2019 is almost over guys and you know what that means – new year, new beginnings.
Starting your own blog is such an exciting opportunity! I remember thinking about starting mine after getting inspired by many talented bloggers out there but I couldn’t help but wonder how I would actually succeed? What it requires me to do? Too many questions!
There are probably tons of questions going through your head at this very moment too, but stay calm! We’re all on the same boat, whatever you’re going through be sure that others including myself have been through too.
The first thing to remember is that a blog is a full time job, just like any other job, your blog requires 100% commitment and your full attention. Blogging requires a lot of work, but if you love what you do and you’re passionate about the content you are sharing, who cares?
It all comes down to being organised and confident, don’t compare yourself to others just focus on building your own empire.
Secondly, blogging is for anyone and everyone! you don’t need to be a computer wiz or know all about programming and HTML. There are so many useful and simple tools out there to help you create your blog that we’ll talk about shortly.
Last but not least, every one has a story, and there’s always room for a new blogger out there so don’t even hesitate, you’ll succeed if you put your mind to it.
Now for the technical part – Let’s go through my beginners guide to starting your own blog in 2020!
Where to Start?
Grab a notebook and a pen, there’s nothing like getting all those ideas out of your head. Start writing down subjects that you would like to share on your blog, this will help you think of a general theme for your blog and choose your niche.
For example, will you be sharing recipes and restaurant recommendations? Maybe your theme is a food blog? Or perhaps you travel often and want to share your travel guides and tips? Your blog could be a travel blog.
You don’t necessarily have to pick only one niche, your blog could cover many different topics, but remember that the more specific you are, the more people you will attract to your blog and your readers are more likely to spend more time reading your content.
Start thinking who will be attracted to your content, what interests do they have? What are they like? This will help you focus your content even more and match it to their needs, meaning that they will keep coming back for more.
Try browsing different social media platforms to get a better understanding of what type of blog posts attract your target audience the most.
Once you have reached a better understanding of what you will share on your blog, here comes the fun part, the branding. Branding is basically the face of your blog, meaning your colour tones, fonts, and your logo. This point is very important as all these details will be representing who you are and supply your audience with key figures that they will remember you by.
One of my favourite platforms that I use for my blog is Canva, an online design website suitable for beginners and experts. You can create almost anything on Canva including your logo, headers, Pinterest pins and more
Start thinking of a suitable name for your blog, make sure the name is not too long making it easy to pronounce and remember.
Plan on choosing 1-4 colours (black and white don’t count) – that will include your base colour, accent and neutral. Your base colour will not only represent your brand’s personality, it will also appeal to your audience. Your accent and neutral will normally be related to your base colours.
Your accent colour will be the colour most useful to you after your base colour but try to choose a slightly lighter and gentle tone. The neutral colour normally appears on the background and is typically a neutral toned colour that can blend in well with the rest of your content.
Once you have everything gathered and you finally feel like you are getting somewhere, create your very first mood board on Canva. Your mood board or inspiration board is basically a representation of your blog on one page including your branding colours, logo and photos for inspiration. I find it much easier to start off a blog with the help of a mood board, it’s kind of like having a to do list for a long busy day of work – all the info you need is gathered in one place.
Let’s get your blog up and running!
Hosting is one of the most important words to know when starting a blog. A hosting company is basically a large server that stores all of your website’s data and keeps it safe. I t’s important to choose a reliable (and preferably affordable) hosting company for your blog as you wouldn’t want to put all your hard work into the wrong hands. There are many popular companies, I chose OVH to host my website, their platform is very easy to use and they offer packages that have been created especially for blogs, professional websites and e-commerce websites. Their service is also compatible with WordPress with an easy setup guide for you to follow once you have chosen the package that suits your needs best. No this is not an affiliate link, so its literally a real recommendation from me to you!
Start off by selecting your plan – In my opinion a beginner blogger doesn’t need more than the personal plan to begin with. For only £1.69 (ex VAT) per month when choosing the annual subscription your package will include a domain name, 100 GB disk space, 10 email addresses and other advantages.
Select your domain name – one of the most important steps towards creating your blog. Take your time to choose wisely as once your website has a name, there’s no going back. The name of your blog should represent who you are, what you would like to share with others and be catchy so that others will remember it.
I chose “Mademoiselle Minnie” as I wanted to share my personal experiences with my readers from my everyday life so – travel posts, life in France, lifestyle posts etc.. I felt like the “Mademoiselle” was a good representation of the French side of my life and “Minnie” is a nickname given back at home which is very close to my heart and personal.
Your domain name will be free for a period of one year once purchasing the annual subscription.
Choose the platform you are using to create your blog – OVH supports a number of different platforms that you can choose from to create your website, I find WordPress the easiest user friendly platform that you can choose to set up your website.
Sign up and create your OVH account – on this page you’ll supply your personal information and last details to create your very own OVH account, after this step you will be directed to the payment page where you’ll pay for your annual subscription.
Congrats! You have your very own domain name and storage space for your blog!
Down to business
In my opinion, WordPress is the easiest beginner friendly platform that you could choose for your blog. There are endless free themes to choose from that will help you build your website and plugins that will allow you to customize it exactly the way you want to . The best part is that there is no need for coding!
Sign up to WordPress through OVH – You’ll have the option to start choosing your theme (the design) for your blog, I recommend waiting a little before choosing and complete the rest of these steps first.
Choose your username and password – head over to “users” – “your profile” and select a username and password that you will use to log in to your wp account.
Once that is set up – congrats! you can finally start designing your blog.
Choosing your theme – Head over to “appearance” – “themes” to browse all the difference themes that are available for you to download. Most themes are free and offer paid pro versions that include more features for you to use to design your website and faster customer support. I would start off with a free version first and update your version to “pro” if necessary.
Make sure you choose a theme that has been downloaded by many users and has good reviews, you will need customer support at the beginning so make sure it is a good and reliable one.
Planning your posts
Now is the time to sit down and start blogging! I wouldn’t recommend publishing your blog with less than 10 blog posts. Your audience needs to see content and that’s the main reason they would be visiting your website in the first place, so if you don’t make it interesting enough for them, they probably won’t bother returning AKA a high bounce rate (a very important word for you to remember when you start using Google Analytics).
Start off by writing down ideas for blog posts, remember that the title is very important in order to attract the right audience to your website so keep it interesting and catchy. Set yourself a goal to write one blog post a day and by the end of the week you’ll have enough to start off with.
For tips about how to write one blog post a day, check out my latest blog post with some useful time management tips
It is important to keep in mind that we are a visual generation, meaning that you can attract even more traffic to your blog by creating some beautiful attracting photos. Make sure you add professional visuals to each and every blog post that you publish. If you aren’t the creative type and need a little inspiration push, I highly recommend creating an inspo board on Pinterest that will help guide you.
Promoting your Blog
Ok then! This is when s**t gets real! Your blog should be up and running and looking fab by now, so let’s spread the word and grab everyone’s attention. Start off is by creating your very own business profile on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The best way to start spreading the word and the love is by reaching out to your friends and family, introduce them to your baby and ask them to share the news, this should help you gain your first 400+ followers.
From that point you will need to invest about 20% on your blog, publishing one blog post a week, and the other 80% on promoting it on social media. It takes time to build a community and gain traffic so be patient and enjoy the ride! Start engaging with other bloggers, publish your blog posts on relevant Facebook groups and create beautiful visuals.
Good Luck blogging!
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