wowww why wasn’t this the first post in this series??
the answer: i really don’t know. i skipped right to blog design and such WOW i’m such a great blogger it’s impressive. i have some pretty cool posts for GFTNBB planned for later this year and such, BUT FIRST this.
ANYWAY, please forgive me. finallyyy, i’m doing this post, and i’m so excited to write this. LET’S GO BABY BLOGGERS. LET’S DO THIS AND CREATE YOUR BLOG <3
welcome back to this series. i kinda took a break from it for no apparent reason. apparently, the holidays threw me off or something.
01. whatcha gonna blog about?
i would first figure out what the heck you’re going to blog about before you do anything. your blogging topic is also sometimes called your “niche.” for example, my niche is books plus a little lifestyle content. but mostly books.
what you’re going to blog is super important because it can affect the name of your blog, the design, the community you’re about to join, etc. i would also recommend trying to pick a fairly specific niche for your blog, so that you do actually have a community to share your blog with. i’m not saying this couldn’t work, but if you choose to blog about books, movies, lifestyle, makeup, art, sports (and on and on), you’ll potentially have less readers because your content isn’t as focused. i (personally) like to know what kind of posts to expect from a blog, and if you don’t have any type of niche, i’m less likely to read your blog.
02. pick your platform
before you actually create your blog, you need to decide what platform you’re going to blog on. here are a few examples:
- blogger (blogspot by google). (free option) i started out first on blogger because i liked the fact that you could upload your own theme. but i actually would not recommend starting out on blogger because of how “isolated” you are. i found that it was extremely hard to grow my blog on blogger and the community wasn’t right for me. after awhile, it also became hard for me to design my blog the way i wanted.
- wordpress.com. this is the free version of wordpress that does not require hosting. if i were to create my blog over again, i would use wordpress.com because of the tightly-knit book blogging community. even though the design customization options aren’t great as far as i can tell, i would probably recommend starting here for a new blogger. also, if you ever choose to move to wordpress.org (paid wordpress), it’ll be easier to transfer your content and followers.
- wordpress.org. this is the paid version of wordpress that requires hosting. i currently self-host with wordpress on this blog, and i would totally recommend it if you’re pretty serious about blogging! it is a bit of an investment for hosting + a genesis framework theme, but i would recommend it. you have basically limitless design options, but i would suggest buying the genesis framework and a child theme to make it easiest.
- squarespace. (another paid option) i’ve never used squarespace before, but i’ve heard it’s easy to use + the themes available are pretty good.
- wix. (free option) i’ve also never used wix before and i haven’t really heard much about it.
- there are probably others, but i can’t think of any others i know much about rn.
03. name your blog!
aha i would recommend taking a little bit of time to think about this part because this is what people will know you by on the internet, more so even than your real name. i picked a little impulsively the first *cough*and second*cough* time around, and i ended up having to rebrand a couple of times which was not ideal.
but after actually thinking with a name in mind for awhile (like a month or so), i found that reverie pages was the perfect name for this blog, and i’m not going to change it again (while i’m still a book blog, at least).
i would recommend picking a blog name that has something to do with your chosen niche. for example, reverie PAGES because books have PAGES (wow so unique i know). if you name your book blog “Rainbow Sparkle Lover” it will be hard for potential readers to know that you are blogging about books and not something else random (like rainbow sparkles?). keeping this in mind, you also need to have a degree of uniqueness to your blog name. there are a thousand “Book Nook” blogs out there, and people will not be able to find your blog if you name it generically.
to generate names, i would suggest writing a list of words you like (my list is shown below), and writing out different combinations of these words to see which ones stick. it’s not particularly fast or efficient, but i’ve found that it’s the most effective way to generate a blog name.
04. design your blog
this is the most fun part (if the most time consuming) in my opinion. i wrote a whole post on designing your blog, so go check that out if you want more information on branding and design.
05. write those posts!
and you’ve finally gotten to the blogging part of book blogging. when you’re just beginning, it can be so tempting to post every single day or even multiple times a day because you are SO EXCITED about your new blog. i would try to avoid doing this. it often is not sustainable for more than a couple weeks, and afterwards, you are drained of blog post ideas and burnt out.
plus, blog posts usually get more views individually if you post them on separate days versus multiple on the same day. my tip for you is to create a consistent blogging schedule, say, posting twice a week on certain days. i have a complete post about on scheduling posts and time management here.
if you need tips about finding your blogging voice, i have one here !
06. joining in on the community
because the community is the best part of blogging! blogging is based on sharing ideas with people, and it’s easiest to do this when you’re connected to a community of people.
here’s some things to do to join in on the community:
- blog hop, and comment THOUGHTFULLY* on other people’s posts! commenting is an easy way to connect with others and maybe even lead people to your blog.
- comment back on your posts. aha i haven’t been the best at this recently SORRY! but commenting back lets your audience know that you’re active on your blog and care about their opinions, which might make them want to come back in the future or even follow.
- twitter?? might be a bad idea. i think my fellow book bloggers know what i mean. book twitter can be a mess and a half.
- other social media. see below!
* i say THOUGHTFULLY because comments that just say “liked this post, please visit my blog here” are STUPID AND POINTLESS. you can tell that they’re fake, and they don’t really make me want to visit your blog honestly !!
07. social media & sharing your blog
social media is also a great way to share your blog and discover more people in the community. but especially with instagram, i would consider some social media to be an extension of your blog than a platform to drive traffic to it. instagram isn’t very easy to share links to posts on, which is why i say this.
twitter, however, is pretty great for sharing blog posts because of how user-friendly it is for sharing links.
i kinda want to do a longer post in the future on this topic, so that’s all i’ll say now, but if you have any questions about social media hmu in the comments.
hope that was a little helpful for any newbies! if you have any other questions about starting a blog, be sure to ask them in the comments and i’ll do my best to answer! what other topics would you like to see in this series?