Are you looking to start a blog but have literally NO idea how? Do you know that you don’t want it to just be an outlet, but also a future avenue for income for your family? Are you unclear on the terminology of blogging? Do you have any clue what a host is? Do you know that Pinterest is a way people direct traffic to their blog, but are unsure how to go about doing that?
I was in the exact same boat about 3 months ago when I decided that I finally wanted to put my dreams into action. I searched thousands of websites for the best tips, the best way to monetize, the best way to use Pinterest, the best way to purchase a host and domain name, etc., etc.! All of the advice out there is GREAT and can probably help numerous people if you want to spend the time looking through article after article; but, if you want to use your time more productively, I have found the best resource to start your blog!
By shear luck, I stumbled upon Abby at JustaGirlandherBlog. I thought her blog was beautiful and simple and eye catching. That was what drew me in initially; THEN, I read her content. This was when I realized I had hit the mother-load (but really…I’m serious…)! (Not to mention, she is a fellow black and gold Yinzer like myself! How Neat!)
I was directed to her eBook, Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook, and my blogging career began. It answered EVERY question and fear I had about how to start a blog and why I needed to do it. Now, I’m only just beginning and I have a long way to go, but I finally found my DIRECTION by using this tool.
Here is some of the valuable information I learned:
1. All the “how-to’s” of Start-Up
This information was a god-send to me! What I’m referring to here are the direct step-by-step details of what to do before launching a blog; for example:
- Purchasing a Domain Name
- Purchasing a Host
- Understanding SEO through YOAST
- Plugins – what are they and how do they help me?
- What a Genesis Framework is and How to incorporate a Child Theme that suited me as a blogger.
These were just some of the basics to get started that really helped me know what on earth I needed to do to take my first steps into “Blog-land”.
I remember sitting and staring at my computer after reading thousands of Pinterest posts and thinking…there are so many options – which is the right one? How do I know I made the right choice? Once I found this tool, I had my answers.
Online you are flooded with hundreds of photos in blog posts, Pinterest pins, emails, Instagram, etc. All of this is GREAT advertising – but with low quality pictures, your outreach can be lessened.
That sounded really good didn’t it? I was completely unaware of this fact until I read Abby’s eBook. I mean, generally I knew that nice pictures looked better than crappy ones – but I had no idea it could actually deter viewers from returning to your blog or even taking your blog seriously. This was an awesome portion of the book because Abby explained in detail tips for editing your photos and the benefits of photo editors that she uses. Again, Abby simply leads the way for us “new bloggers” ~ and I couldn’t be more grateful.
3. Social Media Tips
Okay. So you KNOW you have to use social media to boost page views, but how many media outlets do you use? Do you start with all of them? Where do you place your focus? Do you use different pictures for different accounts? What is the best social media avenue to tackle?
I’m exhausted just typing those questions and remembering how blind I felt to the whole social media system. Abby goes through EACH mainstream media account and even lets you know her own media strategy. How nice is that?
The tips that worked the best for me in this area were to focus on 1 or 2 social media accounts before branching out and having to worry about numerous ones while I was just figuring out this whole blogging world. It has been super beneficial! I had originally planned to blast posts across all of my social media accounts and hope for the best (see why I’m so thankful? I was a lost puppy.).
This portion of the eBook is extremely relevant to the blogging world and generally speaking, our world today. People love being able to pin your posts and come back to them. They love being able to share your posts on Facebook if they are relevant to their lives. Thus, I chose Pinterest and Facebook as my two starting social media accounts and it has been going well so far. On pinterest, my analytics have told me that I’ve reached 15,000 people and I launched my blog on August 1! This was super exciting! Pinterest has definitely been the more successful outlet of the two and I am thoroughly enjoying myself; I love checking my stats on which pins/posts are being re-pinned and which are drawing in the most traffic. It’s a cool thing, this blogging deal. 😉
4. Growing My Email List through MailChimp
Did you know that you should start a subscription option as soon as you launch your blog? This is a great tip to keep bringing people back to your blog to see your newly shared content and also any newsletters you may send out. It’s a way to interact with your readers on a personal level.
I had always seen the subscribe boxes on people’s blogs and never truly understood the importance of them or even how to add one to my own blog; don’t worry, Abby covers all of that!
This has been going extremely well and I am excited to share my first newsletter with my subscribers on September 1, 2016.
5. Building Friendships with Other Bloggers
This part, I honestly didn’t know was a part of blogging. Then I started reading this chapter and learning more about the importance of “finding your tribe” and it all made sense. (Abby explains “finding your tribe” in the book.) I am chugging along trying to do this more and more; but am rationally knowing that this takes time.
The biggest tip I learned from this section that actually has influenced my blogging is the knowledge that I’m not alone. I may be sitting here at my computer by myself and pressing publish without anyone else’s guidance – but I have a community behind me hoping that I succeed and enjoy myself.
Please know, that if you are hesitant to launch your blog – take the leap. It will be worth it and you are NOT alone. Comment in the section below if you are having doubts, fears, etc., and I would love to give any advice I can about my start-up process! After all, we are all in this together.
The best resource to start your blog can vary, but I firmly believe that Abby’s eBook is the absolute most efficient, simple, and easy-to-follow resource you will find. I wanted to be productive right out of the gates and with this information I was able to. I hope this helps you and if you have any other questions regarding my experience using her eBook, please ask in the comment section!