1. What should your blog be about? Is it fashion, motherhood or life in general? The name of the blog should reflect that. I chose GabiOn12th, because I wanted the blog to be about me and my life in general. But I was seriously thinking of doing a design blog and the name Design On 12th was also an option.
2. What is the goal with your blog? Do you want x readers a week, making money or is it just for friends and family? Just keep in mind, if you get followers who like your blog – they are going to check it out once a day. I know that sounds a lot, but it is extremely boring to follow a blog that only updates once a week. If you do not have the time, tell the readers from the start – this is a weekly blog and you will update every thursday (for example). This is good if you want to write/discuss topics more seriously – bigger posts. If I know as a reader that there wont be anything until thursday, I will be ok with that. But there is nothing more enjoying to login and find there is nothing for the third day in a row. You lose interest.
3. Pictures are important. In the beginning I took nice pictures with my Nikon, but now a lot of the pics are from my phone. I think I have lost some readers absolutely, but I don’t have the time or energy to carry around my camera. If I go back and read my old posts, the feeling is much nicer because the pics are beautiful. Golden rule – one picture per post. It also gives you more time. Putting ten pictures on the same item, is time consuming and you risk loosing the interest of the reader. If you have ten amazing pictures from your weekend and that is what your post is about – of course you should add them. But ten pictures of the same dress, plant, design chair – waste of time.
4. Make it easy! It must be easy to update your blog, especially if you want to write about your everyday life. Get a good app on your phone and make sure you have a good camera. Make the blog a part of your daily routine. I always update my blog when I’m eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. I think you will enjoy your blog much more if you make it a part of your life. It should be as natural as brushing your teeth. But of course – it all depends on what your goals is. Take a lot of pics about things you like even though you don’t have a post in mind. Go through your phone when you have a quiet moment – I promise you, the ideas will come.
5. Follow blogs. You must follow blogs to get ideas, don’t hesitate to “steal” ideas but always tell the reader where you got the inspiration/picture. Let your readers know the blogs you are following. They often have the same taste. Have a lot of links so that the reader can get more information if he/she is interested. If your goal is to have many readers – comment a lot on other blogs. NOT SPAM, but good, interesting comments. This will get you more readers. I am not very good at this…
6. Chose your “blog engine”. There are a lot of very easy ways to start your own blog. I started with bloggspot.com, but after a while I felt I wanted more freedom. It was mostly the layout of the blog and I wanted to add cool plugins. So I changed to wordpress.com and I felt I got more freedom…but not for long. The great thing about wordpress.com is that they have a lot of good templates that you can personalize a lot. They also have a really good app for updating and checking stats. It is a very good start if you want your blog up and running as soon as possible. But as I wanted to have the total freedom, doing my own layout – I had to change again. I changed to wordpress.org, which means I have a self hosted blog and I have total freedom. But I would not recommend this to a beginner, who doesn’t have time to work with the layout.
7. Register your blog. I have registered my blog at bloglovin, bloggportalen, bloggtoppen and expat-blog. I follow all my blogs at bloglovin.
8. Add a Facebook Like button. People that “like” your blog will get an automatic update every time you add a new post.
9. Think about your categories. You want to make it easy for your reader to check out your posts. But be careful of using too many similar categories. “Things I like”, “Cool stuff” – not very good. Always add tags to your posts and a category, this helps if you want to add plugins like “related posts” – a great plugin by the way.
10. Have fun! Don’t be too hard on yourself; write about what YOU want to write about. Be personal and let the blog be a way of communicating to your friends. Don’t be afraid.