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How to Set Up a Blog

Starting my blog – Fashion and Style Police, was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It all started with wanting to share my ideas and thoughts with people. I saw it as a medium through which I could express myself. Little did I know that a profitable business would be born from it too.

 

UK Blog Fashion and Style Police Image

 

Fast forward to where I am right now, blogging has seriously helped elevate my life as a freelancer. It has given me the opportunity to not only be able to help a lot of people but it has also helped me provide for my family and be there for them whenever they need me.

Just like me there has been a great increase in the number of people who want to also start a blog. When I started my blog, it involved a lot of trial and error. So I thought I’d create this simple guide to help you set up your own blog.

 

Step #1 Get a hosting plan and domain name

This is the most important set when you want to set up your blog. A hosting panel will is like a space where your blog will be kept. All the information from your blog will be held by the hosting company so as to give you and your readers access to your blog.

A domain name is the name of your blog. It forms the URL of your blog. For example, when you want to come to my blog, Fashion and Style Police, you have to type in “www.fashionandstylepolice.com”. That link is the domain name of my blog. So, whenever anyone want to come to your blog, they will have to type in the domain name. Once they type in the domain name, the hosting company grants them access to your blog.

Getting a domain name and hosting requires that you pay a monthly or yearly fee. That’s not much of a problem as domain names and hosting come at really low and affordable prices.

 

Step #2 Go for WordPress

Once you have your domain name and hosting sorted out, you need to install the blog platform that will actually enable you to start blogging. Although there are a lot of blogging platforms out there, I recommend you use WordPress. WordPress is easy to use and most hosting services have the one-click-install-Wordpress option.

 

Step #3 Install and customize a theme

The next thing is to select a theme for your blog. The theme is what gives your blog an appealing look. Themes are easily customizable. You can change the colour, rearrange the elements on your blog and completely tweak the design of your blog. I got my theme for £99 about 2 years ago, and it is one of the best £99 I have ever spent!

 

Fashion and Style Police Image

 

Step #4 Install plugins

To get your blog to do more you can install plugins. Plugins help you to add some really cool functionalities to your blog like allow you to track the number of people who come to view your blog through Google analytics.

Plugins like Yoast SEO help you make sure that your blog is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly. Plugins like Akismet make sure that you don’t get spam or bots writing comments and make sure that you only get real humans commenting.

 

Step #5 Add content

This is the best part. Now that you’ve got your blog up the next thing is to add content. You can now start creating the content you would like to share with your audience. Feel free to add images and even videos to help enhance your content.

 

I hope someone out there finds this How to set up a blog post very useful. Feel free to add any tips that may have helped you in your blogging journey in the comments section below. You can also ask me any blogging question. I promise to respond or find you the answer. You can also read more blogging tips in my ebook, available on Amazon.

Happy blogging.

 

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How to be a Social Butterfly on Social Media

I am a Social Butterfly online but as boring as hell in real life!! My real life is made up of routines, sometimes very strict, to keep me sane and productive. But for me to make a name for myself and Fashion and Style Police, I needed to be very social online.

Social media is the shortest route to your target audience as almost everyone has a phone and most times they’re on social media.

 

Fashion UK Blog

 

It’s one thing to be on social media, it’s another to use it effectively. Although social media brings people together, it’ll take some skill to form a close connection, because you don’t have the opportunity to speak to your audience face-to-face. Consequently, people find it easier to consume content instead of engaging.

For freelancers, this may pose as a problem. If you don’t engage with your audience, then no one will know about you. Engagement is where there results are.

The good news is that you can learn how to be more social on social media. It all starts with challenging yourself to take deliberate guided steps to being more social. Here are 4 challenges to help you get started today.

Challenge #1 – Be genuinely interested in individuals

This is the foundation of being social on social media because it creates a bond that will grow into a relationship.

Genuine interest sparks conversation which is continuous, fun and engaging. It inspires questions to ask and it will help you get to know the person you’re speaking with.

Action Step: When you login to any social media platform, be genuinely interested in your target audience. You can ask them how they’re doing and what they’ve been up to and build the conversation from there.

Challenge #2 – Comment more

Tapping on the little heart icon on Instagram or the thumbs up icon on Facebook is so much easier than thinking of something witty or interesting to say about the post. For those who comment, they could just drop one-word comments like “Yes”, “Good” or “Truth”. That’s not socializing, that is spamming!

Socializing requires you to create conversation. Type out what you like about the post. Get the conversation going with a question that will get a response and tell you more about the post.

Action Step: Every time you hit the like button, make the next action you take be a comment. With continuous practice commenting will be like second nature to you.

 

Beauty Blogger UK Image

 

Challenge #3 – Send a message

We get carried away with acquiring friends, followers and fans that we forget to speak to them.  How many friends/followers do you have? Compared to the number of people you speak to daily, I can guarantee that it’s nowhere near half the number of friends/followers you have.

Action Step: Send a private message to at least 3 people a day. Check on them and catch up on their lives.

Challenge #4 – Join discussions

Another way to get social, is to hop into conversations on social media like the ones on discussion threads. It makes your job easier as all you have to do is to participate in the conversation giving your contribution. Twitter is a great social media platform to practice this through Twitter chats. Facebook groups are also excellent.

Action Steps: Scout around for conversations on social media you can join in and make positive contribution to keep the conversation going.

 

Are you a social butterfly? Do you have any tips to share?

How to Increase your Blog Traffic and Subscribers

I get a lot of emails from bloggers asking me how to grow their blog traffic and subscribers, so I decided to write this post, and I hope many find it useful.

As at the time of writing, I have over 45,000 blog subscribers and I get an average of 30,000 monthly views, and most importantly, I have been blogging for over 4 years now.

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Tthe truth of the matter is, there is no certain way to grow your blog traffic or subscribers. We all blog differently and our blogging path can be very similar or different. But there are ways to help increase your blog traffic and subscribers. Here are some of the ways –

 

  1. Be yourself

This sounds so simple right? Being yourself is the easiest person we can be right? Well as easy as it sounds, many of us are busy living a lie. As a blogger, being yourself is one of the best things you could do for your blogging career. Being yourself means you bring something else to the blogging table, something no else can, YOU. And that is your selling point; that will eventually bring in the traffic and subscribers.

When I first started blogging, I was so confused. I didn’t know how to be myself, so I was busy being any blogger I admired. I got sick and tired of being what I wasn’t and decided to do me and I have not looked back ever since.

I wrote about being You-nique in my eBook – How to Cash In as a Blogger, so go have a read if you have not done so already. It is currently available exclusively on Amazon.

 

2. Follow your Passion

When it comes to blogging, you have to keep your blog readers engaged to keep them coming back for more. Following your passion means you blog about topics you are passionate about. So if you are an art and culture lover, and love to writing about those topics, don’t stop writing about them because you feel no one is interested in reading those sort of posts or because you feel brands are not interested in those niches.

If you start blogging about beauty or travel for example, just because brands in those niches seem to collaborate more with bloggers, then you are setting yourself up for failure, because you won’t be able to keep up.

You need to follow your passion when it comes to blogging, because that way, you will never run out of blog post ideas or get bored. Following your passion will keep you blogging in the early days, when no one else is reading your amazing blog.

 

Navy Blue Dress image copy

 

3. Focus on your Strengths 

If your strengths lie in your writing tone or story telling abilities, focus on that, if your photography and editing skills are your strengths, focus on that and downplay your weakness. Whatever your strengths are, focus on them and keep thriving to improve them while you downplay your weaknesses, whatever they may be.

 

4. Be Social

Being a social butterfly on the internet will definitely attract more eyeballs to your blog, and if they like what they see, they could become subscribers. It is best to have an account set up on all social media platforms, then focus on 2 or 3 you like the most. For me, that is Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, I am not as active on other social media platforms, but I am present on all the main ones.

Most of my traffic comes from search engines, followed closely by Facebook and Twitter. I get very little or no traffic from Instagram, but it is a useful social media platform in other ways, so it is worth being on.

 

5. Consistent Quality Content

This is where the work comes in. For you to have a blog with good traffic and a growing subscribers list, you have to create quality content consistently. There are no such cuts.

 

These are some of my tried and tested tips. Do you have any tips to add? Please free feel to do so in the comments section.