So you’ve started a blog, now what…
I unlike most of my fellow bloggers fell into blogging, I am not a writer, I’m not in PR, I have absolutely no background or experience but I’m a Wife and Mom and have done a pretty decent job of keeping all my boys alive and healthy so far (touch wood, rub a rabbits tail, 2 hail Mary’s and a good luck dance).
I have always enjoyed reading (and journaling), but I’m more of a real life book kind of girl, autobiographies and so on and one day I stumbled onto a Cape Town bloggers site and I was hooked. It was real and she was relatable. Once you enter this world, it is hard to stay away, since then my subsciptions to various blogs has increased drastically.
Entering the blog world as a newbie blogger however was MUCH more daunting. As I’ve said, I inherited the love of journaling from my Mother. I’ve got one for every step of my life, its always been such a great outlet to just write.
Getting back to what this post is really about, when I started blogging I did not know the how to’s or what to do or how to even actually publish my first post. Everything I have learnt has been through reading, asking questions and educating myself. I did not attend a blogging for beginners workshop, I did not have a dummies guide to blogging. Its self taught.
Today I thought I’d touch a little bit on what I’ve done and how it has helped me thus far.
Starting a blog
1. Decide on your blogs name (identify your blogging passion i.e. Parenting, Lifestyle, Beauty, Wellness, Breastfeeding, Crafts, Technology, Bridal etc.)
2. Create a blog, I initially started with the free WordPress and later purchased my domain (since then I’ve changed again but we’ll get there)
3. Pick a theme (this doesn’t have to be your forever and always theme, just select one now that you like and will suit your needs)
4. Create an “About Me” page
5. Create a “Contact” page
6. Register / Link your blog to various social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
7. Write your first blog post
On being self hosted
Towards then end of 2015 I realized that the time had come for me to branch out and join the self hosted blogging world. I reached out in the blogging community and decided on a host, Afrihost.
The next thing I had to do was figure out the How To’s and educate myself on the blogging lingo, for this I utilized Nicola Tweeds website (for everything).
Before going the self hosted route read this post from Nicola Tweed “A Price Comparison : Domain Names and Hosting”
The second part of my advice is to read this next post, the process of moving / transferring my free blog over to my self hosted site www.lovemademe.co.za took me 45min thanks to reading her post and following her step by step guide and working exceptionally slowly
Nicola Tweed “How to install WordPress”
* In December Nicola published an updated video tutorial post, HERE
This step could actually come before you actually start the process of blogging I guess, whatever tickles your whiskers. Understand the blog lingo, yip, I needed a dictionary. The first time Nikki said SEO I thought, “What the actual fudge, If I ask her now what that means 30 other people may just laugh, so shut up and google it”. So I googled it and read this article from Nicola Tweed “Beginners guide to SEO for bloggers”
(Don’t judge me, Nicola Tweeds website has been my ride or die resource guide)
Ok so no one will ever admit that they don’t understand what the acronyms mean, yeah yeah. But just in case you need some brushing up on these acronyms then read these
Set up an editorial calendar, yes you may not think its important but it is. Planning is important if you want your blog to grow and be given opportunities. Whether its an actual separate calendar, or diary notes, or an app on your phone just do it.
Organize your tags and categories, spring cleaning is always a good idea especially when it concerns your blog.
Organize your side bars, headers and footers. At one stage mine became a bit chaotic with all the flashing adverts and other rubbish. Less is more.
Check your previous posts for any broken links (or install a nifty plugin in) and fix them
Go through your blog / site pages, update your details where they have changed. If you were pregnant when you started your blog but now your kid is 3 then I think its about time you change your info.
Update your profile picture and or gravatar, lets be honest with ourselves, or atleast me, I can’t put a thin pic in my profile, Lord knows I’ve grown.
Claim your blog on Bloglovin
Register on Webfluential (ensure you have registered your blog on social media platforms in order to link these to your profile).
When creating a post, ensure that your meta description is accurate and added (I skipped all these steps for months because I just didn’t understand what they were)
Lastly for now, always give credit where its due. Meaning for quotes / articles / pictures / posts or whatever from other bloggers and the world wide web ALWAYS acknowledge the original writer.
Ok so like I said, I am by NO WAY a an expert and I’m learning as I go along so this post will probably be updated numerous times but hey, thats life! So if you’re looking for a DIY task, this may just be it!
Kid Tested, Mother Approved