Guest post: Helping new bloggers

Nickie O’Hara is an experienced blogger, BritMums Live! speaker and all round helpful person who believes in paying it forward. Here Nickie writes about why she enjoys helping new bloggers.

I am really looking forward to speaking at BritMums Live! in June 2012.  I was shocked when the BritMums team approached me and asked me if I’d consider being part of their Bloggers Discussion session, “Crossing the Chasm, how to bring your blog up to the next level”.  I am not used to being approached to officially share my thoughts about blogging, even though I do so quite freely on my blog, Typecast.

I remember what it was like being a ‘newbie’ in the world of blogging and, even just two years ago, it was so much smaller, Twitter was quieter and you tended not to promote your blog on Facebook.  I have been lucky to be able to grow my blog organically and to learn the ropes as the whole blogging phenomenon boomed.

Forging your place or getting your voice heard at the back end of 2011 is daunting even for established bloggers.  When I joined Britmums (formerly British Mummy Bloggers) in 2009 it was a small community of a few hundred members.  This has now expanded to over 3000 bloggers all looking for that all-important inspiration and foothold on the blogging ladder.  We all had to find out how to reach a wider audience, maybe making a faux-pas or two along the way, embrace social media and make it work to our advantage.

The easiest way for me to learn something is to take it apart, find out how it works and go back to basics.  It helps me to understand it more and to see if I’ve missed any features.  Having the basics is a great foundation to build upon.  Most of my blogging tutorials are aimed at Blogger/Blogspot users but the social media set are applicable to anyone. I have written tutorials that help you to create a button for your blog, that make Twitter more accessible by using Tweetdeck and have broken the myth of StumbleUpon, amongst others.  I’ve also found a way to make Google+ work for me and I’ve shared this with you. When I started blogging the articles that explained these types of activities were full of jargon and hard to break down.

And that is why I don’t mind helping out new bloggers; because I found it difficult in the beginning and it shouldn’t have to be.  Also, writing out ‘How To…’ style tutorials has lead me to the planning stages of writing an eBook based around starting a blog and how to build it up.  But I have also found out that writing a book, no matter how much you think you know about your chosen subject, is no mean feat.  It’s not just a few blog posts or tutorials mashed together but about picking it all apart again, rewriting and updating and taking your time over it.  I wanted to publish my book online by the end of 2011 but I now have a goal of February 2012.

None of this will make me rich or famous but it will continue to support my own personal ethos of “Pay It Forward” so I hope you will come and pick my brains at BritMums Live in June 2012 and also give me an insight into where you want to go with your blog.

Nickie O’Hara blogs at Typecast. With one finger on the pulse and the other on the keyboard, she is not afraid to say it as she sees it. She is a true procrastinator, drinks wine, is occasionally published and is a Nana in her spare time.  

Nickie O’Hara — Typecast

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BritMums is the UK’s original collective of lifestyle bloggers and digital influencers, fueling the country’s most influential social content. We lead the online conversation with members who are parent social influencers creating content on topics ranging from food, parenting, travel, politics, style and more.

8 Comments

  1. 03 January 2012 / 10:31

    I love this post because I love the concept of paying it forward. You are an experienced blogger Nickie, making time in a busy schedule create useful content for newbies who need some guidance in the seemingly confusing world of blogging. And you do it with no promise of gain.

    And I have to say, even though I’m not a newbie I’ve learned plenty from your tutorials and blog!

    • 03 January 2012 / 21:26

      Thanks Michelle. I do think that blogging is a good example of “pay it forward” in many respects as archived posts (if written well) become reference material for people searching online.

      And I have no idea how I fit it in either. But it keeps me out of mischief…

  2. 03 January 2012 / 21:47

    Great post, very helpful and informative and this is the main reason why I want to go to the event.

    I am a new blogger and need help and advice on how to establish my blog and get my name out there.

    I’m going to try and juggle the budget to come 🙂

    Cheers

    Cx

    • 03 January 2012 / 22:53

      Hope to see you there Clareybear. It’s going to be a great conference and Nickie’s session is a don’t miss. I was on a panel with her at another conference and she’s very down to earth and knowledgeable.

      • 06 January 2012 / 14:07

        Thanks Jen 🙂 That’s good to hear – it’s how I want to come across after my many rants on twitter and my blog… *ahem*

    • 06 January 2012 / 14:06

      Hope you can make it, Clareybear 🙂 There’ll be LOTS of info and support for new bloggers.

  3. 03 January 2012 / 22:16

    I had no idea you had not been blogging for decades. But of those who are established bloggers, I must say you are one of those who does always seem willing to engage with everyone, and to share your experience, which is invaluable – look forward to meeting you there!

    • 06 January 2012 / 14:09

      I’ve been “online” since about 2001, using forums and newsgroups. I built a website using free software on Yahoo a couple of years later, then started a blog. Had a number of events in my life that stopped me from being me and I went back to using forums. In July 2009 I deleted all posts from the old blog, renamed it and started again.