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Top Ten Tips For Starting A Blog.

Top Ten Tips For Starting A Blog.

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Do you read blogs? do you like blogs? Would you like to start your own? Not sure where to start? well here are some things to get you started. I have been blogging/writing/ using social media now as a hobby for over six years and I have loved every minute of it. My first blog was all farm and farming related and it gave me some great adventures from being on tv, writing some small pieces for a newspaper and being shortlisted for some awards but it was a limited topic and I closed it a few years ago. I started another blog all about my life which was hacked and deleted just before christmas last year, after that I was very tempted to give up on blogging but I would miss it too much. This new blog was started in November 2017 and is still in the very, very early stages of a blog. The stage where you are finding your feet, readers are small but wonderful and I am trying to settle into a nice blogging routine. I wanted to share with you some tips to get you started on your blogging adventure and some things I wish I had known at the start.

1.    Get yourself a notebook for your blog one that you will enjoy writing in, that’s a nice size that could fit into your handbag or pocket because ideas will come at the most random of times. I am sure most people have a laptop of some sort, it doesn’t need to be a new fancy one it just needs to work, you can also blog from your phone as both Wordpress and Squarespace have apps. 

2.    Next name picking, now this can be a really hard one. You might already be using a name across your other social media and you could use this as your blog name as well or you can just use your own name. Your blog name should roughly give an idea of what will be in your blog but try not to pick a name that will limit you to what content you will write about. So for example my first blog was called The Newfarmerette , it limited me to farming related posts it wasn’t a name I could turn into a parenting/ fashion/ food blog. Where as My slow lifestyle can be about anything in my life. Try not to rush this if you don’t have a name picked and then change your name across all your social media to match your blog if you can.

3.    So we now have our notebook, coffee, computer ready and a name picked what next?. Next is the platform you are going to use to host your blog, a little like it’s own home. There are so many out there to choose from but three of the most common are blogger, WordPress and Squarespace which I am using for this new blog. You can start your blog for free which I would suggest doing for the first little while till you get the feel for the whole world of blogging. After then you can pay to have more features on your blog. This step will take you a while to research so don’t rush it. Find the platform that suits your needs the best and one that suits your pocket.

4.    Next is your blog layout, so start reading other blogs, lots of blogs and look at the layout of the ones you like the most. Are they clean and clutter free? are they full of colour? are they busy looking ? When you find the style you like create your own version for your own blog becuase if you like it I am sure others will as well. 

5.    Now for the big one your first blog post ! . Before you start I want you to sit down with that lovely new notebook and roughly write out ideas for 10 blog posts. Next I want you to think about what you are planning on blogging about and ask this questions, Could you write about that topic everyday for a year? Is it going to limit your blog over time? and to think about how often you are going to post? daily? twice a week? weekly? or what is your plan. Sometimes when you start its good to post daily for a while even if they are just small posts. At this stage you could write little introduction posts so people get to know you. 

6.    Now to write your first post, write whatever you want, an introduction to you or just start with a post relating to your blog. Write how you want to write and not how you think people would like  you to and always read back over your blog post at least once before you hit publish. Before you publish it remember to add some categories and tags and then hit that publish button.

7.    You can also add video and photos to your posts. If you are using photos make sure they are pretty good so unless you have a newish phone use a camera to take your photos. At the start of my blogging adventure I put very little effort into taking photos and never used my camera but over time it became obvious that photos play a big part in drawing your readers into your blog. Lets face it everyone enjoys good photos but still after 6yrs mine need a lot of work, they have improved from where I started and I now use my camera more.

8.    So your post has been published and you have shared it on your social media so next you spend every waking hour checking your blogs stats but don’t worry every blogger in the world has done the same thing and anyone who says they haven't might be telling some fibs. The only thing I will say is the sooner you can forget the stats and relax into your blogging the more you will enjoy it. 

9.    Now go and relax these nine steps have possibly taken you weeks to get through so now its time to get a coffee/ tea and time to read some other blogs. It is good to stay reading the blogs you enjoy because this will keep your creative side working. Maybe something you read in another blog will spark a post idea for your own blog.

10.    Time to plan the next post, using that little notebook try to have a list of post ideas that you can call on at any time and enjoy writing. 

So there are my top 10 to get you started on your blogging journey over the coming weeks I am going to do a series of posts all about blogging, social media what to use and why, also some photo editing apps to use to give your photos a little boost. I am no blog expert, far from it but over the years I have picked up a few tricks and short cuts to help you along the way.

Happy blogging

Elaine 

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