How To: Start A Blog?

5:15 pm


So you've decided you want to start a blog, and yet there's a minefield of information out there... But where do you start? We've reached a point in the blogging world now where we almost have too many options! A platform and theme for everything, a system we need to learn, a new set of code. Can too much of a good thing be overwhelming? Definitely. Hopefully, today though I'll work through your options and try to simplify the debate for you!


Which Platform?

Ahh the Blogger/Wordpress and now Squarespace debate. I'm on Blogger with my own domain. This setup suits me perfectly fine and I would actually recommend this to any newbie bloggers. 

The issue with Wordpress is that although you're getting more control, you also need to understand how these features work. 

I personally find that Blogger has always suited me for my own needs. 
This is my 3rd blog in 10 years, my first was a LiveJournal - yes, I went there - and the previous two have been Blogger.

Squarespace is more for people who want a full website, so if you're looking for that (and not just a blog - a place to write posts, which display in a layout similar to mine) Squarespace might be the way to go. 

Wordpress is for those who are more business-minded, it gives you basically unlimited control... but you have the constant outgoing for it, so keep that in mind! You want to be making money back to at least cover the costs.

Themes & Names?

Go with something simple. That's for both the theme and the name. You can complicate the theme later. But whilst you're starting out, keep it simple and this prevents any possible breakages later down the line! 

With regards to the name...I've changed mine a few times, yes my big change (I switched from writing a Korean Skincare blog to this Lifestyle blog now) did hurt my readership. But this was mainly through changing accounts. I find with most blogs I read, if they change subjects, I am probably still interested in what they have to say! Most people read on a range of topics. 

Of course, it's a good idea to keep a topic in mind before you start, but you're not permanently attached to this, you can change! 

Just remember you're in control of your own site!

Coding?

Keep it simple! You don't need to go over and learn every single HTML code. You don't need to learn CSS to expert standard. Keep a cheat sheet like this one handy to start with and you'll find that you start to remember the codes you use frequently. 

In terms of themes, search the web, Etsy and Pinterest for your theme. If you don't know how to code or don't know someone who will give you a hand, these are the best places to start. You can choose a free or paid theme and there is literally something for every budget. You can buy or download everything from the base layout and theme to social media icons and headers. Just remember to always give people credit!

Social Media

Do you need to start becoming a social media guru? The answer is only if you want to! Blogging is what you make it into. Not everyone wants to be Zoella. Blogging is diverse, so let's keep it that way. If you can't stand Twitter/Instagram/Facebook... you don't need to sign up!

That said, if you're unsure, sign up and claim your username (your new blog URL/name) just so you can keep it in case you want to later. For example, my Twitter is "KatieL_Clark" (so is my Pinterest), whereas my Facebook has to be "itskatielclark" and my Instagram is "katielouiseclark". Part of this is because I've used my name as my blog name, but also because there will be someone out there who wants your name! 

Do I Have To Write A Beauty/Fashion/Travel Blog?

Of course not! Some of my favourite blogs speak about social activism, feminism, minimalism, literature, organisation and relationships. And that's just to name a few! If there's a topic you love, write on it! I'm sure that there's someone out there who will enjoy reading it. 

I hope these points helped, I've only covered the basics in this post but hopefully this is enough to get you started! Most importantly, welcome to the community! If you're a new blogger, feel free to leave your URL down in the comments section, I'd love to check them out.

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