I’m not by any means an expert and I’m only really going by the things I’ve learnt since I started, but a few of my friends have started blogging recently and asked for tips, so here’s my guide on starting a blog!
1. You’re gunna need a blog name – Maybe there’s something perfect that describes what you do or what you like, you could always choose your own name or pick something completely random; just check that it’s not already in use first by searching on Google.
2. Pick a blogging platform – There are loads of free ones out there like WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace or even Tumblr. There’s no “best” platform tbh, it’s whatever feels right for you (although obviously I’m biased as I’m on WordPress so I’d personally always choose that one lol). You can opt for paying for a website right off the bat if you want, it depends if you think you’ll keep it up!! Again, you can choose a blogging platform, like WordPress, and use their paid service.
3. Customise your blog – Personally one of the first things I did was write a little “About me” bio and added a pic, people love knowing a bit of info about the person behind the blog. Choose a colour scheme that you like and think about having a logo to go along the top of your blog. I think I designed a really crap one in Paint or Photoshop when I first started, but then once I got more into blogging, the lovely Jemma helped me to create the beautiful one you can see at the top of your screen!
4. Start writing – Write about whatever subjects you’re interested in (whether it’s food, travel, feminism, tax return forms or cats) but write it in your own voice. When I started, I was really keen to not use slang and to never abbreviate anything (even writing things like I am instead of I’m), but I found when I was reading it back, it didn’t sound like me and I didn’t think it sounded particularly engaging. I much prefer reading blogs when the bloggers write like they speak 🙂
5. Think about how often you want to blog – When I started out, I decided I was going to be a daily blogger. HAH! That lasted the whole of two weeks until I realised I couldn’t hack it and I was writing really shit posts just to get something out. I took a bit of a break and went down to four days a week, but that was still too much for me. I now blog three times a week and I find that much more manageable. You can choose whatever feels comfortable for you, whether it’s two times a week, once a month or just whenever you feel you have something to say; it’s your blog after all!!
6. Getting on social media – You might already have Twitter and Instagram accounts and it’s up to you if you want to carry on using them or create new ones solely for the purpose of your blog. I created a new Twitter account but kept my Instagram one (because I barely used it) and just changed the name! You might also want to start a Facebook page for your blog (something that I only did really recently, and if you want, you can follow/like my page here).
7. How to whore out your blog – I found the best way on Twitter was to follow other bloggers, join in some of the blogger chats and to schedule tweets with links to my blog posts. Retweet accounts are fab for this, if you @ them or use their hashtags, they then retweet your tweet to all their followers! On Facebook, I joined a few blogging groups which usually have link sharing threads so you can pop your links on there every day/week/month etc. On Instagram, I upload one of the blog post pics on post days and invite people to head over to the blog to read it! I use various hashtags to get the maximum exposure I can. You could start by using ones from any Twitter chats (like #thegirlgang or #30plusblogs) It’s all just trial and error really to see what works for you!
8. The size of your equipment is not important – You don’t have to have the best laptop or the fanciest camera to start blogging. I know a lot of people who started out by using their phones to take pics and a lot of them still do.Don’t feel pressured into buying equipment if yours is good enough already! I was just lucky that J had a Canon camera which he lent me, but it still took months to learn how to use it properly!
9. Take inspiration from other bloggers – This is okay, especially if you link to their original post or at least give them a shout out, but out and out stealing is not okay and 9 times out of 10, you will be caught out and someone will probably call you out on it. If you do get stuck for content, there are so many fab bloggers have blog post ideas which you can check out 🙂
10. Keep your expectations real – It’s unlikely you’re going to start earning money straight away from your blog, get loads of amazing products to review or suddenly have 10,000 followers in a week. And tbh, if that’s why you want to start blogging, step away from the computer right now! Blogging is about sharing information, a skill, something you love, or an idea; it’s not about getting free stuff or writing loads of crappy posts just so you can make £20 and say you’re a paid blogger now!
What do you wish you’d known when you first started blogging? Let me know in the comments below 🙂 x