Are you dreaming of starting a blog and thinking “I really want to write and share my ideas with others but where the heck do I start?”
Here are some basic tips and tools to
empower you to GO FOR IT with a solid platform,
instead of a sinking ship!
Fortunate to have awesome women in my life who shared their tips and suggestions, I aim to pay it forward.
YOU HAVE THE DESIRE TO WRITE AND SHARE WITH OTHERS OR YOU WOULDN’T BE READING THIS.
YOU LOVE TO LEARN OR YOU WOULDN’T EVEN CONSIDER THIS.
WITH PATIENCE, BALANCE, COMMUNITY AND THE RIGHT TOOLS YOU WILL EXCEL!
You need a topic, what do you love, what inspires you, what could you write about endlessly. Brainstorm ideas, bounce these ideas off a trusted friend and check out blogs with a similar niche. Perhaps you can think of an area where your blog can differ from others? Yes, there are a lot of blogs but remember there is only one you. Your blog will combine unique content with your personality and style, it will truly be a reflection of you.
Once you have chosen your niche, you need to write, write and write some more. I would suggest having 50 quality rich posts ready to publish at a pre-established interval prior to going live with your site. I went live with my site early on, I hit the wrong button and there it was, so I am going with it!
A Search Engine Optimization expert who was kind enough to offer me assistance gave me this huge tip: there will always be technical glitches and things you want to revise on your site but until you have about 50 posts it will be difficult to maintain engagement with readers. Carefully craft posts to establish your online presence. You want to engage your readers and keep them coming back!
Set up social media accounts specifically for your blog. Start to mingle, and spread the word about your upcoming big launch! This will create a network of mentors and resources you are going to NEED. Join our Facebook group the New Bloggers Support Group, I would love to check out and promote your blog! Find a small mastermind group to learn and grow with, if your niche is home decor/interior styling/DIY we would love to have you join us in our small group Home Decor Bloggers Who Care.
There are oodles and oodles of social media options out there, and the choices can be overwhelming. Try focussing on becoming proficient in one or two platforms that suit your niche best. For example, if your blog is going to be about travel or home decorating, focus on visual social media like Pinterest and Instagram. You can check out my Pinterest here>> Lisa Designs Life, or find me @lisadesigsnlife on Instagram.
Do not wait until everything is PERFECT or you might never start at all. In the world of technology there is always something new to learn, and when it comes to blogging and social media there is a lot more to it than first meets the eye!
Jump in and get started, you won’t regret it!Source out an available name – click on this free site name check to enter your name ideas and to check if the name you want is available. Be sure to also check whether the name is available on social media sites. Keep the name short and sweet, it should be easy to remember and fairly quick to type. You want fewer letters, not only for others but trust me, this will be a blessing for you as well!
You might begin to write before deciding on the exact name of your blog but really can’t go much further than that without the name. The name will define your site, and be a part of everything you do from here on out. When you have selected the optimal domain name you can purchase your domain by clicking on this link Cheap Domains. Oh, how exciting!!
Choose a platform for your blog. The platform is where you publish your content on the internet. Two free platforms you can check out are WordPress.com and Blogger.com. However, it is important to realize that you will be restricted to using the themes they offer and this could limit your ability to get the WOW factor you are dreaming of. If you opt for a paid platform the possibilities are endless.
As a newbie blogger, I can tell you that WordPress.org is awesome. It is a huge learning curve but with all the options of wordpress.org (self-hosted), the sky is the limit for your blog! There are nifty plugins (tools) available to install on your site. The plugins assist new and experienced bloggers because we don’t have time to do it all!
Choose a web host – a web host stores your site and provides the technology for it to be viewed on the internet. If you are just starting your blog and want to have total control over your site I suggest a self-hosted provider like Siteground. This web host offers excellent support tutorials to help you get started. The resource section is easy to use and has a ton of information. If you can’t find the answer on the Siteground help page, simply request assistance and 24/7 their super, amazing, support staff are available to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
Choose a theme. The Tweak Me v2 Theme is outstanding. This theme includes preset layouts that can easily be modified giving your site a gorgeous professional look in a jiffy. For a beginner blogger, the option to create and edit a post in the visual section with zero knowledge of WordPress code is a major score. Write to your heart’s content, then switch over and check out the HTML page. The code has been automatically inserted! It’s surprising how quickly you pick up basic code by taking a few minutes to review your post in the HTML tab. I guarantee you will learn code as you go!
Ashley is the WordPress developer for this theme, and her support goes above and beyond! Ashley is the queen of code, extremely knowledgeable, and she provides theme updates to resolve any technical issues as they arise. The Tweak me v2 theme has more customizable options than you may ever use….but it’s nice to know they are there when you are ready!! Check out the available resources by clicking on this link Nosegraze resources.
Easy Blog Themes offers affordable download packages for WordPress,
another great way to get started and see if blogging is for you! Click on this image to check our these themes.
Be prepared for the oddest things to happen on your blog website and to have no idea why!!
Whether you have a free or paid theme there will be technical issues so take a deep breath, go with it.
Check out three email marketing tools. Become familiar with what they offer, check out the free and paid versions. Start out free then convert to a paid plan when your email list grows. And it will, please have patience! It takes time, and a dedicated effort but it will be so worth it. Knowing which options the email service provides means you are better prepared to make the best decision for your business as it evolves.
When I started my website I originally utilized MailChimp. as my email service provider. Research pointed me in this direction as a newbie blogger. Mail Chimp is easy to use and allows your creativity to flourish. And darn if that monkey just isn’t so cute right! With the ability to customize a welcome email and newsletters utilizing your font, colors, and style, you will establish a deeper connection with your subscribers. As my subscriber list began to grow and implemented a series of welcome emails I realized that automation was a must. At the time, Mail Chimp did not offer automation (they do now!) with a free account so I swapped over to free MailerLite which I still use and love.
I find the MailerLite tools super easy to use with superb customizing options to set up specific targeted email campaigns. The support during my change over was fantabulous, whereas you receive zero support from MailChimp when you use the free account. Both MailChimp and MailerLite programs have drag and drop templates which speed up the email creation process and means that as a newbie you don’t have to know a lot of code. I would have to say that MailerLite is less glitchy and easier to customize, and offer a superior service. One other email marketing tool I have heard good things about but have not used is Convertkit. ConvertKit does not offer a free email program option at this time.
Pinterest is my go to social media. With my visual niche, it proves to be the best way to market my blog. Before Tailwind I spent an hour or more per day scouring for the right pins and choosing which of my Pinterest boards to pin them on. However, once you set up and customize your Tailwind account, the automation and speed is da BOMB. While you are at it, be sure to add the Tailwind google chrome extension to your toolbar. This extension gives you the option of pinning multiple pins to multiple boards from any webpage with a tap of the Tailwind icon. You can add the pins to your personalized pinning schedule in the blink of an eye. Tailwind also tracks the times your pins are most active and creates a schedule for your future pins without you doing a thing! The best part is you can try it for free while you decide if this is the right tool for you. Here is a link so you can try it for one month free!
Another super helpful tool for Pinterest management is Boardbooster. Set up this tool to clean up Pinterest boards by eliminating duplicates or broken pins. Boardbooster will also schedule pins at various times of the day to promote engagement. If you want engagement, repins, and followers then utilize these exceptional Pinterest tools!!
I have taken several Pinterest courses but the one that stood out and actually delivered content to help me succeed with promoting my blog on Pinterest is ‘Pageviews from Pinterest.’ Here is the course outline in a nutshell. Learn how to use Pinterest as a search engine to sky rocket your traffic and income in 30 days. Krista from Blog Beautifully shares her seven step process to Pinterest success.
Click on this pin to check it out and find out more details about this professional Pinterest course.
Speaking of visual, you need great pictures for your blog. Finding the time to take them yourself might be tough. Here are two outstanding image resources to check out, and if you sign up for their emails you might even get some freebies: Haute Chocolate, and Ivory Mix.
These ladies have got the pics for you to create the outstnding visuals your blog needs! Once you have some gorgeous photos it’s time to edit them and create suitable images for your blog, and all your social media accounts. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and more all require different size images. Check out Canva and PicMonkey which both offer you a free sign up to use their photo editor. I signed up for a paid membership to both so I can use all the editing options they offer and both have proven extremely useful and easy to use.
You are going to need tools to schedule social media so here are three of my favorites.
HootSuite is one option for managing your Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other social media accounts in one location. This platform allows you to view and manage multiple social media accounts in one place which will save you time each day. HootSuite automation will free up the much needed time you crave to write and refine your blog. Try HootSuite for free and definitely use the google chrome extension, a cute little owl to schedule tweets and pins with just one click. The free HootSuite platform and social media training are invaluable.
Social Pilot is a dream for scheduling, with it’s a drag and drop calendar, you can easily repost to your social media accounts. This can be a huge time saver when it comes to promoting affiliate products to Facebook and Twitter. You can link up to three social media accounts and post 30 times per month for free. It is definitely worth trying out for free to see if this is the tool for you. Just click on the banner below to check it out now.
My top recommendation for managing social media accounts using less of your valuable time while also giving your site huge exposure is ReCurpost. Before I set up my Facebook page, Twitter and Facebook groups in ReCurpost I was spending hours rescheduling posts. With the easy content libraries and endless schedule in ReCurpost, I leave it and forget it. If I do need to change a post that is on a recurring schedule, I change it once and that’s it. No more looking for other dates on the calendar to update all the posts. You really should try this free scheduler and save yourself the hassle and boost your productivity on social media, each time I write a new blog post, I add the social media posts to ReCurpost once and then forget about it. Now that switched to ReCurpost I can be rest assured knowing that my blog posts and other affiliate posts are automatically reposted as per the schedule that I have set up. It’s such a relief!
Facebook will help you grow a sense of community, find others in your niche, and allow you to super share your site. Facebook gives you instant connections with outstanding bloggers who you learn from and eventually collaborate with. Join groups to further establish your connections, discover group projects, and hear about guest post opportunities. I have worked with several talented bloggers who have been featured on Lisa Designs Life. Where does this connection happen? The opportunities come up in Facebook groups. A guest post increases site content for your fellow blogger while spreading the word about your blog at the same time.
I could not have put it all together without my jaw dropping Apple iMac with 5K Retina Display, lightning speed, amazing colour quality and a memory that goes on forever. The cordless keyboard and mouse rarely need to be charged are superior to use. Apple does not disappoint with this top of the line desktop.
For the times I am traveling or want to snuggle on the couch under a blanket and work, I recently purchased a MacBook Air. I am extremely pleased with its speed and display quality, and especially love that by using all Apple products, my work and photos are synced automatically. If you are using a Mac Laptop exclusively, you should consider the MacBook Pro.
If you have any questions about starting your own blog or any of the tips/tools I have listed here please email me anytime at [email protected]. I may not have all the answers but together we will figure it out! I have mentioned a lot of resources on this page and would love to send them to you. Sign up for my newsletter to get the scoop!
Smiles from Lisagirl xo
Here’s a pin!