Day in and day out, people ask me how to start a blog. Whether it is from a friend, someone who follows me on one of my social accounts, or just random people who want to know how I do it, I get the question of how to start a blog A LOT. I take it in stride and answer everyone’s questions as they come up. I love talking to people and giving them advice on how to create something they want to do, especially if it helps them find a passion.
As you see, I love to blog myself and when I started this blog almost 3 years ago, the industry was already saturated. The blogging industry is overly saturated today and it’s essential to stand out. I’ve got some tips that will help you stand out as you start a blog and streamline the process so you can create the best quality as quickly as you can. In exchange for a video today, I’m going to give you 10 essential tips to help you start a blog with your feet hitting the ground running!
1. Your Name is Everything.
The name. What’s in a name? If I say the blog names Kayture, The Chriselle Factor, or The Blonde Salad, you immediately know that these are top bloggers. Your name is your brand and that is the first thing that you have to come up with when you want to start a blog. If you don’t have a name, you can’t have a URL or social channels. Your name needs to be memorable, but also related to your niche. For my name, I chose The Hat Logic. I love hats more than any other accessory in the world, so it makes perfect sense. Hats are a fashion accessory which relates back to the fact that I write a fashion blog. The name makes sense and once you know it, it’s pretty memorable if I may say so myself!
2. Pick your Platform Wisely.
Okay so you have a name for your blog, now you need a platform! The platform you pick is important and each one has bonuses and drawbacks. It is up to you to choose which one you decide to use! You can always swap around between platforms, but depending on what you choose, it may be hard to switch. There are 4 platforms that I say you can choose between: Tumblr, Blogspot, WordPress.com, and WordPress.org.
Tumblr is a nice, simple platform that you can have the ability to customize at will. The coding is simple HTML coding, but if you don’t want to have to create a theme yourself, there are millions of themes available. I love using themegarden or themeguide to find decent themes, but if you do a search, you can also find a ton! The major downside to Tumblr is that the coding is limited and Tumblr isn’t as respected of a platform over the others! I started off on Tumblr and now, I’m on WordPress.org!
Next up is Blogspot! After I began The Style Selections (the name of my blog before this one), I decided I needed to buck up and create a big girl blog! Blogspot is a Google-connected platform that is incredibly easy to set up, but the downside is the functionality. It’s very hard to find a responsive Blogspot theme, so often times, your blog will have a horrible mobile theme, rather than the beautiful theme you bought. Google has made the platform incredibly easy to use and create a theme yourself without coding, but it is not always the nicest theme to look at.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. There are thousands of posts on this topic, but I’m going to give a speed version. So WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress, aka, you have very limited functionality on WordPress.com. You’re going to pay for everything, from the custom domain option to the other little additions. The platform itself is free to use, but you have to buy anything auxiliary. Unfortunately, Wordpress places ads on every site that uses WP.com, but you are not going to make a penny off of those ads.
On WordPress.org, you have all the liberty in the world.There are thousands of plugins for you to choose from as well as themes. For themes, I normally will head to Creative Market. There are hundreds of themes on CM and they are all incredibly well done. There’s no need to buy a custom thousand dollar theme right off the bat unless you want to, but personally, I didn’t invest for a long time. The bad part about WP.org is that it gets costly
3. Your Hosting is Everything.
4. Find your Niche.
When you come up with a name, you should find a niche. My niche is fashion so my blog title revolves around fashion. Finding a niche is vital because it will help you with your SEO. When you start a blog, SEO can make or break who reads your posts, so I really do recommend that you decide on a niche as quickly as possible.
5. Create a Schedule.
Okay, in all honesty, this one is optional. I’m a very organized person who hates not having a schedule, so at the end of the month, I always create a schedule that tells me what to post and when. When you create a schedule, make sure to be as thorough as possible, but not work yourself to death. Ones like this one from Shop Ban.do or Anthropologie take the cake and my me & my BIG ideas planner has been such a gift in the last few months since I had it!
6. Social Media is a Must.
Remember step number 1 with your name? Well, your social media should match your name. If they don’t, they won’t pop up in Google searches and people won’t be able to make the connection between your blog and your social media channels. If you look at just about all of mine (except Snapchat), they all have the same name: @thehatlogic. That is because it relates to my blog and creates the automatic correlation between my blog and my social media. Social media is something that you can’t escape in this day and age, so do your best to create an online brand that is one that you’re proud of.
7. Knowing Some Coding is a Must.
Learning how to code is something that I’ve always want to do, but when it came to creating a blog, I had to learn some coding. There will be little changes that you have to figure out. F There’s a huge learning curve, but it pays off in the end of it all!
8. Network like your Life Depends on It.
Networking is so important. This is one of those things that I can’t exaggerate because people never talk about networking. Networking isn’t just hanging out with bloggers who have more followers than you, but also creating a good relationship with brands. Without reaching out, creating relationships, and meeting people, your blog may not go very far. Blogging is all about the community and without networking, you won’t really have a community.
9. Your Design Means Everything.
From the get go, you don’t need to buy an expensive blog design from Pipdig or another private graphic designer, but you need a user-friendly design. If your visitors can’t figure out which tab is the fashion tab vs the about page, people won’t return back. You need a design that people come to, love, and return to. The design can make or break you when it comes to returning visitors, so make sure to have a decent one!
10. You Have to be Committed, if not, You Won’t Succeed. Not Truly.
Commitment is the top necessity to blog. People ask me how to start a blog all the time and I do my best to tell them all of the things they need, but I hesitate. Why? I hesitate because I know what commitment and passion look like and some people have it and some do not. Blogging requires patience, like staying up til 2 AM writing blog posts or uploading videos type of patience. You have to have a passion for blogging, not for money or fame. If you aren’t dedicated, you won’t make it very far or last long, so just go for it!
I hope that this guide on how to start a blog really helped! A lot of time went into these, so I hope these tips help!