I remember when I first started blogging (gosh, it was like 6 years ago when I started my first blog), I didn't know what it was exactly, how to do it and what can you do with it. All I knew is that I need a place on the Internet which is mine and where I choose the content. And that is what a blog is - your space of freedom and expression.
I decided to make these series because I myself find these kind of things extremely helpful and inspiring, even if most of them have been drilled multiple times by different sources. Here is my little guide book. :)
First of all, before you even start blogging, think about it. Find your niche and think about what makes you excited, what are the things that you like and want to share. Be unique and post content that is different from others that you can find online. Big part of blogs is discovering new things and sharing them with others. That way the inspiration never stops.
When you have decided what is your niche, either it's fashion, beauty, lifestyle or whatever, try to stick to it. People who follow you for beauty tips, most likely wouldn't want to see how-to-build-a-birdhouse DIY's (well done Stefany, great example!). You get my point.
Next part is choosing a platform on which your blog will run. Mine is Blogger, but a lot of bloggers use Wordpress as well. There are multiple platforms out there, but these two are definitely the most popular ones. When choosing, do your research. It really depends on what you prefer personally.
Name! This is the tricky part. When choosing a name for your blog, remember that you will use it for quite some time. Of course there are possibilities of changing it, but once people know you by one name, getting used to another one takes time.
It is a good idea to, once your blog has gained some audience, purchase a domain to link with your blog. It makes it easier to use and looks more professional.
The fun part is dressing your blog up - the design. I have had a lot of designs before, until I found the one that I like. If you like to, you can choose a pre-made design on etsy.com Just type "blogger (or wordpress) template" in the search bar and off you go in the world of amazing templates that designers have made. It is worth to go through the page even just for inspiration. And think about the color scheme. It is always easier to read on light background than dark one. We don't want to hurt people's eyes. :)
Either you decide to make a banner yourself or use someone else's help, try to keep it simple. Don't drag the attention away from the content. Too many things happening at once in one place is never a good thing. Try to keep it simple. Less is more.
Remember about the sidebar (if you decide to use one). It is nice to see who is the owner of the blog, so I suggest you put a nice, small profile picture on the top of the sidebar. Then let your creativity float and add some social network buttons (will give you some tips about this one in the next post), archive, search bar or whatever you like.
Once the blog is named and dressed, it is time to feed it. Give it some content before you set it free in the world wide web.
And remember, the content is everything. There is nothing more important than that. Pay great attention to what you write and how you write. There might be time when you come across possibilities of working with PR companies and brands. Show your talents and use language that doesn't include swear words if you plan on being professional. This is a great tip for future reference.
About the text. I know that a lot of people love to use justify or center alignment for their text, but if we look at it from the usability view, it is not a good idea. It is much harder for an eye to read something on a computer screen than in printed version. Justifying your text gives it a lot of unnecessary spacing. And I know it looks prettier, but a human eye can get lost in the content and it is not what we want. The best way how to present your content is by aligning it to the left. (Finally I can use my knowledge from school haha)
Pictures! Important part of the content and it is the first thing that people will notice after the design of the blog. Think about the quality, lighting and setting. It is important that the pictures are enjoyable and pleasant to look at.
I highly recommend using your own photos. Everyone can find photos on the Internet, be different. Of course, there are times when you have to use photos from online stores, fashion shows etc. Always remember to state where the photo is from (source).
It is a good idea to add pages to your blog (navigation). You can add as many as you want and they are super helpful for "pinning" the important information. A must for every blog would be "about" and "contact" pages. Spend some great time when making these two, because everyone who will find your blog satisfying, will want to know more about the person behind it, and then, maybe even contact you.
Write what you would like to read, don't force yourself and write when you have something to say. Otherwise the content won't be appealing and neither you or the reader will be satisfied.
And note that Google is your best friend. :)
I hope this post was helpful and that you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. These are just some of the things I have learned on my blogging journey and there are plenty to come so stay tuned. ;)
(photo source: gholdist.tk)