It’s been about three years since I started blogging, and I didn’t look up any do’s or don’ts when I started. And a lot of people find starting a blog to be difficult, but it’s so worth while as it’s your own little corner of the internet where you can do whatever you want. I never would’ve imagined everything that’s happened since I started this blog and I want to give back by giving some friendly advertise for anyone who wants to start a blog of their own.
This is an updated post that I did in the past as more or less the same, but I wanted to update it since some time has past since I first wrote that post. And I wanted to write about it but didn’t want like seven versions on my blog.
Select a Name
Before you can do anything the very first thing you need to do is come up with a name. It’s the start of everything from the domain to your new brand. There are a lot of blogs out there both new and old, so you need a name that’s going to stand out among them. Some people go with their name or something completely different. If you want to stay somewhat anonymous, you can try something creative or use a nickname. I personally don’t use my name or a play on my real name. My name online is actually a play on each of my grandmothers. Polzine was one of my grandma’s maiden name while Mae was the other’s middle name. Don’t worry if you pick a name and decide to rebrand it down the road. As finding a name that clicks and helps the ethos your brand, will come with time.
Pick a Platform
After you find a name that isn’t already in use, you need to decide what platform to go with. I currently use WordPress.com but previously used SquareSpace. WordPress is amazing for customization, but can be quite difficult at times especially when plugins upgrade and break. I’ve had that happen multiple times. But it’s worth it for what I want to do these days as those options just aren’t possibly in SquareSpace, but I LOVED SquareSpace as you never had things break and it was simple to use. Plus you had a preview of how things would look once you were done as you were writing it. No needing to hit a preview button. And there were way, way more options for photos. Honestly those might be in WordPress, I just haven’t discovered them yet. It’s a great option when you’re first starting out. Other options include Blogger, Weebly, or Wix. But honestly I prefer either SquareSpace or WordPress. WordPress for the customization and SquareSpace for the simple to use platform that never freaking breaks.
Discover Your Niche
You will hear this phrase all of the time. Basically it’s just what do you want to write about? Are you into beauty, fashion, gardening, books, or literally anything else. There are blogs on literally everything. And if you don’t want to have a niche, that’s fine too. It’s not a rule to have one. I write about a lot of different things, because that’s what I enjoy writing about. And I don’t want to have like six different blogs just so I can talk about them all. A lot of people in the community would probably tell me to do that, but this is my blog and that’s the way I like it. If you want to write about a single topic, do it! It’s your blog, do what you like and you’ll find an audience who accepts and loves that.
Build Your Blog
Next thing you have to do is get to work. This includes setting up the template or theme on your platform. When I switched to WordPress, this took me the longest time to find a theme that was exactly how I wanted it. I played around with several until I feel in love with this one from Pipdig. You don’t have to spend money on a theme, but you can if you want to. I think my favorite part about themes is playing around with different fonts and colors. I could honestly spend hours customizing a theme and never get bored. It’s fun and exciting.
After your theme is complete, you’ll want to start writing from posts. A general rule of thumb is to have multiple posts ready to go before making your blog public. In SquareSpace this means have a landing page that literally points to nothing else so you can build in the background. On WordPress, there’s an option in settings for private. I don’t know in the other platforms as I have not used them. But having several high quality posts ready to go for your “launch day” shows people you are truly committed to the blog and will make them more likely to subscribe.
Determine Your Audience
This is an important thing when you are writing a blog, you have to have a target audience in mind when you start. This is usually people who embody the same interests as you. So write to someone around the same age as you that enjoys the same thing, then you’re more likely to grow an audience that enjoys your posts. I use Bloglovin’ to read all the blogs I’m interested in, so I want my posts being one of those that show up on my feed that I would want to click on.
Shameless Self Promo
A phrase you’ll often hear YouTubers mention. This basically just means use your other social media platforms to start promoting your blog. From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram, announce your blog for the blog to see… make sure you’ve made it public or that might be a little awkward. And don’t be discouraged if no one goes to your blog the second a new post is published. It takes a while for people to start reading. Just keep up to date on your social media platforms and keep trying to get that promo as it’s one of the easiest ways to find potential readers. If you don’t put yourself out there, you’re most likely not going to find a following. Some people will naturally grow faster than others, there isn’t anything wrong with your blog if that doesn’t happen. Sometimes Rome isn’t built in a day, it can take a while. If it’s something you enjoy, just keep at it and things will eventually happen.
Have any other blogging advice? Leave it in the comments! Also if you’re considering making a blog for the first time, do it! It’s a blast when you do something you’re passionate about. Don’t let others discourage you from doing something you are excited about.
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