17 March 2015

Tips & Tricks

Recently I have had a few people, both friends and someone on Twitter asking me about how I went about setting up my own blog.  What to do, what to write; how to do it etc etc.  So I thought that I would do a little post:

5 simple tips for creating your first blog

Have thoughts that you want to share? Want to make your voice heard online? Well, writing a blog is one way to do it.  Whether you are using it as a business, a diary; somewhere to share your photographs and images, having a blog is a great way to put your thoughts and content out into the world.

1. Choosing the right host

There are plenty of free services that will host your blog, like Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress and TypePad. Take a look through them all and pick the one you’re most comfortable with using. There are lots of tutorial videos out there that will show you how they work.

I tried a couple but for me, Blogger worked best for what I wanted.  Have a look around and see what works best for you. 

2. Sounding like yourself

I read many blogs before I started my own.  The danger when you start blogging is trying to be/sound like everyone else.  The trick is simple.  Be you.  Write what is in your heart, let your own voice speak for itself.  You started this blog to enter into your own particular niche so let people hear your voice.  Blogging works best when it is about something the blogger knows about and is passionate about. Don’t try to fake it. Readers will quickly lose interest and move on to something genuine. 

3. Letting people find you

So you have your voice, you are posting content; how do you get people to read your blog?  If you want to interact with other bloggers and let your work be seen, try joining Twitter. Chat with other bloggers, join in on the bloggers talks.

Try out the #FBLChat (Tuesdays 8pm) or maybe the lifestyle chat and beauty bloggers chat on Wednesday.  Whatever your niche is, find others and get chatting!

Try to leave comments on other people’s posts and join in on some blogger challenges, there are so many out there and it is a great way to share your blog with people who would be interested in reading what you have to say.

4.  Finding your look

One thing that I did when I first started to blog was trying to do too many things too quickly.  Having a personalised header, going self hosted, finding the right background, using the right apps.  You don't need to do all of these things at once.  Take your time.  Get comfortable with blogging first and then have a play.  You are not in a race.  Your blog will become like your baby, and just like a baby, it needs to grow at it's own pace.

5.  Tips & Tricks

So, you have found your voice, found other bloggers, started to get readers and your blog is looking the way you want it.  What next?  Well first of all, keep doing what you are doing.  

Secondly, find things to make your blogging life easier.  A lot of bloggers I know, like myself have full time jobs, try to juggle work and childcare or have children at home to take care of.  All of these things can sometimes leave little time for blogging so here are a couple of things to help you organise.

Buffer is an app that you can use which automatically tweets your blog links out several times a day.  Useful when your day time life is hectic and you don't  have the time to go online.

When you start to get really adventurous you may want to start contacting companies/magazines and websites to talk about your blog.  One problem: the more emails you find to contact, the more likely that a decent proportion of them will be fraudulent addresses. If you’re sending out a litany of emails to fake accounts, you can end up getting penalised. Use regular email verification to stop this happening to you.

Evernote is an app that you can use on your phone.  Ideal for jotting down blog ideas or drafting something up when you have a spare five minutes.  It can be linked with your laptop and really saves time.

If you have been reading blogs for a while and would love to start your own, I hope that some of these tips assist!

* In collaboration with Brite Verify

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