You may have been considering starting a blog for a while, you might have been reading reams and reams of blogs for days/weeks/months/years and always wondered how to get started yourself…
… Or you might have just started to consider creating some sort of blog for yourself or even your own brand or business?
Well, the first step is to consider what you are going to blog about and what worth it’s going to provide to your readers.
You need to think about what you want to share with your followers or readers and what sort of information/knowledge/education/entertainment/wisdom you can impart on them to make them want to read your keyboard strokes.
I have personally been blogging for almost 5 years (through MissSueFlay.com and Stir Up Media) and enjoying networking with it through various social media channels (as well as within in-person events) and making my blog as 3 dimensional as I possibly can. Blogging has opened so many doors, it’s actually enabled me to become my own boss and leave the mundane “9-5 world” behind – it’s been an amazing journey so far!
The day I stop blogging will be the day I lose my passion, as I can’t see it working without a keen interest in the topics I waffle about and the information I want to share with my readers. The day that fire burns out is the day I will stop blogging – you’ll know when (and if) I’ve lost my mojo, for sure.
Here are some more pointers on how to start your blog if you have no idea where to start, I hope you find it useful:
▽ Decide what you want to blog about, don’t go into the world of blogging with no aim or plan. Nobody wants to read a blog full of whinging about how boring and miserable your life is… it’s amusing for 5 minutes, then you will get unfollowed.
▽ What are you passionate about? Where is your area of expertise? Which niche topic can you waffle about for hours and hours? Do you have a database of knowledge or skills in a specific area that you can share with the world?
▽ Make sure that you are yourself, through and through – share your world and people will want to keep reading. You can even use your blog as a way to diarise your life, I find it a great tool to remind myself of what I have done or achieved, it’s like my very own online journal.
▽ Find a blogging platform to suit you and your style. You could go for a free WordPress blog which is very simple to use (StirUpMedia.com is a WordPress site, as is MissSueFlay.com) or you could try platforms such as Blogger or Foursquare. Going for a ready-made template allows you to simple customize your blog, add some plugins if required and get going on your content if you aren’t too tech-savvy.
▽ You are restricted with certain free blogs, so do keep this in mind if you intend to make money through blogging or continue to blog on a long-term basis. With the free templates, you will be hosted under their domain (www.yourblog.wordpress.com /www.yourblog.blogspot.com ), so do consider creating your own domain/web address for a self-hosted blog (www.StirUpMedia.com / www.MissSueFlay.com ) if you are in this for professional or long-term plans. If you decide to go for a self-hosted blog, you can expect to pay a small monthly/annual fee for your own domain from as little as 60p a month with sites such as 1&1 or Go Daddy – it’s worth doing. Most of these sort of sites will allow you to pay monthly if you aren’t sure to start, or annually with the option of renewing.
▽ With any blog or website idea, it’s wise to buy your .com’s and .co.uk’s so that somebody else doesn’t buy them up and take your name. This also goes for social media – when dreaming up a dedicated blog/website name, check across all social media platforms (Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Google+/YouTube, etc) to ensure that it’s available and isn’t too similar to somebody else.
▽ Pick a name that you can use timelessly where possible (you may/will evolve), so when it comes to creating the name/logo/style of a blog, it’s wise to make sure that it fits with your theme. Of course, you can edit later on, but try not to make it too niche if you feel you might change your mind later on. It also needs to be short, sweet and memorable – nobody is going to remember a ridiculously long blog name… or they may not be able to spell it potentially (www.supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.blogspot.com anyone?!)
▽ Blog regularly – this gives your readers consistency, but also allows Google to learn to love you too. When you blog, Google will read it, as well as your followers – and it will list your blog posts on Google search, so ensure that your titles are punchy and that you create metatags to help it along.
▽ You could create regular sharing posts with your favourite social media followers or the best blog reads this month – sharing the love also means you can connect with new bloggers and they may well share your posts if they’ve been mentioned – it’s a great way to connect. I regularly create a series of posts called “Monday Mourning” and also “Freelancer Friday” interview series to share inspiration from other business owners.
▽ Always use your own images, but if you wish to use an image from a blog/website/Google search, gain written permission and check the terms of usage before posting any image that doesn’t belong to you 100%. It could potentially lead you to get into trouble (fines can and will be issued in some instances if you are found to be using an image without permission, so be wary) if using a picture or photo that doesn’t belong to you personally, so always check before sharing. My rule is always to take my own photos when reviewing a hotel or venue for MissSueFlay.com, this makes the imagery used on my blog unique and doesn’t get me into any potential bother.
▽ Title your posts in a way that people will search for tips or advice on Google (such as “How To Create A Twitter List” or “How To Get Your Blog Seen” )and then you may well gain new readers who are looking for YOU and your advice.
▽ Also, don’t be scared to create slightly unique or unusual blog posts or titles – you want to grab the attention of your readers, so don’t bore them with the title or there’s no hope for the rest of the post! Instead, take a minute to consider the eye-catching headlines on the front of your favourite newspaper or glossy magazine – what gets YOUR attention when glancing over hundreds of different options? This will go the same way for a reader who might be flicking through an RSS feed of a hundred blogs – which ones are they going to WANT to click on first out of a whole list of posts to catch up on? Some of my more unusual titles are topics such as “What Sex And The City Taught Us In Business” and “It’s OK To Embrace Your Kookiness”.
▽ Link your blog posts to social media – share your posts through Facebook or Twitter, add your advice to LinkedIn or Google+, create dedicated images with links to Pinterest, share through your mailing list or create a spin-off video post on YouTube to share the content in different ways.
▽ Remember, blogging can help to grow your business as it shows your clients or customers more of what you can offer them and helps them to buy into you or your brand by getting to “know” you and what you are offering them – it’s a fantastic platform to shout from the rooftops!
Have a great week!
Are you ready to create a blog or social media account for your personal or professional life?
Do you perhaps feel like you need a guardian angel to help you through it?
Look no further – here at StirUpMedia.com I am now offering affordable coaching & support to do just that (virtually and in person, so it doesn’t matter where you are located), simply get in touch for more info.