Mentoring a New Blogger

It was a first for me. A brand new blogger, actually a family member, sitting there and waiting for my advice! At the time, it felt as though the task was fitting right into the 31 Days to a Better Blog challenge, but it just floated in out of left field. She had responded to my invitation to have a look at my blog, and what do you know! She had started her own, albeit without a first post, no photo, but a sense that she wanted to write about travel, and her plans to get-away next year.

It was a good exercise for me. Where to begin? What’s the most important thing to get a new blogger to consider? The focus I reckon. Get this part right, and you’re well on the way. It appears self-evident, and as I talked to my niece, I recalled that for me, the very first blog I developed had this focus thing absolutely spot-on. A subsequent blog bloated itself out into a 360º treatment of my life. And whilst my life is a pretty fascinating thing (to me anyway) the blog had lost its focus. I wrote a few posts back about this, and I have to say, I’ve been happy with the way my posts have sharpened since the blog jumped back on secure rails.

My advice went on to write up to half a dozen posts to get into the focus ‘groove’ … maybe about planning to travel, a kind of phase one, so that when she is on the road next year, it will be a natural progression into a travel journal. So, get some content together, and then release these postings into the blogosphere. Next thing, of course, email some friends, get some feedback … some of the good advice we’ve been following for the past week or more. Time then, when the confidence and the regular writing becomes habitual, to start thinking about some of the other stuff: what’s in the sidebar, setting up for feed-reading and so on. I took her through what was what on the page … how it all worked, introduced her to some of the cool things, the world of widgets that she might pull in later. I thought though, that it was worth focussing on the basics of the whole writing business to start. Know what you want to write, and do it, and keep doing it. Find your blog voice first. What do you reckon?

What’s the best bit of advice you’d give a first-time blogger?


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One response to “Mentoring a New Blogger”

  1. Christine Avatar
    Christine

    I’m still new, my first blog started less than four months ago. A few things that have helped me are:
    –finding a balance between just getting the posts up and thinking through and editing (inside of the time I have available to dedicate to blogging)
    –finding ways to organize the ideas for posts and the links I may want to use
    –learning how to use Google Analytics and other stats packages to give me concrete feedback about what i am doing

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