Sunday, 13 March 2016

How to Start a Blog & What to Do after Starting It


I have got many requests to write a post on creating a blog. I'm overwhelmed that people approach me for the creation of blog, domain names, and all of those things required for a blog.
I take much pride in writing about this one, as I'll have lots to talk about.

PRIMARY LEVEL

THINK OF TOPICS THAT FALL IN YOUR INTERESTS
Think of what you want to blog about. Techno-geek? Start a tech blog. Love food, like innovating new dishes, trying out recipes, being a foodie, reviewing restaurants? Be a food blogger. Want to show your style to everybody? Be a fashion blogger. Better yet, got something to write on all the possible topics that exist in the world? Be a lifestyle blogger like me! There are various topics that you can write on. But before even thinking of starting a blog, you should start thinking about the topics.


MAKE A LIST OF TOPICS (SHOULD BE MORE THAN 30)
Once you're sure of what interests you, write down all the topics in a notebook, or somewhere virtually like OneNote. Be sure to list down at least 30 unique topics from your interest. Go on adding more topics as and when you think. I recommend you to keep this list with you wherever you go, in the form of a notebook list or OneNote list, so that you can add the topics any time.
Once you're done adding unique topics, add topics relevant to those. For example, if I write a topic as 'What's in my bag?', I will also write related topics like 'What to pack for work?', 'What to pack for college?', 'What's in my summer bag?', 'What's in my carry-on?', etc.

THINK IF YOU WILL BE ABLE TO WRITE FOR MORE YEARS
Before starting a blog, based on the number of topics and ideas you could come up with, know if you'll be able to sustain the blog for long. At least write regularly for a year, because this guide is honestly for those who are serious. Come up with different ideas and also write seasonal and spontaneous posts, which are, or are not, pre-decided. 

SECONDARY LEVEL


CHOOSE A PLATFORM FOR YOUR BLOG
I have tried three platforms/services--Blogger.com, Wordpress.com, and Tumblr.com. Each one has a different set of pros and cons. My blog is on Blogger and I love the user-friendliness of it. The only problem is the choice of themes, there aren't many, and that it lies dead in a small corner of the web. However, on the other hand, WordPress and Tumblr are just like the social networking sites, but up to certain extent. WordPress has wonderful themes and you'll end up being confused while selecting one best theme. But, the interface is very difficult. I have used WordPress for some time and have not liked the interface at all. The publishing of posts, the customizing of theme is not as easy as at Blogger.com. Whereas, Tumblr is considered more of a social site than a blog service provider. Both, on Tumblr and WordPress, you can 'Like', 'Share', and 'Comment' on posts, just like on Facebook and Instagram. I recommend Blogger as it is user-friendly.


THINK OF A NAME & SET IT
Thinking of a name for your blog is a lengthy and a difficult process. You also have to think about its long-term validity. As in, if you're a college girl, you would like to keep the name as College Chic, College Diaries, etc. However, when you'll be 30 years old, you won't have any content that will match the blog's name. Therefore, always while selecting the name, consider the future too. 


THINK OF A THEME & SET IT
Here, theme means the colour scheme. Choose one and then play with the colours and fonts. See to it that the colours and fonts reflect your blog's name and the content you write. A theme is never built on the spot; it takes time to add different elements and work with what looks the best.


PUBLISH YOUR FIRST POST
Once you're set with the theme, publish your first post. You may want to design or add an image to go along with the post, which is known as the blog graphic. The superior quality of images will attract more visitors. The quality of your writing, layout, images, etc. will improve over a period of time. Don't expect to create posts professionally at one go; you'll need time.


ADD IMPORTANT GADGETS
 Addition of certain gadgets on blog is crucial. You can do it at this stage. My recommended gadgets are all the follow gadgets, search bar, archives, popular posts, and related posts.


ADD TABS
You should add tabs and subdivide the blog content. I have created tabs like Travel, Tips & Tricks, Organize Yourself, Nerdy, etc. So, if the reader is interested in only Travel, he/she will click on the Travel tab and enjoy the beauty of Scotland.

SELECT A PUBLISH PATTERN (DAILY, WEEKLY, BIWEEKLY, ETC.)
Be sure of when you'll be free or depending on the content you'll have. For example, if you're a fashion blogger, you might share two outfits per week. Depending on your work or college schedule, you can start publishing that time. If you have holidays on Wednesdays, you can post every Wednesday. Just create a publishing pattern so that your readers know when to come to you. I follow a daily pattern, i.e., I write every day. You don't necessarily have to tell people saying 'New Post Every Monday'; Just publish a post once a week. 

SELECT A NICHE
Once you've published at least 10 posts, set a niche for yourself. You can select from various niches like lifestyle, fashion, technology, auto mobile, personal, beauty, food, politics, literature, movies, photography, DIY and crafts, travel, etc.


TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY (AFTER MIN. 20 POSTS ARE PUBLISHED)
Once you're sure of writing more in the future, share your blog's URL with friends and family. Just message them to check out the blog. You can also keep the URL as your status everywhere.

TERTIARY LEVEL


SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION (IF YOU'RE SURE OF THE FUTURE)
Once you're all set with your blog and have written many posts and it's been quite a few months now, you can create accounts and pages on Facebook and Instagram at a primary level. Later, you can head to Twitter, Pinterest, Bloglovin', etc. See to it that you post regularly. Send invites to 'Like' the pages or even Follow requests.

BUYING A DOMAIN NAME (IF YOU'RE SERIOUS)
This one is a hell of technical activity to do. If you have blogged for over a year or are passionate and see your blog as your career, you can purchase a domain name and then link to your already existing blog. I have purchased mine for Rs. 2,500 approx. from Godaddy.com for a period of five years. I'd done this after completing one year of blogging. Be sure if you really want to put in that much money. Be very serious. Also, linking the domain name to your blog is a technical task and I don't want to take any risk by telling you. My dad and brother had did this for me, using tutorials on YouTube and other websites. If you can't do it on your own, hire a professional.


PRINTING BUSINESS CARDS
I had purchased my first set of cards in Jan 2015, that is, after blogging for more than a year. I had ordered them online for quite cheap. I have distributed 150 cards till now and will order a new set super soon. While designing, don't forget to add the logo and theme of your blog. Also, mention your social media profiles and the web address. Order cards only after purchasing a domain name, because the .blogspot.in or .wordpress.com do not look cool at all.


MAINTAINING BLOG POSTS
To maintain your blog at initial level, you can read this post. After your blog has all the jazz, don't forget to maintain writing. If you've gained followers, you don't want to lose them!


KEEP A CHECK ON SOCIAL MEDIA PROMOTION
If you're having a decent following, don't forget to post something or the other on social media daily or at least twice a week. Connect different social accounts to one another so that you don't have to double-post stuff. Print the FREE blog promotion sheet here--http://goo.gl/UdjEcF--and make sure you check it off every time you post a new blog.

That's all for starting a blog at the first three levels. I'll write a technical post on How to Start a Blogger Blog soon, so stay tuned.

Let me know if you have any doubts or require urgent help.
xoxo