Last week I received an email from a reader, who explained to me how she’s been wanting to start her own blog for a while now but couldn’t figure out how to do it. She asked me if I could create a post on the steps I took to launch my blog and tips I would give to beginner bloggers. I absolutely loved the idea so I’ve gathered my top seven tips on how to get started with blogging.
Before I actually created my blog, I’d been thinking about it for over a year. I made multiple attempts at blogging and lost all motivation each time. When I started university, we had to create a blog as part of my media module. I promised myself that this time I would stick to it, and I have! It took a while to gain the motivation to blog regularly and make it into more than just a hobby, but I’ve finally got there and I couldn’t be happier!
If you’re struggling to launch your blog, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it and a few tips I’ve learnt throughout my blogging journey:
1. WHAT’S YOUR NICHE?
Before you even think about launching your blog, you need to decide what your niche is going to be. What are you passionate about? Some of the most popular niche’s include fashion, travel, beauty, and food.
I’ve seen a few things around recently stating that you have to have a specific niche to be successful and I’d just like to say that this is not true in the slightest! There are plenty of successful lifestyle bloggers out there who blog about a little bit of everything. Personally, lifestyle bloggers are my favourite because you’re getting to read a wide variety of posts rather than something from one specific niche. It may just be me, but I tend to get bored with bloggers who only write about beauty or only write about fashion etc. It just seems repetitive to me. Obviously, I’m not saying that you can’t do this! There are also many successful bloggers who do stick to a specific niche, this is just my opinion.
2. DECIDE ON YOUR HOST
The two most popular hosting sites are WordPress and Blogger.
Personally, I use Blogger. I tried WordPress initially but I found it quite confusing and difficult to get on with. I feel like Blogger is simpler for beginners and a lot easier to navigate. You can always transfer your site to a different host in the future.
There are pros and cons to both hosting sites; do your research and decide which one you’re going to go for.
3. PICK A DOMAIN NAME
Your domain name is EVERYTHING. It’s the first thing people are going to see and they will judge your blog based on its name so choose carefully! If you have a specific niche, I’d advise picking something to do with that so people know what your blog’s about before they even click on it.
If you’re going to take this blogging thing seriously, I’d advise purchasing your own domain name. A lot of people will be put off by the ‘blogspot.com’ or ‘wordpress.com’ attached to the end of your domain, so purchasing your own is a must in my eyes. It’s not expensive in the slightest, you can but one for as little as 99p for the first two years with GoDaddy
but there are many domain name registry sites around so browse around to find what’s right for you.
4. MAKE YOUR BLOG PRETTY
You blog theme is possibly a little more important, if not on par with your domain name. I know that someones blog theme is a make or break when I’m looking for new blogs to follow. If it’s messy or tacky then many people will click straight back out regardless of how good your content is. It’s all about appearance and branding!
There are many free blog themes you can use to style your blog, but I find that a lot of these look very tacky. When I first created my blog, I found a free theme and used it for the first couple of months. It was alright, but I wanted my blog to have a bit more of a professional look.
There are so many inexpensive blog themes on Etsy
that are absolutely gorgeous! I think I spent about £10 (although it was on sale) on mine and I absolutely love it! Have a look around and find one thats right for your blog.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is sooo important when it comes to growing your blog and generating traffic! I didn’t realise this when I first started and for over a year, I had my blog and that was it. Honestly, I wish I’d created my social media straight away. I only created my social media a few months ago, but since I’ve had it, my blog traffic has increased significantly and I’ve received so many opportunities I never would have been able to imagine before!If you’re just setting up your blog, get your social media set up right away! I’ve found that the best platforms to grow your blog are Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Good blog photography is vital when it comes to your blogs success. Much like your blog theme and domain name, people are going to turn away if they see ugly pictures featuring your blog posts.
Since I started my blog, photography has always been something I struggled with. I could never create nice flatlays, stick to a theme or create bright, clear pictures. Recently, I’ve gotten a lot better and that’s due to purchasing the right props, applying the right filters and using the right apps. I still have a long way to go in the photography department, but I’m getting there slowly.
My favourite apps to use are Adobe Lightroom and VSCO Cam
7. DON’T BE AFRAID
The last, and most important thing to remember: be yourself and don’t worry about what other people think. Don’t let the opinion of others put you off creating your blog. This will be your biggest regret!
I worried about this for so long and delayed starting my blog because I didn’t want to be judged for it. Since launching my blog, I’ve learned that nobody really cares what you do, and if they do then that’s their problem. Sure, blogging might start off as a little hobby in your spare time, but it has the potential to grow into something so much bigger than that! Don’t let other people hold you back.
I hope these little tips helped you take a step in the right direction towards launching your blog! If you’re struggling, feel free to get in touch and I’d be happy to help!