{Blog 101} Beginning Blogging? The Basics.

I started blogging June 2011, I literally dived head first without evening thinking.

Two months earlier, I started reading (actually, I started ‘studying’) others blogs.  I looked at blogs that were doing well; what they were doing, what their blogs looked like, who they were blogging for, what name they were using, etc.

Now, nine months and almost 4,000 followers later (and growing more every day), I get asked …

How do you get started with this whole blogging thing?

Here’s a basic list I’ve created to get you started on the right foot.

1.   Decide what and whom you’re blogging for.  This is also known as finding your niche. Are you blogging to promote your biz? To make money? To share your ‘works/gifts/ideas’? Consider this first, because this will help establish the tone and voice of your blog.

My niche: marketing. branding. modern design for small business creatives.

What I’m blogging for: to share my marketing/branding/design knowledge, promote my biz and make money.

Tone and voice: I’m a ‘tell it like it is’ – not a lot of fluff, and let’s get right to the point.

2.   Decide on a name for your blog (one that will stay & grow with you + isn’t hard to spell).  You’ll be glad you did. It’s not always a simple change, if you decide to go by something else down the road.

Note: it’s also good to provide a tagline or a few key words as to what the blog is about/for RIGHT IN YOUR HEADER AREA – you’ve got 3 seconds to catch your readers attention and let them know that they’ve landed on the blog that is right for them!

Here’s a few blog examples:

3.   Have your blog name and URL match.  I always advise people to buy the domain name for your blog’s title – trust me it will make finding your blog a lot easier!  You can go to sites like GoDaddy to see if your domain name is available. A domain name is typically around $10/year.

4.  Create a nice blog design.  It’s important to also create visual impact that showcases your personality as well.  Quick tips: Limit the number of colors you use, avoid hard to read fonts, keep your sidebar tidy, avoid auto-loading music or pop ups that interrupt the reader’s experience.

Seriously, this is a whole other blog post!  I promise to write a post on blog design do’s and don’ts at a later date.

5.  Draft your posts in reader friendly formats. If you want people to stick around and read your blog, consider keeping your posts short and “chunk down” your information.

Look at this post you’re reading right now…the paragraphs are kept short, graphics are used to break up text, I typically use bulleted or numbered lists.  This reader friendly format helps draw your readers’ eyes to the information and makes it easier to quickly scan your content! 

 6.  Provide a way for readers to engage and contact you.  Comments at the end of each post allow two-way conversation.  And sometimes, people may want to contact you ‘behind the scenes’ and ask you something privately, or send a personal thank you.  Being accessible to your readers is very important and that’s why it’s a good idea to have both of these available.

7.  Minimum of 3 pages.  It’s good to have a minimum of three pages.  I’d suggest having at least a blog page, about page, and a contact page.  Need more? Go with more, but these are the 3 key ones!

I can honestly tell you, I wish I started blogging a long time ago!  Blogging is fun.

I’ll continue to add to this category, so feel free to send me your blogging questions, tips, lessons you learned that you wish someone would have told you sooner, etc.

Now that you know the basics of beginning a blog, go get started!

 

***Sources/Notes:

-blogging 101 image via Likeable.com

-And special thanks to today’s creative blog, Bridget & Co, and the yellow cape cod for representing blogs that understand the 3 second rule!

 

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Comments

  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing : )

  2. Thanks for using my blog as your example. That was a fun surprise. I am happy to know I did something right. Your advice has been such a blessing to me. Thank you for these informative posts, I’ve passed them along to readers that contact me for blogging/business advice. You really are a BFF.

    Best,
    Sarah
    http://www.theyellowcapecod.com

    • @Sarah: Girl, you’re doing A LOT of things right! You’re so welcome and thanks for passing ‘my stuff’ along.

      Cheers,
      Tana

  3. These are a lot of good things I wish I’d know when I first started blogging back in February!

    I found your blog via Pinterest btw!

    Helen
    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

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