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How to start a blog in 5 steps

Blogging is very popular now and I am sure it will continue to be popular. I can see blogging becoming even. bigger in the next few years. It is a fun way to grow a portfolio and make money too! I know many bloggers who blog full time and make a full time living wage from it. It is amazing to see these bloggers doing what was not possible many years ago. Working from anywhere you want as a blogger and earning an income is no longer a myth, but the reality for many. If you are thinking of starting a blog but not sure how to get started, this blog on how to start a blog in 5 steps will be useful for you. You should also get in touch with me if you are looking to grow your blog. I have a blog coaching service offer at the moment, so get in touch to hear more.

 

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First step – Pick a blog name and buy the domain

The first step is to pick a blog name and buy the domain. The name you pick should give readers an idea of what the blog would be about if possible. Picking a blog name relevant to your niche(s) also helps your blog’s search engine rank too so very important. Another important bit is to get your own domain immediately. Don’t settle for a piggyback domain that ends in .wordpress or blogspot. Get your own domain straightaway so you start off the right way from the get go.

 

Second Step – Get hosting sorted

The next step once you decide on a name and domain format is to get it hosted. I am self hosted on WordPress and I love it. I have had no issues with my hosting. In the early days, I started off with a vanity domain, but decided to go self hosted on WordPress. I recommend this if you can afford to. Being self hosted allows me more freedom on my blog. I can have private banner ads and install plugins. Being self hosted gives me more freedom to run my blog the way I want.

 

Third Step – Pick a theme

Once your blog is up and running, the next thing to do is to pick a theme. There are so many free themes available so there are loads of options. I like  clean themes. The very busy blog themes put me off but it depends on the look you are after for your blog. I currently use a premium theme – Elemin. I bought it some years ago and it works great for my blog. My advice is to shop around to see the options you have. My general advice is to go for a white background and a theme that allows you show off your social media platforms at the side.

 

Fourth Step – Publish your blog post

I see new bloggers saying they didn’t setup their blog until they had many blog posts waiting to be published. My approach was different but then again I didn’t start the blog thinking of how much money I would make from day 1. I had only one blog post of the first day and it increased on a daily basis. Having many blog posts ready before you step up your blog is good. Just make sure you don’t procrastinate and never start blogging.

 

Fifth Step – Promote your blog post

Now that your blog is stet up and you have blog posts published, you need to shout from the rooftops about it. Share your blog posts on social media platforms. Pinterest is really good for bringing traffic to your blog, so make sure you make the most of the amazing social media platform. Facebook is another great social media platform for bringing traffic to your blog, so set up a Facebook page too!

 

Are you thinking of starting a blog? What is holding you back?

 

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Blogging essentials for new bloggers

This blog post is all about blogging essentials for new bloggers. When it comes to blogging successfully, it is important to have certain items in place to make the whole process fun. When I started blogging in 2012, I had most of these blogging essentials in place already because I was kind of into technology and gadgets, and I spent many hours online. So it was easy to get cracking on making these items do the work to grow Fashion and Style Police.

 

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Here are some of the blogging essentials you will need if you are thinking of setting up a blog –

 

A Reliable Laptop

Now this goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. You need a laptop to blog. Desktop won’t work long term as the whole idea of blogging is to be able to blog from anywhere. Tablets and phones are great blogging essentials as well, but to write comfortably, you will need an actual laptop eventually. I use MacBook Pro and it is the best laptop I have ever used. It changed my blogging life completely and I am glad I finally got rid of my old and tired HP laptop. That laptop was so old and unreliable. For you to blog conveniently you need a good laptop.

 

A Good Camera

If you are going to blogging about personal topics like fashion and style, products reviews and travel, you will need a good camera. A point and shoot camera is ok to start with. I started with those and they did the work for many years. As long as the quality is ok and you know how to use it, there’s no need to invest in an expensive camera when you are just starting out.

 

Beautiful Journals/Notebooks

I have various journals for many blogging relating jobs. I like to write a to do list for each day and I also love jotting blog ideas before I forget them. Sometimes I do these jobs on my iPhone but my good old journals always come in handy. Good to have a few ready for when you plan to start blogging regularly. They come in very handy. Plus I find beautiful journals/notebooks very inspiring. They put me in the writing mood.

 

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Plagiarism and SEO Tools

Beginner bloggers should set up an account on Copyscape to check articles are unique. This is very important especially when you start accepting guest posts. The last thing you want is to be penalised for having duplicate content on your blog. There are other plagiarism checking tools like Duplichecker, but Copyscape is the one I recommend because I use it quite regularly. It is not a free service but it is worth every penny in my eyes.

For SEO tools, I use the free Yoast plugin and it helps me optimised my posts as much as I can. When it comes to growing your new blog, SEO is the most important bit. The faster your blog posts rank, the faster your blog grows.

 

Social Media Accounts

It amazes me how many bloggers refuse to have a presence on certain social media platforms. This could be for various reasons but it is not the smart way to go. You should have an account on all social media platforms. Every platform is a social media essential even though you don’t use it. You never know what would happen a few years down the line, so it makes sense to set up an account with your blog name on all social media platforms.

 

 

Do you blog? What are your blogging essentials? Please sound off in the comments section below. You can also get in touch to find out about my blog coaching service.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Tips – Instagram is for art and creativity

The first mistake I made as a blogger was treating every social media platform the same way. It took me years to understand how each one works, and how I had to use them differently. I wrote a few weeks ago about how Twitter is mainly for chit-chat and networking. It took me ages to figure that bit out and it took me even longer to fully understand the ever changing world of Instagram. Instagram is not my favourite social media platform but it has grown on me. It is one of the trickiest social media platforms at the moment and one of the hardest to grow, which is why many influencers find it super frustrating.

 

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I made so many mistakes in the early days of being on Instagram and I am still learning how best to use the platform. It is not quite as straightforward as Twitter. The ever changing algorithms make it more difficult to find the right technique to grow your account, which is why many  users end up using bots to increase their engagement and following. However, this is not recommended.

Instagram is a social media platform to showcase art and creativity. It is all about pretty photos, videos and catchy captions! Here are 5 tips you may find useful in making the most of your Instagram –

 

Treat it as a standalone

Instagram is a standalone kind of platform. It doesn’t allow you include links in your photos/videos like other platforms, so you don’t get much blog referrals from it. The best way to handle Instagram is to use it differently from how you use other social media platforms, and not to promote every single blog post on it. The users of Instagram don’t want to be redirected to another platform. They want to stand on it, and Instagram has created the app to do just that. Trying to send your followers anywhere else won’t work.

My approach to instagram is very different now from how it was years ago. I don’t promote every blog post on it, only a few. I hardly even talk about my blog on there these days. I just share photos with captions that work. My blog link is in my bio so it is clear I have a blog, but I don’t try to drive every engagement I get over to the blog anymore.

 

Use the Instagram Stories

Another way of making the most of your Instagram account is by putting up stories. This is  something I only started doing regularly and I can see the results already. My engagement rate has increased massively so I know Instagram likes when you use the stories feature. I now put on stories everyday and my views keep increasing tremendously. So start putting up daily stories if you want your account to grow.

 

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Spend money on Instagram Ads

Now I know many people would not want to put spend money promoting their posts on Instagram, but if you want some form of growth, another way is to spend money on Instagram ads. I do this quite regularly and it has helped. The trick to this is to make sure the post you are promoting is worth the amount you are spending. I also spend the minimum amount I can most of the time and I am happy with the results I get.

 

Have an interesting bio

Since Instagram is all about art and creativity, it makes sense to be as creative as you can with your bio. Anyone who visit your page should know what you are all about just by reading your bio. You have a limited word count to use in your bio, so make every word count.

 

Use hashtags

Using the right hashtags can introduce your page to a new audience every time you post. I like to keep my hashtags to 30 or under and I use relevant hashtags with less than a million posts most of the time. It works but I won’t say it works massively. I do get an average of an extra 50 – 80 likes when I use the right hashtags.

 

 

What do you think of these Instagram social media tips? Do you have any tried and tested tip to share?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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