This is literally a question I get asked DAILY! And I’ve always refrained from going too in-depth because I feel like there is a lot of content already out there, easy to Google at the press of a button. But I still get asked, so I’ve decided to put my own tips in one place.
Now, some of these might not be your ‘by the book’ responses, but they are the things I have learned and noted along the way that I believe worked for me!
WTF Are You Doing?
What you really need to think about it “can I actually write about this every day and going forward“. Is your why perhaps too niche and you wouldn’t be able to sustain it long term? Perhaps write a list of your core themes and ideas you’d like to write about and work out if you think you have the content to keep going with a blog.
Also, why is it that you’re even starting the blog? Do you actually want to write? Or do you see others doing it and think “oh that looks fun” or believe you’re going to make a lot of money?! Because if that’s the only reason, then know that only a very small percentage of blogs make it to the point of monetisation, and it’s a LOT of hard work!
If you have a social profile, you might think you need a blog to go with it?! That’s not always the case though. Perhaps just focusing on your social platforms is a better idea. Not every ‘influencer’ needs to have a blog!
Choose A Platform
There are a number of blogging platforms around. WordPress (which I use) is what I suggest because it’s easy to use and has a wide variety of functionality. There is also SquareSpace, Wix, Blogger & a few others.
Have a play around with them, ask your friends, search themes you like and see what platform they are built for before you decide which you want to go with. It’s a lot harder to change once you’ve got a lot of content, down the track.
Check Your Name & Domain Is Available
Before you even go start creating the blog, make sure your domain and user names are available. In the space of ‘mummy blogging,’ every second person’s name includes the words mum, mumma, mummy, mama – it’s really not that original. It makes your visibility low and doesn’t stand out in a sea of similar names.
Try and come up with something a bit more personal and unique. Then make sure you actually check you can have that handle, across all platforms you want to use. Not just the domain name. You want it to be uniform, so if you can get something close then perhaps try another name.
Nothing more awkward than buying the domain, only for the Instagram handle to be taken.
Understand How Self Hosting Works
If you’re going with your own domain, for example, houseofwhite.com.au. Then understand how the hosting works. Where you purchase a domain and where the actual site is hosted might be different. These costs can creep up quickly, so you’d want to be sure this is something you want to invest in.
If you’re just starting out then perhaps a free hosting service with WordPress or Tumblr is a good place to start. Meaning your name would be houseofwhite.wordpress.com. If you’re driving all your traffic from your socials anyway, people will just be clicking a link so it doesn’t matter and you save $$$.
Don’t Over Do It
One mistake I see people make often is over complicating the look of their blog. As fun as it is to play around with themes and how it looks, it can be wasted time. The important part is the content, is it engaging? Do you have good images? Is it easy to read on a computer and a phone?
These are the things I absolutely think are vital when running a blog. Spend time on creating amazing content that people will actually want to read!!
Don’t Use Other Peoples Images
If you are using images on your blog that you haven’t taken yourself, be very careful. If you are using stock images, then make sure you check the licensing of that image.
Is it a ‘free’ stock image or do you need to pay for usage? I have seen people receive letters from sites that they have used a photo from without paying, and the penalty can be huge.
My advice, take your own images or use free stock images.
Link All Your Accounts
Trying to make everything as autonomous as possible means you will save a lot of time. Linking all your social accounts to post when you post a blog post is a great way to do this!
Use your other platforms to drive traffic to your blog. Have links to all your socials on your blog, easy to see and click!
Don’t Worry About Numbers
Like with social media, people can easily get caught up on the numbers. Of course, in the beginning, it’s not going to be drawing in big digits. It takes time, you need to work hard, be consistent and create amazing content. Then they will come!
Which leads me to my next point…
How To Get ‘Seen’
A great way to be seen is to have your articles and posts shared on other sites, with details and links back to your own blog. Contact big sites within your niche and ask for a ‘repub’. This means they share your content, with your byline.
This is different from writing original content which you could be paid for. Sometimes you might write an original piece and submit it to an online publication (which some pay) and it is them their content and you cannot sell it to anyone else. But again, if they add your details and blog name this could generate traffic for you.
Be Prepared To Invest
Once you’ve started and your blog is running well and receiving good traffic, you might come up against traffic issues with your hosting. It’s a good problem to have since people are visiting your site, but it can inhibit your ability to monetize your blog or be seen.
I’ve had to change and upgrade my hosting several times to manage the peak and spikes of traffic my blog sometimes gets. But I’d rather people could see my content then be met with an “overloaded” message and not come back!
I’ve also invested a lot of money in updating my site to grow with my needs. Adding functionality and updating my theme. Once you’re making money from your blog, remember that it’s a tool for generating your income, so make sure you invert the time and money it deserves to keep it running smooth and serving our audience.
I hope that these tips have been helpful! If you have any questions, of course do not hesitate to get in touch!