How to start a BLOG | Part Two
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
When I first started my blog, I naively thought "Wow! This is pretty easy". But now that I've been at it for a while, I realise that there is actually a whole heap more to consider than I initially realised.
In Part One we discussed the importance of figuring out your 'why', establishing your niche and determining your target audience. Part Two could still be considered 'pre-publication' to-do's.
Number One- Choose your platform
Before I started my blog, admittedly I didn't do much research into different blogging platforms. All I knew was that Weebly sucked! I chose Wix because it came with a FREE edition and was super simple to use with a variety of templates. I kept my free edition of Wix for about eight months before upgrading to premium.
Since upgrading, I have noticed a significant increase in traffic to my site. If you are looking to blog as merely a hobby, then Wix is a really great option.
However, I have heard from numerous sources that if you are wishing to monetize your blog, it is better to go with WordPress and to be self-hosted. Apparently it is rather easy to transfer your already existing site over to this platform down the track. I had been looking into doing this but still don't understand the in's and out's of it and have that deathly fear that I'm going to be the one person things go wrong for and I end up losing all my work.
Number Two- Decide on a name
This seems to be the hardest part for people.
When considering a name, you want something that:
-Is short and easy to remember
-Rolls off the tongue nicely (perhaps with some rhyme, assonance or alliteration)
-Encapsulates the niche or message you are aiming for
I chose Evolve for those above reasons. I also felt that stepping into the blogging world was a new phase of life for me. It was part of the evolution of Carly Morton and part of me discovering different aspects about my passion and creativity.
Start jotting down words and phrases that link in with both your personality and blogging goal. Then ask friends and family for suggestions.
Number Three- Brainstorm content
Get out a pen and piece of paper and start writing down blog post ideas that are at the top of your head. Are there any other ideas that stem from these? Could you make any of these into a series and have multiple posts? What are some posts you have read previously that you could adapt for your own site?
Start researching different topics using the internet and social media. Whenever I need some inspiration I search up "Lifestyle blogging topics" on Google or Pinterest. Several of them may be irrelevant to your niche or interests but they may give you inspiration or spark new ideas.
Also, create a list of blogs that you enjoy and see what those people are writing about. What topics do you find the most enjoyable or interesting to read?
Number Four- Start writing
Sit down and start pumping out a few blog posts. It might be good to start with a intro post welcoming people to your blog and communicating the purpose and message of your blog.
When I first started, I wrote about six or seven posts before even publishing. When my first guests visited my site, I didn't want them to go there and have nothing to read. Even if you don't put up that many, at least three or four will ensure that your blog is not empty for visitors.
Number Five- Develop a bank of photos
Last but not least...
Many bloggers do not do this, and I can't understand why?
Yes there is a heap of stock photos out there for you to use on your blog free of charge! Yes these photos are great quality and can cover a range of topics.
But having your own photos on your blog adds a personal touch and develops a deeper relationship between you and your readers. If they see you and feel that they know you, they will be more likely to return.
I try and have at least three pictures per blog post to separate the paragraphs/ideas and provide visual engagement for my readers. I take these on my phone and edit using the VSCO app. I then use these pictures to promote my blog on social media.
It's up to you whether you wish you use this suggestion or not, but if your thinking about yourself as the face of your brand, then perhaps it's a good idea.
I hope these tips have helped you in getting started and in hopefully publishing your blog. Stay tuned for Part Three where I will discuss what to do after publication.
Follow me on social media: You Tube Carly Morton and Instagram @evolveliving_blog