Lockdown has given the majority of people a lot of time which they wouldn’t normally have. Whether you spend that binging Game of Thrones, focusing on your fitness or reading tonnes of books, that’s up to you. However, what a fab time to start a blog?! I’ve written before about why you should start a blog and the benefits it can bring you but I thought it would be handy to write a mini guide on how to start a blog.
It can be daunting at first. Especially with the whole “what are people going to think of me?” panic but I’ll say it bluntly.. Fuck it! Only positive things can come from having a blog so go for it!
So let’s go… Here’s how to start a blog!
Choose your blogging platform
WordPress, Blogger or Wix? That is the question. There’s pros and cons to each but I’d definitely recommend WordPress because of its flexibility, plug-ins and usability.
First things first you need to come up wit h a name. More and more people are just using their actual name like me for example but eight years ago when I first created my blog it was called The Rawrdrobe… Does anyone remember that? Anyway, come up with a name and make sure it reflects you or your niche. And avoid any blog name generators – they’re normally shit!
Set up your social media and blog domain
Set up a blog domain and create Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook accounts with the same username and profile photo so people can easily find you. It’s not absolutely essential to have a domain from the outset but I think it’s a good idea if you want to look more professional and you know you’re going to stick with your blog.
Join some blogger groups
There are a tonne of blogging groups on Facebook where you can ask for advice and you’ll be swarmed with help from all types of digital content creators, bloggers and small biz owners. Everyone is so supportive and if you’ve got any niggling questions then groups like these are the best place to ask them.
Here are a few I’d recommend:
If you’re serious about your blog, I’d also thoroughly recommend looking at becoming a member of Grow & Glow which is an incredibly rewarding community for creators and creatives. They provide loads of content to help you get your blog up and running and make it the best it can be!
Nail your niche and writing style
When you start a blog, you need to have a long hard think about its purpose. Is it about sustainable fashion and beauty targeted at those with similar interests or is it about landscaping and gardening for small spaces? What are your interests? Who do you want to read your blog? Every blog needs to have a niche otherwise you’re never going to build up a following or group of people who regularly head to your blog to consume your content. Unfortunately, just blogging about anything and everything isn’t really going to cut it these days in such a saturated market. Find out what makes you different.
You should also discover your own writing style. A lot of my friends who read my blog say that I write just how I talk in real life – informal with the odd swear word – which is just me! It’s the biggest compliment as that’s always been my style of writing and I know that I’ve got that nailed. Spend some time working out how you should write for your readers. I know if my blog was targeted towards a much older age bracket then I’d drop the profanities!
Find a design
I’ll be completely honest in saying that I won’t bother reading a blog if it looks naff. There are thousands of free templates for WordPress or Blogger which you can install which will take your blog’s aesthetic straight up to a 10/10. You can play around with the colours and fonts until it feels ‘you’ and voila, you’ve got a good looking blog which will instantly attract people’s attention.
So you’ve set up your blog, got a design and should know exactly what content you want to create so GET WRITING! If you find it difficult to begin with, write a long old list of all the blog posts you like reading or fit into your niche. You can also use tools like Google Trends to find out what topics are popular at the moment but just make sure you’re not writing about something for the sake of views because then your readers will never know what to expect when they click on your blog.
Decide on your photography
I find photography so tricky. I used to post more generic lifestyle/flatlay shots but then the fashion shots got really popular but now I think they’re too much and ahhh it can just get confusing! Try to work out an editing style and decide on what type of photos you want to share with each post. But the main thing is, you NEED photos! Don’t even think about publishing a blog post without photos because it just doesn’t seem as appealing.
Share posts on social media
Social media goes hand in hand with blogging and is absolutely essential to the growth and reach of your posts. Sign up to a scheduling assistant like Buffer or Hootsuite so you can bulk schedule your tweets – it’s soooo much easier! Or make the most out of Twitter and Facebook’s scheduling functionality. Pinterest is also a massive platform for driving blog traffic so make sure you create a couple of pins for each blog posts. You could also use that pin to share your latest blog posts on your Instagram story and encourage your followers to click the link in your bio.
I’m sure I’ve missed out a fair few things (including SEO but that’s a whole other post) but this is pretty much the bulk of how to start a blog. Even though there can be a lot involved, it’s a pretty simple process and you could literally have it all done within a few hours. And if you’re having doubts, ignore them, go with your gut, do it!
Do you have any tips on how to start a blog?