Ever fancied a bit of blogging? Or maybe you’ve always seen yourself as a new potential blogger? Well, this week I had a fantastic call with one of my pals. She’s thinking of setting up her very own blog. I’m so excited for her! I know she will be fab. I think she’s just said to me one of the nicest things I’ve ever heard from a grown-up…”You’ve inspired me so much, I’d love to start a blog too”. Wow, what a cool compliment. When I started Lucky Things I had no idea I’d be inspiring others to do the same thing.
I know many people (bloggers and my peeps) have supported me in launching Lucky Things and particularly as Lucky Things has grown into something I didn’t expect it to. So it’s my turn to give something back to support other budding bloggers.
Having blogged for a little while now I thought I’d share my top 7 things to think about when setting up your blog.
- Think of a blog name that will last…Your blog name is your brand. It doesn’t have to be totally unique but it helps if its something catchy. Do you want your blog name to be obviously linked to the main theme of your blog? Is the blog about being a parent, music-lover, fashion addict, foodie or a range of things? You don’t want to have to change your blog name in a few months’ time because it doesn’t feel right or it could narrow your exposure. Grab a pen right now and start jotting down all of the blog names you can come up with. I think I came up with about twenty in the end. Ask people for their thoughts and move on quickly if they start questioning why you’re starting a blog! I actually say “lucky things” a lot so the blog name felt just right.
- Sort out those social media platforms and handles…Once you’ve decided on a blog name, check if you can register your own domain name (I used Fasthosts) plus account names on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat and Pinterest. This is a priority. You don’t have to start using and producing content for all of these social media forums right now but it’s important to get the handles registered ASAP. A top tip (from my hubby Mr.H!) is to keep the name of all of your social media handles the same. Not essential but it does look slicker and its much easy for followers to remember your brand.
- What are your blogging goals? Do a bit of strategic thinking. Why are you starting a blog? Who would you like to be your followers? Why should people follow your blog? What will they enjoy reading about? Can you offer a different perspective on things? Do a mind-map or good old list on what your new blog is going to be about (plus any ideas for achieving this).
- Start writing! If possible, it’s lovely to launch a blog when it has a few posts on there for your first followers to enjoy. Then people can get a flavour of what you’re about and who you are as a new blogger. Don’t worry if your first follower is your mum, dad, grandma, partner or of course your bestie. We all started with just a few followers.
- Think about your About me/About us page….It’s important that you have this is a static page on your blog when its launched. People will always want to know more about you as a person. Think about how much you want to share? Can you share any funny things about yourself? If it’s a parenting blog, tell readers a bit about your family. What are your interests (and don’t say the typical things people mention at the bottom of their CV!). Share the interesting facts about yourself. I really liked doing the 20 facts about me challenge. It’s a great way for readers (and others who think they know you) learn more about the person who’s set up the blog.
- Why not?...There is always more room for another blog. That’s one thing I learned from the BritMums Live 2016 conference. Sitting in a room with another 500 bloggers made me realise, blimey, there really are a lot of us bloggers and this is just one small gathering compared to the rest of the global blogger population. The social media outer space is limitless. It’s not a magazine rack in your local newsagent where there’s a limited amount of shelf space for magazines. As I explained to my mum the other month, I now have my own online magazine. Please please please don’t let self-doubt kick in and prevent you from setting up your blog. That’s what happened to me three years ago. I didn’t set up a blog as I was wondering if people would want to read it. One of my followers now grabs herself a cup of tea before reading my posts (in my own little Lucky Things blogsphere, that feels like I’ve made it ha ha!).
- Keep going, you’re nearly there… Remember you don’t have to do everything now. Blogging can feel like an endless hobby or job. You don’t have to publish new posts each day. Stick to what works for you, your lifestyle, your priorities and your other commitments. Don’t be overwhelmed but the world of social media. You will be able to build on your social media forums and no worries if it takes a bit of time. Break up your initial tasks and take one step at a time. Think about how you’re going to launch your blog? Can you use your current Facebook , Twitter or Instagram page to spread the word? If things get too much and you’re not sure what to start on next, contact another blogger or even better find a blogger mentor (we’re a pretty nice bunch so we will be more than happy to help). We are all here to inspire and learn from each other (however cheesy that sounds). Next thing for your “I’m going to start a blog” list – check out the date for the next blogger conference. Newbies are super-welcome at these gatherings. You can read more about how much I enjoyed BritMums Live in June 2016. I’m looking forward to heading to my second bloggers’ conference in London, BlogFest, on 12 November 2016. There is also Blog On in Manchester on 24 September 2016.
All I know is that I’ve just written this post with a whole lot of blog love. Remember, we are all creative and people love reading about others’ experiences. So I’m hoping I’ll soon be able to tell you about my pal’s new blog. Now she’s told me about her initial blog plan, surely she can’t back out now! Just kidding, as I appreciate how it takes time and energy to set it all up.
If you’re a blogger, what top tips do you have for setting up a blog? What did you find helpful when you were a newbie blogger? What do you love about blogging? Why do you think others should start a blog?
If you’re a blog fan what do you love about reading blogs? Go on, the more comments, the merrier.
If you found any of the above tips helpful, I’d love to know more. If you’d like any friendly pointers about blogging and my own experiences, drop me a little hello.
If you’re not really interested in being a blogger, you can still feature your writing on my Time to Shine series. Just send a message to sunita@luckythings and we’ll take it from there. Enjoy Lucky Things everyone, hope you pop by again soon.
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