How to Start your own Blog. A 10 Step Guide to Success.
If you’re reading this post, chances are that you’re thinking about starting your own Blog. It could be for business or perhaps just for pleasure? Maybe you have a new product or service that you’re looking to launch and want to get in front of more eyeballs, or perhaps you just have a burning passion to share your experiences on a particular subject to help others going through a similar experience. No matter what your motivation, you’re probably wondering just how to get started. You know that you can write and you think that people will be interested in what you have to say, but honestly, you’re not quite sure where to start.
Well, don’t worry about all the techie stuff. It’s never as difficult as you think and there’s plenty of resources online that you can refer to if you do get stuck. At CopyCat.London we’re here to help you navigate your way through to successfully setting up your Blog and hitting publish on your first post!
Here’s how to get started with writing your own Blog.
1. You need to pick a relevant domain name
Think about how and where people are going to find you online. What subject matter are you covering off? What’s the purpose of your Blog? Pick out something catchy, SEO friendly and which describes what readers can expect. There are plenty of domain name checkers you can use to see if the name you want is free. Even if you can’t get the .com version, perhaps you can go for one of the newer breed of URL. Grab that domain as quickly as you can to make sure you don’t lose out.
2. Purchase a hosting package for yourself
Again, if you don’t already have a company website and this is a completely new venture, then you are going to require hosting for your domain. Chances are, if you go for a hosting package with a reputable company, you will also get a free domain thrown in, so before you buy the URL of your dreams, fast forward to this step first to see what deals are around. CopyCat.London works with the WIX platform but there are plenty of competitive hosting companies out there. Remember as well that as a legitimate business expense, your Blog is tax deductible so keep those receipts for your accountant!
3. Install your blogging platform
I know, sorry, we’re still with the technical stuff! Again, you have options. WordPress is hugely popular and very user-friendly as again is WIX, so take a look at them both and decide which one you think works best for you. They all come with a plethora of plugins and add on’s that not only help to make your Blog look more professional but also more accessible too.
4. Work on your Blog in maintenance or review mode for now
The last thing you want is to put your site live when it’s still very much work in progress. With many of the blogging platforms, you can work on your website without connecting it to your URL, so no-one will accidentally stumble across you while you’re still figuring out what colour palette or which fonts your prefer to use!
5. Time to get creative
Here’s where the fun part starts. The beauty of most of the platforms today is that they’re very user-friendly and have plenty of customisable templates so that you can get away without having a graphic design degree. If you’re struggling to make your Blog look visually appealing with one of the free templates, there are plenty of paid for themes that you can very cost effectively purchase. The key is to make your Blog look attractive and engaging to as wide an audience as possible and ensure that it is responsive and optimised for all platforms. Remember, people no longer view on a desktop alone so ensure that your site looks good and navigates well on the small screen too.
6. Create some custom graphics
If you’re lucky enough to have a friend or relative with some design experience, get them to help you come up with some nice graphics, headers and banners, etc. that will really enhance the visual impact of your Blog. Alternatively, you could create them yourself. Here at CopyCat.London we use Canva and it’s packed with user-friendly templates that can really help bring the creative elements of your Blog to life.
7. Write your pages
Ok, so you’re a blog not a website, but it’s still useful to have a couple of pages that probably will never change. Some of the pages you might consider adding to your Blog might include:
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8. Install any additional plugins and widgets that you need
There are plenty of free plugins and widgets out there that will enhance your site and make it appear both more professional as well as accessible. Things like adding on your social media links, showcasing your most popular posts and setting up your Google analytics dashboard.
9. Start writing some great content
If you want to write a blog, then you need to start blogging! Plan ahead and perhaps create an editorial calendar for yourself or block book time out in your diary to regularly commit to writing new posts. It’s important to keep track of your ideas and to ensure that you are producing consistent and interesting content. Remember that blogging is different from writing for print. It’s far more free-flowing and conversational, so keep it engaging and snappy. Break up your content with plenty of sub-headers and bullet points and make sure that it’s optimised for SEO. It’s also a great idea to add a couple of photos, including a feature photo to create more visual impact. You could go for a subscription with i-stock or grab some relevant imagery from a free site like Pexels.
10. Get promoting your Blog
You’re up and running and now it’s time to share your Blog with the world and his dog! You don’t just want your Mum to be the only one reading your witty and insightful musings on the best anti-aging skincare products. You need to share the love! You might love writing, but wouldn’t it be so much nicer if you actually had readers? Use your social media platforms to push out your latest blog content and invest in relationships with other editors, writers and bloggers too who can help share your content with their own audience.
The key to writing a successful blog is consistency and great content. So keep posting engaging content and writing about what you love and don’t be shy about a little bit of self-promotion.
Good luck bloggers! It’s time to get writing.