Your ultimate blogging guide that will answer all your questions! (Well most of them I hope)
So you’re thinking of starting in the blogging world? But do you even have the faintest idea of how to start a blog? I mean.. Where do you start right?!
There’s probably like a million questions running through your head right now. Well we all have to start somewhere, and if I can help you get your dream blog up and running, then I’ll sure as hell give it a damn good go!
Knowing how to start a blog can seem so confusing and can even put you off starting it, if you don’t know what resources you need! There are many things to consider when starting a blog, and it can take time to get up and running, so sticking to it is sooo important!
First things first..
What is your aim?
Are you blogging for personal use or are you looking to build a business blog? Know what you want to get out of blogging. If you’re doing it for personal use, then you’re free to do whatever the hell you want with it, and can write about whatever you desire to. If your hoping to become successful with your blog and build a business, then you need to set yourself some goals, and most importantly create a plan, and a schedule.
Find your niche!
Why do you want to blog? What are you blogging about? Have you decided on a topic? There are loads out there such as: food, travel, beauty, health etc.. What do you have genuine knowledge on? Ask yourself which topic you are comfortable talking about and sharing with others.
Notebooks are so so sooo important when it comes to planning. Get yourself some funky looking notebooks to keep you motivated (Wilko’s do some awesome ones!) Once you’ve decided on your niche, you need to choose a name for your blog. Write a list of possible blog names relating to your niche and narrow it down to your favourite. You’ll never know how to start a blog if you don’t plan it!
Check your blog name is available! You don’t want to spend endless hours deciding on a name to find it’s not even available! (How annoying would that be?!)
Plan your theme, colour scheme, and writing style. Visualise how you want your blog to look and sketch up a rough template. What colour scheme are you going to use? Simple black and white? Colours? Are you going to show your personality through your writing, or a more formal style?
It’s a LOT to think about!!
Choose a platform
What are you going to use to build your blog? WordPress? Blogger? There are lots of different options you can go for, so look at the difference, and see what your drawn too. Personally I use WordPress.
Pick a host
If using a self hosted version of wordpress (wordpress.org) you will need to purchase web hosting. I’m going to be lazy and send you over to InfoGraphics Posters as they explain it in detail, and will give you an easy understanding on what hosting is. (It’s hard to explain it well, but they do it pretty damn good!!) There are quite a few different hosts around, but I chose Hostgator as it turned out to be the cheapest, and you could pay monthly; unlike other hosts I came across, that require an upfront annual fee. If you are at the stage where you are choosing a host, you can check out Hostagtor HERE!
NOTICE: If you purchase web hosting from Hostgator through the links I have provided; it means I earn a small commission! But do not fear! It won’t affect you in any way, and of course you won’t pay any more for this. It just helps me to earn a little bit of extra dosh! 🙂
Create your pages
Write a personal, informative ‘About Me’ page so your readers know who you are, your purpose and your goal. Provide a contact page to inform your viewers how they can get in contact with you. Make a disclaimer page.
Make your blog super easy to navigate
Add a search box so readers can easily find what they’re looking for; add categories so your posts can be found by searching per topic. Create links in your posts to your other pages (if relatable!)
Set up social media accounts and connect them to your blog
This way when you publish on your blog, you can share it through social media platforms you choose to use; such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc… This is very important when knowing how to start a blog, as there’s no point writing content, if no one can see it right?!
Schedule your content
Write posts in advance, and if you have a free few days, write a block of posts; (but remember it’s all about quality not quantity!!) and schedule your content! You should keep a calendar diary of when your posts will be published. This will help you become organised and in total control of your blog. Choose how often you want to post (for example twice a week) and stick to that schedule. Post quality content, regularly and predictabley. DON’T LET YOURSELF SLACK!!! You won’t want to let your readers down!
SEO your blog
Ensure your blog is SEO friendly. Enhance your keywords, check your meta description. If your using a self hosted WordPress host, you MUST download Yoast SEO! This is an excellent plugin for SEO as it shows how search engines will view your site, and how potential readers will see your titles and descriptions!
Set up Google Analytics on your blog
Track your stats. Where are your views coming from? Find out where your referrals stem from and boost your methods.
Join blogging communities
It’s so important to network when starting up a new blog! You need to get yourself known, and connecting with other bloggers is a HUGE benefit! You can sure learn a trick or two from them! If they like your blog, they might even share it with their viewers, and increase your following! Join blogging groups on Google+ and Facebook and share your posts within the groups!
Use catchy headlines!
Use titles that will make people WANT to click on your post! The description is the snippet most people will read before deciding whether to click on your post or not. Make that title stand out! What would make you want to read someones post? Lists have been proven popular, and are likely for someone to read. Such as ’20 Things’ – lists are so easy to read, and readers know they are going to get a post that’s to the point and doesn’t drag on.
Always be professional
If blogging for business use, you MUST keep professional at all times. If you receive any negative comments then try to sort the problem out calmly, and apologise for any offence caused. Never delete comments, and respond to comments fast. This will contribute to building trust with your audience, and they’ll see you as an honest and worthy blogger.
Having images on your blog and included within your posts, automatically catch your eye. Don’t let the images take away all the attention from your writing, but do use visuals to make your post more exciting!!
Make the most of plugins
If using the self hosted WordPress version, then you have a free run of plugins to choose from! We recommend, a spam block plugin, share tools, and security for your blog. Be mindful that the more plugins you use, the slower your website will run!!
I hope this guide answered some of your questions about how to start a blog! If you have any additional questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!
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