Friday, August 19, 2016

How To Start A Blog

So you're ready to start a blog! It may seem like a daunting task if you're a beginner in the blogging world, but it's easier than what you may think. I want to lead you through the steps so you can get your blog up and running in no time!

The first step is to decide what type of blog you want to create. Starting out with a niche will put your blog in the best position for it to thrive. It can take some bloggers months, if not years, to find their niche as it's only natural that you want to blog about everything you love! If you really knuckle down on what category your blog will fall under, you already have a head start.

Picking a name for your blog might be the toughest task of them all. You HAVE to make sure it's unique. There is no point using the same blog name as someone else - doing that will get you nowhere. Come up with a name and do a quick google and social media search to see if anyone else has it. It may take coming up with ten different names before you find one that's available.

Make sure it's a name that reflects what type of blog you're creating. If you're struggling to create a name, try joining two or three words together (eg. Sprinkle Cupcake, Sprinkles And Cupcakes, Sprinkled Cupcake, Cupcake Sprinkle etc.).

The next step is to lock down your blog's name as the username on every social media platform. For example, if your blog's name was Sprinkle Cupcake, you need to make sure that you can have the username "sprinklecupcake" on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. If it is unavailable and you're attached to the name, you can add "blog" on the end (eg. sprinklecupcakeblog) or even a dash or underscore (eg. sprinkle-cupcake or sprinkle_cupcake).

Social media will be so important to the growth of your blog. It's the best way to gain exposure and to drive traffic to your blog address so you want people to be able to find you easily. You might be surprised but Pinterest is actually my biggest traffic source! If your post images go viral on Pinterest and they're linked back to your blog, the traffic is crazy.

Even if you don't plan to use all social media accounts straight away, make sure you still sign up to them and reserve the best username for your blog before anyone else grabs it.

The website I recommend to blog from is called Blogger. This is the platform that you will use to create your blog and to write your posts. I have always found Blogger to be the easiest platform to use and I recommend it to everyone. It's free to use and when you join up, you pick your blog URL ( and down the track you can even purchase a domain ( and link it up to make it more professional.

Blogger has many blog layouts to choose from when starting up. I would suggest choosing the most basic layout they have with a white background. You don't want your blog layout to be too busy and distracting, otherwise your blog posts will be hard to read.

As you become more advanced with blogging, you might be interested in learning HTML coding. This is the coding you place into the settings of the blog to make it look exactly how you want. Using HTML is an advanced skill so be prepared that you may have to do some research into how these codes work and how you can use them going forwards.

I started with the layout I've pointed out below and as I know HTML coding and can create graphics, I changed all sorts of things to that layout myself. If you aren't interested in learning HTML, there are lots of websites that sell really nice Blogger Templates which you simply paste into the "Edit HTML" section below and it's all done for you.

Your logo is the first thing visitors will see when they arrive on your blog. You need to have your blog name at the top, and if you are good with photoshop it's a good idea to make it into a creative logo so that it's unique and memorable to those who visit your blog.

If you're not so great with photoshop, don't stress. There's a website called PicMonkey where you can easily create a logo yourself, save it as an image and upload it as your blog header.

The side bar of your blog is where visitors will look to find out who you are, how to contact you and where to find you on social media. It's a great way to personalise your blog with information you think your readers might be interested in.

Add a photo of yourself, a short bio, your blog email address (it's good to have a separate email for blog purposes) and links to your social media accounts.

Now it's finally time to write your first post! Use it to explain who you are and what your blog will be about. Keep it personal! Blogs are successful because they are personal platforms. New readers want to get to know you so they know who the person is behind the posts. If you would rather stay anonymous, that's also fine! Show your personality through the images you post and your writing style.

So you've done your first post, now you have to promote it! Nobody is going to know that your blog exists unless you tell them. Let your instagram followers know that you've just posted and make sure your blog link is in your bio. Pin the image from your blog post to Pinterest. Tweet about it and use hashtags (eg. #blogger #blog). Comment on other blogs and include your URL in your signature - don't be spammy about it though. Make sure you're actually leaving the fellow blogger a genuine comment, otherwise it just looks like you're using someone else's blog to promote yourself, which is not cool.

If you want your blog to be successful, don't give up! Don't expect everything to happen for you in the first week of blogging. If you start your blog expecting freebies, gifts, money..... it's not going to work and none of that will come your way. If you start it with excitement, with passion for writing, creating, posting, sharing THEN good things will happen. It could take months, it could even take an entire year. Keep a vision of success in your mind and don't stop until you've reached it.

And I think that's a wrap! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and we can discuss :) If there's anything you'd like me to go more in depth about with future posts, comment that as well.

Good luck!

1 comment :

  1. Hey Vanessa, im new to your blog and i've getting addicted to it. I was wondering if could suggest a website, where i can find cute illustrations for my bog.