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How to start a blog

Despite there being tons of these posts out there on the internet, I still get asked lots and lots of blogging related questions. Mainly around setting up a blog, what to write about and how to get people to read it. Now, I am absolutely not an expert. I’ve been blogging for two years which really isn’t that long and I’m still learning all the time. But, I have managed to build a relatively successful blog and have learnt a few things along the way, so I thought I would share what I know…

Blogger or WordPress? 

When it comes to setting up your blog, there’s lots of blogging platforms out there but the main ones are WordPress and Blogger. I use WordPress and that’s what I would always recommend to others. It gives you lots of scope to customise your blog and make it exactly how you want it. But, there’s really no right or wrong platform to use and there are some very successful bloggers out there that still use Blogger.

Blogging equipment

When I first started my blog I didn’t even have a laptop. I typed my early posts out on an iPad! A couple of months in I borrowed by dads laptop and didn’t get my own until about a year in. My point is, you don’t need fancy equipment to be a blogger, at least not to start off with. All you need is the motivation to write.

When you’ve been blogging for a little while it is definitely worth investing in a decent camera. I was lucky that I already loved taking photos before I started my blog so already had a DSLR camera. I still have my Canon 600d now although I am looking to upgrade it later this year. Once you’ve got to grips with a DSLR camera, you might want to start looking at new lenses and I would highly recommend a 50mm lens.

What should I write about?

This is a question I’ve been asked quite a lot. There’s really no right or wrong answer to this, just write about what you want to write about. If you’re not enjoying what you’re writing, you won’t be able to stick to it. Don’t just try to copy what everyone else out there is doing, find your own style.

What I would also say is, don’t worry about sticking to one topic. You don’t just have to talk about your kids all the time, if mums are your target audience they are still going to be interested in other things – fashion, food, interiors, travel etc. Go with what you want, it’s your blog at the end of the day. And when you have been going for a while you’ll be able to see what sort of post do better than others and adapt your content to this, if you want to that is.

How do I get people to read my blog? 

Firstly, you need to be active on social media and make sure you’re sharing your content. But be careful not to be too spammy with it. Engage with your followers and don’t just constantly plug blog posts at them.

Secondly, be consistent. Post regularly. Don’t disappear for months and expect people to still be interested when you come back. Try for one post a week and built up to two or three.

Thirdly and most importantly, be patient! So many people start blogs and give up after a month because they expected thousands of readers within that time. That’s not going to happen. Blogging is a very over saturated market and you need to stick around for long enough to get people’s attention. When I first started out it was just a hobby and I think that is the best approach to have. Give it time, enjoy it, be consistent and the readers will come.

If you’re here to learn about monetising your blog, I’m going to write a separate post on that which should be coming in the next couple of weeks.

I think I’ve covered just about everything there, but if there’s anything I’ve missed that you would like to know then please do leave me a comment.

Thank you for reading.