Friday, 13 March 2015

Get Started With Your Blog: A Guide For Newbies

A very good friend of mine asked me to type up a post on starting a blog so, of course, I'm giving it a go. 

It can be very difficult to get started with your own blog, especially when you don't have friends who are bloggers or total tech wizards. Personally I started out without any support, I didn't get involved in any blogging communities and I certainly didn't do all that well. Since then I've started a NEW blog, worked with brands and actively engaged with both my readers AND other bloggers.

The first thing you need to think of is which platform to use. The main ones are Blogger and Wordpress, I use blogger but I do see why Wordpress has such a large user base. I actually used to use Wordpress but I found that it was better for those of us who are brilliant with code and plug-ins. Blogger, however, is great for connecting all google accounts. Google Analytics, Gmail, Google +... They all come in handy when you're running a blog and they are so easy to set up along side Blogger.

Once you've chosen a platform you really need to thing of WHY you're starting a blog, by that I mean you need to choose a niche. Are you going to market yourself as a beauty blogger? a fashion blogger? a lifestyle blogger? a food blogger? a travel blogger? The possibilities are endless. Choose something you are passionate about and run with it. I'm a lifestyle, beauty and fashion blogger so I have quite a broad range of topics but it does make it easier if you have a set niche.

Once you have a niche or a purpose then you can start to look out for names, I stuck with my first and middle name 'Aymie Louise' because my topic reach is so broad and diverse but a brand name would be fantastic for a blogger. For example, Samantha Maria better known as The Beauty Crush has nurtured her personal blog/vlog brand and draws in new subscribers all the time because she markets her content towards women looking for beauty videos. Since the start she has grown and she now has a broad topic reach much like my own and regularly posts about fashion and home life as well as beauty and blogger events.

Blog design is something you need to do next, I experiment with mine all of the time. I'm currently updating it because the orange colour scheme bored me but I will move out of this awkward stage fairly soon. I would advise making a header image for your title so you have an image to use on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or wherever else to keep up an image of continuity. 

You should also create a 'Contact Me' page so brands, readers and other bloggers know how to get in touch for enquiries, opportunities and blogger/brand interaction. It will be different depending on which platform you choose so there isn't a simple way to explain the technical side of this step.

Once you are up and running you need to create your first post but "What on earth do I write about first?" you may ask. Simple. Tell everyone who you are, why you started a blog and what sort of topics you plan to cover. It gives potential readers a chance to see what you are all about and determine whether or not your blog is right for them.

Those were just some basic steps and tips for starting a blog from scratch, if you have any other questions please just ask. Would you read a post about using all forms of social media for the purpose of gaining traffic?

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