Deciding to start a blog comes with a lot of decisions to make. I can’t explain EVERYTHING in this post, but I can at least give you some blogging basics to start you going in the right direction!
Your Marketing BFF blog inception.
In June of 2011, I literally dove head first into blogging.
Two months earlier, I started reading (actually, I started ‘studying’) others blogs. I looked at blogs that were doing well; what blog platform they were using, what they were doing, what their blogs looked like, who they were blogging for, what name they were using, etc.
Now six years later, and droves of new followers finding me every day (thanks Google + SEO), I get asked often…
What are the blogging basics — the important things beginners should know?
Here’s a list of blogging basics I’ve created to get you started blogging on the right path!
- Decide what and whom you’re blogging for. This is also known as finding your niche. Are you blogging to promote your business? To make money? To share your work, talents, ideas, inspiration? Consider what and whom you are blogging for first because this will help establish the tone and voice of your blog.
My niche: marketing. branding. modern design for small business creatives and bloggers.
What I’m blogging for: to share my marketing/branding/design knowledge, promote my business, inspire others 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 kind of gal.
- Decide on a name for your blog (one that will stay & grow with you AND 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 is also good to provide a tagline or a few key words as to what the blog is about/for right in your header area. Keep in mind, 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 an example of a blog containing a name and tagline in the header area:
- 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 $12/year.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 (comments and a way to contact you) available.
- Minimum of four pages. It’s good to have a minimum of four pages. I’d suggest having at least a home, about page, blog page and a contact page. Need more? Go with more, but these are the 4 key ones!
Now that you know the blogging basics, it’s time to get started!
Need more help getting started? How To Grow A Blog: Everything You Need To Know To Create And Start A Blog ebook will guide you through the entire process from beginning to end, you can learn more here. Or get started by following my 7 Basic Steps on How To Start A Blog here.