Monday 10 July 2017

A Beginners Guide To Starting a Blog

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Okay, so I know a lot of you guys already have blogs and are pretty clued up when it comes to starting a blog. However, recently I've been getting more and more messages and tweets about what advice I would give to people who want to start a blog but have no clue where to begin.

There are lots to take into consideration when it comes to starting up a blog. Though I would like to point out that it doesn't have to perfect from the get-go. A look at my first blog post ( Read the first year of blog posts) will tell you that. If you are a long-term reader, you will know how many changes my blog has undergone in the last three years. Take it from me, it doesn't have to be perfect. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself. 

A quick flick through my archives would tell you that I haven't done a post like this before. So, yep you guessed it, today I'm going to be doing a post all about, my top five favourite TV shows. Only joking! Here is my step by step beginners guide to starting a blog. 

1. Decide on what website you want to use 

Basically, you've got two teams to pick from. You can either be on team BlogSpot or team Wordpress. I'm team Blogspot, so I can't really tell you much about how Wordpress works. However, I'm sure a quick Google search will have you sorted in no time. They are both free to join. However, fancy templates and plugins ( which I'll get on to in a bit) do cost. 

I went with blogger because being 100% truthful, I didn't know Wordpress existed back in the day. I've stuck with blogger though because it's dead easy to use and if you're a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to tech stuff, like myself, Blogspot is your new best friend. 

2. Decide on what you want to call your blog 

Deciding on a blog name is pretty important and also can be the hardest part. Note: it doesn't have to stay the same forever. When choosing a blog name, I would avoid using niche specific words like 'fashion' or 'beauty' just because you don't want to be restricted to a niche when your interests have moved on, later on down the line. 

Take it from me, trying to blog about mental health when you're known as ThriftyVintageFashion is no easy task. I would also avoid super long names, complex names or ones that are just to darn hard to spell. Something short, catchy and rememberable is key. 

3. Design a layout 

This is the part where you get to be creative. If you are using blogger you can pick what template you want, what colours, fonts and images. Honestly, the list is endless of what you can choose. If you want to challenge yourself a little bit further, you could learn some HTML and CSS and design your blog layout yourself or add in some really call little extras.   

Or Buy a blog design. If like me, you're a bit lazy and clueless when it comes to HTML stuff, but still want a pretty blog template that doesn't look like it's been designed by a six-year-old then you can buy one. I bought mine from Pipdig, however, there are lots of cheaper alternatives out there. Etsy is a great place to start if you want cheap, unique layouts. 

4. Decide if you want to have your own domain or not 

Being self-hosted and buying your own domain are different things. I don't really know much about being self-hosted, so don't ask me. However, what I do know is how to buy your own domain. Buying your own domain basically, means instead of having at the end of your URL you have or .com. You have to buy this though. There are lots of different sites you can buy your own domain from. However, the most popular by far and the one I use is Go Daddy. The rates are really cheap, and you can decide how long you have you blog name before you renew it. 

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5. Create a blog header and brand image 

If you want your blog to grow, you will want a brand image. This basically means having a style and logo that is used across social medias and your blog, which makes you more recognisable. Your blog brand and image can always change. It's common for new bloggers to change this a lot when they are first finding their feet. The quicker you can find one you like though, the better. 

You will have to create a blog banner at some point. You can pay someone to do this for you. My blog header was designed by the lovely Jemma from DorkFace, however, if you don't have the money, don't panic, free online software like Canva is perfect to create a blog header. It's quick, easy and they already have the templates/sizes you need for a blog and all social media headers. This site will make your life so much easier. 

6. Write your first blog post 

It's time to write your first blog post. Don't worry if its rubbish, it can't be that bad compared to my first blog post (which is still up) Don't make your first post super long and wordy. Don't forget to include some pictures too. If you don't know what to start with, maybe introduce yourself with a Tag post, 50 facts about me or share some interesting stories about yourself. If you don't know what you want your blog to be about yet, that's okay, keep it general. If you don't know where to begin, don't think of it as an essay or report, think of it as a letter or (long) text to a friend- keep it chatty and informal! 

7. Create social media accounts for your blog 

Now it's time to create the social media accounts. I think Instagram and Twitter are the best places to start although, setting up a Facebook page might help too! Try and keep your usernames as similar as you can across all the platforms, so they match your blog. Don't forget to add your blog header and a picture of you. 

Then comes the really fun part, you get to chat and meet other bloggers. Follow and chat with as many people as you can within the community. We are all really nice, I promise. Start conversations with people, retweet their posts, like their photos, join in Twitter chats. Before long, I'm sure you would have made so many friends with so many like minded people. It's so much fun! Heads up though, don't spam people with your link or use auto DMs because no one likes that.


Keep going! Keep writing! Keep talking! Get your work out there! Schedule tweets and posts! If you keep it up, I promise your hard work will pay off.

I hope you enjoyed his post and found it useful if you are thinking about setting up a blog. 

Thanks for reading, as always X

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