Setting Up A Blog – The Basics

Setting up a blog can be tricky whether for personal use or setting up a small business.

Setting Up A Blog - The Basics

I have written a few blogging tips before including My Top 10 WordPress Plugins and decided to share a few more tips on setting up a blog/website.

Setting Up A Blog

Choose A Domain Name

Choosing a Domain Name is the first and most important step. It needs to stand out from the crowd whilst reflecting what your site is about. Always make sure you check to see if your domain name is available. Check to see if it is used anywhere else or could be confused for a similar name.

Pick Your Host

Choosing a reliable host is so important, people won’t return if your site is always going down. A host that offers support is always a bonus which is why I like 1&1. They are easy to talk to on the phone even if you have anxiety like me. There are plenty of hosts and plans available so look around and read reviews too.

Find The Right Platform

Selecting the right platform for what you want is one of the first decisions to make. I personally prefer WordPress as I just can’t get my head around Blogger. I find WordPress is much more user friendly and with so many plugins available including woo commerce it is perfect for any type of website. There are others available, each will have different packages so take a look around and work out what is right for you.

Branding & Web Design

The next step to setting up a blog is creating your branding. Your branding needs to be strong, it is what helps you stand out from the crowd. Choosing the right design, colours, style and logo for your site is very important as it is the first thing visitors to your site will notice.  If you are unsure what works best there are plenty of web design companies that can help work out what is best for your brand.

Create Relevant Content

Create relevant pages such as a contact us page, about us, testimonials, products etc. It helps to create a few pages and posts before sharing elsewhere so your visitors have something to browse. Whilst I personally don’t feel you have to fit an exact niche creating relevant content for your readers is important. I don’t fit one single niche however I have readers who just visit specifically for tips, parenting posts, product reviews and mental health rambles. Creating categories helps with this. Anyone that visits my site can select a category from the top and go straight to the relevant posts.

Connect Social Media Accounts

Create and connect social media accounts on the relevant platforms. LinkedIn is great for those looking to connect with other professionals. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube may be needed depending on your type of blog or small business. Connecting all your accounts makes it easier for readers/customers to find you.

Learn SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) determines how you rank through search engines such a google. Learning SEO from the start can save months of trawling through blog posts and pages. There are so many SEO guides online and they are well worth the watch/read as they can help your ranking dramatically.

Connect to Google Analytics

Google analytics provides useful insights into your users, their demographics, best performing posts, referrals and more. This is a useful tool to learn more about your customer/reader and what they are looking for more of. You can create more useful content for your readers which generally leads to more visitors too.

Once you have covered these basics of setting up a blog or business site you are ready to go!

 

 

 

10 Blogging Tips To Stay Motivated

I’ve put together 10 blogging tips to stay motivated. We all get a little stuck at times and it can be so hard to keep yourself motivated. Remember everything you need to do on the blog can be stressful. With products to review, personal posts, keeping up with social media plus the real world getting in the way it’s easy to lose track.

I am always complaining that I am slacking so I decided to try and keep myself motivated and last week it most definitely worked, I managed to post on 6 out of 7 days! 6!!! I usually struggle to get 3 done! So what changed? How did I manage it?

10 blogging tips to stay motivated

  1. Post it notes – Yes, that’s right those simple little pads of paper you can stick anywhere & everywhere! I have always loved post it notes and I have a few that have lines on for lists. I’ve been using these to note down all my account links, special days coming up (WMHAW17 etc.) as well as my weekly stats for each platform.

    Post it notes

  2. Weekly Planners – It can be difficult to remember which products you’ve agreed to schedule for which days and trawling through emails can take hours. To save time & keep me on track I use these awesome weekly planners, which you can pick up in most pound shops, to jot down which posts need editing, scheduling, pictures uploaded & of course sharing across social media. This in itself has kept me on top much more than before!
    weekly planner
  3. Notebooks – I love stationary, purple pens & notebooks make me way happier than they probably should but having a few notebooks handy has helped me jot down some ideas to go back to later. The Mr bought me a few different sized purple ones so now I have them EVERYWHERE!
  4. Set goals – We all set goals but how many of us keep to them or actively work towards them? Jotting down my stats each week lets me see which platforms I need to spend time on. I generally go up in 10’s, 50’s, 100’s then 1k for each goal. Seeing the difference each week helps me work out what I need to do more or less of on the blog & social media.
  5. Read other blogs – When I find myself stuck for something to write I often head to Stumble upon. I spend an hour or so flicking through a billion posts. Although it doesn’t always happen it usually gives me an idea of something to write about. Even finding new crochet stitches can be useful as I can write about them as I learn them.
  6. Take a break, Go for a walk – Ever sit at your desk and feel like your head is going to explode & you just can’t think? Take a break & do something else, maybe go for a walk. Sometimes we waste too much time stressing about what we need to do. Stepping away gives you a chance to think without feeling pressured to do so. Sometimes just going for a walk can give you ideas. Take your phone/camera too as you never know what you will come across.
  7. Chat to other bloggers – Sometimes running ideas past another blogger can be so helpful! General chats can lead to ideas for posts. Tracey from Hooks & Dragons recently struggled to remember which WordPress plugins she needed to use after buying her domain. I realised it’s something I had no clue about when I began. Sharing My Top 10 WordPress Plugins I helped Tracey & other bloggers find useful plugins they didn’t know about.
  8. Chat to friends & family – Whilst they might not know about or understand blogging sometimes the best ideas can come from those around you. A lot of my ideas come from talking to the Mr, the girls, my brother & friends like Mike (Slim to me) from Keep it Mike who I introduced to blogging before he went off on his travels last year.
  9. Clean workspace – Having a clean workspace can make the world of difference! If your desk is cluttered your mind probably feel’s that way too. If you can’t find paperwork or samples you need because they are buried it can get pretty stressful. I keep clearing my desk as I find if it’s cluttered I tend not to sit & do much at all. If it’s clear I enjoy sitting at my desk & get so much more done.. even with my granny squares taking up some space haha!

    clean workspace

  10. Use time saving apps – IFTTT is an absolutely amazing app Martyn from Inside Martyn’s thoughts passed on to me. It allows you to link social media accounts. Say I share a picture via Instagram, I have it linked so that it then shares to my Facebook & twitter too. I use Buffer too to schedule tweets/posts across the day. This frees up time leaving me free to write or chat with others on social media.

What do you think of my 10 blogging tips? Do you have any tips for keeping motivated?