Ever wanted to start your own blog but wasn’t sure how or where to start? Trust me we’ve all been there. Picking out a name, blog design, and even where to have your blog hosted are so many things to take into consideration before you announce to friends and family that you started a blog. “What will I even write about? No one is going to care what I have to say.” That’s what I thought for so long before I actually mustard up the courage to start one for myself. And now, nine months later, there are people who tell me they have my blog bookmarked on their safari and firefox, or that they visit my blog every time I post an update. To me, that is crazy, and I would have never thought last May that people would be reading and looking at my pictures daily.
Okay now I’m sure you are sitting there going, “she only started this nine months ago, how is she a pro?” I’m not. I’m learning new things every single day. Just yesterday I learned how to change the aperture on my big girl camera. But the fact that I am still learning and developing as a blogger is great for you guys because I’m willing to share the mistakes that I made throughout this journey, in hopes that you guys won’t make the same ones!
1. Choose a blog name that fits your personality & your blog’s purpose
For me, this didn’t happen instantly. Last may I started out as East Coast Chic. I had plans to be a preppy fashion blogger, but as I blogged I found out that wasn’t really who I was and it wasn’t what my posts were focused on. So mid-October my blog was rebranded to Rainboots & Retail because it more appropriately fit with what my posts were about. Thinking of what you want to blog about before hand is a great tool in helping you choose a name!
2. Choose a blog design
Do not feel pressured to spend a fortune on this. WordPress & blogger alike have some great free templates, that require very little HTML knowledge to edit them! If you do want to pay someone to design your blog for you, do some research and find someone that is worth the money, like Olive & Ivy. I’ve never used her personally, but her designs are really beautiful and not too expensive! If you’re in need of just a personalized blog header like the one I have, I’m great with photoshop and don’t mind doing them for free! Just shoot me an email!
3. Make your first post!
The big time has come, make your first post! This post is one that you will look back on six months from now and laugh at, so be sure to make it good. But in all seriousness, make this first post something that people will see frequently in the future, so that when you post the first link to your blog people will know what to expect from you later down the road! This is your first impression, make it good.
4. Get on social media
I cannot stress to you enough how much social media increases blog traffic. I made a huge mistake and waited too long to start my blog’s Facebook page. Do not wait. The first day you finalize your blog URL, create all your social media profiles. It doesn’t matter if you have 8 likes for three months, the fact that you have it during those days of blog building will ultimately increase blog traffic in the future. Utilize Pinterest by pinning your photos to your own boards, Instagram has an incredible blog presence, and sometimes twitter is a good tool, but not all the time.
5. Don’t stress over blogging/plan ahead
The worst thing you can do is stress over blogging. If I go a week without a post? Who cares! The people that follow my blog know that I love what I do and that I will be back, but sometimes real life throws us some curve balls and doesn’t let us sit at our desk for hours at a time like we want too. Sad, I know. If you have an awesome blog idea at 2am, write it down. If you have an awesome blog idea in the middle of class, write it down. Then go in your planner and try to pick goal days of what day you can get that post live! Planning ahead is very hard at first, especially when you don’t know what the people want, but sticking to 2-3 posts a week is a great goal for beginners!
I hope this answers any questions that you guys have, but if it doesn’t, please do not hesitate to email me! I check my email constantly throughout the day, and I love chatting with you guys! xoxo happy Monday!