Organized Charm: Start Your Own Blog in 4 Easy Steps

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Start Your Own Blog in 4 Easy Steps


I get quite a few emails from month to month and I've decided to start building posts around them so that everyone can benefit from the questions and answers! This month, I received a few emails from readers asked for advice for starting a blog! 

It makes me laugh out loud that I would be thought of as the person to ask... BUT I do enjoy researching things and learning how to do everything in the best way possible! So, of course, I'm happy to do that! 



FIRST: DO SOME RESEARCH

This is one of the biggest, most ever-changing topics ever to research. And once you start, you will realize that there is SO MUCH information out there! SO MANY tiny little aspects go into blogging that there are several blogs out there that are literally just about blogging! 

Every time I find a great/helpful/interesting article or post, I pin it to my Blog. board on Pinterest. Scroll through that board, pin what you like... and go follow the original sources to make that kind of content come up on your own Pinterest homepage! 




SECOND: DECIDE ON YOUR CONTENT

Back in September, I did a post on 5 Blogging Basics, where I included some of the most primary-level blogging advice I could think of! That info really centered around what KIND of content to create when you start a blog. Which is, after all, the purpose of the whole thing. 

Your content needs to be original, interesting, helpful, and consistent. If you're writing about style, how are your outfits different from everyone else's? If you write about cooking, do you have a specific focus, such as desserts or vegan? What makes you original? 



THIRD: CREATE YOUR "BRAND"

I recently did an interview with Taylor from A Cup of Tay (along with a few lovely authors of other blogs), where we all gave all the best branding advice we could think of! Branding your blog is pretty much like giving it a personality. 

Do you want it to look elegant and sleek? Or whimsical and full of color? Your fonts fall into this category, too! And speaking of fonts, try to stick to 3. (I'm the worst at that because I love fonts and always want to use them all!) Also, decide on your color palette: 1 warm color, 1 cool color, 1 neutral color. 




FOURTH: FIND YOUR PLATFORM

Next, find a blogging platform that you really like. This was seriously the biggest struggle of the whole process for me because there were things that I liked/didn't like about all of them! I created little blogs on a few different sites and played around with them for a while before really committing to "the one". Here are the ones I tried out: 

Wordpress:
I liked how neat everything was. Wordpress blogs look super professional. I liked the fact that you can follow other bloggers and like their posts. However, I was not crazy about the interface of the actual website. It was a little too intense for me. If you are someone who is analytical, logical, or "techy", then it may work great for you! It just wasn't my favorite. 

BUT the thing that was the real deal breaker for me was when I heard that there was a limited amount of free space. After a while, users get a "bandwidth exceeded" message and they have to purchase more space or purchase their own domain. Again... that may not be a deal breaker for you! But personally, I wasn't into it. 

Weebly:
Weebly is a website maker that I was introduced to during my first grad school class. We had to make a "classroom website" and I absolutely fell in love with how easy it was to control the design of websites on this platform. You actually build your website to look and work exactly the way you want it to. 

The only things I didn't love about this platform were that it crashed pretty frequently while I was trying to do things. Also, it's really designed to be used for a website with a blog, rather than just a stand alone blog. I would recommend using this for a website, but as far as blogging goes, it just wasn't for me. 

Tumblr.
Ahh, yes. Tumblr. I love Tumblr. I love the pretty images. I love it that you can find blogs to follow for basically anything that you find interesting! Oh, and I also love it that you can add hashtags to your posts! And let's just talk about how easy it is to use. So easy. I love the simple way that everything is laid out, etc. etc. 

The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the fact that it's based more on images than written content. Which would work perfectly for a fashion blogger, or a photographer. Also, I wanted a little more control over the design of the website. One more thing: it's very easy to reblog other people's content rather than creating your own! I would suggest a 50/50 approach here!

Blogger:
So, in no way is Blogger the perfect blogging platform. There are tons of people who have chosen these other platforms over Blogger. The things that I love about Blogger are that it gives you a ton of control over the site design (without having to learn about coding). I also love the fact that it gives you so much space. As far as I know, Blogger never tells you that you've used too much. I mean, iHeartOrganizing is still hosted here and she literally has a BILLION posts. 

The only negative things that I can think of to say about Blogger are... I promise you, I am having a hard time thinking of any. It's just been such the perfect fit for me and Organized Charm that everything works pretty wonderfully! I know people out there say that the site is outdated (and the "gadgets" offered) but that's kind of all I can think of! 

Oh, and by the way, if you're planning to do a lot of "on-the-go" blogging, all of these platforms have apps designed to help you do just that! As of today, the Blogger app has 2 1/2 stars, the Tumblr and Weebly apps have 4 1/2 stars, and the Wordpress app has 3 stars. 



Every person and blog are different and you really just have to find what works best for you and your content! 

GOOD LUCK! :) 



Do you have suggestions for beginning bloggers? What about different blogging platforms that you've started? Or what about "vlogging" advice?
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