Put your blog out into the world and hope that your talent will speak for itself

Like me, many of you have recently celebrated your one year blog anniversary so cast your mind back, if you can, to when you first decided to start. I never had a problem with what I was going to write about; that was the easy part for me. However, I was overwhelmed by all the various themes and gadgets available to me; especially as most of you know how incompetent I am when it comes to the mystifying world of technology. For the record I’m still hopelessly pants at Twitter and aren’t hashtags a new breakfast cereal?

Having trawled through many of your sleek and glossy blogs, I can now admit to being a little intimidated and awed at the very beginning; in fact, some days I still feel that way. Twelve months on and I’m delighted to say that it’s no longer just my Mum who reads my blog; although I’m sure she was my only reader initially!

I have absolutely loved this journey of discovery and there isn’t a single day when I don’t learn something new. I have, of course, all of you to thank for welcoming me warmly into the blogging community and you have all at some time given me the very best of counsel and encouragement. So as you were all kind enough to share your knowledge with me, what would be the one piece of advice that you would give any new blogger starting up?

Blog word.

109 thoughts on “Put your blog out into the world and hope that your talent will speak for itself

  1. Congratulations on your 1 year, Dallas! I’ve enjoyed it all & I’m looking forward to reading all your posts in your second year of blogging. I know I will not be disappointed!

    And my advice is the same advice I’d give outside of the blogoshere – Be yourself and don’t try to force anything..

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  2. My advice to a new blogger is to forget about the statistics, and don’t worry about who’s reading… just keep blogging, modestly… as if you were on your way to church.

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  3. My advice is to write about what you enjoy and use your words to make me feel like I’m right there with you. It’s okay to post about a variety of topics, but focus on what moves you the most. Don’t post just to do so, keep it simple, and enjoy the process.

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  4. Thanks for the encouragement! I don’t have very many followers and my blog is really a travel journal – the goal was summarizing experiences not so much getting readers or followers – but must say I don’t mind at all when someone reads the blog and “likes” it :o).

     

    Not sure I’m qualified to give much advice to new bloggers but if the goal is getting followers, being truthful and positive, keeping the subject matter fresh, and writing from the heart would be a good start…

     

    Best regards!

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    • I remember seeing your blog for the first time and thinking what a “Wow” factor your pictures had, in fact, yours was one of the ones I was in awe of especially since I still can’t master a camera but I do have my photographer sidekick these days who works for cups of tea and banana sandwiches

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  5. I’m so glad for whatever impulse (or link?) brought me here, but your delightful stories have kept me coming back. I’m not sure I have much in the way of advice. I’d have to go with what’s already been said. Go with whatever you’re passionate about and don’t be too worried about stats. Far more than numbers it’s been the folks who have taken the time to comment who have grown to become dear friends to me in this little corner of the blogging world.

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  6. A great year Dallas! I started my blog just because I really wanted to keep feeling happy about what I think is the best place in France especially when I couldn’t go there as often as I would like. I guess the suggestions I would have are write because you want to and because it makes you happy – it’s not about doing better than anyone else – we all have our own voice and that’s what blogging gives us a chance to discover. So have fun with it, go at your own pace, learn how to do the techy bits – (I’ve really loved finding out how to put photos into a post , though can’t work out how to put my writing in the right place…sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t! so I have several posts waiting to go when I’ve got that sorted!) and enjoy all the other blogs out there. PSI love your blog graphic – how did you do that?! xxx

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    • I can insert pictures now although it’s taken nearly a year to master it; still can’t work the delayed postings out though! Which blog graphic,Trish; probably had to draft in the troops if it was something complex! How’s your little angel?

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      • Little angels (one will be one year old on Sunday and the other is almost 9 months) are beautiful and such a joy! I meant the colourful and large word “blog” with each letter sort of slightly behind the other at the end of your post…

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  7. Hard to pick one so I’ve picked three! … Don’t worry about not being good enough – everyone worries about that, just have faith in your content and voice and put yourself out there. Do it for yourself first and foremost, it will be hard to keep the blog going otherwise. And if you want people to read your blog, put the time into reading/following/contributing to theirs.

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    • I think that is very sound advice as a couple of people have asked me about blogging recently and I don’t have any structure whatsoever to mine as it’s a bit like a work in progress so I wasn’t sure I was the best person to ask

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    • I think it’s all good and as you know I am not an organised and disciplined blogger in any way shape or form. And as I told my boss last night as I was on my hands and knees cleaning under the toilet cisterns, that I was only there to rock up and be fabulous; she was spectacularly unimpressed as well!

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  8. Congratulations on your anniversary 😉
    And Dallas, I think it should be you giving the advice. Almost 1500 followers in the first year! You must be doing it right!! Keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll be fine!

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  9. I always thought I was coming with you on a trip to Altinkum. (you know what a restless soul I am). Some things didn’t work out but it’s always been a pleasue sharing your experiences, Dallas. I’m still waiting and hoping for that happy ending.
    Yes, write for yourself and about what you love is the way to go for me too. (though it would be nice if somebody threw money as well as flowers) 🙂

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    • I always like reading about other bloggers successes but it cheers you on especially if you are having a day when you’re struggling to post. Tinky Town has it’s own special kind of magic; so you never know Jo!

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  10. I don’t think it matters about the elaborate gadgets and themes and such. Much better that the content is interesting. I agree to not worry about it all and just do what interests you.

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  11. Wow, one year! That has gone so quickly. Here’s to many more as I loving reading your blog. My advice: write often, be yourself and write about what you know and love. xxx

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  12. Congratulations! I am a hopeless newbie to twitter as well. No matter how many times my husband explains the difference between and @ sign and a # sign I remain….hopeless.

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  13. Congratulations on your Blogiversary, Dallas. You’ve certainly been a big hit with lots of people here. My advice would be just to blog when and what you feel like blogging. I still find it amazing that so many people are interested in what I have to say and show them. 🙂

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  14. Has it only been a year? I’ve lost track of time. Being entertained by your writing, well, it seems like it’s always been there! Advice? I’d say don’t jump in, till you’ve looked down the road a bit and considered where you’d like the blog to take you. Then, you’ll have a better idea of the theme to select, because followers get used to your look and a new theme can be disorienting. There’s a comfort factor landing on your blog pal’s theme. I took a huge jump with latebloomershow, and still trying to get my old followers to come over to my new site. (But, they really should as there is a free ebook on starting your first garden there waiting for them!) – Kaye

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    • You’re very kind Kaye and my Dad will always be one of your stalkers. He’s proudly growing all these cuttings for the amateur bee keeper in our village and has been to the garden centre for the other plants you recommended; it’s his new pet project! So to those of you keen or novice gardeners that haven’t checked her out http://www.latebloomershow.com/ and I can highly recommend the videos too! Kaye’s far more easier on the eye than Alan Titchmarsh!

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  15. Congrats on your Blogoversary! I always enjoy your posts. Advice ? hmmm … find a friend who can help you with the techie stuff, so that you can concentrate on writing about topics that YOU enjoy – that’s the brilliant part about blogging, you can write about anything you like (or don’t like!)

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    • It’s a little humiliating when I have to draft in the troops in the form of my teenage nieces to assist with the technical bits (I get so flustered when I have to do several links); they make me feel so ancient and antique!

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  16. Dear Dallas,
    Hearty congratulations. You, my blogging friend, have the honour of being my very first follower. What a thrill it was to wake up in Canada’s capital the morning after I struggled to get out my very first post to have a follower from Turkey! What a giggle to discover you had found my post because you had spotted ‘turkey’ and I had blogged about the benefits of cooking a turkey when you’re a single cook! And reading you these past nine months, the giggles have continued. When I read you, I feel we could be grand friends if we sat down to tea in some spot in the middle of the Atlantic. I’ll bring the muffins . . . or scones!

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  17. Oh . . . advice. At Savvy SIngle Suppers, I’m on a mission! I am passionate about showing single people that it is worthwhile — nutritionally and gastronomicaly — to cook for yourself at home. So before I started blogging . . . I needed to have a posting plan that would mirror my Savvy Single Supper Strategies. With a chronic health condition a challenge to my energies, I ‘shadow’ posted for a month before I went public to see if I could realistically achieve my goals.
    So . . . give some thought in advance to your goals, how you might like people to use your site/product/work as a complement to your passion for writing [can you tell I have an MBA?]. Then you can focus on learning just the techie stuff that will enhance your plans and leave you free to concentrate on your content. Learn cool new techie tricks and Twitter promo tips as you have the energy and inclination.
    If you are a writer at heart . . . Write! Just because you love it. Blogs can give you the platform and format and the practice. Be brave. And have fun.

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    • That is fantastic advice Susan, and your passion is evident in every line and post. I definitely need to check out the Twitter promo tips as I am a real novice and I’m still learning about the techie stuff as I go along by next year I may have mastered the dashboard if I’m lucky!

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  18. Congrats on the one year D!
    My best advice would be to do it, and continue to do it *if* you enjoy blogging. If it becomes an annoying chore or more like a job then I think that’s when many drop out.

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      • Well I greatly appreciate your very kind comments D.
        And hey, notice how I tied in “annoying chore” with “a job”? Shows how much I think of working I guess.

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  19. Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog this past year. One piece of advice that I would offer is to read other blogs to help you figure out what make a blog interesting.

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  20. Congrats on the anniversary! I’ve been blogging on and off for close to 5 years and I have yet to figure it out really… I’ve definitely learned people like to look at pictures. I used to write paragraphs of stream of consciousness paragraphs with no pictures. It makes me cringe to think about it!

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  21. Congratulations on one year, a great blog and followers 🙂 Cowboys and Crossbones advice of being real was the first I thought of, and the other two you already do as well, make readers laugh and cry. That leaves practically, use images, yes, but save them as the lowest file size you can before uploading and using for background etc, Your page can take a while to load.

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    • I think about my blog as an online letter to my pen pals (which it is) and as we all seem to laugh and cry at the same things fortunately it works. I think that advice is really important as we all have a tendency to want overnight success but as with everything it takes time and work

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    • It’s the famous Boo – you have an entire post dedicated just to you! I was laughing as I wrote it and remembered all the times we used to trail up to the car park to pick my car up on the way home. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support x

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  22. My advice? Don’t worry about the gadgets, don’t worry about the statistics, don’t worry about SEO, don’t worry about a thing. Write as if you it is a holiday, as if you are talking to your best friend, as if you have packed your favorite picnic lunch and you want to share. Write to tell a story, to teach and even to learn. Read without care if who you are reading follow you back to your house. Comment because you have something to say, tell others how much you enjoyed what they wrote. Be grateful they shared their stories and allowed you to sit in their house with them, thank them for the welcome.

    So Dallas, thank you for being here for a year. Congrats! I am so grateful you share your life and your humor. You make me smile, many times just when I need it.

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  23. Hi! I’m so glad I found this blog and this post especially! I’m brand new to blogging and not even sure what I’m doing really, so looking forward to reading more for inspiration! I’m pretty much going with my gut and writing what I need to express – no idea if anyone is interested to read or can even follow what I am blathering on about but it feels good to record everything so I guess that’s what counts!

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  24. Advice… Short and sweet. Get your message across in a brief interesting way, or write two posts side by side, one that’s a blurb and one where you pontificate. I say this because I have NOT done this, and I’m fairly certain most people don’t read all the way through my posts. When I read very popular blogs, like Single Dad Laughing, I see many many short posts that keep people tied in, with the occasional long whopper that goes viral. It seems to work. And humor/positivity seem to land more “likes” I find, noticeable because so few of mine get that and it’s always the short light hearted ones. Also I read somewhere to keep the blog content focused, no fancy extras to distract from the content. Whatever that means. I like your blog, whatever you’re doing! Keep going! 🙂

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    • You are so observant; I hadn’t noticed all that before clearly I need more attention to detail. This is really going to be helpful to all new bloggers out there. I just write, cross my fingers and hope for the best

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      • Generally that’s what I do too. I try to keep them short, but never succeed. The rare time I get a lot of reads and more likes and comments is always when I write something short, upbeat –never the posts I care about most– but they’re always the ones people respond to… It bugs me a little, sometimes. The meaty ones I really want feedback on, I get very little except the same couple people (who I love for their feedback). So I try just to post for me, and whoever gets use from it, I’m happy. I cannot write for popularity, because I historically fail at that in all scenarios. All I know is that everything I read online about getting people to read your blog is about writing what an audience wants to read. Or, worse, paying attention to what gets audience positive response and repeating *that* (regardless of your reason for blogging). Basically a business model. Personally, the idea of that nauseates me. I want to write what my blog is about and what interests me, not to set aside all that and write for attention. And if nobody ever hops on the wagon, so be it. It all depends on what you’re blogging for. To grow a following, or for you. If you’re blessed to be one of those people who writes for you and everyone else loves it too, then keep doing that!! 🙂

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  25. I found blogging a great way to keep a record of a journey. And a way of meeting some great blogging friends out in the blogosphere, to share ideas, laughter, interaction on a great human level, a new way of communicating. Glad I found you Dallas and love reading your “honeymoon adventures” and about your great family and especially your dad and his allotment buddies.

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  26. My dear friend, you know I never get tired of saying that you are a remarkable story-teller. You are able to tell the stories that others need to hear.
    You know I can’t leave without a quote:

    “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” Dalai Lama

    Congratulations – I am celebrating across the bloggers miles.

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  27. My advice to those consider blogging – Picture yourself at the edge of a pool on a hot summer day and dive right in. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just keep diving in every day. And if you miss a day, dive in the next.

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  28. No tips for you cause you’re a pro at telling your truth… and that’s what they come for. See you on twitter!

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  29. Congrats on your blogiversary! You have done an excellent job and shouldn’t sell yourself short or compare yourself to “fancy” blogs. You have done an amazing job in growing an audience and I think that is one of the hardest parts of blogging.
    My advice for a new blogger…write what is in your heart. Don’t worry about stats, just write.

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    • Mmm not sure I’m the best person to ask as my blog just toddles along on its own, however, I think it’s really important to interact with other bloggers, join fb forums, comments on blogs etc. It takes time but it’s really worthwhile and a year on, the thing I would miss the most is the banter with my blogging friends

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