Hey, this isn’t a cop out. It’s genuinely something new that I spent all frickin’ day trying out. As I stated in my previous blog post, I have created blogs before, but lack of traffic and lack of motivation mean they were all short lived. So although I wasn’t a complete blog virgin, I still needed to do my research as it had been a couple of years since I jumped on the blogging bandwagon. Yes, that’s the first, most important tip I can give to new bloggers. For God sake, DO YOUR RESEARCH. There are tons of useful hints and tips online, it would be dumb to dive into blogging head first (like I have mistakenly done so many times- and only ended up hitting my head at the bottom of the pool.)
If you are thinking of starting a blog, I think the first step is to establish what you are actually going to write about. This was a major problem I had before- one week I was writing about sport and the next, I was writing about fashion. Humans are creatures of habit, so it helps if you are consistent in your blog posts. Do you specialise in art, fashion, sport, gardening, bee keeping? Whatever it is, someone out there is guaranteed to want to read about it, if you are that passionate about it. And that’s another thing- whatever you choose to write about, make sure it is something you are passionate about as no one is going to read what you write and even worse, you aren’t going to want to write about it. I am passionate about learning and experiencing new things, hence the birth of this blog. If you are passionate about what you are writing about, you’re on a sure fire path to a successful blog.
The next tip I would suggest for new bloggers is to explore the different platforms available to support your blog. Like a man or a good pair of shoes, there is a platform out there for everyone, so it’s best to explore your options first. From my research, the most popular platforms for blogging appeared to be Wordpress, Blogger and interestingly, Tumblr. Tumblr, for me at least, was instantly out. I don’t know much about Tumblr, but it makes me think of One Direction memes clogging up my timeline, which, whilst appealing for some, was definitely not appealing to me (sorry 1D fans.)
The site that topped most of the reviews I looked at was Wordpress.org, a site that I had not heard of when I started blogging, which made me feel so not down with the kids. Anyway, apparently it is like the Twitter of the blogging world, so simple that even Snoop Dogg uses it, apparently. I gave it a trial run, but whilst I think it’s great if you are serious about blogging, are trying to promote a business, or perhaps even want to blog for a living, it seemed like a little too much pressure to handle for a newbie blogger like myself who was trying to get back in the game. Also, if you want a domain name, you’ll have to pay $3-$6 dollars a month, which apparently, is the price of an average cup of coffee every month. And I’m the type of girl to spend my money on coffee, every time. I’m not sure how it works out in GBP however (I couldn’t find a UK version, surprisingly.) The good news is that if you’re still interested in WordPress.org and think it might be the site for you, it’s sister site, Wordpress.com, is free if you don’t want a domain name, and is also easier to maintain, so I hear.
Although there are tens of other sites to take into consideration, I was left with Blogger, which I had used before. In my experience, it’s relatively simple (and free!) to use, but according to the reviews, it was now “outdated.” Left out in the cold like Facebook which, according to my 14 year old brother “is for old people now.” I mainly decided to go with Blogger because it was a site I was familiar with like an old friend, thus I concluded I wouldn't have to spend too much time fussing around with the features and so forth. I think I would recommend Blogger to the casual blogger, as there is less pressure to establish yourself as "a blogger", yet still room to grow your blog if you wish.
Remember how I said I chose Blogger because it would be easier to deal with features? Nope, far from it. The site has obviously had a shake up since I last logged on. It took me hours to design my site before I had even posted anything, which meant my Tuesday was spent drowning in cups of tea whilst glued to my laptop. I kept looking at other sophisticated blogs and then looking back at mine, which resembled the work of a 5 year old child in comparison. Patience has never been one of my virtues but I persisted. Again, there are tons of tutorials and tips if you want to know how to add certain features to your blog page if you’re unsure of anything.
Last tip: I’m no expert blogger but I do know that if all else fails, just have fun with your blog! Otherwise, what’s the point?
p.s. below are some useful hints and tips about making a blog that I found on the web:
video tutorials about Blogger features:
How to add Social Media tabs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4hI5WmqpBw
How to add tabs/pages: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz4dHZrjprk
Remember to check out the blogs on my blog list to the right hand side!