Five things to consider before starting your blog by Rachel Southern of The Ordinary Lovely blog
You want to write. Or share photographs. Perhaps you concoct amazing recipes. Maybe craft tutorials are your thing. Do you love new tech and want to air your thoughts on the latest and greatest? Or do you have a business and want to foster a community of like-minded people and grow your customer base at the same time?
If one or more of the above statements ring true for you, then a blog could be the answer. Think of it as your own personal scrapbook, newsletter, auto-biography, opinion platform and shop front. All online. In one place. And controllable and updateable from absolutely anywhere … even in the sky with more and more airlines offering wifi now.
It really is as simple as putting your ideas on screen and pressing ‘post’ but potentially not quite as easy as the good ol’ saying, ‘write and they will come’.
But how do you get started and what should you consider before putting fingers to keyboard?
Here are five things that we suggest giving some thought:
- The name
You want something short, snappy, memorable, easy to search for in google, and not in use anywhere else or by anyone else.
Do you want the name to directly reference the type of content you’re going to write about or the product you want to sell, or would you prefer something a little more obscure that enables you to cover a wealth of topics or perhaps change direction in the future?
What we will say is that once you’re established, the name almost becomes secondary to what you share, and people tend not to think too much about the meaning behind it.
- The URL
Once you’ve got your final name or shortlist of blog names, it’s time to buy the URL. We’ve read that in the future, when we’ve exhausted all possible names and combinations, most websites will take a numerical format, but until that day, try to buy a URL that mirrors your blog name. Make it easy for potential readers and customers to find you.
- The platform
When it comes to choosing a blog platform, WordPress and Blogger are still the big two, but most will let you set up a demo and have a little play. Take advantage of this and see which you find the most intuitive.
Another tip is to have a look at a few different blogs and get a feel for what you like and dislike about them. Bloggers are used to receiving emails, tweets and messages, so be brave and ask people what platform they use and what they like and dislike about it.
- The look and feel
This is personal preference, but the look and feel should reflect what you’re trying to achieve with your blog. You can make it as welcoming as your home, as professional as an office space, or as tempting as a sweet-smelling cake shop or perfume counter. The choice is yours. Let it reflect you and whatever you want to convey.
Again, check out other blogs and make note of what you like about them. Many blogs still have a standard layout with a side bar and content down the middle, but more and more are switching to a magazine-style layout. Which would work for you and what would your readers like to see?
- The corresponding social accounts
Once you have your blog name, reserve the social media accounts to match … if they’re available. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ are the most popular for sharing blog posts and content and our recommendation would be to snap them up even if you don’t plan on using them. You never know how your blog will grow and perhaps Pinterest isn’t on your radar right now, but you don’t want someone else to take your name only for you to decide a year later that pinning is the key to blog success for you.
This list is by no means exhaustive but is great to get you started on your blogging journey.
Don’t forget, here at Kiwi Social …
We have a full day workshop to help you get started – Focus On Social – Getting Started
Rachel Southern is an experienced blogger who works for a number of prominent and well known brands through her blog The Ordinary Lovely – Rachel will, once a month, be bringing you lots of hints, tips and expert advice in how you can make your blog what you want it to be.