10 things to do when starting a new blog
March 26, 2018
Do you want to start your own blog? It can be a daunting task knowing where to begin or what to do first.
If you’re wondering how to set up a blog, it’s worth reading some of the available advice before you create your site. Many experienced bloggers will tell you, that with the benefit of hindsight they would have done things differently from the beginning.
If you want to start your own blog, we have some top tips to get you going and hopefully make your blog a success.
Read on for a list of 10 things to do when starting a new blog…
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#1 Decide what you’re going to blog about
The first thing you need to think about is what you are going to blog about. What do you love to do? What are your interests and hobbies?
You need to think about these things before you decide on your blogging niche. If you try to blog about everything you’ll confuse your readers and yourself.
There are so many subjects you can choose to write about, from fashion to parenting, food to travel. Don’t pick something just because it’s popular or because your favourite blogger is doing it.
Once you’ve chosen your niche, do some research on whether this will be of interest to others. Are many people searching for these topics? Are there many other blogs on this subject?
#2 Think of a name for your blog
Once you’ve decided on your blogging niche, it’s time to think of a name. Do this early on as it can take some time to find a name that hasn’t already been taken.
You’ll want to make sure you can buy the domain name for your blog as well as set up social media accounts. Do this as soon as you have chosen a name. You should keep all social media accounts and domains in the same name and format so it makes it easy for people to find you.
Thinking of a blog name isn’t easy. Start by writing down words that represent you and the topic you want to write about. Brainstorm and use a thesaurus to help you come up with words that fit your niche and style.
If you get really stuck, why not just use your own name?
#3 Create your branding
Once you’ve chosen a name for your blog you need to design a logo. If you don’t have a creative bone in your body then you can get someone to design a logo for you, there are lots of websites offering these services such as Fiverr and People Per Hour.
If you want to have a go at creating your own logo then Canva is a good place to start. Think about the style you want for your blog and the colours and imager you’d like to use. Choose the right theme for your blog design that fits in with your logo.
In addition to a logo, you’ll need to create a header for your blog, as well as social media covers and profile pics.
#4 Set up your social media accounts
If you’ve followed the above steps you’ll already have made sure you’ve got your social media accounts in your blog name. You’ve also created your branding so have the logos, profile pics and cover photos needed.
Time to set up your social media accounts so you can start connecting with people before you start sharing your blog posts.
Firstly, decide which social media platforms you’re going to use. You can pick all of them but may want to focus on one or two, to begin with. To help you decide, think about where your target audience will be, do some research. Different ages and interests may use one social media platform more than another.
Once your accounts are set up and branded you need to start following other bloggers in your niche. Talk to them, engage with their content, leave comments on their blog posts, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and advice.
Follow people who have expressed an interest in the topics you’ll be writing about. Talk to them, tell them about your blog, and hopefully, you’ll build up an audience who will be interested in your content.
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#5 Choose where to build your website
There are so many options of where and how to build your website and it’s easy to start a blog for free. The most popular platform to build a blog is WordPress, but other good options include Blogger, Weebly and Wix.
It’s a good idea to choose a popular platform so that you can find help and tutorials online if you get stuck. We’d recommend WordPress as it is easy to use, there are lots of themes to choose from and there are free options available.
#6 Decide between a free or self-hosted blog
When blogging there are two options – free or self-hosted.
Free blog sites such as WordPress are great to start with but you may quickly find that you need to pay to customise your blog or pick a certain theme. You can’t install Google Analytics on free hosting so will be limited in what kind of stats you have access to.
Self-hosted means that you buy web space to host your blog and have more control over your site. There are lots of hosting companies out there with varying prices. The main thing to look for is that they support your chosen blogging platform.
Siteground is a good option if you want to have a self-hosted WordPress blog. You can choose a plan from just £2.75 per month which is less than the price of a coffee! They will also help you to move your blog if you start with the free version and decide to move to self-hosted further down the line.
#7 Install plug-ins to help you blog
There are lots of free plug-ins that will help you on your blogging journey. These will vary amongst the various platforms but include content schedules, SEO checkers, spelling and grammar checkers and social sharing options.
For a great list of essential plugins read our post 10 must-have WordPress plugins for bloggers
#8 Write a minimum of five blog posts
To get your blog up and running it’s a good idea to write a minimum of five posts before you launch your blog. This will give your readers plenty of content to read when they visit your site. If they like what they see they will hopefully come back or even subscribe to receive new posts.
If you struggle to think of things to write about check out our post 50 blog post titles to inspire you.
Get any photos ready for each blog post, whether you are taking the photos yourself or sourcing royalty free stock imagery online.
#9 Create a content plan
It’s up to you how often you blog but once per week is plenty for a new blogger.
However often you intend to blog, putting together a plan will save you last-minute stress and scurrying around trying to think of posts. When that happens it takes all the fun out of blogging.
Pick a day and time you want to publish your blog each week – stick to this day where possible. Write your posts at least a couple of days in advance so you have time to make and necessary changes and also create the relevant social media imagery. If you’re taking your own photos you’ll need to allow yourself plenty of time to do so, especially if you’ll be relying on nice weather.
Write down a list of topics or titles so you always have an idea of what to blog about. You can either put these in an online to do list or simply jot in a notebook.
#10 Share your posts
Once your blog is ready, make sure you tell people!
Experienced bloggers will be lucky enough to have loyal readers who visit regularly to see what’s new, but in the early days, no one will read your posts if they don’t know they exist.
Share your blog posts on social media, you can do this more than once but make sure you don’t spam people with the same posts over and over.
Tell your friends and family about your blog and ask them to share on social media too. Don’t be afraid to ask for their opinions, or those of your fellow bloggers, to see what they think.
For more social media tips, we’ve put together a post 8 ways to get more social media shares of your blog posts.
Hopefully, this post has given you a few tips on how to start a blog. You should now be ready to get going! Good luck and let us know in the comments if you have any questions.