Monday, 4 February 2019

How to start a blog in 2020: A guide for beginners

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger
We all know January is a trial run of a new year and February is when you really start setting your resolutions or attempt the ones you said you'd start in January, e.g. joining the gym. Is one of your goals for 2019 to start a blog? If so, are you clueless about how to start a blog? When I started my blog in 2014, the blogging community was very small and there weren't many people to turn to for advice and there wasn't any advice on Google as to how to start one either. Here's a link to my first ever blog post if you're after a good laugh, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. Being the angel that I am, I thought I'd share some of my tips and advice on how to start a blog. 

1. Pick your platform wisely
The most common platforms used by bloggers are WordPress and Blogger. I use Blogger because it's quick and easy to use and doesn't require much brainpower to navigate. There are some cons to using Blogger e.g. fewer font options, less room to be creative in terms of positioning of photos. Wordpress offers a paid self-hosted and free version. I don't know much about Wordpress but here's a link to a post by Forever September all about migrating to Wordpress.

2. Keep your design easy on the eye
Keep it clean, easy to navigate and declutter your sidebars. Less is more. I bought my design from Pipdig but there are plenty of free designs online if you don't fancy investing straight away. 

3. Consider getting your own domain from the get-go
When I first started my domain was - With my old URL, I couldn't build a DA and so my opportunities were limited. DA is your domain authority aka how well your site will rank on search engine result pages. I bought my domain from GoDaddy for under £2 and the yearly renewal was just under £15. If you're looking to make income from your blog in the future, DA is important. 

4. Your book is getting judged by its cover, so make it pretty  
Your photos are the first thing people see, the more aesthetically pleasing they are, the more inclined people are to read the rest of the post. It's like going to the cinema to watch a movie, if you like a look of the trailer, you're going to watch the whole thing. The same applies to your posts, if someone likes the look of your photography, they're more likely to read the full post.

5. Utilise Twitter to get your posts seen
In my opinion, the best way to get your blog seen is by sharing your latest posts on Twitter using blogger hashtags such as #bloggerstribe #GRLPOWR #bloggerloveshare. Pretty much everyone in the blogging community uses Twitter and within a few days of having your blog up, someone is bound to come across your link while scrolling through said hashtags.

6. Schedule tweets promoting your posts
This goes hand in hand with tip number 5. If you want your posts to be seen, they need to be visible. A good way to ensure that your posts are constantly being seen is to schedule 2-3 tweets a day. I use Tweetdeck and Buffer to schedule my tweets. 

7. Switch your comment section to Disqus 
If you want people to comment on your latest posts, the comment section needs to be easy to use. I use Disqus for my comment section as it's web and mobile-friendly, easy to use and easy to set up. I would highly recommend switching your Google or Wordpress comment section to Disqus! 

8. Set up a blog Instagram
I'd been blogging for 4 years before I made an Instagram account. I don't remember Instagram being a big thing, I might be wrong I'm usually behind when it comes to trends but I wish I'd got my account up and running from the get-go. Keep your blog Instagram separate from your personal Instagram, it is healthy for your mind to have one account where numbers and aesthetics are not important. You can utilise your blog Instagram to bring more traffic to your blog through insta stories, using relevant hashtags under your posts and by putting a link to your blog in your bio.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to start a blog?


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