So, you’ve decided that you’ll be starting a blog. How exciting!
I’ve been blogging for almost three years now and I enjoy it just as much as I did when I first started. Originally meant to be a side project to go alongside my YouTube channel, it’s now flourished into this little website and has grown so much since then. I’ve gotten requests to talk about how to start up a YouTube channel and a blog, and what better place to talk about starting a blog than…my blog! So, here are 10 things you need to do when you start a blog of your own.
#1. Decide on a blogging platform.
Two of the most popular platforms for blogging are Blogger & WordPress. I have experience with both, having moved over to WordPress from Blogger back in September. There are lots of other website that offer these capabilities such as Wix, Squarespace, Tumblr and a whole host of others. Do plenty of research on each of the options out there so you can make an informed decision on which one will work best for you. I found Blogger very easy to use for starters, but WordPress is absolutely incredible if you want something more advanced. I shall leave this part up to you!
#2. What will you talk about?
If you’re going to have a blog, you need some idea for the actual blog writing part. For me, this was easy as my blog is just a written extension of my YouTube channel. So everything I discuss on my channel, I discuss on my blog too. I revolve around a lot of different subjects; one minute I do makeup reviews and then the next I talk about chewing my fingers. Don’t think you have to stick to a niche in order for you to feel validated; my blog is all over the place and people are reading it!
#3. Have social media.
Social media is both a blessing and a curse. For your blog, it is an absolute necessity. There are lots of different social media platforms out there, but make sure you’re on them, and use them to promote your blog. I would highly recommend being active on Twitter; there are lots and lots of good resources on Twitter that can help your blog get seen and your thoughts out into the online world. Look up hashtags, RT accounts, and even fellow bloggers to see what they do.
#4. Stay humble.
Chances are, you’ve heard that blogging is fast becoming a way to make money, even be a full-time career. If you’ve started a blog just to make money, you’re blogging for all the wrong reasons. You may get brands approach you when you’ve established yourself and get some amazing opportunities come your way, but at the beginning, nobody will know who you are. Blog because you enjoy it, and soon people will want to work with you.
#5. Don’t be a dick.
This applies to pretty much any situation, but there are so many bloggers out there who are incredibly nasty. There are bloggers who think they’re better than everyone else, bloggers who just love to hate, and bloggers who go after brands who don’t work with them. If you fall into one of these categories, you are an asshole and you are the reason that bloggers have a bad name. You can’t go into blogging with a big head and then get upset when people in the community avoid you. That’s not how it works.
#6. Get a good blog design.
It’s all well and good having great blog content, but it won’t make an impression if your blog looks like the inside of a rubbish bag. There are lots of free and paid designs that you can get for your blog and finding the perfect one for you is essential. Pipdig are very popular for their Blogger & WordPress themes (which is where I got my theme from), and even freelance designers can help you make your dream blog into a reality (Serena from Prettywildthings helped me design my first blog on Blogger – and I’ve incorporated some of her work into my new theme too!)
#7. Take part in Twitter chats.
I will admit, this is one I don’t do enough of. But, doing Twitter chats are a great way to help get you into the world of blogging. There are so many different chats every day talking about lots of different topics. A simple search on Twitter will pull up lots and lots of chats. One that I really enjoy taking part in is The Girl Gang chats that are run by the lovely Jemma over at Dorkface. It also gives you a chance to meet and interact with some fellow bloggers too!
#8. Don’t feel like you have to do everything!
It may seem like you have to do lots of stuff in order for you to feel like you have a good blog. I didn’t get a proper domain name for my blog until about a year in and the same with my first blog theme. It’s best for you to start things off small and then build your way up. There may be a point where you change your mind and just decide that blogging isn’t for you – and that’s okay! If it does come to that, then you wouldn’t have spent so much time trying to get it right. There’s no need to be a perfectionist!
#9. Be yourself.
This is a very important tip for blogging and just life in general really – your blog can be anything you want it to be, and the voice that will shine through will be yours and yours alone. Don’t try and be something else – don’t be a beauty blog if you’re not into beauty. Don’t do fashion stuff if it’s not your thing. Or, you can be me and blog about every little thing and just have a clusterfuck of categories. The one thing that should stay constant is your voice – no matter what changes about you, keep to your core self – that’s what will get people to read your blog.
#10. Have fun!
Blogging can be a very stressful thing, especially if you’re like me and take it seriously sometimes. But please don’t put enormous pressure in yourself to have the perfect photos, the perfect posts, the most amount of readers, the best blog design – blog for the one person who matters – you. At the end of the day, blogging is meant to be a fun, creative outlet for anyone and it is a tool that can be used to share stories and experiences in this world. Don’t feel like you have to be the best – you are more than enough.
Have you got any more tips to add? Please feel free to share them in the comments!