Not a day goes by where I don’t receive emails asking me for blogging tips, or questions about how I got started in the blogging world. I’ve been blogging for seven years, but sometimes I still feel like a newbie. Blogging has changed over the years, and I try to keep myself on top of all the latest trends, but I also like to keep it simple. If it becomes too complicated, or competitive, then where is the fun in all of this? The simplicity of my blog is what makes it enjoyable for me. It’s my full-time job (yes, you can make a living off of blogging), so I do need to make sure I’m keeping up with the latest trends, but also making sure I stay true to myself. I like to be relatable and share all of my happy and no-so-happy moments. If I can help one person or turn someone’s day around, then mission accomplished.
Whether you have one reader or a million readers, blogging is so rewarding. It’s your outlet to create. You can share your collection of photos, travels, recipes, or special life moments with the entire world. I feel so incredibly lucky and fortunate that I have readers that enjoy my pages. These past seven years have been life-changing. I have met so many people through my blog, traveled to places I’d never thought I’d visit, and it’s truly made me a better person.
If you think blogging might be perfect for you but have no idea where to start, this post will come in handy.
There are so many costly e-books out there on “how to start a blog“, but who wants to pay for one of those? I’m sure you have enough things to pay for already. That is why I’m teaming up with Squarespace today to help you enter the blogging world with ten easy steps! When you’re ready to start a blog, set one day aside, and get to work because we are going to build this blog in one day! Oh, and don’t forget the snacks!
One of my friends is extremely talented with photography, putting outfits together, hair, makeup, crushing it in the weight loss world, and writes beautifully. I’ve wanted her to start a blog for so long. She wanted to start a blog as well, but like many, had no idea where or how to start. When Squarespace reached out to me asking if I’d like to collaborate, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to create a blog for my friend, while showing you all how to build one too!
Squarespace is a great place to build a beautiful online home. I love that Squarespace empowers millions of local artists, entrepreneurs, and individuals by engineering sophisticated and elegant designed websites to share their stories with the world. I couldn’t wait to help Squarespace empower another artist by creating a blog for my friend!
We set Sunday aside and planted ourselves at the coffee shop to get to work! We like to keep it old school, so we brought our pens and paper! I’m a very visual person, so I still like to write things on paper and have them out in front of me. It’s easier to stay organized that way.
I created ten easy steps for you to follow to create your blog!
We used these ten steps building my friend’s blog, and it made the process very easy! Because I’m a visual person, we included step by step photos for you to follow!
Let’s get to the fun part!
Anyone can do it and you don’t need any special design skills to build it beautiful.
1. CHOOSING YOUR BLOG TOPICS: Choosing your blog topics first is important. Everything revolves around the theme of your blog. Your colors, your blog name, your design and so on.
What do you want to write about? Choose five topics to work with. You can choose a Squarespace layout that allows you to have sub-topics in a drop menu. If you choose “Food n’ Fit” as a topic, you can have a drop menu with relatable topics below such as workouts, healthy recipes, weight loss, etc.
2. CHOOSE YOUR BLOG NAME: Choosing a blog name can be frustrating and time-consuming. It may come to you quickly or never come to you at all. I mean, it’s a pretty permanent choice, so you want to get it right. My blog name could have used a little more character, but it’s something I do not want to go back and change. I’ve built my brand around it already. I do like that my blog name doesn’t categorize my blog. I can blog about anything lifestyle related, which was my goal.
Write down your top five picks, check to see if they are available in the Squarespace domain search, and start the elimination process. We took a snapchat poll, and that helped a lot! It’s fun to ask friends for advice. Sometimes they’ll come up with something clever for you. Make sure your name fits your topics. You don’t want a blog name like “Healthy Gal,” if you’re going to create a sewing blog. It has to fit!
3. CHOOSE A WEBSITE TO BUILD YOUR BLOG: I wish I would have made it easy on myself when I created my blog. I had the headaches of installing software, applying security patches, worrying about bandwidth, and dealing with storage limitations. I still have to worry about the backend problems on the daily. I wanted my friend to start with Squarespace because she won’t have to worry about any of those issues. All she has to do is upload content, customize her design, and have fun! Squarespace is a creative tools company that helps you build your website, and it’s accessible to everyone. Squarespace also has an award-winning customer care team that serves customers 24/7 via email and live chat. We took advantage of that when we had some questions.
Once you sign up for Squarespace, you can choose from all kinds of free blog layouts. We wanted one that would showcase photos. You can play around with all of the templates. I think we went through about five before picking the perfect layout.
4. DESIGN YOUR BLOG HEADER: This gives your blog so much character! I alway appreciate a creative blog header. Now that you know your blog name and topics, you can create a design to fit your brand. I like to make a couple of different models to test out. Have fun with this. I like to change mine every season.
My friend used the Shibori template, which was one of the free ones!
5. ORGANIZE YOUR BLOG: Now that you have a template and your blog header, it’s time to organize your blog and create topic pages. Making your blog easy to navigate keeps readers coming back. When I have readers tell me it’s hard to find something, I go out of my way to fix the issue immediately. I want everything to be easily accessible. I love that Squarespace has classy and clean looking templates for an organized blog. This step can take some time, but it’s crucial. While you’re organizing, make sure to add your bio and other key facts about your blog to the pages. 6. CREATE TEN GOALS FOR YOUR BLOG: It’s always important to set goals for yourself. Where do you see your blog going? What would you like to gain from your blog? Create ten goals and always keep them out in front of you while blogging. You can create an inspiration board or write them down on a piece of paper next to your computer. Create steps to help you reach your goals and think them through. Continue to question yourself. Ask yourself how you plan on gaining readership? How will you take the time to comment back to everyone? When will you ask for help? Will you have time set aside for blogging? Are you having fun? Setting goals
can will be the key to your success.
7. CREATE A SCHEDULE: Creating a schedule is something I want to get better at. I’m a go-with-the-flow type of blogger, but I could use some structure. My friend has a 9-7 job and so scheduling in some time to post is important. Fill your schedule with days for editing and days for posting. Post a recipe on Monday, edit your photos on the weekend, comment back on Saturdays during your coffee hour, spend two hours a night on writing, etc. Blogging takes a lot of your time, so it’s important to use that time wisely. Know when you work better. I do not function well at night, so I try to get all of my blogging done in the morning and afternoon. Schedule some shutdown days as well. You can get burned out, so know when to step away from it all. You can write some posts in advance and have Squarespace take it live while you’re away. 8. CREATE & POST CONTENT: You have your blog built, organized, and now you’re ready to become a blogger. Once you hit “publish,” you’re officially entering the blogosphere. It’s OK to post a lot of blogs you have saved up on the first day. The more content you have built up before sharing, the better. You want people to browse and spend some time looking over your work. You wouldn’t want to give someone a resume or portfolio with one line. You want to provide an impressive smorgasbord of work. Take some time to upload your photos, organize your work, and build your blog beautiful! Don’t forget to add tags, categories, and catchy titles to your posts. Squarespace does a great job at helping you stay organized. The more you play around with your blog, the better you’ll get at it. And never hesitate to contact the Squarespace customer service team for help! 9. CONNECT YOUR BLOG WITH SOCIAL MEDIA: Congrats. If you’re at this step, you’re officially a blogger! Once you have about 8-12 live posts, connect your blog with social media. Social media can you gain readership while spreading your work with the world. Encourage your family and friends to share, add your social media badges to your Squarespace blog, pin all of your photos on Pinterest, tweet links to the latest blog posts, add photos to Instagram with tags that fit your blog to find new readers, share your work on Facebook, etc. Since Squarespace uses a form builder to collect analytic data, you can track the growth of your blog. You can keep track of which posts are popular and where your traffic is coming from, and use that information as a tool to continue the growth! I always notice that my readers love recaps and “how to” blogs, so I try to create that type of content as much as possible.10. NEVER GIVE UP!: This may be the last step, but it’s the MOST IMPORTANT step. There are so many abandoned blogs out there because it’s so easy to get discouraged, and I still fight it. I see people start blogs and have a large readership overnight, and then I start to question myself. The only question I should be asking myself is, “what can I do to get better?”I started this blog for me. It doesn’t matter how many people are reading; it matters if I’m enjoying it. If you continue to write for yourself, you’ll never fail. Just create! You may deal with an unwanted commenter now and then, but use that as motivation. Never let negativity in and always continue stay positive during the process. Building the blog and starting is the hardest part! You got this.
And just like that, we built my friend’s blog in under three hours! She has a couple weeks worth of posts to complete before she goes live, but she’s on her way! I’m so excited to see what she creates and a huge thank you to Squarespace for working with us during the process! If you want to create a blog, use code “SIMPLYT” to receive 10% off your first website or domains purchase on Squarespace! 🙂 This is only available for the first 50 readers! Let me know if you need any help during your blog building process!
Questions for you!
1. Have you ever dreamed of starting a blog?
2. What do/would you blog about?
3. Do you have any advice you’d like to share for new bloggers?
Thank you, Squarespace for sponsoring this post! & All opinions are my own!