A few people recently have asked me how to start a blog, and at first it came as a surprise to be asked because I am by no means an expert. But when I first started explaining the basic steps to starting up a blog and what blogging is like, it made me realise that actually I probably do know more than I thought. I first started blogging over 3 and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with my eldest Son. Knowing I would need something to keep my brain working amongst the sleepless nights and baby sick I decided to put my passion for writing to good use and share our experiences as we got to grips with life with a baby.
If you’ve stumbled upon this post then clearly you are looking for some tips to get you started. So here are the basics.
How To Start A Blog
Why Start a Blog
First you need to decide why you want to blog. If it’s to make millions, Oh hi Zoella…Then you may well need to check yourself before ya’wreck yourself. Blogging to make money can be done, but it is hard work, and you have to be fully dedicated and have a LOT of time to invest. So don’t go into it for the sole purpose of making money because it will shine through your words and will make it even harder to find and keep an engaged readership.
Think Of A Name
Make sure you choose a name which is not too difficult for people to remember, loads of symbols and xoxo’s are going to make it harder for people to find you. Keep it simple. My main tip forfinding a name is make sure you choose something which isn’t too specific. Lara’s Red Car for example isn’t something which will stay with you forever, and so you may want to think about something which can grow with your tastes/your life. I have thought about changing Adventures Of A Mum because I now have grown my blog with my own life and it’s now not just Mum stuff, but more beauty, lifestyle and fashion. But after consideration I have decided to stick with the name as all these things are part of the adventures of me as a mum and it’s hard to build up your domain and audience from scratch again.
Choose a blogging platform
In my experience the 2 most popular platforms are Blogger and WordPress. I use WordPress as a platform, and I have no complaints. As I said I am by no means an expert so I’m more than happy with the features it gives me, it’s free to use, all the coding is done for you and you can run a shop bought theme easily. I have read countless times people asking for advice on how to move platforms when they have chosen the wrong one, so make sure you make the right decision at this point because it’s a total ball ache to move over if you’ve gone with the wrong one. Tip: most people want to move to WordPress rather than visa-versa. This post will explain better than I can for all the options you have.
Buy Your Own Domain
I didn’t get my own domain until 18 months into blogging, and by no means is this essential as I know lots of successful blogs who are still on .blogspot etc. But I decided to move over to .com which costs around £25 per year. I went through 123.com but there are so many so shop around. This could also impact your choice of blog names so make sure yours is still available!
With buying your own domain comes the need to be hosted by someone. A host provides server space for your blog & content. Basically allowing people to find you on the vast cyber world which is the internet. I use the amazing team over at Moosh Media who I would highly recommend, they also offer domain names within their services – 2 birds, 1 stone!
So you’ve thought of your name and you’ve set yourself up online, now comes the hard bit! Creating content which is interesting, informative, fun…Think about what you are interested in reading and find new things to talk about which will bring people back again & again to find you. Engaging your audience is key to sustaining a readership and growing your blog. Yes bloggers take on paid work sometimes, but reading review after review, or sponsored post time and time again can really disenchant your readers who want to read about your experiences, your tips, your life! Tip: Don’t forget why you started.
I hope these tips have helped get you started. I’ve really enjoyed pulling them together so I am planning on writing a next step post about what to do once the basics are done; Social media, photography, brand sponsorships. Leave me a comment below if you found this informative or anything else you would like to know about blogging. xx