Welcome back to my blog!
Today I’m posting a few tips and ideas for those of you who are thinking about starting up a blog. This is inspired by a chat I had with my friend Kelly who was thinking of starting up her own blog and asked for some advice. I’m by no means an expert in blogging, I just like to post little rambles, reviews etc and people are free to read them and give me feedback if they want to. I’ve actually done a post similar to this which was called “Top Ten Tips For New Bloggers” if you want to check that out too 🙂
So here are a few starting points, tips, and ideas for those of you who want to start a blog of your own.
- Choose a platform : There’s loads of blogging platforms out there, but the two most popular seem to be WordPress and BlogSpot/Blogger. I’ve used both of these and my personal preference is WordPress. I think the layout looks sleeker, you get a lot more choice in layouts/ themes and I find it easier to use. My first ever blog was actually on blogger and I absolutely cringe looking at it now (It’s still online!) It’s worth checking out both though to see what you prefer, and if you don’t like either of them, you can view a list of the “12 Best Free Blogging Platforms” here
- Choose a name : Perhaps the most difficult part of starting a blog. I’ve gone through so many names and so many blogs, the first one I ever made was called “The Life & Times Of A Fashion Student” then it turned into “Polka Dot Teapot” then I started loads of random new blogs, before eventually turning back to Polka Dot Teapot. I know I probably sound daft, but that’s the name that always felt right to me, even though it probably doesn’t make much sense to anyone else. Before choosing a name for your blog, write a few notes, what you want your blog to be about, topics you are interested in, your hobbies etc. You may find some inspiration there. Or you could use a blog name generator if you’re really struggling, something perfect might pop up! The one I like the most is Spinxo
- Choosing a blog theme/ topic : What is your blog going to be about? What genre does it fit under? What are your hobbies and interests? These questions are a good starting point, but as you write and your blog evolves and grows you may start to venture into other topics. Don’t put pressure on yourself to stick to one genre! My blog was originally meant to be about beauty and fashion, now I post my business makes, craft projects, recipes, and general chit chatty life stuff.
- What is the purpose of your blog? Is it a place to share ideas, make new friends, connect with people with similar interests to you? Or is it something you eventually want to make money out of. If it is something you’d like to make money out of then you’ll need to think carefully about the name, content, marketing, and basically create a “brand”. Also you’ll need to start thinking about how you’re going to promote your blog, which social media platforms you want to use etc. If this is the way you want to go with your blog, remember these things take time and hard work! It won’t happen overnight
- Inspiration & planning: One of the things I get asked a lot is “how do you think of things to write?” The honest answer is stuff just pops into my head! When I’m having writers block, I look at other blogs, Pinterest, YouTube and Google for inspiration. I actually have a whole board dedicated to blogging over on my Pinterest (click the Pinterest button to have a look!). I also find planning posts, and jotting ideas down helps a lot. Get yourself a little notebook and write down anything and everything that comes into your head, or check out my post on my Top 3 Blog Planners for printable planners.
- Take a little bit of time on your photographs: Good photo’s make a blog so much nicer to look at. You don’t have to go all out and fancy, just use a nice simple background and decent lighting. I didn’t really bother with this for a long time and looking back it makes me cringe so hard!
- Be Yourself: Don’t try to hard to be what you think a proper blogger should be (I hope that makes sense) Be honest with your thoughts and opinions, turn your “fails” into funny content. One of my friends Siobhan has a YouTube channel and I love watching her because she’s just so honest and funny. Being “real” will appeal to your readers much more then trying to be a copy of Zoella, or another well known beauty/ blogger guru.
- You never know who’s watching: Have a think about what you’re comfortable putting out there, as you never know who is reading your blog. I’ve published a few posts on relationships and my previous relationship (which in all honesty weren’t very flattering), thought nothing of it until his current girlfriend popped up on my blog and left comments. I’m not really arsed about them seeing that, as it was a true experience and I was willing to share that online, but it did surprise me that the girl was taking the time to check out my blog, as it was someone I never expected to see it and I wasn’t putting it all over social media. So before you post, just think would I want my parents, colleagues, etc to see this? Especially if you want to build your blog into a brand, because even if you’re not putting your blog all over social media, people might still find it.
- And Finally…. Take the plunge! Starting a blog can be intimidating and confusing and stressful, but its so much fun! I’ve met some amazing people and one of my best friends (hey Abbie!) through blogging, its a great hobby to have and I find it very therapeutic. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time, and don’t pressure yourself into unrealistic goals (for example: posting everyday). It’ll all develop the more you get into it, so just enjoy it.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I hope it was helpful to anybody thinking about starting a blog. If you have recently started a blog, leave me a comment and I’ll check it out.