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Blogging Lifestyle

How To Start Up Your Own Blog

So you’re thinking you want to start up your own blog? That’s great!

Blogging is an awesome hobby to take up! You can choose whether you want to go for it and turn it into a little sideline business (or a full-blown full-time job; it’s totally up to you) or you can keep it easy breezy and just use it as an outlet for your creativity and innermost thoughts.

When I first started a blog, I did it just because I missed writing and wanted somewhere to get my thoughts out of my head and onto a page. From there it snowballed over the years as blogging became more popular and I became more confident with it.

So, if you too are thinking of starting up your own blog for whatever reason, here are my tips for you on how to start out on your blogging journey.

Blogging on Instagram is ‘a different kettle of fish’, so in this post, I will be talking about how to start up your own blog on a hosting platform. If you would like to learn about how to blog on Instagram, check out this post here instead.

My Tips For How To Start Up Your Own Blog…

Choose a blogging platform

The main platforms for blogging are WordPress and Blogger. Some websites offer a blog option, such as Wix, however (having used Wix for work) I prefer WordPress and use it as my website host.

I originally started on Blogger but I found WordPress simpler to use and it had lots of options on how to make my website look the way that I wanted it to.

Fun fact: Knowing how to use WordPress helped me step straight into a dream job when I had zero experience other than having my own personal blog. You learn a lot of digital marketing skills without realising it as a blogger – you never know where your new skills will take you!

Should I pay for my domain name?

This is totally up to you. If you have big plans for your blog and want to be ‘legit’ then I would recommend paying for your domain name. It will make your website appear more professional and it gets rid of that blasted ‘.wordpress.com’ at the end of your URL to make it a much sharper ‘.com’.

However, if you are just using your blog as your personal online diary that you will occasionally share with your friends and family then I would say don’t bother. You have to pay each year so it’s just an extra expense you’ll be adding to your list of direct debits.

What social media channels should I use?

Now, you can have a blog without using social media. However, social media is the perfect way to drive traffic to your website – otherwise, how are people going to know about your blog and where to find it?

Whilst I would say that all social media channels are beneficial in some way, it can also be very overwhelming to navigate them all on top of living your life. So if you have limited time, choose which ones are best to invest your time in.

Facebook feels a bit like a ‘dead space’ nowadays so if you’re short for time, I wouldn’t bother with a Facebook page and just share your new posts on your personal timeline with your friends. They’re the main people who will see your posts on Facebook anyway!

Instagram is a hugely popular platform so I would certainly recommend using it to get the word out there about your blog. It also helps to create a community and a relationship with your followers. You can also find other awesome accounts to follow and be inspired by. Read my blog all about blogging on Instagram for more detail.

Twitter can be hard to navigate and be seen amongst the millions of tweets popping up every second, however it is a good way of getting your blog seen by people outside of your follower circle. Just make sure that you are using keywords and hashtags in your tweets so that people can discover you. There are also lots of retweet accounts that will share your blogs if you tag them in your post.

I’m still discovering Pinterest myself, but everyone is saying that Pinterest is the number one way to go with investing in social media right now. By posting your own images to Pinterest and linking them through to your website you have a gateway for people to discover your site while they are mindlessly scrolling through gorgeous pictures on their app. Just make sure that you are posting your own great content and that it links to what you’re sharing on your site. Nobody likes being duped into clicking through to a random website while they’re happily ‘pinning’ away.

With all other social media accounts that you have, such as TikTok and Tumblr, make sure that you are posting your link to your site in any link or bio space you have. The more places you advertise your blog, the more chances you have of somebody clicking through and reading your awesome content!

Elisha Blogs writes in her Dream Odyssey notebook and planner

Are there ways that I can organise my content to make life easier?

Absolutely! There are so many apps out there to make your life easier when planning content.

I don’t like paying for platforms to organise my content because I try to cut costs wherever possible, so there are probably better platforms out there that you can pay for, but these are the free ones I use.

For sharing posts across my social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter, I use Buffer. It is an easy system where you can link up your social media accounts and write out a caption and paste your link to your blog to go out across your social media channels. You can make minor edits to make them suitable for each platform and add hashtags etc.

For Instagram, I used to use Planoly. It was great because I could plan out the look of my Instagram grid and schedule posts to go out so that I never forgot. But one day it updated and I could no longer schedule posts which was a big shame!

So at the moment, I use UNUM. I can’t schedule posts to go out (I’ve struggled to find another app that will allow this for free) but it’s easy to use for planning photos to go out across my feed.

What on earth is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation. In simpler words, if you want people to be able to find your content then you’re going to want to optimise your site’s SEO!

SEO can sound a bit technical, and it is a bit technical, but there are easy ways that you can figure it out and make some positive changes to your website’s ranking on search engines.

I go into more detail about SEO on this blog post here, so give it a read for further detail and to really understand what SEO is.

Do I need good pictures to go along with my writing?

Your words will obviously do the talking, but if you’re writing a long post then I would recommend getting some good pictures to capture the reader’s eye and break up your writing a bit. That doesn’t mean that YOU have to be the one taking the photo though!

There are websites out there that offer free usable images such as Unsplash that are great! If you are struggling to take good photos yourself or don’t have the right images to suit your blog post, then check out the likes of Unsplash. They have lots of free high-quality images that you can choose from and use without any credit.

If you choose to use someone else’s images from the likes of Instagram or another blog, do make sure that you credit them either with a link to their platform or by mentioning their name and URL in the image caption. It’s nice to be nice! There’s nothing wrong with borrowing someone else’s image so long as you credit them properly!

Can I change my blog design and layout?

Yes, of course! On WordPress, there are several templates you can choose from (for free!) and they will automatically be applied to your blog. Easy peasy!

They also have a range of templates that you can pay extra for which are really lovely. It is nice to have a sleek, professional-looking layout as you have more options and control of how it’s laid out and can really make it your own.

If you want something really exclusive and specific then you can buy layouts on the likes of Etsy and other websites. But make sure that you look at the customer reviews to see whether other people are pleased with the products. Sometimes they can be a little bit complicated to install (because it is coding after all!) so if they offer an option for them to install the template for you and you’re not very tech-savvy I would recommend choosing this option. It will save you a lot of time and a lot of stress!

What should I write about on my blog?

ANYTHING!

You can write about anything you want on your blog. It is your place on the internet that belongs to you and you can choose to write whatever you like.

Just because you predominately write about fashion doesn’t mean that you can’t write about a controversial topic that you feel strongly about and vice versa. The moment you feel stifled in what you can write about, the more likely you are to run out of ideas (or get frustrated because you want to write about something but feel like you can’t).

Your blog is your outlet for your writing. You probably started it in the first place with the intention of wanting an outlet for your creativity, so allow yourself to be creative. Write from the heart, write honestly and have fun!

I hope that you have found these tips helpful to help you kick start your very own blog. Check out my other blog posts to fill in the blanks and go into more detail of some of the subjects we have touched on here today.

Read about my journey into blogging here.

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