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 @lisadesignslife on Instagram.
Do not wait until everything is PERFECT , it never will be. In our world of ever-changing 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.
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. Quick and easy, you can add the pins to your personalized pinning schedule. 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!!
This is the only Pinterest course you will ever need is Pageviews from Pinterest. Krista from Blog Beautifully shares her seven step process to Pinterest success. Learn how to use Pinterest as a search engine to sky rocket your traffic and income in 30 days.
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. Not all of us are photographers so here are three outstanding stock style collections to take a look at. These ladies have got the pics for you to create the visuals your blog needs. Often, when you sign up to receive their emails you even get some freebies: Haute Chocolate, Ivory Mix and Pixie Stock.
Once you have your hands on gorgeous photos; it’s time to edit and create suitable images for your blog. Your social media accounts like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook all require different size images to be effective. I recommend Canva and PicMonkey,both offer a free version to get you started.
You are going to need tools to schedule social media. Here are three of my favourites.
HootSuite is a great option for managing your various social media accounts all in one program. 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. It’s free and the 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 is a huge time saver when it comes to sharing on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can link up to three social media accounts and post 30 times per month for free. It is definitely worth trying out to see if this is the right tool for you.
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, I spent hours scheduling posts to Twitter and Facebook. With the easy content libraries and endless schedule in ReCurpost, I leave it and forget it. You really should try this free scheduler and save yourself the hassles and boost your productivity on social media. Each time you write a new blog post, add the social media posts to ReCurpost and then forget about it. You can be rest assured knowing that your blog posts are automatically reposted as per the schedule that you set up.
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 to learn from and 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.
The Apple iMac with 5K Retina Display, with it’s lightning speed, amazing colour quality, memory options make working on my blog a dream. The Apple cordless keyboard and mouse rarely need to be charged are superior to use. Apple does not disappoint with this top of the line desktop.
While traveling or snuggled on the couch under a blanket and need to get work done, I recommend a MacBook Air. I am extremely pleased with its speed and display quality, and especially love that by using all Apple products, my documents 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!