How Do I Start My Own Blog? | Emily Bashforth

How Do I Start My Own Blog?


I get asked on Twitter frequently many questions about starting a blog. What websites do I use? How do I choose a name? Where do I get ideas for posts from? and I love it as it makes me really happy knowing I may be able to help sometimes! Of course, you can always ask me personally if you have specific questions, however, I wanted to make a huge blog post consisting of all of the tips and tricks I could possibly give when it comes to blogging and starting a blog.

I am only young and only started my own blog in January and it is something I do for fun, although, I think that may be a good reason to write this blog post as I am still learning myself but have a few tips I think may help!

This post is divided into sections so you don't have to read it if you don't want to! I hope you might find it slightly useful! :)

Website:
So to actually start a blog, you need to choose a website, otherwise, how else will you make it haha?! I think its important to choose a site that works for you and you think you can find your way around and learn how to use easily and, remember, once you choose a site, you're stuck with it! The most popular sites used to create blogs are Blogger (which is what I use) and Wordpress. It all depends on which one you like most. Spend some time on both of them and play around with trying to design a blog on them. That way, you can see which one you find easiest to navigate and which one you think is best for your blog.

Name:
Once you've chosen a website, your blog needs a name. This, I would say, is the most important thing about your blog. Its really important to choose a name that you love and try to think "in 2 years' time, will I still love this name as much as I do now?" as you don't want to end up hating it like some people do and then having to mess around changing it. Your blog name becomes a part of you and can become the name people know you by, so try to choose a good one! You can either decide to  choose a name related to the content you're going to post, whether it be beauty, fashion, sport or health, but make sure it suits your personality too. You can also choose your actual name if you fancy, which is what I did. I feel like this doesn't restrict you as much to what content you can post but that's totally up to you! However, if you don't want people finding your blog easily, choosing a name different to your own is probably wise. Maybe choose a nickname you have or an anagram of your name? You can even Google an anagram maker if you aren't the best at inventing them yourself!

Something which also comes under the 'name' umbrella is your blog URL. Having a customised URL certainly isn't everything! Having .blogspot or .wordpress rather than .com in your URL isn't a bad thing and it isn't worth forking out for a personalised URL if you've only just started and if a non-personalised one works perfectly fine! More experienced bloggers blogged for years without a personalised URL so don't worry!

Design:
How your blog looks is an important factor and can easily make someone decide whether or not they want to read your posts or not. They can click off instantly if they see loads of different coloured fonts, tiny images and ads popping up everywhere. However, it is important to have a unique design. Even if you want to go for a more simplistic look, there are still ways of putting your own stamp on your site. Although, there are some important things to remember.
Firstly, have a plain background with text that stands out. There's no point in spending hours on a post if no one can read it.
Secondly, if including images, make them large! Don't make readers have to go out of their way to zoom in. Make things easy for them. Big images, I think, also adds a lot more life to your blog and character.
Also, you can really personalise the layout of your blog. You can have a header displaying your blog name, a sidebar with an introduction to you, slideshows of images on one side, its up to you! Don't overcomplicate it as your don't want images flying around here, there any everywhere, but make your layout stand out so people will remember your blog and want to go back.

When it comes to your actual blog template, paying for one doesn't necessarily mean your blog will be superior to others'. A homemade template designed by yourself can be just as good as one that has been created by a professional. Also, if you're a newbie blogger, making your own template is definitely something I would recommend, besides, you may not even enjoy blogging so don't waste your money! You can really play around with templates on various websites to make yours unique, plus, there's lots of extra little applications which you can easily find online to make your blog special. It can be really fun experimenting with colours and designs, so try it out! And if you don't like it, change it! Enjoy your blog and others will too!

Posts:
So once you've chosen a blog name and designed your website, the only thing that's left to do is to start posting! Of course, you need to decide what you're going to post and the beauty of blogging is that you really can post whatever you want! Within reason obviously haha! Whether you want to talk about your favourite lipstick at the moment or a winning goal you recently scored in a football match, anything goes and you're bound to find someone who will be interested as the Internet is full of people with the same interests as you, whether you realise it or not! Also, if you're not too sure what you want to blog about just yet, keep it random! Write about whatever the heck you like and, eventually, you will find your niche and will have that lightbulb moment when you think "yes that's what I want to blog about!"
Although, finding ideas for posts may prove difficult and 'bloggers block' has the tendency to haunt you, however, have a search around. Google is a great place to find ideas and so is social media. Also, taking inspiration from other bloggers is a great idea too, but perhaps put your own spin on the post so it isn't a complete clone.

Make sure you organise your text clearly. Use paragraphs and maybe subtitles to make it less of a chore to read and maybe break it up with images. Choose a font that's legible and make sure you titles of your posts reflect fully what the post is about. Rhetorical questions are also a good feature to include in post titles as they really draw your audience in!

When it comes to when you want to post, its totally up to you! Don't feel as though you need to post for the sake of posting. I think if you didn't enjoy writing a post, it can really come across in your writing and, besides, its much better to have one good quality post a week than a new post every day that you didn't put much effort into.
Something that can be difficult is finding the time to post, especially if you are either sitting exams or busy working. Something I would greatly recommend is writing posts maybe at the weekend or on a day when you have some time off. Save them as drafts and then you don't need to worry about not having a post to go up next week. It take a great weight off of your shoulders!

Tools? Equipment? Websites?
Having a fancy camera, studio lights and animated banners doesn't mean your blog is the best. Sure, these things help your blog look great and can be so fun to play around with, however, taking photos with your phone works just as well, sometimes, even better! If you have a digital camera lying around your house, you can use this too. Don't feel as though you need to have everything in HD. Sometimes, it can be comforting to follow a blog who doesn't have the best of the best and it adds more humble vibes.

Another thing you don't need is Photoshop, which some people may assume that you do. Sure, if you have it, use it as its a great tool! However, a website which I and many others love is PicMonkey! It is totally free, unless you choose to pay for a fuller version which isn't necessary, and is great for creating banners, brightening images, adding effects and cropping. It is super easy to use and is definitely something I would encourage you to use, unless, of course you don't want to!
Another website I would recommend is Bloglovin'. This is a great site (and also app) which you can use to follow your fave bloggers and which others can use to follow you. Your readers can get notifications when you upload a new post, which brings me on to attracting an audience....

Gaining an audience:
So once you've made a blog, you will probably want people to read it! Attracting an audience can be hard, especially at first, however, be sure to stick with it! If you already have social networking sites, which most of you surely do, post your blog on there! Tweet about it, Instagram and Facebook the link and people will definitely gravitate towards it! You can also Tweet and message people about it individually to promote your blog, but be sure to be nice and do not spam! Another great idea is commenting on other blogs. Try to comment about their posts too rather than just bombarding them with self-promo, however, I know people do definitely check out blogs in their comments and so do other readers who are commenting!
Oh and if you're a bit worried about people you know finding your blog, maybe create separate social media accounts specifically for your blog? :)

Companies and brands:
I think its important not to start a blog just with the intention of being sent things for free and gaining sponsorships as it won't be as enjoyable and can definitely be seen through your posts. However, if you do maybe fancy contacting companies after a while of blogging, email them as you don't always have to wait for them to come to you. Be polite and send a short, snappy email to introduce your blog! You may also want to Tweet them if you mention them in a blog post.
However, be sure to have a 'contact' page on your blog containing any social media links and email addresses you have. This can help lots and, not only could it attract brands, but it can also gain you social media friends - yay!

I hope that helped a little bit and, naturally, I feel like I have missed a tonne of things out haha! Sooo, if you'd like a part 2 to this or if there's anything else you want me to write a post giving advice on, let me know please!

If you have any other questions, comment them below or tweet or email them to me and I will be happy to reply! <3

HAPPY BLOGGING!

Love, Emily :) xx

Also just realised how many times the words blog, blogging, blogger and blogged are used in this post and its well over 50. Sorry.

4 comments:

  1. Loved this post! Also this may be a bit random but I just saw the PIC of you on the sode bar but your so pretty! And your glasses really suit you <3 You should definitely do a part 2

    Maybe check out my blog if you haven't already? www.charlottecrowder.blogspot.com

    Thanks, Charlotte xx

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    1. Thank you so much for reading! :) Awh no wayy! I'm far from it haha <3 Its a good job they suit me as I can't see without them hehe :D Is there anything in particular you'd like me to cover in part 2?? Xx

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  2. This is a great post very helpful. Have you ever contacted companies and have they usually accepted? Thank you x
    My blog - http://www.confessionsofateenageblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Ah thank you so much for reading it! I'm really glad you liked it :) I haven't contacted any companies myself, no, as I've been so busy with exams recently and haven't been looking to work with anyone or anything like that. I may do at some point tho! :) <3 xx

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