How to Start a Blog

Monday, 17 October 2016

How to Start a Blog

Okay, so you have been reading blogs and watching Youtubers for a while and you think that maybe you would be a good blogger. It all adds up, you love to write, you love to read and you think you would be super successful, what else could you possibly need? 

A WEBSITE
First and foremost, you need a website, a place where you will post said blog posts, I mean it's a pretty important part of having a blog. If you are adventurous as heck then of course you could go self hosted, but this is usually an option for those far more advanced in website building and hosting. 

My biggest recommendation is that you host your blog on Blogger or WordPress, there are more websites available, but these are the two most popular and used by other bloggers. You can switch from one to the other, but it is a time consuming and boring process that no one likes doing so it is best to chose one from the outset that you're going to like. 

So why pick Blogger? Like most people I opted for Blogger, the website is free, easy to use and navigate. With Blogger there is a lot on the web about how to edit html, get your own domain and there are many, many templates to buy online so you have a lot to choose from. It is also ran by Google meaning SEO tends to be pretty good.

Why would you pick WordPress then you ask? Well I personally am not a fan of WordPress, many people love it or move from Blogger to WP. A lot of bloggers sat that once you get to grips with WP it actually becomes quite easy to use. A Downfall to WP is that you have to pay for certain things, such as editing your blog layout, but then I am biased. 

There are other options out there, but Blogger and Wordpress seem to be the most popular websites to start your blog on. Like I said you can switch, but it can be chaotic so it is best to make an informed decision when you are starting your blog, but you don't have to worry too much about possibly changing your mind down the line. 

PICKING A NAME
You have picked the website you want to start your blog on, now the next step is to actually give that blog a name. For some, this is the hardest part of starting a blog, for me, it was easy. The name of your blog can be anything from your name to words that relate to your topic or some words that describe your personality. 

Again, you can change your blog's name down the line, but if you're up for buying a domain and losing the ".wordpress"/".blogspot" down the line it is best you start how you mean to go on and pick a name that you will still like down the line. Don't make it anything like your early 2000's email address.

You're blog's name doesn't have to correlate to the topic, mine for one doesn't. What you should do is come up with something unique and don't copy other people's blog names, it is totally fine to take inspiration from the blogs you love, but try not to have almost the exact same name, not only does it look bad for you, but it also means their blog isn't as unique as it once may have been.

GETTING THE DOMAIN
Now, it is quite nice to have a trial period with your blog before you buy your domain, but I do wish I hadn't waited so long to purchase my domain. I was blogging about six months before I got mine, which means all of my comments deleted and I had to go around changing all the links in my social medias... it was a time consuming process. So what you should do is purchase your domain as quickly as you can, making the process easy and simple. GoDaddy is your go to website and it only costs about £1-£3 for the first year. 

LAYOUT
The layout of your blog is super important if you want to be taken seriously. Having a blog layout that isn't completely newbie-esque results in you being taken more seriously as a blogger. You look much more professional and hard working thus gaining more credibility as a blogger. You don't have to spend hundreds of money on a layout, Etsy has some absolutely beautiful templates for as little as £5, yes £5. If you are into HTML you could try switching up your layout yourself. 

CHOOSING A NICHE
You can write about anything you please; beauty, fashion, lifestyle, blog tips, parenting... anything! I like to think my blog is very much centred around beauty, but I also love writing blog tips and tricks posts as well as a good couple of lifestyle posts. You don't have to pick one specific niche subject and stick to only writing about that topic, but it is nice to have one topic you reguarly post about that you're remembered for doing.

How to Start a Blog

SOCIAL MEDIA
A lot of people like to create new social media channels when they start a blog; Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook. Doing this keeps all of your social media channels connected, for example all of my accounts are 'heythererobyn' continuing the branding of my blog through to my social media channels. This means it is easier to find your social media accounts. 

I didn't start a new Twitter or Instagram, I was actually heythererobyn on them both before my blog which is where my blog name came from. Instead I decided that my private accounts would be both private accounts and blogging accounts, I would neglect one of the accounts if I had to have more than one on each social media channel.

You should create a Bloglovin account however, Bloglovin is a website that makes it easier for other bloggers to keep track of your post updates, and it allows you to keep up with you favourite blogs. A Facebook page is also a good idea for non-blogger readers to keep up-to-date with your posts. 

GET SHARING
Once this is all up and running you can start sharing your posts on social media. Share your Facebook page on your private Facebook to gain some likes, start sharing your posts in the blogger hashtags; #lbloggers, #bbloggers, #fbloggers, #blogginggals etc, find out more on blogger hashtags on my Blogger A-Z post

If you want to gain some readers and followers a great way to do this is to get involved in blogger chats, each day a blogger chat is happening and you can take part, chat with fellow bloggers and share your posts. More information on blog chats on my Blogger A-Z post too, click here to read more.

CREATE A SCHEDULE
It is so important if you are going to start a blog and take it seriously to create a schedule. When creating a schedule for when you're going to post it is important to take into account all the days you will be able to write up posts. When you're just starting to blog you will most likely not be writing your posts too far in advance. 

Having a schedule makes it so much easier for your readers to keep up-to-date with your posts because they will know which days to check out your blog. It also gives you a deadline for when you want to have your posts finished and scheduled. All in it keeps you organised and your readers updated on your blog.

START LEARNING
If you have gotten this far you are most likely going to be a long-term blogger. The best thing to do now is to start learning from fellow bloggers. There are so many bloggers out there with so much information to share on how to blog and how to do things that are helpful for bloggers. 

Some of my favourite bloggers to learn from are cocochicblog, Media Marmalade, inthefrow, lydiaelisemillen,  and A Girl Obsessed. I also have a couple posts on HTML and blog tips

Have I missed any points? What do you think is an important part of starting a blog? 

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