When I first started blogging I had two main worries. Well, okay; three, if you count worrying that I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. But that’s a bit vague. I would narrow it down to 2 main concerns: that no one would read my blog, and that I would run out of things to write about.

In the spirit of helping other bloggers who feel like they have no clue what they are doing, I have compiled a list of 4 things I wish I knew when I started blogging.

1. How to use tags and categories: for the longest time, I didn’t tag my posts and I wondered why no one on WordPress was finding my blog. Tags and categories are essential, and they’re also super easy!

You can find them on the side of the page where you go to publish your post. I usually aim for under 15 tags, and 2-3 categories depending on the post. I tag my posts with the “main ideas” in them (eg. a tag for this post is ‘blogging’) and the categories are more general (eg. this one is ‘how to’ but blurbs about my life are ‘blurbs’ or ‘my life’).

2. Engaging in the WordPress community is super important: when I was worrying about no one reading my blog I realized that I wasn’t reading anyone else’s blog, either. A crucial part of building your own blog community is engaging in other people’s. Check out Freshly Pressed for great posts and discussions, or follow the blogs recommended on your reader.

3. What you have to say matters: I once read a post somewhere about there being too many opinions in the world – and specifically, the blogosphere. According to that post, if you sit down at your computer and have to think of something to post (posting for the sake of adhering to a weekly schedule, for example) you are “white noise”.

This is completely untrue. You are not “white noise”. You may feel that your voice gets lost in all of the other voices, or that you are shouting to be heard amongst other people shouting; but know that there are people listening. Keep blogging your true, authentic opinions and make a difference through your words.

4. Content matters, but so does design. Of course, the stuff you write is important. It’s probably the reason you started a blog. However, the way in which your “stuff” is presented is hugely important, too. After creating my blog I didn’t change my theme for an entire year. Why? Because it was scary. However, this didn’t mean it wasn’t completely worth it.

Spend some time playing around with your theme – everything from colour scheme to widgets. Speaking of widgets: there are so many to choose from! Depending on your theme, they might run along your sidebar or along the bottom banner of your blog. Your choice of widgets really depends on what you think is important to your blog; however, one widget that I would recommend for sure is an About page. (I recently redid mine – you can check it out here).

Speaking of new blogs… I recently made another blog! My cousin Ceanray and I write a post each week which consists of letters to each other about a specific topic. Check it out here: www.thefabletters.wordpress.com

Those are my 4 blogging tips! What tips would you offer to new bloggers? Share them in the comments below!