Successful blog

How to create your own blog

Blogs have become another large platform of media in recent years, allowing anyone to create their own online outlet on whatever topic they like. Whilst blogs can be a fun hobby, they can also be a fantastic tool for businesses to leverage and strengthen brand messaging. If you’re an expert or leader in your field, having a blog will give you an added edge, and allow you to showcase yourself on another platform.

With blog popularity growing, there are several user-friendly options to consider when creating a blog. To give you a good head start, there are a few things to consider when creating your blog before you even start writing content.

Domain Name
The first and most important step is choosing your blog name and purchasing the domain. If you have a business name or name in mind, check the availability first. If the name isn’t available, you will need to think of something that will align with your own personal brand as well as connect your social media sites. Continuity is key. If a user lands on your site and isn’t sure it belongs to you, they will most likely leave the page.

Purchasing your domain name can be daunting, as you’re buying something you can’t really see. However, the hosting of the site is essentially like renting space on the web. You can opt for 12 month, 24 month or 36 month plan with it getting incrementally cheaper the longer you choose but it’s billed all in one go annually. Make a note of the log-in and date so you don’t lose the ownership of that name when it comes up for renewal.

Once you have the domain you can work on building the blog. Hosting sites such as Bluehost work in conjunction with blog sites such as WordPress which makes the process as easy as possible so this is a good option to start with.

Plugins and Themes
Once your site is set up, it is a little bit of a blank space, so choosing a theme will add structure and allow you to add in plugins. WordPress and Blogger have a range of free themes, but sometimes purchasing a theme will give your site more of a personal touch as well as the ability to achieve a few more things to build onto your blog. You can often buy themes from a number of places, but sometimes it’s best to find a blog you like the look of. Look at the theme provider they use as they will have a package of plugins and a certain style which you can copy on your blog.

Colour Palette and Logo
Again, if you’re associating yourself with a brand or business, you may already have some specific colours you want to keep in line with your blog. If you don’t, it is still an idea to choose a colour palette that is going to best represent what your blog is going to be about. You should think about the sorts of pictures you’ll be uploading onto your site, and how the blogs colour scheme will compliment them. Something like cool blues, and greens would work well with a travel blog as they will go nicely with pictures of landscapes and beach shots. Whereas for a wellbeing blog you may want to choose colours inspired by nature. It’s best to start simple and choose three main colours that you can add into your blog discreetly such as on the footer bar, and on clickable links. You can always build them in more prominently later on when you have a clearer style. Again, if a logo has colour, it should fit into the style of the blog as well as influence the colours you use as it will be a recognisable symbol across social media and other platforms. Design platforms such as Canva are great for sourcing colour palettes and inspiration.

Mapping out your categories
If you’re going to be writing about a range of different topics on your blog, it is good to set out categories that your posts will fall into. When you write your posts, you have the option to categorise them which means the more you write, the category library will build. You can slowly build in menus that will display these categories making your blog far more user friendly and add in a level of professionalism. You don’t want to have too many categories so thinking of some key categories at the beginning will help you streamline your content.

Social Media
The easiest way to drive online traffic to your blog is through social media, so make sure all your channels are linked to your blog so readers can follow you. Having the channels linked on your blog again strengthens your online presence and helps give your blog more of an identity.

You may also want to add a plugin that allows readers to sign up to a newsletter so they never miss a post and have your movements sent straight to their inboxes.

Content
Before you make your blog live, make sure you have created a number of posts so your readers have something to see when they first visit your blog. Having posts ready to read will also give them a flavour of the type of content they will continue to see should they revisit and follow your blog. Another important aspect of content is pictures, as blogs can be more image led than traditional media. Make sure the images are good quality, relevant to the topic and in line with your blog theme and colour palette.

If you have any questions with regards to blog building, or would like further advice on this topic, do get in touch with our content team. Here’s one we made earlier 🙂
www.madebypenny.com