It’s Blogger Day today, and I wanted to write about the things that I think were so important for me when starting this blog. I technically set it up a number of years ago, but it’s only in the last 10 months that I’ve properly been writing weekly for it.
I probably have an eclectic mix on the blog to be honest, because there’s so much I want to write about and so much I want to share, but hey ho, I’m learning as I go along.
Today’s post details seven tips and suggestions that were so helpful for me in the beginning, and also so important for me going forward.
My Super Seven Tips
- Decide on what you’re going to write about
First and foremost, you’ve got to have an idea about what you want to write about. Whether you’re blogging or vlogging or both, not having some idea of your content is going to let you down. It’s probably best to write down all the ideas you have and determine if there’s a target audience for that content.
Maybe you want to write about books, music, films… maybe you’re more health conscious and want to post recipes and ways of wellbeing… or maybe you’re into travel and want to explore that area.
Whatever your ideas, write them down! Then underneath the topics, start to write down ideas of blog posts.
The best way of determining what to blog about, is if you’ve got an endless list of blog post ideas.
So, in conclusion, get a notepad. Write down what you’re interested in, and then write down a whole list of blog post ideas for each interest. The interest with the most blog posts… well, wins! And you’ve got your blog idea!
- Determine the site you’re going to set it up on.
I’m set up on WordPress.com because it was really easy to set-up my site on it, choosing a template I liked, and beginning to post on it. It also shows me relevant reporting. But honestly there’s a bunch of sites out there that are great to look into when you’re starting up your blog.
For one, there’s WordPress.com vs WordPress.org, where WordPress.org has a bunch for added perks, including getting paid for your site with advertising. But there’s also the likes of Wix and Squarespace, which equally are great if you just want an easy-to-use set-up.
I’ve heard great things about Squarespace, and if you want to check it out, one of my favourite bullet journal designers, Amanda Rach Lee, uses it for her site.
If you want to get a good idea of what sites are out there, check out this write-up.
- Develop a brand – that includes, logo, fonts, colour scheme
I’m in marketing myself, which means I’m all over having a brand set-up before I even started writing posts. I wanted a logo that showcased what I was all about – writing and creativity and wellness. I wanted fonts that were easy to read but worked well with the logo, and I wanted a primary and secondary colour scheme, so I had colours I could use in my designs.
If you want to go down the same route, I recommend some research. You’ve got to have an idea about what your blog will be about first – hence tip number one, and once you’ve decided on what you’ll write about, you’ve got a better idea about what type of logo you want. Check out Pinterest as well as similar blogs to yours, getting an idea of their logos and fonts.
Research into fonts too. Do you want a script font? Or something a bit more traditional? There’s hundreds of free fonts out there. Here’s a few sites to start you off:
In terms of colour schemes, again, check out Pinterest first and get an idea of your favourite colours and what works well. Another site which is really useful is:
- My Color Space (yes it’s spelt the American way, but hey, it’s a good site).
- More tools to use to design your brand, graphics etc.
The best tool I can suggest for designing your brand, graphics, and anything else you need for your blog is a great program called Canva.
I absolutely love it, and can’t recommend it enough. I have a paid account, and with that you can set-up your brand fonts, logos, and colours on it – I even used it to create a brand guideline document for myself.
The great thing is with Canva is you can either design your collateral and graphics from scratch, or you can use templates that have already been created. You can choose set-up design sizes from anything from social media graphics to YouTube video graphics, A4 flyers, Report documents, and Instagram stories. Honestly, the sky’s the limit.
Also, what I find really useful is that you can set-up folders to file all your designs.
If you have access, I also recommend the likes of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. And for my videos I use iMovie. I haven’t tried out any other ‘Movie-makers’, as I’m just starting out, but who knows – that might be something I research into at a later date.
- Social accounts that need to be set-up
It’s completely up to the type of blog you’re setting up, but I definitely recommend setting up Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to start off with.
There are many other social sites to set-up, such as:
Honestly, it’s up to you what social sites you set-up, but the key thing is to determine what types of accounts are best for your target audience. For example, if you’re a travel blog I would definitely recommend Instagram – considering it’s a photo and video sharing site, but if you’re more focused on business and tech, you may lean more towards LinkedIn and Twitter.
And last but not least, when you’ve chosen your social accounts, research into the best times to post! This is important, as unless you have some idea of strategy, you’re not going to get as much engagement.
- Equipment you might need for the blog
I’ve just started getting into Vlogging, so there’s equipment for that too, but let’s just focus on the blogging side of things for now.
The key piece of equipment I recommend is a tripod. Whether you’re using your camera or iPhone (or Android phone – I’m just a lover of Apple), you will end up needing some way of setting up your phone or camera to take photos.
For a camera, I recommend a decent sized tripod. I’ve listed a few below that look great.
- AmazonBasics Lightweight Camera Tripod (I’ve got a similar one, that is honestly great).
- KingJoy Camera Tripod
- K&F Lightweight Camera Tripod
I also got a small tripod that is handy for my phone, and definitely recommended for out and about.
- Planning your content going forward
Now that you’ve set-up your blog, got some content ideas, got all the relevant equipment, and are posting fairly regularly, you need to start planning out your posts.
I track all my posts on Google Docs, saving files on there, images, and anything else I need – all accessible wherever I go so I can start writing or posting whenever I need to.
But I also love planning out what I post, and so I created a Google Docs spreadsheet for the whole year, with the first column being the day, and then the next columns being split by blog posts going out, social posts, and anything else I think is relevant. I also have a column set-up for Special Days of the Year – which also includes Special Monthly Themes of the Year, and Special Weeks of the Year.
I track all my work and checklists on a platform called Trello, which I thoroughly recommend if you’re into planning your content.
While I haven’t invested in a social media management site, as I don’t think I’m quite a big enough blog yet, I would recommend checking out the likes of Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social for scheduling your social posts too in the long term.
Here’s a list of those great sites:
That’s it! That’s my Super Seven Tips to Starting a Blog. I hope it’s useful for you, but please do share any tips yourselves in the comment section below.
Kate @ Kandid Chronicles x