I recently signed up for Just a Girl and Her Blog’s ‘How to Start a Blog in 7 days’, and, even though I’ve had my blog for over 9 months now, I still found it useful and picked up some handy tips. Although I wont be spamming your emails every day for a week, I thought I’d write a sort of checklist of what you I think you should do in your first week of your blog.
This is not to say I did all these things, some of the things I’m going to list I didn’t set up till recently, but if I was to start my blog now, this is how I would do it.
1. Blogger or WordPress – the age old debate. I have found some really helpful links for this, and I wrote a blog post here about some of my findings. I feel like this is something you need to get right asap, I swapped after having my blog for 6 months, and I feel like it limited my views for a while.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
Blogger Vs WordPress Comparison
Blogger Vs WordPress
2. URL – This is important, but don’t panic too much about it. Just make sure you’re not too precise about it; as in, don’t limit your blogging reach by making your title too specific. If you can, try to get a thread across social medias; Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, because it will make it easier to find you.
3. Layout – when you start your blog you are given the default theme, and although on both Blogger and WordPress the original theme is ok, you will want to personalise it. Choose something you like, there are loads of choices. But once again, don’t get too bogged down in this, as this is something that can be easily changed further down the line.
4. Logo – this is something I only got recently, but it will help brand your website, even if your logo is just your URL in your favourite font, it’s better than nothing. Then to add it on WordPress it’s really easy, there is actually a space on the ‘Customizer’ to upload this!
5. Install the App – this only really works if you have a smart phone, but installing the Blogger/Wordpress app allows you to quickly check your blog on the go. You can’t do a lot on the Blogger App, but the WordPress app allows you to reply to comments, and more or less do everything you can on a computer. It’s fab!
6. Write your First Post – Your first post could be anything, I mean here is mine, but I feel like a nice place to start – and somewhere I wish I’d started – is just a simple ‘hello’, let your audience know who you are, and what it is you have to say.
7. Think of Blog Post Ideas – just write a few down, maybe make a few drafts, it will help when you come to upload you actual content.
8. Add Social Media Buttons – you add these in the form of a Widget button on your blog, it just allows people to see what you get up to, and it’s another way to get your blog name out there! I’ll leave links for tutorials for Blogger and WordPress. (Side note: If you don’t already have Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook Page, set them up!)
9. About Page – creating one of these with a photo of you, a little about yourself, and possibly a contact email address if a great way to allow people to get to know you a little better, and allow your readers to contact you if they have any questions. It doesn’t have to be complicated, mine is currently very simple, and when I get my laptop back, it will be something I will be looking into improving.
10. Comment on Other Blogs/Follow Other Blogs – talking to other bloggers in the community is a great way of getting your name out there, and it’s actually one of my favourite things. Leave a nice comment on someone elses blog commenting on their post in some way and then leave a link at the bottom of the comment to your blog. Simple. Also, when someone leaves a comment on your blog, reply, talking to people is great!
11. Follow Bloggers on other Social Media – just keeps the community growing
12. Add BlogLovin’ – this is something I wish I’d done since the beginning, it is a great way to gain followers and views, and I have definitely seen a growth in viewers since signing up to BlogLovin, and I’ve also found some real gems of blogs on there as well.
13. Set up a Diary – having a regular blog post schedule is fairly important, it helps when readers know what to expect and when. And if you’re completely stuck for ideas, there are loads of blog post idea posts out there (I have a post of 200 Beauty/Lifestyle/Food blog post ideas) or take part in a 30 Day Blog Post Challenge (I have one – which I’m currently doing now)
14. Activate BlogLovin’ – I mean I doubt you’ll get anything at this early in your blog, but there’s no harm in setting it up at the beginning. It’s basically a section on BlogLovin’ where companies advertise paid posts they want people to write. If you don’t want your blog to be about money, obviously don’t set this up, but I feel like it’s a great way to try!
I hope you enjoyed reading this! I’ve learnt a lot in my process of blogging, and here are some tips and tricks I wish I’d done right from the beginning!