Tab’s Tips for beginner bloggers

July 14, 2017

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

When you’ve been asked a dozen times, you think maybe you should write about your advice for beginner bloggers, especially when it’s your ten-year blogging anniversary! So here are

Tab’s Tips for beginner bloggers

after 10 years of blogging.

Newly updated in March 2020 after 13 years of blogging! 

{I looked it up and my very first post was actually on my “Finding Myself in Graceville” blog on August 31, 2007…you can read it here!}

Yes, I first started a “mom blog” in 2007 when my son was two years old.

I’ve since managed over a dozen blogs including one for a moms’ group, to help sell our house and to chronicle my second pregnancy. For years, I wrote about my craft projects and shopping adventures. I also ran one about my spiritual journey for a time as well as our “trying to get pregnant” process which took exactly one try.

As a writer and teacher as well as someone who loves color and design, blogging is one of my favorite things to do. Ever. In all of life.

It’s a creative outlet for me as well as a space to inspire, teach and connect. I consider it my number one most effective marketing tool for my paid services as well. My entire online and social media presence revolve around this blog like spokes to a wheel. If I ever look distracted, I’m probably mentally preparing my next blog post.

Of course there are things I wish I’d known when I started ten years ago and I’m happy to pass those lessons along to any newbie bloggers. My advice for beginner bloggers means you don’t have to learn everything the hard way like I did!

You might want to check these out, too:

To blog or not to blog QUIZ

Should you blog?

The power of blogging

Why I blog about image, style and beauty

1. Blog for yourself first.

Unless you are here to get tips for the blog you are starting just to help promote your business, this tip applies to you.

There will be days when you feel like your posts are met with the sound of crickets chirping.

At that point, you better be enjoying it for the art of it or you’ll want to quit.

In fact, I recommend to clients and all beginner bloggers to have a WHY behind their blog. To inspire? To establish your expertise? To connect with prospects? To practice your writing?

2020 update: You’re really creating a mission and vision for your blog. How do you want people to feel when they visit your blog? What do you want them to take away from it? Do you want them to be inspired? Challenged? Delighted? Fill in the blank: “All the work is worth it to me if my readers leave my blog _____________.”

2. Know your target market.

Who’s coming to your blog? Who are you writing for? Who are you hoping to connect with?

It’s OK if it evolves. Most people don’t take the time to consider who they’re talking and what those people want to hear.

YES, you can have two target markets. I talk to everyday women about beauty and style…and I talk to entrepreneurs and small business owners about all the ways that I talk to my women and how they can talk to theirs. Those are different targets with different needs.

3. Re-purpose content.

Blogging is a great place to park content that you’re sharing on social media and in your email newsletter. One blog post can be re-purposed in a dozen ways! Or technically…25 ways to blog about a toilet.

4. Be YOU.

Represent yourself accurately. Don’t refer to yourself as “we” if you’re a one-woman show like I am. Don’t try to duplicate the way another blogger writes. Use the colors and styles you like. People will be drawn to YOU first, then your message. People can sense when it’s “off.”

2020 update: Create your brand from the very beginning. At the minimum, create a logo, brand colors, brand images and brand fonts. Consistency is key. I suggest starting with collecting images that speak to the mission and purpose of your blog then create a color scheme and fonts that complement that. Here’s mine!

Tabitha Dumas tips for beginner bloggers

5. Spend time with other bloggers.

We’re a unique group and it’s fun to talk shop. We all have something to offer–and something to learn. Join online groups, attend meet-ups, connect online or reach out to them with questions or praise. Most bloggers are very friendly!

6. Be professional from the start.

Unless you’re incredibly gifted at DIY websites and all that goes into online presence, marketing and graphic design, you’ll need professional help and can save a lot of time, money and energy by utilizing talented professionals from the beginning.

Point one: Buy a domain name, pay for hosting and get onto WordPress.

Unless you plan to be a “hobby blogger,” you NEED a dot com, hosting and a WordPress platform.

Trust me, you’ll save so much time, energy, money and heartache especially if you aspire to become a speaker, author or influencer (and I know you do).

I also highly recommend hiring a professional to design and launch your blog from early on. They know the bells and whistles you need and will make sure it is secure.

2020 update: If you are someone who offers a simple, beginner blog with hosting and a custom dot com, please reach out to me so we can collaborate!

7. Choose 1-2 social media platforms for promoting your blog.

You don’t have to be on EVERY platform. The key is to use the platform YOU are most comfortable with…where your people are hanging out…and where they’re looking for your message. Refer to number two to narrow it down.

2020 update: As a reminder…in general…Facebook is more for real-life friends and family and they’re looking for information, connection and will refer to you from there. They will comment on a post or share your post with others. Instagram is great for connecting with online friends and for the behind-the-scenes aspects of your blog. They’ll comment and tag friends. You can also connect to other IG people in your same genre. Pinterest is a wonderful traffic source but the interaction is low. People expect to be visually delighted.

People rarely subscribe to and read blogs these days so you have to draw them in from somewhere, which leads us to…

8. Start or grow your email list.

Email is still the best way to keep in touch with people, whether they want to hire you or read your stuff. I have mine set up via Mailchimp. I typically send an email once/month with my latest news and updates and links to the blog posts I think they’d like. There are many options–just get started.

2020 update: With everything going on online and so many ways to interact, email is still a great way to keep in touch with people. Seeing your name in their inbox also keeps you top of mind so they think of you more often.

9. Keep your ideas organized.

I keep files for each blog topic where I can outline my ideas, save images, edit and eventually copy and paste into my blog without ever losing a great idea.

2020 update: From early on, start categorizing your blog posts so 1. you can keep track of them and 2. you can post with more variety. My blog is about half color/image/style and half life/faith/home/influence. I try not to post too many times in a row in any category.

10. Blog consistently, even if it’s just once a month.

Be consistent. Also make your post format is consistent, your graphics are consistent, your colors are consistent…it’s all a part of your reader’s experience, and your brand.

You might also want to check out: Blogging tips for busy people

2020 update: 11. Remember: image matters.

Utilize a simple graphic design program like Canva. When you upgrade from free, it saves your brand fonts and colors among other benefits, saving you tons of time. There are oodles of gorgeous temples, font combinations and images, too. Every graphic, blog header, social media post, etc. of mine is all created in Canva.

For free images, I use Unsplash. I even have some free images here and hope to add more over time. Let me know if you need something specific and maybe I can provide it for you!

Treat yourself to professional head shots photos. Let me know if you need a photographer in the Phoenix area or help with the colors for your head shots.

Ready to dive in?? Contact me for a free strategy session!

Tab's Tips for Beginner Bloggers

Tab's Tips for beginner bloggers! Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant

ig Tab's Tips for Beginner Bloggers


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