So you've just finished reading a blog that really inspired you? Or you've been thinking about starting a blog of your own?
You have no idea where to start or what to do from here?
I get a lot of questions like "how did you start your blog?" "I'd love to blog but have no idea how" and so forth. I've always usually replied with something like "I'm actually going to write a few blogs about this", which I know probably annoys some of you, but there isn't a simple quick answer I can give you, because there's a lot to explain.. So anyway, I'm going to walk you through some of MY PERSONAL TIPS I TOOK BEFORE I STARTED.
The world of blogging can be rather intimidating at first, for me I'd always wanted to blog but I simply had absolutely no idea what I needed to do, I'm almost certain a few of you may feel the same, which is why I'm sat here prepared to try and help you out as much as possible. I love to help others out, build them up and just try my hardest to give them the most help possible, let's face it - I didn't come across a single blog about any of this when I first started out, so I'm going to create my own, I'll be doing this hopefully once a week, so hold tight and stay tuned.
Let's Crack on:
1. Research -
I would say this part is so important, you want to take dedicated time out into learning. You need to do enough research to feel confident in the "How to's" you can search on google for anything you feel you need to learn, but you don't have to stop at google you can also pop onto YouTube and search on there (helpful for a more visual learner) Whatever you do, don't expect this to be a easy simple process, the whole process of learning what to do and how takes time, for me I personally I took 4-6 months of dedicated time to teach myself, I had a notebook I wrote all of my notes in and I added to this throughout the whole time (I still do this) Don't expect to know everything, because even now a year on since I started my blog, I still learn something new everyday . You just want the basics to begin with.
2. Deciding on your blogs name -
This is another process you don't want to underestimate like myself, I was naive enough to think I could simply just use my full name, but I soon came to realise I was totally wrong. With a name like Amy Thompson that was never going to happen because it's such a common name - there's thousands of us! I guess if you have a unique name you may find the domain available, however make sure you check!! There are many apps or websites to help you with this and with a simple google search you'll know if your name is free or not. Anyway, after realising I was going to have to use something different came a long process. I found the easiest way was to mind map ideas, start with anything that springs to mind and play around until you think you like one, then again check I it's free and hooray eventually you'll find one! - I'd also like to quickly add that if you come up with a name like Amy's Beauty or Amy Lifestyle you need to realise you're now limited with your blog, with a name limited to beauty it wouldn't (in my opinion) now work to blog about fashion or the gym for example! So if you want to blog about various things, use a name that doesn't limit you.
3. Finding your niche -
When you announce the fact your going to blog, you'll be asked questions like "what's your niche?" "what are you going to blog about?" don't freak out by this (like me) If you don't know what this means it simply means your topic/your subject (for example, a blog about the gym, or a lifestyle blog) Now what you really need to do here is again a mind map of all of your topics and expand them further. Don't choose a topic just because you know it's popular or it's what everyone else is doing, choose something your PASSIONATE about and something you know you'll can write about forever.. YOUR HEART HAS TO BE IN IT - I say this because if you've started a blog purely for money, for free stuff and because you want to be like your favourite blogger, it will not work. Eventually you'll either run out of steam, you wont be 100% committed to the hard work and people will see straight through you! YOU HAVE TO LOVE THE PROCESS, THE GRIND AND THE HARD WORK. Be prepared to work on it for a long time before you get recognition, if any. Many of the "top bloggers" work for years before ever getting to where they want to be.
4. Your audience -
I'm putting this in here because I feel this is something you need to remember and not threat over! Although obviously you want to gain and grow your blogs audience. Don't expect to start out with it, it WILL NOT come easily, again this takes hard work and dedication. There are ways of helping yourself reach more people etc etc but not everyone who sees you share your first blog (or any for that matter) is going to click that link, read your blog or support you. - This has been my biggest learning curve but I'll save that for another post! Simply shake it off and keep going, the people who want to read it will and if they like it they'll usually stick around, support you and keep an eye out for the next one.
5. Choosing your platform -
You may not realise it yet, but there are many different platforms you can use to blog from, honestly I was shocked and taken aback by what I thought would be a simple google search with a simply answer. There are obviously the ones you should or will hear popping up again and again like WordPress or Blogger and many more. As much as I would say going for WordPress is a good idea because that's what everyone else is doing there are some things you NEED to consider. Things like, what you plan on blogging from? - Laptop/Computer/Phone etc, The services you have available? - Internet, able to have plug ins etc, The cost you have available? - a big budget, a small budget or no money available. Obviously you'll find pro's and con's with most of the sites but that's to be expected. (I'm going to do a separate blog about the particular platform I use)
6. Your Style -
This speaks for many factors but we are purely going to focus on the way you want your blog to look, as much as you might love Zoella's blog, you do not want to go ahead and simply copy her. Your blog needs to be unique to you, unique to look different and stand out from the thousands of other blogs. You may like the way someone's blog looks fresh, minimalist etc and that's perfectly okay to apply into your blog, things like this is perfectly understandable to apply into your own blog. but it's never okay to COPY.
7. Social media -
Do not underestimate the power of social media, this is going to be one of your main ways to not only promote your blog but also to connect and network with others. I'd suggest you build separate accounts purely to link to your blog and to promote yourself on.Things like a Facebook page or Instagram because that helps you understand that those following you on there are there purely for your blog! With that said never ever be afraid to self promote on your personal accounts, because your bound to already have a following on there. Your aim is to reach as many people as you possibly can and what better way than with pretty photographs and some text? Join Bloglovin' - this is a great platform for you to follow other blogs and to promote your blogs, although people who follow you will receive a notification every time you do a
8. Your writing style -
This is simple, this is how you'll get your personality across, this is how you engage your readers and keep them with you throughout your blog/blogging journey. You can be a grammar king or queen, you can be as good as the spelling police and you can use the best literate words ever, if that's you. You simply want to come across as you.. so for me I'm not the best speller, or the most literate but I'll always try my best. For me those aren't the be all or end all.. I think there are more important factors if it comes naturally to you, then go ahead but if it doesn't don't threat it! Typo's and little spelling mistakes happen to the biggest bloggers, but these little things won't stop you from being successful at what you do in my opinion, sure you may notice it later on and think "god damn it" but I personally think it's not necessary to go out of your way to change it (blogging takes long enough as it is) JUST WRITE LIKE YOU AND TO THE TONE OF THE BLOG - SIMPLE.
This will take time, of course you can start of with one in mind for example three a week or every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which sounds easy to do and stick to.. Sometimes however life may simply get in the way and mean you don't always manage to stick to this, I know everyone raves about being CONSISTENT and that's right, However I think on occasions it's perfectly acceptable to be off once in a while, but make sure to address your disappearance and maybe explain why, try not to panic! Get back to your usual timetable/schedule once you're able to.
10. Join groups
If I'm honest it took me a long time to realise that there are actually specific groups on Facebook and Twitter that you can join or follow that are built for "Bloggers" for example on Facebook there's one called Blogging Newbs, now these are great and I'd highly recommend joining as early as you possibly can. These groups offer support, answers to any questions you have and some great opportunities too offer. A simple search of "Blog or Bloggers" should bring some up. The blogging community is great, there are many people out there who have been in your beginners shoe's and there always happy to help another out Get out there and socialise through networking, you won't regret it I promise!
I hope you have enjoyed this guide, found it helpful and hopefully learnt something from this. As I said I am going to be doing a series of blogs like this one, with the hope to give something back to you. If you find you have any questions that may still be unanswered, drop me a comment below and I'll try my best to answer you. If you have any other specific ideas or blogs like this that you'd like me to do, also let me know. Please share or like through the Facebook bar if you enjoyed or learnt something from this,because you sharing it will not only help me but it may be helpful to your friends too. Thank you as always for taking the time to read my post and for your continued support lovelies!!
My passion has always been writing, I love to express myself 'thatbridgegirl' features Beauty, Fashion, Fitness and Lifestyle/Personal posts