Starting a blog – our advice…

So, we have had quite a few comments on our blog asking for tips on how to start a blog, so here are our best tips:

So, you have a blog idea and you’re eager to get started, now you can jump straight in and learn as you go along and hope for the best (I did that with my first blog) or you can plan for it here’s some suggestions.

First, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What is my theme/subject matter?

The answer to this question will help you answer the following how regularly do I need to be posting and more importantly can I produce that much content by myself and do I need any software – we’ll get to software later.

Not all blogs are updated at the same frequencies and while businesses will aim for somewhere around 3 times a week at least. If you are a news blog that is more likely to be several times a day whereas a food or theatre blog will post less often.

  • Do I intend to monetize my blog?

Is your blog a hobby or is it a money-making venture? It is more important to know the answer before you do anything than you realise, there platforms that provide a free or low cost platform for your blog but like the basic free version of WordPress most don’t have the facility to host affiliate marketing banners and donate buttons and an cash outlay to upgrade is required to host monetizing features. It is important to know how you plan for your blog to operate before building it.

  • How do you want your blog to perform?

This is along similar lines of the above question, features like SEO’s that help search engines find your blog usually come at a price that price varies with each provided for example Squarespace include it as standard on their plans (Square space has a free trial not a free plan) while others include it in their premium plans. How much traffic do you want to drive to the blog and how is the real question, because of course if you are wildly popular on social media maybe SEO’s are less of a concern however if you are a business they are always a concern.

Now you are armed with all that knowledge you let us get to it.

Top Tips:

  • Search all providers my top ones would be WordPress, Bluehost, Fast Host, Squarespace, Wix as well as searching plans and costs check out templates for instance you can google WordPress’s top ten free template.
  • The software is easy enough to use and contains access to some images, but it does not take care of branding, so we recommend the following design or get someone to design a logo. You can use Canva to do this they have a free plan, their Pro plan though contains branding tools like saving your colour scheme it is priced at £10.99 which is reasonable and gives you access to better images. Keep your sign off consistent and use the same branding across all social media and Pinterest (we don’t consider Pinterest a form of social media, more of a pre-buying platform) using banners and logo’s design with the same colour scheme, font all helps to define your brand.
  • Take your time designing your new blog and support with social media channels
  • Check comments and feedback, WordPress for example spams a lot of posts also watch out because the higher the package the higher the risk of you may not see all your comments/feedback.
  • Plan to run your blog for 6 months before you assess its success, it takes this long to know for sure.
  • As we got a question this morning about copyright violation, I will say this educate your self on the ‘Fair Use’ rule, if you are concerned about copyright infringement you can simply add a copyright notice to the bottom of your page you blog will automatically date and sometimes time your posts. You can register your articles with the Copyright agency but that’s more for books and only really useful if you intend to take legal action if and when an infringement occurs which is costly and even registering only gives you a legal record of when you published it.

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