So you’re ready to start a blog! It may seem like a daunting task if you are new to the blogging world, however it’s a lot easier than what you might think. I want to lead you through,step by step, on how to get your blog up and running in no time… without spending a cent!
1. JOIN BLOGGER
First things first, you need to sign up to Blogger. This is the platform that you will use to create your blog and to write your posts. I have always found Blogger to be the easiest platform to use, it’s free, it’s what I use for my blogs and I recommend it to everyone.
When you join up, pick your blog URL (http://myblogname.blogspot.com). If the address with your chosen blog name is unavailable, you may need to choose another blog name. You want it to be unique!
Down the track you have the choice to purchase a domain (http://www.myblog.com) and link it up to make your blog more professional, but for now, you’ll just have a .blogpspot.com address.
2. PICK A THEME
When first creating your blog, you’ll need to choose from their selection of themes. A theme or template is the overall look and design of your blog. Every Blogger theme is customizable, meaning you are able to change the colours, widths, fonts, etc.
I highly recommend choosing the ‘Simple’ theme to get started. It is the one (selected above) with the orange and yellow colours.Once you’ve hit the “Create blog!” button, you’ll be taken to your Blogger Control Panel. You then need to select “Theme” in the side menu (pictured below) where you can select the white version of the Simple Theme (circled in pink below).
I always recommend using this theme first, as it’s the most simple, minimal theme available. It’s the best blank canvas to work with and you’ll be able to clearly see what elements make up a blog and what you’re able to change. Think of it as your “learning theme”.Once you’ve got the hang of how your new blog works, you might be interested in purchasing one of my blog themes to switch it over! You can change your theme at any time throughout your blogging journey.
3. ADD YOUR LOGO
Your logo is the first thing visitors will see when they arrive on your blog. It’s the creative design of your blog’s name, in a font of your choosing, which sits at the top of your blog. You need to make it unique and memorable, but still easy to see what your blog’s name is.
If you’re not so great with Photoshop, don’t stress. There’s a website called PicMonkey where you can easily create a logo image yourself. Pick a font, type out your blog’s name, move things around, add some colour if you like. Save it as an image and it’s ready to upload to your blog.
To add your logo to your blog, go to ‘Layout’ in the menu. On the Layout page, find the box that says “Header”, and click on “Edit” in that box.
Go to your blog’s URL or click “View Blog” at the top of your Blogger Control Panel and you’ll be able to see your logo on your blog!
If you’d like to move your logo to the center of your blog (so it’s not sitting to the left), check out the instructions in this post.
4. ADD TO THE SIDE BAR
The side bar of your blog is the strip of information running down the side of your blog, where visitors will look to find out who you are, how to contact you and where to find you on social media. It’s a great way to personalise your blog with information you think your readers might be interested in.
Add a photo of yourself, a short bio, your blog email address (it’s good to have a separate email for blog purposes) and links to your social media accounts.
To change your side bar, in your Blogger menu go to ‘Layout’ and on the Layout page, find the box that says ‘sidebar-right’. Click on ‘Add A Gadget’ and find the gadget you’d like to add in (Profile, Image, Text, etc.)
5. WRITE YOUR FIRST POST
Now it’s finally time to write your first post! Use it to explain who you are and what your blog will be about. Keep it personal! Blogs are successful because they are personal platforms. New readers want to get to know you so they know who the person is behind the posts. If you would rather stay anonymous, that’s also fine! Show your personality through the images you post and your writing style.
In the Blogger menu, go to ‘Posts’ and click on the ‘New Post’ orange button at the top. You’ll find that creating a blog post is just like composing an email, adding text, images and links. Make sure you add:
- Post title
- At least one image
- Your writing
- One tag to the ‘Labels’ section (eg. fashion, beauty, lifestyle)
When you’re done, click ‘Preview’ to view your post before it goes live. Make sure it looks okay, then when you’re ready to go click the orange ‘Publish’ button. You can always go back and edit the post if you need to.
- Let your Instagram followers know that you’ve just posted.
- Make sure your blog link is in your Instagram bio.
- Pin the image from your blog post to Pinterest.
- Tweet about it and use hashtags (eg. #blogger #blog).
- Comment on other blogs and include your blog URL (make sure you leave them a nice, genuine comment though, don’t just spam your blog’s URL!)
. . .
There are many more things you can do to your blog from this point forwards (eg. add a domain name, change your blog template, add a menu) but for now, you’ve started! That’s the most important thing. Get used to writing posts first and once you’ve got the hang of it, you can work on making your blog better.