Hi everyone! Today, I’m starting a new monthly column for my blog, which I’ve been meaning to write for far too long, but kept postponing. It’s called my blogging tips, and with these posts I’ll try to help all new bloggers and possibly old ones too, and pass some of the knowledge I’ve gathered through these 2+ years of blogging. Since I’m far from an expert, I asked the help of my boyfriend T. who has been active on the Internet for many years, with his online business. He’s a self-taught programmer and freelancer with many years of expertise, and he’s the first one to go to for help for anything that needs coding, or if I need any general advice. So I want to thank him for agreeing to do this collaboration series with me, to combine our knowledge so we can provide you with valuable information for any (mostly fashion or beauty related) blogger. We’re going to divide this column in parts so it will be easier to read and write. However, be prepared to read quite lengthy posts. I hope you find everything we write here interesting, and that you’ll stick with us till the end. With these series of posts we’re trying to help bloggers and answer many questions that you might have. Of course, keep in mind that some of them are personal opinions, and cannot apply to everyone out there. After all, as the title says, they’re MY tips or ours in this case.
What you should know when starting a blog
1. Understand what a blog is
First of all you must understand what a blog is. “A blog is a website in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed in reverse chronological order. The term blog is a shortened form of weblog or web log. Authoring a blog, maintaining a blog or adding an article to an existing blog is called “blogging”. Individual articles on a blog are called “blog posts,” “posts” or “entries”. A person who posts these entries is called a “blogger”. A blog comprises text, hypertext, images, and links (to other web pages and to video, audio and other files). Blogs use a conversational style of documentation.” Source, Source
2. What is the purpose of your blog
So, you’ve decided to start a blog. You obviously know the field you want to write about, for example: Fashion, beauty, personal style, photography, food, travel etc. Before continuing with it, you must think about its purpose. Do you want to have a blog as a hobby? Or do you want it to become a profession in the future? It’s okay if you don’t know yet. You can start it as a hobby and evolve from there. But keep in mind that blogging is harder than you think, and it needs a lot of work, time, passion, and determination. You must not start a blog thinking you’ll become instantly famous and have a professional career out of it. You need to keep your expectations low and start with baby steps. I’m not saying these to scare you away. It’s the hard truth, and I want you to be aware of it. Very few bloggers have the fame and everything that comes with it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t become one of them. Just keep in mind what I told you above.
3. How to choose a name for your blog
Choosing a name for a blog is hard for many of us. You should think about your niche…What is your blog about? Shoes, fashion, personal style? The best thing to do is to use keywords that will help you rank higher in search engines so it will be easier for someone to find your blog in the future. Of course having the right keywords in your name will help a lot (like fashion, style, beauty, food) but it’s also a huge cliché. Find something that characterizes you; that says something about you and what your blog will be about. Try to make it short and easy to remember. Do a research to see if someone else is already using it (we’ll give you the links below). You don’t’ want to steal someone else’s name. And if you’re thinking of having your own domain, be sure to check that it’s available. Also, make sure that your domain name is the same with your blog’s name; it’s really important. Some interesting articles to read by Independent Fashion Bloggers here, here and here.
4. How to set up a blog
After choosing your blog’s name you should start thinking about your blogging platform. There are 2 things to consider again, and there are 2 ways to do it: free or paid. First question to answer is: Do you want to start a blog entirely as a hobby? If you answered yes, then free is the way to go. If you answered no, and you want to start blogging professionally, or thinking to evolve it later, then paid is the right answer.
I started blogging having read all the pros and cons of the blogging platforms, and with the help of T. I decided to go right to WordPress.org, which is a free but self-hosted platform and buy a domain name since day 1. I’m really satisfied with this move, and seeing that many bloggers end up doing the same these days, makes me think that I made the right choice. I started blogging as a hobby, but on the back of my head I really wanted to evolve it into a profession, and I still do, so I think it was the right choice for me.
If you want it to be free, then wordpress.org is not for you. But wordpress.com, Blogger, Tumblr etc. are. Keep in mind, that when using one of these platforms your blog is being hosted on their servers and therefore they have the right to take it down for any reason at any time. It’s rare, but it can happen. If you’re interested in making money from ads or affiliate links then you should know that you can’t do this on wordpress.com. Here’s an article to help you find which platform is the best for your needs. Read it carefully. (More on ads and affiliate links on the next parts.)
When you’re being hosted on these platforms you have a subdomain, and it looks something like this: yourblogname.blogspot.com or yourblogname.wordpress.com. You can upgrade to your own domain name with a yearly price and still be hosted on these platforms, so your blog’s URL will look like this: yourblogname.com or .gr, .net etc. This way you’ll have your own domain name (small cost -paid yearly) but still be hosted free on your blogging platform’s servers. There’s always the option to move to another platform such as wordpress.org. Here’s a guide to help you do it.
The other way to do it is to pay both for a domain name (yearly) and a host (monthly). This is not cheap, so I wouldn’t recommend it, if you’re not serious about it, or if you don’t see it professionally. If you do however, this is the best way to proceed:
1st step: Buy a domain name for your blog (make sure that your domain name is the same with your blog’s name, not to confuse your readers; and be sure to make a research to see if the name you want is available). To check out for availability on .com/.net & plenty more use this site, where you can also buy domain names at a cheap price/rate and with 100% free privacy on them (no personal information will be shown if someone looks up for your domain name, otherwise you have to show full information about yourself). To check for .gr domain names check this site.
2nd step: Find the suitable hosting provider and package for your needs. I will only point out a few hosting companies (there are tons of them out there but only a handful are good enough). For starters try to find a “shared hosting package” with at LEAST 100GB of bandwidth (important to keep your website up) and around 10GB Hard disk drive (so you can upload tons of pictures :)), and preferably close to your visitors country (for example if you mainly get US traffic, find a host in the US).
Also, try to avoid the extremely cheap hosts. They are usually no good. Be prepared to pay around $6-$15/month. I occasionally host some blogs on my server too with competitive prices, so if you’re interested drop a comment below and I will contact you :).
This is the end of part 1 of our blogging tips series, which was mostly targeted on new bloggers or people that are now thinking of starting a blog. But I really hope that we covered most things you need to know before starting a blog, and that we answered to all of the questions you might have about some of these. If you do, however, still have a question about these steps, ask away on the comments section below, and we’ll do our best to answer as soon as possible.
We’ll cover many more topics and important steps on the next parts. Stay tuned to read more on next month’s post, somewhere around the middle of the month. If you have any other questions that you want us to cover to the next ones, leave them below, and we’ll make sure to have an answer for you.
Interesting reads for you:
Thank you so much for reading! Happy blogging!
Για να διαβάσετε το άρθρο στα ελληνικά πατήστε εκεί που λέει: Language: Greek.