It’s been about two weeks since I started blogging with a schedule and putting a lot of time and effort into my posts and other social medias, so since I’m now past the initial stage of setting everything up and getting it going I thought I’d share my experience/tips with you!
Choosing Your Aesthetic
Before you do anything you should think about how you want your online ‘brand’ to look. For example, will your layout and images be colourful or minimalistic? Which fonts are you going to use? Have a look at other peoples blogs and their aesthetic, get a general vibe of how you want your content to look and stick to it across all platforms so you have an easily recognisable style.
Setting Up Social Medias
Before you set up your blog I’d recommend creating social media accounts all with the same username as your blog so your name is easily recognisable across all platforms. You don’t want it to be too hard for people to remember so including your own name would be a good bet. The main sites I focus on are Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin and Pinterest which all have the username ‘meganatkinsonslife’ the same as my blog (apart from twitter which is @megatkinsonlife, try to make your usernames as similar as possible if they don’t fit on certain websites). I use the same profile picture on each site so my profiles are consistent and always put links to my other accounts in my bio. I’d also recommend using ‘Smartpost’ to schedule some tweets and having a good stock of Instagram photos ready to post when you’re blog is live so you’re ready to be present on social media.
Creating Your Blog
The three main things you’ll need to set up your blog are a host, domain name and a theme. For a host I went with WordPress Self Hosted as I’d done my research and found that it’s easier to go self hosted in the first place rather than transfer your content at a later date. I chose ‘SiteGround’ for my domain as I’d seen other bloggers recommend it as well as ‘Pipdig’, who I’ll talk about in a minute, plus, it was fairly priced at £2.75 a month. It was simple and easy to use which was a massive bonus for me as I’m terrible at technology! For my theme I selected ‘Aurora Nights’ by ‘Pigdig’ as it has a clean, minimalistic layout and came with plugins such as social media icons and an Instagram side bar feature. Most Pipdig themes are £39 but are SO worth the price; they’re easy to install as they come in one zip file and work on all major devices e.g. phone, tablet, laptop.
Making A Posting Schedule
For me, sticking to a schedule of two blog posts a week, Mondays and Thursdays 6pm, has been very beneficial as having a deadline helps me stay focused and motivated. Make sure you pick an attainable number of times a week to post and, if you do plan to post more than once a week, make sure your posting days are spread out to ensure you have enough time to get your next post done. To plan content, I use a Google Calander as it gives you a monthly view of your planned posts, allows you to colour code which is handy if you’re like me and also plan other content such as YouTube videos, and also allows you to drag and drop your events which means its very easy to change the order of your planned posts.
Getting It Out There
Before publishing a post, ensure you’ve added as many relevant tags as possible as have a featured image to make it look put together. After you’ve published the post, you need to get it out there through social media. The platform I’ve found most effective for this is Twitter. I regularly take part in blogger chats and have all the big ones written down on my phone so I know when they are. I have also recently started scheduling hourly promotion tweets (self promotion, not paid promotion that big brands use) for my blog posts using ‘Smartpost’ and hashtags such as #GRLPOWR #Bloggerstribe #Blogginggals #Bloggerssparkle and #lbloggers. I also tag blogger retweet accounts in my promotional tweets to get my content out there to as many people as possible. When it comes to staying active on Instagram, I use the app ‘UNUM’ to plan my Instagram feed and upcoming posts and generally post every 1-2 days.
I hope these 5 stages helped you if you’re new to blogging like I was a short time ago, I know a post like this would have really helped me when setting up my blog! If you’ve been blogging for a while now, what are your top tips for getting a blog up and running? Megan x