Blogging is bigger than ever, with hundreds of new blogs with different topics, opinions and content being started up every day. As well as being a great way to showcase your skills and talents, blogging can also open doors for you in terms of networking, socialising and being in touch with brands. There’s really no downside to starting one up if you’re thinking about it, but it can be a little overwhelming if you’re not really sure where to start. Never fear, Here’s our guide to starting a blog, and laying the foundations for it to be successful in the long run!
#1 Name and Niche
First you need to identify your niche, what content will you post and will you focus on creating your own content or sharing curated content made by other people? Is there any way that you can set your blog apart from others? A good way to think about what kind of blog you’ll be running is to identify the topics you won’t be posting about, once you have a firm grasp on what you don’t want to write about the rest will come a lot easier. Next you need to think of a catchy name that represents you and your blog’s content, but something that is also timeless and won’t grow stale or annoying, for example Career Girl Daily is short, snappy and self-explanatory. A maximum of three words is usually the magic number for blog names.
Make a list of all the blogs that you enjoy reading, and what elements of those blogs you’d like to incorporate into your own. By making a list of things you like and dislike about the blogs you regularly read you can identify what you want your blog to be, and what you’d like it to end up as in the future.
Now you need to decide what platform to host your blog on, the two main platforms are Blogger and WordPress, while Tumblr is better for sharing visual content, there are a multitude of pros and cons to all so do a little research to find out which one is best for you.
#4 Content planning
Before you publish anything, it’s best to set up a spreadsheet and plan your content weeks in advance. For my own personal blog, I have a loose plan of what I’m posting up to six weeks in advance! But don’t limit your creative possibilities by following your plan too strictly, because that will suck the fun out of blogging and leave you feeling too regimented.
The design of your blog is something that should be personal to you, there are hundreds of free templates for WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr, for a more personalised theme you can always purchase one but at the beginning it’s better to keep everything free. If you’re looking for resources, The Cutest Blog on the block has good themes and backgrounds, and you can get creative and make a custom logo with Canva.
Make sure you are interested in the content that you’re writing about, and don’t feel disheartened if at first nobody is commenting or liking your work. Successful blogging takes time, another good tip for content is to make sure your spelling and grammar are up to scratch, and that your writing voice is pleasant to read. Check this by using spell check, searching for anything you aren’t sure of and reading your posts out loud every so often.
#7 Social media
A good way to ensure your blog gets views is to engage with people via Twitter, look out for hashtags that signify blog chats and the topics that you identify with, for example #fbloggers is ‘fashion bloggers’ whereas #bbloggers is for ‘beauty bloggers’. Eventually you can branch out to Instagram and Facebook if you like, but just keep in mind that blogging should be something you love and not become a chore or something that you dread.
There you have it, the simple steps to laying the foundations for a great blog, as long as you’re passionate about the content you’re publishing you’ll attract views, and as long as blogging continues to be a hobby not a habit you’ll be on the path towards a successful blog!