Now you’ve seen what you need to know before starting a blog and you’re ready to go. Luckily for lifestyle bloggers, there are only so many tools you need. Fashion and beauty bloggers have it harder as they continuously need products to promote to keep their audience intrigued with current trends. But overall there are only a few bits and pieces you really need to run a blog.
WHAT YOU NEED
- A laptop and wifi: The wonderful things about laptops is that you can take it anywhere. So if you’re away for a weekend and you happen to have your laptop with you there may be a wave of inspiration to write a post or update your readers on what you are currently doing.
- A digital camera: Despite many bloggers having amazing DSLR cameras, you don’t REALLY need one. All you really need is a decent, simple and easy to use a digital camera.
- Photo editing software: I use Photoshop to edit my photographs but there are plenty of free options such as PicMonkey or Picasa. Photos can be made more vibrant, cropped and sharpened then voila! Your photos are ready for publishing.
- A notepad: I promise you there is nothing worse than having an idea for a blog post on the train and not being able to remember it later. That’s why I carry a small notepad with me. This way I can scribble blog ideas and the concept of the post down before I go to write it that evening. If you note it down on your phone you are more likely to forget you even typed the idea.
- LFTN’s Blog Resource Directory: This is where I keep all of my blogging resources from fonts to stock images and more!
FIRST THING’S FIRST
- Come up with an idea: What is the reason for you to create a blog? What are you going to discuss? Choose a few main topics of discussion to give your blog a backbone so you know what you’re going to write about.
- Create a blog name: Choose something that relates to your blog theme (if you have one)or your personality. You could choose an adjective plus a favourite item/food/activity of yours.For example
Happy (adj.) and music (n). Okay, that isn’t great. So you need to find alternatives to it.
Happy = Joyful, jolly, cheery
Music = Tune, song, note.A blog name could be A Jolly Tune, That Cheery Song, The Joyful Notes. Something like that anyway!
- Get a blogging platform: You need a place to blog. I use WordPress as I knew that a lot of others used it and had little or no problems. But there are also places like Blogger. Whatever blogging site you use be sure it’s right for you before you start paying money for URLs, servers, themes etc. See why I recommend WordPress over Blogger.
- Set up hosting and domain name: I use Siteground for my web hosting, 123Reg gave me way too much trouble!
- Create a logo: There is a large selection of beautiful fonts that will help in making your logo stand out. Don’t use more than two fonts in your logo as it will look messy. See my font pairing post to assist you! This logo will shape your overall blog branding.
- Get blog design: There are hundreds of websites that sell easy to use, pretty pre-made blog designs which are easy to customise.
- Set up your main menu & categories: When using WordPress you can use the categories as a way of organising your main menu and blog posts into certain areas.
- Set up social media pages: Once you have your blog you need to find ways to promote it and your posts. The easiest way is usually social media. By building up a following on Twitter and Instagram people are likely to take a look at posts that catch their eye. Tagging and mentioning people is a fab way to bring in readers based on their interests.
- Link social media accounts to HootSuite: Don’t have time to tweet your posts throughout the day? Going on holiday? No problemo! Hootsuite allows you to schedule tweets, Facebook updates and other social activities. This keeps a steady flow of updates coming to your followers without them knowing you’re not there.
- Write your first post: Now you have the backbone to your blog covered, it’s time to start creating content! From your topic categories, you can start coming up with ideas and writing them. When you download my Blogger Starter Kit checklist you’ll be able to ensure you have everything covered.
- Keep notes on ideas and develop them: You may look at other blogs and think “How am I going to be as good as that?” Well, you can turn that blog jealousy into motivation!