So you’re thinking of starting a blog? Great! There’s many reasons to start a blog; a blog can land you a job, it can build confidence, you can learn new skills and you have the opportunity to meet a whole array of new people! But maybe you’re just starting a blog because it’s a new hobby and something else to do with your free-time, which is also great – that’s how mine began!
Starting a blog can be daunting, but there’s so much support out there these days and blogging tips, that you’re pretty much sorted! Simply read on, take on board the tips and advice everyone has to offer and away you go! Before I start rambling on anymore, here are my essentials steps to starting a blog!
1 | Figure out your niche. Some people will go into starting a blog knowing exactly what it is they’re content focuses on; parenting, finance, beauty, fashion, marketing or even film reviews. But for others, it takes some time. It’s not important to have a blog niche which focuses on one topic only, because everyone loves variety. But it is useful to have an idea of the kind of posts you’d be writing. This helps with content creation and which blogs to follow to help give you a kickstart, but also helps with my next step.
2 | Choose a blog name you’re 100% happy with. I recently did a post on the things I wish I knew before blogging and this one was a crucial point for me! Once you know you’re niche, name-choosing will be somewhat easier. You’ll know the kind of words/phrases to avoid that might make your blog come across irrelevant, but it’ll also save you hassle in the future. I stated in my Things I Wish I Knew Before Blogging post that I’m currently planning a re-brand. I’ve outgrown my blog’s name; Scampi & Chips – it makes me sound like a food blogger, which I’m not. I do post the odd recipe here and there, but it’s not my fortay. Now I’m having to go through the stress of picking a new name, completely starting from scratch with certain social channels, but also a heap of other ‘behind the scenes’ tasks. It’s a right pain and stress I could do without, so take it from me – choose a name you LOVE!
3 | Buy a domain with your chosen blog name. Quick tip – when thinking of names, have the likes of Go Daddy Domain Name Search available to type your ideas in. This way you can ensure your chosen name is available. However, out of precaution, give your name idea a quick Google search just to see what comes up! Anyway, once you have your new blog name at the ready, buy a domain. These are dirt cheap and usually you can buy .com for just 99p for the first year and .co.uk for just 1p (usually around £10 thereafter) with Go Daddy. Buying your own domain looks authoriative, makes your blog more appealing, but also helps with building up DA (domain authority).
4 | Choose the platform that’s best for you. If you’re not quite sure where your blog is going to go, whether it’s something you’re going to continue with a year or so down the line, or you simply want to start cheap (i.e. free), then Blogger is the best option for you. But, if you’ve perhaps got a budget, are looking for a place that offers more flexibility, better chances of SEO improvements and even more, then I recommend going self-hosted on WordPress. I first started with Bluehost before realising just how expensive these guys were. Now I’m with TSOHost for just £2.99 a month!
5 | Set up ALL the social channels. I’m basically recapping a lot of what I mentioned in my Thing I Wish I Knew About Blogging post, but that post was more about telling you why I wish I knew all this before hand and my experience with dealing with the consequences of following suit several months or even a year in. Try and get handles/usernames that feature your blog name as consistency is key for your readers, as it helps them find you everywhere. Once these are all set up, ensure you’ve made them accessible on your blog.
6 | Set up Google Analytics. Before you start promoting your blog’s content (next point), it’s important to have analytics set up so you can start tracking traffic, your audience and your best-performing posts from the get-go. This really is useful when it comes to tailoring future content, as you know what your target audience is and you know which content is highly relevant to your audience too.
7 | Pre-write content. I can’t stand when someone promotes their blog, you click through, to then find there’s 3-5 posts and that’s it. Ensure you have at least 10 posts live on your blog before you start promoting it, but also ensure you have a further 10 ready to publish through a schedule you’ve set. That way you’re consistent and have content to go out whilst you start reeling readers in. Content doesn’t just mean blog posts though, it also means pages. Ensure you have the following pages set up and ready to view: an About Me page and a Contact Me page. If working with brands is something you want to do at a later date, you can then build a Work With Me page, but for now, start with the basics.
8 | Start promoting. Once your content is live, your blog is how you want it and everything is working fine and dandy, start promoting the hell out of it! Check out my 7 ways to promote your blog for more ideas and advice on how to promote your new space on the internet. Better yet, also take a look into the steps to follow once you click publish on a post!
I hope you’ve found my essential steps to starting a blog useful to some extent, but be sure to comment yours down below too.