So you want to start a blog?

Recently I wrote the post Tips for Newby Bloggers. It was aimed at the few friends that had asked me how they go about setting up a blog. Yes, it has been well read but did I meet my target audience?

No, I don’t think I did, I wrote this post as a new blogger. But that doesn’t help if you know nothing about blogging at all does it?

So for all my lovely friends out there, those of you who want to start your own blog I thought I would create you a little check list. What you need when setting up a blog.

setting up a blogRemember there are lots of options out there, this is blogging from my angle, others may have different opinions or tips, and all I can do is talk from my experience. I am by no strength of the imagination an expert and have made nearly every mistake there is to make, but what I have got is a year of hindsight.

  1. Obvious, but you need an email account, I have a separate one for my blog it makes life easer.
  2. Choose you name, one that you love and one that will grow with you. It took me ages to choose mine. I started with a bubble chart with all the words and phrases I wanted to associate with my little place on the web.
  3. Register your name if you want a .com .co.uk .net .uk name. If you are serious about your blog then trust me it is so much easier to do it now and not later. You only need to sign up for a year at a time so it’s not a major commitment. Extraordinary Chaos only cost me £6.99 in my first year. I bought mine from TSO host. (There are lots of companies out there that do this, but someone recommended them)
  4. Choose you domain there are lots out there. My blog is on self hosted WordPress though TSO host. This means I control my site and all its content but I have the back up of a company to help out if I have technical issues. It gives me more control, but with peace of mind that there is someone at the end of the phone to help if I have a problem. And trust me? Those guys at TSO, have earned their cash dealing with me, they are amazing.
  5. Set up a Facebook, Google plus, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Bloglovin. These are just for starters, but in my opinion all are essential to grow your blog and meet new bloggers.
  6. Choose you theme and layout, I took me ages to choose my theme, and depends on lots of factors so it is worth playing around with different themes until you find one that fits you.
  7. Make a header for your blog. This is very personal. Some like a very simple header, some love images, some illustrations. To start with PicMonkey is a great place to make a blog header, it has the facility to make collage pictures. You can start with a Facebook collage that fits perfectly into a blog header space. There are lots of images and fonts you can add to personalise your header.
  8. Choose plug-ins for your blog, a plug-in is a resource you can add to your blog to improve its appearance or function. My favourite is jetpack; it has lots of functionality in one that is really useful in the successful running of your blog.
  9. Connect your social media to your blog, this way any readers that want to connect with you can click on a link, which takes you to your Facebook, Twitter etc.
  10. If you have survived all of this hoorah you are ready for the easy bit, writing your posts. Now all you have to do is press publish. It took me ages to actually press publish, I was terrified. Looking back I have no idea why, but I am so glad I did.

I will try to add a few step by steps over the next few weeks, how to make a header, add social media icons etc. Stuff any blogger takes for granted. Hope it helps and good luck.