SO YOU WANT TO START A BLOG? TIPS FOR BEGINNERS + GIVEAWAY!
Hands down one of the bestestestest decisions I ever made! This is why anyone that comes to me for blog advice will always get encouragement and some tips to grow their blog. There has been a recurrent question I keep getting asked since I started blogging and it is "How Do I Start A Blog"...I did not do a post on this because I thought it was pretty basic...perhaps I was wrong. If you are looking to start a blog and don't know where to begin, you're at the right place. First of all read this post HERE. I have been blogging for over 6 years now and I am a FULL TIME BLOGGER and this is how I make my income so my post can definitely help you. I have a lot of other blogging TIPS if you click HERE
If you've already started your blog but looking for how to get more readers then click HERE. If you've not started the blog at all continue reading.
CHOOSE A NICHE
This is your "Why You Blog". You need a topic that you're passionate about and you won't get tired of blogging about. If you are looking to start a blog but hand it over to someone else...well...it may not go very far. Also if you choose a niche that you're not passionate about, in a few months you would be "forgetting" to post or "not having enough time to post". There are so many Niches: Technology, Beauty, Fashion, Parenting, Religious, Politics, Food or Lifestyle if like me, you are Oliver Twist and cannot choose one! LOL
CHOOSE A NAME & REGISTER DOMAIN
Find a name that has a nice memorable ring to it. Keep it as short as you can and as fun as you can. When I started a blog it was called GISTDOTCOM and no niche. I didn't get the kind of advice I am offering to you. After about 4 years when "my blog found purpose" I rebranded to SISIYEMMIE.COM and it was a difficult change but ended up being a successful change. SISIYEMMIE is everything I love doing: food, parenting, stories, reviews, beauty, style, so that makes sense. The popular thing to do now is use your name.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM
Nobody told me to choose between Wordpress and Blogger platforms, If I was properly guided perhaps I would have had my blog on Wordpress. My blog is on Blogger.com and it the advantage is that Blogger is FREE and if you want to customise it is cheaper than Wordpress. Also, it is easy to understand if you're not so techy. Wordpress however is more "professional" and have very nice themes but expensive: you have to buy a lot of plugins but if you can afford it, then go for it. I have been thinking of ways to port from Blogger to Wordpress...if I can be assured I would not lose my page views, comments on my posts, photos, articles etc...this is a 6 year old blog...there is a lot!
FIND YOUR VOICE
I like the simplistic style of writing laced with some humour. I like to write like I am talking to my friend. That is my voice. You need to find yours. When your audience reads a post of yours even somewhere else they should definitely know you wrote it. Think about Chimamanda Adichie...when you read anything she writes, you KNOW. I like humour, the world is tough already and I don't want anyone to tight things to their chest while reading.
BRAND YOUR BLOG
You need to brand your blog so that it is memorable. Your brand is what people remember when they thin about your blog, it is what they associate you with, make sure you're leaving a great impression. Branding still has to do with your voice, your style, your favourite colours, font, theme, personality. Get a logo if you can, I designed mine myself. I have a very popular post on How To Make Your Blog Pop, you should check it out.
CONTENT IS EVERYTHING
Content is King. You can have a poorly designed blog but if the content is banging, your blog is going to skyrocket! So pay a lot of attention to the content you create. Create quality content that provides value. This post on How To Maintain Originality and Uniqueness In Your Blog will really help you. Banging Content = Banging Blog.
I subscribe to a blog immediate the images catch my attention! I love beautiful photos as I am sure you do also. Don't grab photos from google, take your own photos. I learned the hard way when I was almost sued for using a photo from google. Read about that dramatic eye opening experience HERE. Grabbing photos without permission is = stealing. Don't do it. If you notice, most of the images on this blog are mine. You can take your own photos or buy stock photos.
VISIT OTHER BLOGS
It's like you moving to a new neighbourhood, you need to leave your house to visit your new neighbours and get a feel of your new area. You should visit other blogs and leave meaningful comments along with your blog url. Reach out to other bloggers and introduce yourself...asking for a shoutout may be a bit to much so don't ask for that. Once they begin to see how frequent your comments are, they will visit, as well as other commenters on that post.
You have to be present. Find a schedule that works for you. Perhaps every Wednesday? Or every weekend? It is good if you can post at least once a week. Initially I used to post once a week but now I post on my blog at least 3 articles a week and at least 2 videos a week. That is a lot of original content. Find your rhythm. Something that can help is a blog planner-I use my calendar on my phone but if you can get a fancy planner like the one Cassie sells (which I will be giving away one today) then that may help your plan your content in advance.
"A blogger that cannot take advantage of social media, is that one blogger?" LOL. Seriously though you need to be on social media because it is the best platform to share your content since you cannot kuku carry your blog like gala and be hawking on the road. This is the next best thing! I began to focus on growing my Twitter and Instagram and soon after YouTube channel when I realised how important this was. Currently I have almost 50, 000 followers on instagram and steadily getting to 50, 000 SUBSCRIBERS on YouTube so I can definitely show you what I have been doing to grow my audience. For twitter see HERE and for Instagram see HERE. I will do a post for YouTube once I hit 50k so stay tuned.
BUNCH OF TIPS: Try not to compare yourself to other bloggers, you may begin to envy their wit and content. Blogging takes time to "blow", your blog may not be popular for a long time. You learn on the job, no one knows it all when they start blogging, with time you find what works for you and you tweak things here and there. I'm still learning!
This post is getting so long...LOL. Sorry. If you want to win the blog planner then leave a comment with your name, a link to your blog and your location e. g I love this post and I want to win the blog planner, my name is Sisi Yemmie, and I run a food and lifestyle blog www.sisiyemmie.com. I live in Lagos.
The winner will be announced next week, good luck!
Posted by Sisi Yemmie at Wednesday, January 25, 2017