Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blogging Tips: Starting a Blog in 3 easy Steps!

Starting a Blog in 3 easy Steps!

Step 1: Naming and Hosting

OK- So obviously your blog needs a name, it seems simple but you should definitely put some though into it! Be creative to set yourself aside from other blogs but don't get too complicated. People should be able to remember it but not be confused by it- so complicated puns are out, sorry! Readers appreciate a good name- trust!

Along with the naming of the beast you need to decide on hosting. To start out a blog you should seriously consider free hosting- at least until you gain a following then you may find it worth the money to pay for hosting. As far as free blog hosting goes there are two big hitters:

kingsbakery.blogspot.com kingsbakery.blogspot.com Image Map

Blogger and WordPress are by far the two most popular free blog hosts, and for good reasons! There are two awesome books that help out beginners for both Blogger and WordPress linked at the bottom of this post! Both are really simple to use and are perfect for designing and setting up your blog the exact way you want to, which brings us to our next step!

Designing your blog is more important than you may realize. Your design should be clean and bright. Too much clutter on a blog can be very distracting to a reader so only adding minimal elements- especially to start out- is a good strategy. Using a solid colored or minimalist background makes for a good base to build off of. Come up with a color scheme before you start and your world will be much easier. A good rule to follow for any color scheme is having 3 colors from one family and one color from a complimentary family (e.g., 3 blues and a shade of orange) and you can always throw white in there to offset everything!
As far as layout goes you want to make an easy reading experience the main goal. Even if you have ads or widgets you want to display prominently the main purpose of your site is the blog content and keeping readers coming back. After all, the only way to get people to click on all of your "extras" is if there are readers in the first place. Most people look at a page from the top left corner and scan across to the right bottom (even if they don't realize it). Keep this in mind when you design your layout. Put links to useful parts of your blog right up top for easy site navigation and go from there. Blog posts should be easy to find, placed in the center of the page, and have the most space dedicated to them. Everything else is built around the idea that the content is the most important thing... Oh, what a nice segue!

CONTENT! I cannot stress enough that content is the most crucial thing in making a blog successful. This may seem crazy obvious but there are some seriously important factors to remember.
First, strong subject matter- people want to read quality! If you are just pumping out fluffy blog posts about nothing then people are going to take your blog as just that: fluffy! I mean, fluffy is good in most cases (e.g., puppies) but when it comes to blog content, fluffy is a no-no! Create thoughtful and well written posts that you would like to read if you stumbled across your own blog.
Secondly, consistency in posting. If you want a regular readership and higher traffic it is vital that you post consistently. Set up a schedule for yourself and stick to it! If you can only blog on the weekends then try to post one blog each Saturday. If you have time to blog after work on the weekdays then see if you can post 2-3 times a week. If your readers know you have a posting schedule they are more likely to come back and see what you've got for them!
Lastly,proper grammar and punctuation are a must have. When you have errors in your writing it will be hard for readers to take you seriously. It is honestly so easy to proof read a couple times and check your stuff out for errors or you can even have someone else do it for you (you're probably too close to the project anyway). People on the internet LOVE pointing out errors, especially when you use words like they're, there, and their or your and your're incorrectly so watch out for that! It is only human to make mistakes so it is very likely that you will miss something, but hey, that's okay!

Keep in mind, these are only BASIC steps to starting up a blog. I will have more posts to come concerning social networking, SEO, and so much more!

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