I’ve been thoroughly enjoying creating these posts in my new tips for hobby bloggers series. These posts are always popular and get a great response, so I’ll take that to mean that you’re enjoying them too! Although I’m not a hobby blogger myself, I’d realised there was a huge gap for advice aimed at those who are and it would appear that many people agree.

Photo by Ellieelien on Unsplash

So today in this next post in this series, we’re discussing the things that actually matter as a hobby blogger. Because I think there’s quite a few misconceptions. First things first (and I think I say this in every post), whatever your reason for blogging, is AMAZING.

Started your blog because you want to become a full-time content creator? INCREDIBLE.

Started a blog because you want to build a community of like-minded people and have fun? GREAT.

Started a blog because you want a safe space to talk about your feelings? COOL.

There’s no wrong way to blog, so I just wanted to get that out of the way. But in this series I’m aiming these posts specifically at those who a) don’t earn money from their blog, b) don’t WANT to earn money from their blog and c) but who still want to grow their blog, build a readership and have people read their content.

Related resource: A Beginners Guide To Growing Your Blog Following

So for that reason, I figured a post about the things that still matter even if you’re not making money, would come in handy. Because if you’re using your blog as an online diary and don’t care if ANYONE reads it, then you’re NOT going to be spending your time working on SEO.

But if you want to grow your blog, you community, your followers or your page views, then there are a bunch of things that will be important to you and will still matter. Which I realise is a very long winded introduction to what’s essential a very simple topic. Sorry.

In case you missed any of my previous posts within this series, you can find them here:

But now let’s look into 6 things that still actually matter for hobby bloggers!

tips for hobby bloggers

Having a distinct and unique voice

Whether you make money or not, having a unique and distinct voice that people are attracted to is so important for growing your blog. Especially with how full the blogging community has become. Knowing what makes YOUR readers tick is a great place to start. Are you funny? Are you extremely relatable? What do you readers compliment you on?

Ensure your content reads like YOU. Not like everyone else. How many reviews are there out there of the same eye shadow palette, yet a handful of those will be from people who put their own spin on it, make it unique and draw their readers back time and time again.

Branding of your blog & social media

And following on from the above point, branding can also still be important for hobby bloggers. Not QUITE so much, I guess. But in terms of building a community and readership that will recognize your online presence, then it is. Making sure that unique voice you’ve already established is present throughout your social accounts as well as colour palettes, imagery etc.

Readable content that people will love

There’s two parts to this one and I think it’s pretty self explanatory but it’s SO IMPORTANT. First of all, readable content. Without meaning to sound patronizing AF if you want people to read your content, they’re going to need to be able to READ YOUR CONTENT. Is the format readable? Are you writing in HUGE chunks of text? Do you have pop ups flashing on the screen every 30 seconds?

Related reads:

And creating content people will LOVE is the second part. You want people to read your blog but in order for them to do that, you need to be creating content that people WANT, NEED and LOVE. Do a bit of research on what’s trending. Ask your social media followers what they want to read. Do you have expertise in a specific area that can teach others something?

tips for hobby bloggers

The legal mumbo jumbo & necessary pages

Did you know that even if you don’t make money from your blog, you still need to cover yourself legally and have some pages on your blog to make sure of that? You need a cookie banner as well as a privacy policy page and you can find out more about how to create a privacy policy page (with a handy template) in my Beginners Guide To Blogging.

A clean and tidy blog theme

As well as making sure that your actual content is readable for your audience, you’ll also want a blog theme that’s clean, tidy and easy to navigate. It’s obviously not COMPULSORY that you have this. If you want to have a black and red theme with flashing images then that’s fine BUT you’ll have a lot of people clicking off your blog fairly sharpish.

Accessibility and an easy to navigate blog will always ensure readers are kept on your blog for longer. Make sure you have search bars, a translation widget for non-native speakers and categorized pages.

Community, networking and communication

And finally, the community. It’s big enough for all of us, baby. So get in there and make yourself known. The beautiful thing about most of the blogging community is that it really doesn’t matter your reasons for being there and doing what you’re doing, everyone is so supportive anyway!

Are you a hobby blogger who’s realised they need to work on some of these things? What else would you add to this list? Let me know!

Need some additional resources? Check out my resource library!

83 Comments

  1. Jenny, These tips were very helpful. I do think SEO is still important for hobby bloggers – so that readers who will be engaged and loyal to the blog can find it. And it’s incredible how much of an impact just a little effort on SEO has. Thanks for sharing this series, it’s a focus we don’t often find, and I like it! Joan https://kindness-compassion-and-coaching.com

  2. I really love reading your hobby blogger tips, it’s so lovely that you have advice for everyone. I really think that working on your branding and having food content is the key. I love your other points too x

  3. Hello, I absolutely love your content it’s so fun and refreshing. I know you don’t know me at all but I am a novice at blogging I have a very small but loyal following. my blog is about disability awareness. I would love it if you could take a look and give me some tips. no worries if you never get around to it.

  4. Really enjoyed reading this. The points are so relevant whichever point you’re at with blogging but it’s really useful knowing they are good for hobby bloggers too when so much is geared towards business these days. Great post!

  5. These are great tips! I remember when I first started blogging and networking and getting to know the blogging community was something I really enjoyed, and still continue to enjoy. xx

  6. I 1000% NEED to be better at the legal side of blogging. I want to be sure that my intellectual property, and the work I publish, is going to be safe and secure. Thank you for including that in here! It’s absolutely super important, and I think a lot of us are grateful for that reminder x

  7. The legal side of blogging is not very inspiring, but I have read some unique ‘privacy policy’ and disclaimer pages that speak to the voice of the blogger. I appreciate creativity in all the small places and try to do my best to be myself in all areas of my writing.
    Thanks for sharing some great ways to cover all your bases and be YOU in every word!

  8. Great tips! I think & hope that I follow all of these. I’ve reccently started fresh on Pinterest in the hopes that I’ll stick to a schedule & I’ve finally sorted out my brand colours πŸ₯³πŸ’—

  9. Great tips Jenny, for every blogger I think. Without these, no one will likely ever make much dough from blogging, if that’s their end goal.

  10. Jenny, I love these tips you do for hobby bloggers so much to think about being a hobby blogger myself. I agree with the clean and tidy blog theme, if it’s too many like too many ads or stuff all over the place it really can be off putting!

  11. Some really great tips and I really wish I had this when I started blogging. Over the past few months I’ve been putting a lot more effort into my blog and currently working on the behind the scenes to improve my blog voice but also to widen my content opportunities within my niche.

  12. I started out as a hobby blogger (now it’s a side hustle too) and oh how I WISH you’d written this series of posts four years ago! The bit that resonates with me most is actually, “There’s no wrong way to blog”. I was so scared about putting my thoughts out there, but actually it’s one of the best things I ever did. I think hobby blogging is good for so many reasons but if it can lead to other things then that is just amazing. Super helpful tips, as always, Jenny, thank you! xxx

  13. Love this post. I’m a hobby blogger and agree with everything you’ve said. Despite the goal not being to make money there is still so much to do and think about. I think the community is one of the best aspects of blogging though!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

  14. Wonderful tips and very useful post as always 😍!!! thanks for sharing them! I am trying to grow more as a blogger and this is great!

  15. I am also a hobby blogger and I love you thought of a series like this – I spend time on my SEO and branding and everything – I want to be as good as anyone else out there

  16. This post came right on time for me! I started my blog as a hobby a few months ago with no idea of the whole business side of blogging. It was just something to do for fun that I hoped would provide value. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the business side (nothing wrong with that, just not my main priority).

  17. Some great tips here. Finding your own unique voice is a key one and to always that easy as there is so much other content out there. You need to be ture to yourself as a content writer so you can produce posts of a similar quaility standard, but at the same time you may need to experiment a bit to find something that resonates.

  18. I’m not a hobby blogger but was curious. I think most of this applies to lots of blog content. Particularly a clear writing style. I look back on posts from years ago and cringe at how they read now!

  19. I really liked your first point that having unique voice which I really believe and being a hobby blogger presently( as of now ). I too think that one must be distinct as there are so many bloggers in WordPress who want to share their thoughts. If we are distinct then easily people can check our blogs. Nice Reminders Jenny πŸ™‚

  20. I am a hobby blogger, as I work full time with my job (which I love) and as of yet I don’t have any plans of being a full time blogger. I have been trying to work hard (in any spare time I get) to change up my blog and work on SEO and my DA score etc. But these are some great tips! I love being a hobby blogger because I enjoy what I write and the last year especially I am finding where I want to go ☺️ I really am enjoying this hobby blogger series so thank you for this! Xx

  21. These tips are so helpful & beautiful! There are so many ways to create a sense of community & show off your unique skills πŸ™‚ Really enjoyed this post. Love Amy at amymarshment.com xx

  22. Hi Jenny – these are some really useful tips. Thanks for sharing them! I definitely need to implement a few to improve my blog πŸ™‚

  23. Brilliant post Jenny. Even 3 years down the line there is still SO much I have to learn about blogging. Sometimes I feel like I am nailing it, others not so much. But I am loving this series, thank you x

  24. For long I’ve been following, and your writings has always been answering some of mind boggling questions. Love your works.

  25. I’ve been hobby blogging for such a long time and only recently started to get into the process of monetization. I totally agree with your points. Even as a hobby blogger you need to have all of these things in mind.

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

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