I merely ask you hold back my hair as I spew it forth!
Blogging provides a platform to showcase your work, to gain a dedicated following. With that in mind, mise (Irish for me) dedicated blogger, presents a comprehensive guide to setting up your blog. This is part one, I will post part two during the week.
This article was first published by writing.ie
Buy your domain
Are you aware that your blog can be deleted or even sold at any time? You have no right to it, unless you buy the domain. It costs about EUR 15.00 is easy to do and it looks better. Find out how to do this for blogger here and wordpress.
Why you need to blog
If you are a writer you need to have as many links on-line as possible. We live in an age where the standard talk is “I will tweet / Facebook you” and “what is your Facebook fan page / blog / web address?” Having a blog will increase your readership, hone your writing skills, give your immediate publication and feedback, give you a “Likability” (if you do it right) and ultimately increase your book sales. You need to decide which blog platform you are going to use. The main options are WordPress and Blogger
How to blog
- You need to decide what you are going to write about. You need to write a plan detailing the below:
- Research other blogs.
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your time commitment to your blog?
- How you will drive traffic to your blog? (more on that later)
- How often will you post?
- Will you use pictures / video / podcasts in your posts
- How much personal information will you share?
- How are you going to set yourself up as an expert in your field?
- What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
- How will you tell me about yourself, who you are, why should I like you?
- What makes you different?
- What do you obsess about?
Generally people tend to pick one topic and write about that, but in a world where we have hundreds of channels, YouTube, books, magazines – and most of it at our fingertips – it is important to bring as much diversity to your blog as possible. You can’t really take just one topic and write about that again and again from different slants. Take some time to research other successful blogs to see what they have that makes them popular. However you must always research with your own USP in mind.
Set up your blogger blog
To set up your blog all you need is an email address, then simply click on this link. Follow their three step guide and that’s it you have created your blog. Setting up a WordPress blog is just a simple and can be done here. Since I am on blogger, I will use the Blogger GUI as an example throughout.
Now all you need to do is write your first post. Introduce yourself, say why you wanted to start a blog, what direction your blog will take, or just share a story.
This is where your research will come in handy, what layouts did you like? What did you not like? Try to make your blog stand out but more importantly, make it easy to read.
I studied Information Technology and Telecommunications in University of Limerick and my Final Year Project was on “Authoring Mythologies and Web design.” I did the research for you; here is what you need to know:
- Use contrasting text and background colour, e.g. black text on a white background.
- Use a font that is clear and easily read, Times New Roman is a better choice than Mistral
- Write your posts with KISS in mind (keep it short and sweet)
- Keep your header small, people want to be able to see your posts straight away, they do not want to have to move the scroll bar down just to begin to read.
- Choose your layout in the design section, Template Designer section.
- Change your side bars, to suit their purpose. You can include tags, archived posts, links. You can set the content as you see fit
- Go into the advance section if you want to change the colours (show your individuality off)
- Make an “about me” page, (go to dashboard, posting, edit pages, new page) and then introduce yourself. This will be a static page (it will only change when you change it)
- (just an extra note; you should also set up an actual about.me page aswell. See mine here)
- If you are lucky to be contacted by readers then make it easy for them, have a contact me page.
- Do not worry about any of the stylistic choices you make when setting up your blog. Blogger and WordPress allow you to go back and change the style, colour scheme and font at any time
How to promote your site
You have your plan written up, your blog is sorted and you have written your first post. Now it is time to start promoting your blog. For people to be able to read, comment and share your blog, they need to know it exists.
Before I go into the below detail, I just want to let you know this: you need to have each social media (SM) account linked to your blog, this is explained below.
To add the SM to your account:
- Go to your blog dashboard,
- Add a gadget,
- Add HTML gadget
- Paste in the link to your Twitter/Facebook and then save.
See my blog as an example; my SMs are all linked, look on the right of the page, you can see; Pin It, G+, Twitter and at the end of each post is a FaceBook Fan page link.
The following social media accounts are essential to promoting your blog.
1.Set up your account (for extra help watch )
2.Upload a picture, not a graphic, an actually picture.
3.Fill in your bio and write a tweet.
4.Follow people, and start conversations, use hashtags when necessary.
5.Set up lists, just have a look at the lists I use as an example.
6.When you write a blog post, you can log into a twitter account and share the post with your
7.To do this you just copy the web address of your blog post after it has beenThen go to a twitter account, right a few words to sum it up and paste the web address. (I will show you had to use Hootsuite to automatically send the link of the new blog post to twitter for you).
Facebook fan page
1.It is important to have as many links to your blog as possible, so having a fan page is necessary.
2.Create a Facebook account here
3.Set your personal page to private, you can use this with your friends. The fan page is for the public.
4.To create the fan page
5.Watch this for extra help:
6.Set up your username