I started blogging back in 2015 and really could have done with some top tips for starting a blog. I didn’t have a clue what I needed to do. I had a couple of friends who were blogging at the time and felt really inspired to start something like that too. I had recently started scrapbooking after my eldest was born but also felt I needed to have another hobby; something else as a creative outlet. I loved to write and wanted to document some of the time with my eldest.
However, over the 4 years that I have been blogging I have learnt so many things that I wish I had known at the start of my blogging journey. I would have saved myself so much time, effort and money. Of course you do learn as you go but some things are vital from the start. I went into the blogging world completely blind. I knew nothing about social media, the blogging community and all the friends I was going to make as my blog became more established.
I had no idea you could monetise your blog, review items and even be sent on experiences and press-trips. It was a whole new world for me when I started blogging and I’m so glad I jumped in, even though it can be a little addictive and you never really feel like you are done!
Tips for Starting a Blog
Here are some of my top tips for you if you are starting a blog.
– Go self-hosted from the get go. I wasn’t and used to use Blogger. This was easy to set up and very easy to customise and use but there wasn’t a lot of design potential and less options to make unique. It was a good while before I considered going self-hosted but I realised there were so many benefits from having more design potential over your blog, the use of various plug-ins (I chose WordPress as the blogging application). You also have full ownership of your blog.
– Consider what theme you will have for your blog. It is easy to change this but you don’t want to have to! There can be a lot of things you have to do with each theme-change through the back-end of your blog and this can take a lot of time! You may want to consider Themeplanet.com when choosing your blog theme. There are many WordPress themes available, at varying prices. This gives you plenty of choice and means you can choose a theme that is perfect for your blog or website.
Theme Planet does not just cater for those who are setting up a blog but for many other sites. You may be selling a product or setting up an online shop and looking for a Shopify or WooCommerce theme. WordPress themes of course are available if you are setting up a WordPress blog, as I was when I went self-hosted. You may also be looking for a HTML-5 templates and Theme Planet have lots of choice here too.
– Ensure you are clued up on security for your blog. I have written a post here about what I learnt when my blog got hacked but I don’t think I really thought about blog security at all. This means considering a secure password that is not easy to guess! Install appropriate security plugins. I have Sucuri Security. Make sure you update your themes, plugins regularly and the biggest thing – BACK UP YOUR BLOG REGULARLY!
– Learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) from the very start! I hadn’t got a clue about this when I started blogging and have had to go back through so many posts and either delete, re-direct or re-write for SEO purposes. I have done many reviews over the years and I had not considered I would be able to get traffic from search engines. All my posts needed a lot of SEO improvement.
– Take quality photographs or use high quality stock images. When I started blogging, I used to use my phone a lot and this was before the quality of phone pictures had improved. My pictures therefore looked awful and I’ve had to go back and add better quality photos. Try and do this from the start, as the posts look much better and more professional from the start.
– Consider joining some Facebook groups for bloggers. These can be brilliant to share tips, ask questions and learn more. Also, as you blog for longer, you may start to get some review opportunities and paid work. These groups can be perfect to ask advice from and help you when choosing work and fees.
– Join Pinterest from the start and make multiple pins for your posts. This was something I didn’t do until almost 2 years after blogging and I have found it a huge help and it does boost your traffic. Pinterest is ultimately a search engine, so consider when you are writing your blog posts, what sort of posts people will be looking for. Depending on your blog niche, craft, recipes and travel posts can be really popular.
– Network and try to go to some blogging conferences. I have attended a few since blogging and have found them so useful. As bloggers, not everyone else “gets you”. It is fabulous to be a room of like-minded people and discuss work, tips and tricks, photography and strategies to improve your blog. They are also brilliant social events too.
I love blogging and I am so glad my two friends got me hooked back in 2015. I have learnt so much in the 4 years that I have been blogging and I feel I still have so much more to learn as I continue. I am hoping to learn more about SEO in the coming months and continue to improve my Pinterest strategies when I have a little more time.
Blogging is a huge part of mine and my family’s life and I hope if you are starting a blog, some of these tips will help you succeed and enjoy it as much as I have!
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post.