When I was considering becoming a blogger, I didn’t do much research on how to actually start. I didn’t even read many blogs. So the fact you’re on this page looking at this specific post is definitely a start in the right direction and you’re already doing better than I did. I’ve put together a little post on how to begin your first blog, these are tips that I probably would’ve benefitted from and I hope that you do too.
When I first started my blog, it was total guess work. I didn’t know what I was really doing and I was winging it. It’s thanks to Twitter that I found as many bloggers as I did, much later on though, and I basically learned from scratch and experience on things that I needed to do in order to become a “successful” blogger.
Decide on a host
To be honest, I started on the WordPress.co.uk website and not WordPress.org – which I much later came to. I was blogging on WordPress.co.uk for about six or so months, but I just didn’t like the look of it and themes were pretty expensive. So, I moved to Blogger. If you’re just starting and don’t intend on paying for a domain or a host then I strongly recommend Blogger. The platform made it easy for me to get into the jist of blogging, I was writing content on there easily and the themes on Etsy for Blogger can go really cheap and they do look good for a beginner.
Once you’ve decided on a host, and you’ve figured out what works best for you, you’re already on the right tracks. Selecting a theme is pretty easy, it’s all up to you and your tastes. You don’t need to spend money if you use blogger, they’ll give you a cool free layout to start you off.
Decide on your blog name
Your blog name will stick with you from the moment you gain an audience. It’s what you’re going to be known as and it’s very important that you’re 100% sure of the blog name. I copped out. I went the easy way and just used my name. I was actually originally known as itsGeorgiaAnne – which is my Twitter handle now funnily enough, but the moment I bought my domain I ditched the “its” and my blog has been known as Georgia Anne for coming up to two years, I think.
Deciding on a blog name doesn’t have to be a mission though, if you’re not going to be using your own name, then check out bloggers on Twitter and see their usernames, see how they relate to the blogger and find something that relates to you personally, it doesn’t even have to be the genre or niche of your blog either, your blog name can be anything.
Start planning posts
Okay, so a mistake I made was to start writing posts on the day that I wanted them to go up – and another mistake I made was blogging every single day. Not good.
Get a notebook and begin jotting down ideas. Technically your blog doesn’t exist yet and you don’t even have an audience, so you don’t need to be worrying about getting blog posts up in a hurry, spend a few weeks planning them if you need to and honestly, in the long run, you’ll be glad you did this. The quality of your first posts will be a million times better than the quality of your posts if you decided to wing it for a couple weeks.
Also, set dates. How many blog posts do you want to go up in a week and how far apart do you want the posts to go up? When I get into a routine I like to have at least 3 posts go up and they tend to be on weekdays.
Then, begin writing them
If you don’t have a fancy camera don’t worry about it. You’re new to blogging. You don’t need to make big investments yet. If you already have a camera though, then spend a day taking as many photos as you can. Do flatlays, get someone to take photos of your outfit outside or in the house, just take photos of anything that is relevant to what you’re blogging about. Pinterest is a good place to go to for inspiration on how to do a flatlay and there’s loads of boards on it.
Once you have your photos ready, start to lay them out in a post. Then, write your text around the images. A post can be as long as you want it to be or as short as you want it to be, but I generally prefer longer posts and I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of doing long posts lately too. It’s just more interesting. Once you think your posts are done – proof read them over and over. You’ll want to make changes, believe me.
Once your posts are ready get your social media ready
There is such a thing as hype. Build a hype around your blog, get your followers on your social media platforms ready for your new website and believe me, this will work. People will become interested. Set a date for your launch and make sure people know it. Post previews to your stories on Instagram and Snapchat and get your friends in the loop too. There’s nothing embarrassing about being a blogger, and if your friends are awesome, they’ll support you and read your content.
Then – launch!
When your blog has launched, spend a few hours a day promoting your blog on your social media. When a blog post goes up, make sure you tweet it out and post about it on Instagram, you’ll notice that at first, your statistics won’t be amazing, but the more you stick to blogging and the more persistent you are with it, the more likely you’re going to gain an audience and a following. Believe me, it sucks at first because you feel like you’re not reaching anyone, but one reader is better than no reader, at least someone is hearing what it is you have to say.
Keep a routine
If you have a job, it can be difficult to find the time to write a blog post. So get into a routine. I spend my days off working on my blog, I have days dedicated to taking photos, days dedicated to just writing and I spend some evenings coming up with ideas and putting them into a draft.
Keeping a routine will keep your blog updated. And don’t forget to take a break. If you have an annual family holiday, take that time to spend away from your blog, that time will benefit you mentally and when you’re getting ready to come back to your blog, you’ll notice you’re full of ideas.
Finally… have fun with your blog!
The moment blogging stops being fun. Take time away. This is so important. I see so many bloggers these days complaining that it’s no longer fun for them, and I understand because I’ve been there. I took a few months away from blogging in 2016 and spent that time getting inspired and starting fresh. It benefitted me for a long time, but I was doing coming back to blogging wrong by blogging every day. Spacing out my posts has been so good for me, and I’ve taken the time to read other blogs this year which I feel has affected my content and probably, made me improve it. A lot.
If you’re getting into blogging, please let me know if these tips have helped you! I know how it feels to be a new blogger, we’ve all been there, but once you’re into it, you’re going to make some amazing friends and you may even be setting yourself up for your career – if full time blogging is the way you want to go.