As I have blogged since early 2009, I reckon I must have learned some things of value to bloggers whether new to the exciting game of blogging or old hands. Here are my 5 top tips for bloggers.

1. Make your blog your own in terms of content and style. Don’t try to please the crowd because it is false. Be yourself and perhaps get a real wake-up call when you realise you are not alone with your thoughts and feelings. The more true and heartfelt you are on your blog, the more people will like and respect you as the individual you are.

2. Network for advice and support. You will be delighted at just how willing most bloggers are to share their tricks of the trade with you. There are lots of networks for bloggers both at home and abroad. If you don’t know their names, just join Twitter and ask on there. I am a member of Netmums, Britmums, Mumsnet and Love All Blogs. They all provide slightly different things so go and find which one/s suit you best.

3. Don’t write yourself off on the technical side of things. When I started I knew nothing about themes, widgets, buttons and all those sparkly bells and whistles. My friend Kat gave me some help via emails and then I just realised that perhaps I should have more faith in myself and have a go at the techy stuff myself. I am the most untechy person you could wish to meet so if I can do it, so can you.

4. Don’t become a slave to reviews, awards or statistics. They are all entertaining to an extent but it is easy to get sucked in to thinking they define you. They don’t and that way insanity lies. Believe that you are worthwhile in your own right and if plaudits come your way, celebrate them but don’t get needy for them.

5. Expect the Unexpected. Blogging is an unpredictable and exciting journey. My first surprise was when people read my blog and commented on it. My second surprise was realising that I was not quite as weird as I had previously thought (or that if I am, there are an awful lot of folks like me out there). My third surprise was when a public relations firm asked me to review a toy. My fourth surprise was when a founder of one of the networks listened to me and appeared to value my opinion. My fifth surprise was when I was asked to speak at Britmums Live. My sixth surprise was when I was featured as Blog of the Week on Netmums. My seventh surprise was when old college friends found and read my blog. My eighth surprise was how blogging helped my relationship with my stepdaughter. My ninth surprise was when famous authors and journalists read my blog and encouraged my writing. The tenth surprise may well turn up today!

So there you have it and now pop over to the Kate Takes 5 where you will find lots of lovely bloggers sharing their own ideas on what works best for them as part of the weekly Listography.