My introduction to blogging isn’t anything particularly special, and in fact, is how a lot of ‘mummy’ bloggers get started. I was on maternity leave with my first child, and it just went from there. I had blogged before this, but I had more time, and wanted to use it as a creative outlet, to share all things on motherhood and what I was experiencing. I didn’t know there was such a community to blogging, or a way to earn money from it, so if I was to start this again, I would have done some things a little differently.
If you are thinking of starting a blog, then here are some of the things that I would recommend, to make sure that you get your blog off to a good start.
Think carefully about the name
If you want to get your blog found online, then the name can be really important. Not only that, but it helps potential readers to know what your blog is all about. I kind of wish I had used a website for generating creative blog names, because I don’t think my blog really shows what it is all about. I also know some people that started as parenting bloggers, and called their blog, Mum of Two, for example, but then had another baby. So then it becomes outdated, or if you want to move onto food blogging rather than parenting, for example. So think carefully and see what creative names you could find for your blog,and in my opinion, is evergreen, so will last and last.
Get Your Own Domain & Self-Host
I started out on the free WordPress and purchased a vanity URL, which was great to start building up my content and a bit of a following but the options for making money are basically non-existent due to WordPress’s terms. So then I became self-hosted. I didn’t really know this at the start so if you are just starting out, I’d recommend going self-hosted from the start.
If the idea of self-hosting is really scary to you, I’d recommend using Blogger and getting a vanity URL as you can start making money straight away then. But overall, I much prefer WordPress.
Work on Building up Your Domain Authority
Basically, DA is a number from 1 – 100. the higher your DA, it means that you have strong traffic and a high rank. I have found that PRs use this as a metric to see who they will work with so it is important to work on improving it. You won’t have an actual / reliable DA if your URL contains .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com – you need your own domain or a vanity URL.
Ways to improve your DA is to get rid of bad links and to work on improving good links. Bad links can be deleted or requested to delete. Good links come from:
- Creating lots of linkable content and use internal links (see what I did there)
- Guest post on bigger blogger’s sites, comment on other blogs and join in with linkies – all ways to get good backlinks for your site.
- Make sure your SEO is on point – think about word count, tags, keywords etc. I had no idea that posts should be over 300 words long to be the most effective for SEO.
- Be patient! A big score won’t happen overnight but being aware of it and being proactive will make it improve faster than those that do not.
If you want your blog to grow, you need to be on social media.
- Interact with other bloggers and comment on other people’s posts.
- Join in with blogger chats on Twitter.
- Share and link other blogger’s Facebook content.
- Join groups and communities on Google+ and Facebook to share content and discuss topics.
- Make ‘pinnable’ images so that they can be pinned and repinned on Pinterest. Use the right hashtags on Instagram. The list is endless and it all helps to improve your blog and get new followers.
I’m by no means an expert but just sharing some of what I have been learning on the way – there is more to share and more I need to learn too! What would you add to the list?