love Sarah Hartley. I followed her when she was "Coming Unstitched" and I love her new blog even more. She's such a sweetheart. I will definitely have to check out your other recommendations. And I agree that people who start blogging just to make money are not the most fun bloggers to end up following.

  3. I need to check out the bloggers you have listed! I guess my advice would be to be consistent with your posts. Even if you don't follow a schedule, try not to disappear for too long. That and friendliness goes a long way. I have a ton of blogs that I love. It has been great getting to know fellow NE Bloggers blogs too!

  4. What a great post! I love that you say other bloggers aren't competition. That is so true! We never set out to monetize our blog, and the best part of the whole thing is making new friends.

  5. Right!? When my student decided on that, I just thought it was the greatest idea ever.

  6. Very true, Julie! And I loved Coming Unstitched as well, that's when I started following her too, but I really like how her new blog shows her growth.

  7. Yeah, good tips, Karen! Taking too long of a break can be a bad thing.

  8. Right!? That was never my intention either, it's a nice thing when it happens, but I think building the community and making friends all over is more of the point.

  9. Hi there! I just found YOUR blog through Sarah Hartley and I love this post! It's always awesome to discover other Pittsburgh area bloggers and I look forward to reading more! :)

  10. Your post popped up in my Twitter feed and I just had to come check you out. You have a great writing style!

    It's so true that you should try to build a community with your blog. It's fun to write for others, get feedback, and just make awesome friends in general. That's something I never thought about it in my early days of blogging, but am finding it SO nice to have now. :)


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