Taking the plunge to start your own blog is exciting and a little daunting. I remember when I first created my blog and I thought, I’ll just start it for friends and family to keep up to date with the kids. Then I got my first comment from someone I didn’t know and I was so thrilled. Wow, someone cared enough to read and then comment on my blog!
I was chatting to a friend this week who is just starting out with a blog and it got me thinking about when I first started and how I have learned a few things along the way. I don’t always follow my own rules, but if I was a better blogger I would always keep these things in mind…
I can only vouch for wordpress as I haven’t used any other blog system. I have no complaints, I love it. I chose it because I could build my own theme to get the exact look I wanted. Having said that wordpress is brilliant even if you don’t have the skills to create your own theme, there are so many great free themes out there you can use to make your blog look fantastic. An added bonus for me using wordpress was that I was lucky enough to be ‘freshly pressed’ that means I was selected as a featured blog on the home page and overnight I went from 30 hits to 3000. I don’t think you can plan for it, it was a lucky break that sent lots of people to my blog, but if I can get on there, I’m sure you can too.
If you don’t know how to design your blog, start with a simple and clean template and a nice header. If you aren’t sure about something then remember the rule – less is more!
On the content…
Have nice photographs. I’m a visual person and when I look at other blogs I am much more likely to stay and read if there are pretty pictures to look at too. Unless you are a writer and your blog is a writing outlet, then photos would be secondary to the text, but as I’m not much of a writer, pictures are my thing.
For that reason, carry your camera with you, everywhere you go. You never know where you’ll see inspiration. I keep my camera in my bag and if I don’t have that there is always instagram on the iPhone.
Write about what you love and it will come easily. My blog is about documenting my crafty activities and inspirations and it’s a personal journal of the time I have with my kids while they are small. Sometimes I sit in front of my laptop and think, it’s been a while, I really need to write something, but if I’m not feeling it, I put the laptop away and come back to it later. If your heart isn’t in it, spend your time doing something else.
Sometimes I have ten ideas for blog posts in a day and no time to write even a sentence and other times I am drawing blanks all week. So when I do have that golden opportunity of ideas plus time, I sit and write as may posts as I can and save them. Then later in the week when I haven’t got the time but I want to post, I can just press publish and the work is done.
To get more traffic…
Use good tags, these are keywords that describe what you are talking about in your post and this is how people will find you through a google search.
Connect your blog to facebook, when you write a new post it will appear in your newsfeed and let your friends and family that you have written something new.
Add your blog to your email signature.
Start a pinterest account and pin some of your favorite posts. Shameless self promotion is, well, a bit shameless, but if you have something like a tutorial or an idea that you think is worth sharing that other people will like, than go for it, pin away.
On being a good fellow blogger…
Read other blogs, and if you like what you’re reading, leave a nice comment! Even if your intention is to just write for yourself, it’s so nice to know that someone is reading and appreciating what you blog.
If someone has left a comment for you, go and check out their blog.
Always credit any images and content from the original source and put a link back to it. Ideally use your own original content.
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