I’ve seen a lot of people ask how to start a blog and get it running and stuff, so I thought I’d put together a post where all of the common questions I see are answered in one place. I hope this helps, and if you have additional questions I’d love to answer them in the comments. :)
1. What Platform Should I Use?
Okay, I actually don’t feel super qualified to answer this one since I haven’t done any research or anything on different platforms. I use WordPress.org (which is different from WordPress.com, which is free) and I always have, so I’m not even familiar with the free version. I personally love WordPress.org, but the best advice I have for you here is to do the research and ask some people who have more experience with multiple platforms. I know a lot of people who use Blogger, Wix, or… I think SquareSpace is fairly common? But yeah, there are several options and I only know about one of them. XP
2. What Should I Write About?
Whatever you’re passionate about. Pick a broad topic (for example fiction writing, or pop music), and if it’s something you’re passionate about then you should be able to keep coming up with post ideas. Don’t write about something just because you feel like you should (don’t start a blog just because you feel like you should, either) or it won’t come out well and you’ll quickly run out of ideas. Try to stick to your topic as much as possible, though, so that followers know this is what they’re getting and aren’t put off by frequent posts on some totally unrelated topic.
3. How Often Should I Post?
Post as frequently or as infrequently as works for you. You will want a set schedule so that readers know when to expect a post from you and you don’t want to just post every three months or people will likely forget you exist, but probably anywhere from once a month to five times a week is safe, so just pick whatever works for you and whatever you can keep up with without burning out.
4. How Do I Get Traffic?
Pinterest. I actually have plans for writing a whole post on how to use Pinterest to increase blog traffic, but the basics are these:
Make a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one and set up boards for your writing (I have storyboards, character boards, setting boards, inspiration boards, etc.) and a board for your blog (mine is just called My Blog: Scribes & Archers). Then start pinning. Consistent pinning is best and gives your pins a better chance of being seen, but the important thing is to pin to all of your boards and not just your blogging board.
Make sure your blog posts have pinnable images. Taller pins are better for Pinterest, but square works okay. Set up a template for all of your images, so that they look like a cohesive whole when they’re all together. Include the post title in a readable font and your blog name smaller somewhere so that people easily know where the pin came from. Then, obviously, pin the images to your blog board.
Other than that, ask friends you know would be interested in your content or who you know would want to support you by following (people who are following just because you asked them to aren’t going to interact with your content as much and might not read your posts at all), and share your posts on other social media that you’re active on.
Higher traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more subscribers, unfortunately, but your content will be read and enjoyed/learned from.
5. How Do I Stay Consistent?
Step 1: Make a running list of blog post ideas. This way you’re less likely to run out, and you almost always have a list to draw from. I like to schedule mine in advance on Google Calendar and then shuffle them around as necessary depending on how capable I feel of writing that post at the time, but you can just keep a list if that works better, or do something else entirely.
Step 2: Know your posting schedule. Know how often your posting and one what day(s) so that you can have your posts ready in advance.
Step 3: Schedule a writing day. For me this is Saturday. Ideally I spend Saturday writing my posts for the next week so that they’re out of the way and I’m not scrambling to write them last minute or getting images made. (I usually do my images at the beginning of a month so that they’re all ready to go.)
6. What Do I Name It?
Um… there are kind of a lot of ways to name a blog. It should probably relate to what you’ll be posting about, but it should also be fairly personalized and unique. Scribes & Archers got its name from writing (Scribes) and my pen name (Archer from R.M. Archer), plus it has kind of a fantasy feel to it in my opinion, like it could be descriptive of a clan of wood elves or something. I have friends whose blog names were drawn from their favorite poem, or favorite quotes. There’s a really broad range of ways you can choose a blog name.
Have you considered starting a blog? Was I able to answer some of your questions? Again, if you have any additional questions let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them! If you already have a blog, feel free to share it in the comments; I’d love to follow you!
If you found this post helpful, please share it! It helps out both the people you send it to and me. :)