Tips for New / Aspiring Bloggers

Some of you have been asking me for tips on blogging. I don't consider myself a famous blogger and the truth is I still think of myself as a newbie because some of my friends have been blogging for 4 or 5 years! But I guess blogging for more than 2 years makes me somewhat experienced. If you want tips on how to be a famous blogger you should ask Maria Elena or Vivy Yusof ;)

I'm happy to share what I know so I've compiled a list of tips to help newbies in the blogosphere. These are based on my personal opinions and experiences. If you have anything to add please share with us! I'm sure our budding bloggers would appreciate it.

Tips for New or Aspiring Bloggers

#1. Why do you want to be a blogger? What's your purpose? What kind of blogger do you want to be? 
Intention gives you direction. Wanna be famous? Maybe you should read this first.

#2. Don't be pretentious.
Nobody likes a fake. Don't pretend to be interesting by making up stories. Don't pretend to be nice.  Just be interesting. Be nice. Be real. 

#3. Be creative and different. 
It's okay to be inspired by other bloggers but being different will give you a huge advantage. 

#4. Be genuine and sincere.
Some of you have asked me how you can make more friends through blogging. Be a sincere person and you'll naturally find friends / other bloggers with the same interests.

#5. Update at least four to five times a week. 
When I first started I would update my blog almost everyday because it's important for a new blogger to have momentum. Once you've established a readership base you can get away with two to three posts a week. 

#6. Quality over quantity. 
Although it's important to update often it's more crucial that you produce quality posts. One of the ways to do this is by writing about things that matter to you. When you are genuine the passion really shows in your blog posts.

#7. Be original. 
Don't steal other people's content! It has happened to me a few times and it's very frustrating. Thankfully, my blog readers alerted me immediately. Don't plagiarise, just don't. You'll get caught sooner or later and you'll have a horrible reputation. If you want to use other bloggers' content be sure to credit them for their work. You know coming up with material isn't easy otherwise you wouldn't even think about plagiarising or stealing. 

#8. Use images. 
Nobody really enjoys reading a book without pictures. It's the same with blogs.

#9. Be funny. 
I have to admit humour is not my strength. I'm just not very funny person, I guess, but I've noticed that the most popular blogs are usually the funny ones. It makes sense!

#10. Drop a comment.
If you want people to know your blog exists it's only logical that you leave comments on other people's blogs but please don't write things like "Wow I loved that post! Now come check out my blog" or "Follow me and I'll follow you". It seems a bit desperate. Write this instead: "I really enjoyed this post *insert personal comment*" or "Hey what a coincidence. I blogged about the same topic a few days ago! *insert link to the post*" Commenting also shows that you're friendly and people are drawn to that. 

#11. Write about things people can relate to.
Think about why you read blogs. For inspiration and ideas? Escapism? To be entertained? I believe that most people read blogs to relate to other people. Write about your personal take on current issues and  share personal experiences. You'll automatically become 10x more interesting.

#12. Don't be negative. 
I've come across blogs like this: "OMG, I hate my friend. She's such a fake and a liar! I caught her doing this and that *continues for the next 10 paragraphs*" Seriously, we don't want to know. Save all the goss for your best friend. 


MissM said…
I love the new header and I feel quite dumb now after spending several minutes.looking at the picture and trying unsuccessfully to decipher it
anonymous said…
your new blog layout is really nice masha'Allah! and thank you for these tips! they help us newbies out alot :)

ps: that cartoon is hilarious LOL
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Miss M, thank you! The header was made by using a picture I took of some colour lamps when I was in Doha =)
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@SARAH, you're most welcome. Happy blogging!
amirah said…
I love it when you put the 3 Quls at the top left corner of this page. You help me to recite them at least every time before I read your new entry. :)
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@amirah, mashaAllah that's amazing! May Allah swt reward you generously, ameen.
Love the new layout, Sha.
Love the post too!
Love your blog.
Love everything about you. hehe.
Anyway Sha, I emailed you once but you didnt't reply. Hope you can check your email.
Thanks. :)
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@shaza, hmm I usually reply emails with important questions (even though it may take a a while) but I typed your name in my inbox and there's no e-mail from you. Please re-send. Thanks! =)
Alyssa Iman said…
Salaam sis,
I enjoy reading your blog *winks* and I personally love this entry *winks winks*...
Okay okayy, on a more serious note, while I have appreciated your writing, I do admit that I struggle to write from time to time. Blame it on the hectic schedule (lame), or rather lack of inspiration.
But inshALLAH, after reading this entry, I shall strive to write more, for my own personal fulfillment and that of the kind souls who have been so sweet reading my blog.
Anyways, thank you so much for such amazing blog entries over the years. I especially appreciate all the info regarding the usrahs, gatherings of 'ilm and such. Keep them up :)
Thanks and may Allah forever bless you,
Misha iCan said…
I wanted you and another blogger (Ghadeer) who I consider inspirational to do tips for newbies, and was trying to summon up the courage to ask, I'm so glad you did this post anyway, I'm trying to post regularly, the thing is write about whatever takes my fancy- is that a mistake - I have all kinds of posts on my blog, coz I don't want to start a new blog for each topic- is that a mistake what do you think? (Sorry bout the long comment)x
Nurul Izzaty said…
Thanks for the tips, sis :)

I'm a so-called active blog-hopper, but I rarely leave comments (maybe I'm too shy to speak up hehe). Maybe I should drop comments more often huh? ;)

Btw, your blog really is inspiring. I always envy (in a good way) your positivity. Keep on motivating your readers like me! :)

ps: Love the news header btw!
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Alyssa Iman, my, my, where did you learn such fine commenting skills?*wink wink* Just think, whenever you write something spiritually and emotionally uplifting the angels will record that as a good deed (or many good deeds, Allahu3alam). Then on Judgement Day when Allah swt shows your book you will see how much ajr (pahala) you have gathered. That is what motivates me to write about Islam. Good luck and happy blogging!

@Misha, there's nothing wrong with writing about several topics in a blog. If you feel your blog is lacking direction start a weekly topic. Like how I started Style Sunday and Faith Friday. That way readers will be able to identify who you are as a blogger as well. It's important to have an identity when there's millions of bloggers out there.

@Nurul Izz, yes! Leave more comments. Share your thoughts. Make someone's day. Like how you did mine by saying that you appreciate my blog. It motivates me when people say they've benefited from my posts, inshaAllah.
hatim a.r said…
your blog layout is jelly. im so noob,i only know how to use the template provided by blogspot T_T

owh and keep on blogging sha. i love your posts about those islamic talks that you went to.because i myself takda masa to personally attend it,so i just read about it frm ur blog hehe
Shahirah Elaiza said…
@hatim, it's okay, less is more. InshaAllah I'll continue to blog. There are also lots of good Islamic lectures online for you to watch in your own time. Thanks for the encouragement =)
Misha iCan said…
Shaihira Thanks for the advice, I think it will help focus on what I have to write that particular day Jzkk xxx
Anonymous said…
MasyaAllah! Your blog is lovely! Not that it wasn't before, but now it looks even more gorgeous! Keep writing wonderful posts Shahirah!!! :)

P.S: How did you turn a picture into a blog header???

Shahirah Elaiza said…
@Anon, Photoshop does wonders ;)
yana said…
Hi Shahirah..I'm still new here..just found ur blog thru vivi's..and i'll become one of ur frequent readers..insyaAllah..:)
Been longing to read something refreshing,something engaging but in a very proper way like this!
You do it in a very elegant & sincere style,right fr the witty mind of yours! drop to my simple akak tulis biasa2 jeklah..apa yg terlintas & terfikir masa uruskan anak2 yg ramai tu..:)
Kai Darul said…
mashaallaah. i am not a new blogger but this hits right on the bull's eye sha. :)
great post.
Anonymous said…
one more rule,

if you're pretty, then you'll be a famous blogger. lol