Welcome to my new series: Blogging Better! Each week I hope to come up with relevant and fun topics to help you become a better blogger. I originally started this series in my weekly newsletter but I thought it would be more fun to open it up to all blog readers.
The first step to starting a blog is deciding what you want to write about. The more common topics are fashion, lifestyle, family, travel, food, etc. You could also get more specific like NYC living, luxury travel, work-appropriate fashion or even the uber-specific like best Bloody Mary’s and French toast in Manhattan (I would write this as a second blog).
Ah the ever-so-important name! This is an overlooked but highly important part of the blog process. You want a name that can grow with you, that is easily brandable and something that will never go out of style. My personal recommendation at all times is to use your name or use a play on words for your name.
There are a ton of different sites to host your blog on. I personally have found the two most popular ones are WordPress and Blogger. There are pros and cons to each of them and I constantly go back and forth on the struggle of deciding between the two as well.
Since day one I’ve been on Blogger. I think that’s where a lot of girls first start out because it’s free, it’s easy to use and it’s an established platform. I personally like it also because it’s hosted by Google which basically controls the internet and they love to promote their own product.
If I had to do it all over again with the knowledge I have now, I would start out with WordPress but I always suggest new bloggers to start on Blogger. It's a good way to get your feet wet without committing a lot to the process. That and you’re not aware how invested you’ll be in the blog, so you don’t want to start by spending too much money!
4. Design/Mock Up What The Blog Looks Like
The good thing about everyone and their mother being a blogger is that there are a ton of places to get a good blog design created. When I started, designers were few and far between and a lot of times your only option was an Etsy pre-made blogger template. When I started, I personally wanted to challenge myself to build my own blog and learn to code. Which I did, and it lasted about a year before I really invested in some blog work.
What’s so great about the internet is that you can Google anything you want to learn – how to put “pin now” pop ups on your photos, how to create a drop down, how to enrich your SEO... everything! There are so many great resources for you to learn about whatever platform you’re on.
When I did my most recent blog redesign, I went to my favorite bloggers and took notes of different things I liked/didn’t’ like from each site. I liked that one blogger had this feature, or that another blogger did something fun with sorting content, etc. So when I helped design my site, I generally knew what I wanted.
The whole process took about six months and it was a pain. It was a lot of back and forth but the good thing is that once you get the big things done, you can help edit the little things going forward. So be sure to research, design, sketch, take notes, be patient and be thorough.
5. Create Quality Content
Now that you have everything in place, your blog is officially named, designed and made! You’re good to go, right? Well now you just need to create some content. Start out strong and let people know you have arrived! I always suggest quality over quantity so really make sure to publish good and strong quality content that will have your readers coming back for more.
Check back next week for part two of Blogging Better: Starting Your Blog, where I go over the last five tips. If you have any questions or topics you'd like covered in this series, please let me know down below!