Starting a blog is completely overwhelming. I had no idea how difficult it would be. Starting out was a constant struggle. Daily I wished for a magic genie to appear and help a girl out. Or even a blogging buddy already established, someone to give me the gentle guidance and advice I so desperately needed. But I was all alone and I had to work it out for myself. I NEVER want another blogger to feel as stressed as I did when I first started out so I want to share as much with you as I can!
If you are interested in starting a blog or have already hit the publish button on your beautiful blog, here are my tips on starting out:
Stalk the blogs you love. There is a reason you love certain blogs and bloggers. It could be the images on their website, their writing style, their social media game or everything they do could rock your boat. Distinguish your top five favourite bloggers and analyse everything they do and I mean everything!
What do you love about them?
What do you like?
What aspect don’t you like?
Is their website as good as their social media?
What does their newsletter look like, how often do they send it?
Study them, pull them apart and work out what you like and why! Knowing this from the beginning will save you a lot of frustration, you can build what you really love because you will know what that is.
Name your blog, secure your URL and ALL social media handles. But don’t settle for a name that doesn’t feel right, once you start blogging that name is your game, changing it is beyond difficult and survival after a name change is VERY rare. Remember bloggers are not influencers, we are across all social media streams, not just Instagram and Facebook. We may concentrate on one more than another from time to time, but we rock all of them to get maximum traffic to our websites. So, you must have ALL the URL and social media handles.
Design a logo or have someone help you. A log helps with credibility. You can quickly make your own on Canva or something similar.
Take your time. Don’t hit publish before you have a good amount of blogs written and you have the images to go with it. I always have a minimum of 4 weeks worth of blogs written and ready to go. I quickly learnt it doesn’t take much for you to fall behind. Life really does get in the way of blogging.
Popups are a personal choice and not necessary. Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise, it’s really up to you.
Always have your newsletter subscription on your website clearly visible and easy to complete. Having subscribers to your website is the MOST important thing you can do. It is the key to longevity in the blogging world. Driving traffic to your website from social media channels is important, its why bloggers are across all social media channels, we are constantly driving traffic from every avenue. But social media is so damn fickle! One of the most frustrating is Instagram, they can change their algorithm at any moment and suddenly you are no longer getting the traffic you once were and even lose subscribers. Actually, Facebook is just as frustrating now I think about it. They only true and reliable traffic you can count on is from your own subscriber list. No one can take that list away from you, it’s a blogger’s golden ticket to quality traffic on their blogs. When you launch your blog you will have a surge of interest in the beginning, it’s the ultimate time to capture people email addresses. Have everything set up and ready to go. If you have already launched your blog and don’t have your newsletter subscription up stop reading right now and get it up. Literally stop reading and hop to it!
Have good photos. Do whatever you need to do to get good quality photos on your website. Make sure your images are not overpowering on your screen, there’s nothing worse than one image that you have to scroll through to find the text you are there to read. Big is not better on blogs, that actually goes for word count as well. Good images can be taken on phones, but take your time to get a quality shot. There are countless apps available to assist with editing your images on your phone. Find one that you like and always edit before you post. Never post an image you don’t love.
Your website will most likely be viewed on a mobile device, you must make sure it’s mobile device friendly.
Get help if you are struggling with developing your site. You don’t need someone to do everything for you, but if you are struggling, investing in some help is always a great idea.
Tell your friends and family what you are doing, how they can help you and be honest and tell them how important it is to you. Support is a must, blogging can be a little lonely at times.
Allow yourself to be inspired. Make time to away from the keyboard to get your creative juices flowing.
Blogging is incredibly rewarding. Sharing what you are passionate about with the world is a privilege. I always view it as my legacy. A warm and welcoming online home for friends and family to visit when I am long gone. My recipes, my ideas, my inspiration and my philosophies. My little corner of the internet, my memoir all beautifully laid out.