I’ve actually had a few friends, influenced by my blog, start their own. I’ve tried to offer up advice on things I’ve learned because when I started I didn’t know anyone that blogged, so it was a big learning experience for me. If there were 10 tips I could offer for the person thinking of starting a blog but not quite sure of themselves, they would be:
- Decide what you want to blog about. Will it be a family blog? A cooking blog? A craft blog? A home decorating blog? Try to focus in on what you want your blog to say, the message you plan to deliver.
- Do your research. Google “family blog” or “cooking blog” or whatever type of blog you want to start and start reading up on other’s blogs. You will get ideas this way on what you want and don’t want for your blog.
- Pick a blog platform. I started with Blogger and think it was a good fit for me in the beginning. Watch a few YouTube videos about Blogger.com and a few about WordPress.com and decide which one will be best for you.
- Start free. I ultimately bought my domain name and switched to Wordress.org and a self-hosted platform. Learning on their dime (Blogger) first was very helpful. Only make the jump from free to paying if you feel it is where your blog needs to go & when you feel it’s time.
- Pick a name & find a look. You want your blog name to reflect the purpose of your blog and be perfect for you. Same goes for your look. Find a designer (look at the blogs you like the look of & find out who they used. You can usually find a button towards the bottom of the blog that will be from the designer linking to their page) from the get-go and have it designed either with a lesser pre-designed layout or with a more expensive custom design. That is up to you.
- Set up email, twitter, and facebook for your blog. With that being said, be sure to use the same handle for all of these. You want people to recognize you wherever you are so make it all the same. An email account just for your blog stuff is very important, while twitter & fb will help you promote your blog & connect with others.
- Join communities & link up. There’s a ton of communities out there to continue promoting your blog and connecting with others. Some examples are SITS, BlogHer, Top Mommy Blogs, and so on. Link up on blog hops or memes. This is a great way to introduce yourself to others.
- Comment & Reply. Comment on blogs you follow & enjoy reading. Reply to comments left on your blog. My pet peeve of those “bigger bloggers” out there is that they do not reply for the most part. Many of them have such devoted followers who love to comment but many times they do not bat an eye at returning the love.
- Organize yourself. Find a way to keep yourself organized. I use a calendar & notepad. I write down what posts I plan to write for the week on the calendar and use the notepad to write myself notes & reminders for the posts.
- Be yourself & enjoy it. Make sure what you write is from you, not a variation of something you found from someone else. & most importantly, enjoy it. When you are feeling burnt out, take a break. We’ve all done it and our blog is better because of it.
This post was written in response to the #SummerBlogSocial Advice for Others: Prompt No.2