In this guide, you’ll find advice on how to start a blog and build it into a successful one. Be sure to share!
Owning a blog, requires time, dedication, and passion. On average, there’s approximately 153 million+ blogs on the web. So, What trait sets successful blogs apart from the rest?
Pause for a moment and think of the first websites you visit upon waking in the morning.. More than likely, your answer “Facebook/Twitter/your social media and your email account” are the top overall responses.
But why do you use these sites day in & day out? The answer to that question is so obvious that you might’ve never even realized it. These sites provide immense value to you.
Gmail, Yahoo, or whatever email platform you use, allows you to connect with anyone and everyone around the world instantly at no charge. Facebook lets you post news, images/videos, and articles with your friends and family around the world — again, all for free. Most likely, you have been on these websites for such a long time, that you’ve forgotten really just how great they are — and how wonderful the value is for either.
And it’s this element — ” value “ — that separates the few big websites from the many others.
Be sure to remember that at any given time, hundreds of things and to-do’s and websites are competing for our attention. What that means is your blog must provide a darn good motive to read it. This could mean pulling together difficult-to-gather info, or making your viewers laugh, or providing us with advice that makes our lives easier. Any of these little elements translates to value in a blog.
Let’s Get Started With The Basics:
#1: Your platform and hosting. If you haven’t already, we need to select the hosting and platform for your blog.
For hosting, I highly recommend iPage. I’ve been with this hosting provider for quite some time now and have been very happy with my decision in choosing this company. They provide wonderful customer support as well, in case you run into any trouble along the way of growing your blog. You can sign up through my link: IPAGE SIGN-UP .
As for your platform, I recommend using WordPress. Overall, it’s truly an amazing blogging platform. Tons of plugins, themes, etc are all available. There are two types of WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. To be put simply, the .org version is self hosted and the .com version is not. WordPress.org is the one I recommend using. In order to get started with it, you’ll need to set up your hosting HERE. From there, you’ll be able to download WordPress and get started with building your lovely blog!
Your Blog’s Design
The style/set up of your blog is honestly just as important as the content within it. Everyone has different style preferences, therefore, you should focus on something that flows within your own style, as well as your reader’s. Think about your niche. Maybe it’s home decor? Hair and Beauty? Crafts and DIY? Try visiting other blogs that are similar to yours. This will give you an idea as to styles you may like, and ones that you don’t. Also, Browsing throughout different color pallets can be extremely helpful.
Not only is the style of your blog important, the navigation of everything is, too. Create a simple menu and include your main pages + the categories on your site. Example:
HOME | ABOUT ME | GET IN TOUCH|BLOG
Under the “blog” section, include a drop down that allows readers to select a specific category. For an example, when they highlight over “BLOG”, the options “Lifestyle, Beauty, and DIY” show up. In a way, this is a form of organization. It gives the visitor the choice of selecting what they want to browse through.
Designing your blog isn’t always easy. If you need help or choose to hire a designer, visit kayliesummer.net. I’d be happy to help!
When it comes to writing blog articles, the most important thing to focus on is putting the “VALUE” in what you write. Be personal, be unique, and be bold. Like I stated above, there are over 153 million blogs out there. So the topics you decide to write about have probably already been written many times before. That’s why you need to ensure that yours stands out from the rest.
Deciding on what topics you want to write about may seem easy at first, but it can be one of the most difficult aspects of owning a blog. What I recommend doing is having a simple journal or notebook handy and easy to access at all times because you never know when the inspiration will strike. You could be either going on an early morning run, or sitting in line at Starbucks when all of a sudden, BOOM. Your brain somehow comes up with the most perfect topic. But, without writing it down, you’re likely to forget this idea. I’ve also found the “notes” app on my iPhone to come in handy at times for saving your article ideas.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR BLOG! Hope this article helps a bit with guiding you through the way!!
Written by Kaylie…. Owner of coffeewithkaylie.com
Originally published at medium.com