Have you ever looked at bloggers and thought to yourself – I have the same skill set, I could do something like that – well, why haven’t you? Chances are that you didn’t quite know where to start. It’s easy to imagine how things work but getting it off the ground is another story.

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Let us walk you through a few pointers to help you with your blogger/influencer journey. At PropShop24 we’re continually updating our online presence, so, we know a thing or two about getting started and about thriving. We’ve put together a list of simple steps and advice that will make starting your own blog a fun and exciting process.

1. Get Focused

Before you even think about starting a blog, remember to find something that makes you unique. 15 years ago, this wasn’t quite as important, blogging had not yet become this colossal industry, and almost anything would have worked. Nowadays, it’s a different story, independent blogs with fantastic content are popping up everywhere, – so just what do you and your blog bring to the table? Getting as niche as possible, allows you to stand out from the crowd.

2. What’s In A Name? EVERYTHING

Another common mistake is choosing a name too quickly. Once you’ve narrowed down what genre your blog will fit into, it’s time to pick a suitable name. Now, this name is something that will stay with you throughout your blogging career – pick something specific and catchy but not limiting. You don’t want to pigeonhole yourself with a name that can’t be taken in a different direction when you want to scale up your blog in the future. Another tip – avoid a name that is similar to an established blog, as you’ll always be overshadowed on Google.

Once you’ve decided, check to see if the name you’ve chosen is available on a domain host and social media – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Linkedin and Twitter. This step is a little tedious but extremely vital.

3. Lock Down Your Domain And Social Media Handles

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When you’re happy with your name, and it’s available on a domain host and on social media it’s time to lock it down! The domain is basically your URL, it’s always best to go with the standard – .com or .in since it’s easy for people to remember. If you find that the name you’ve chosen is available, follow the steps immediately to secure it. There is usually a monthly or annual fee to be paid that secures the URL for a length of time, making you the sole owner. Popular hosts are Godaddy, Bluehost and Hostgator.

The same must be done for the social media handles, check to make sure the same name can be used for all platforms. Shortening a name can work if the name you’ve chosen is unavailable, but try as best you can to have all the platforms with the same handle.

4. Go Content Crazy

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Once you’ve paid for your domain and your social media handles, it’s time to start creating content. No point setting up the website and having nothing to put up. Ideally, you’ll want to have at least 2 months (or more) of content ready before you launch the website, giving you enough time to add or tweak as you go live. Give yourself realistic targets; let’s say two to three blog posts a week – again, depending on the type of blog, the content density may vary. Set aside a few hours every day dedicated to writing. This is the backbone of your blog, so write as much as you can all throughout this process.

Install apps like Grammarly on your desktop, that check for grammar and spelling mistakes – this tool is essential when you don’t have another person proofreading. No matter how good you are are at writing, our brains tend to overlook mistakes that we’ve written, especially if you’ve re-read a particular article more than once. Another essential factor to consider is SEO, hashtags, click-bait titles etc. – don’t be daunted by these terms, they are meant to serve your content and make it reach a wider audience. Read books or watch videos on these topics to help you with creating viral content.

Get your visuals and copy in ship shape, so when it’s time to upload them to the site, your readers will see clean and precise content that leave them wanting more.

5. Get WordPress

We here are PropShop24 use WordPress to manage our blog section and we couldn’t be happier with it. Most hosts will actually have a guide to connect your domain with WordPress, which also carries a small fee, but it’s worth it. The WordPress dashboard is one of the easiest to use, especially if you’re a novice. We strongly suggest going this route, and you can do so by following the guided steps that most domain hosts will have to set up/ integrate WordPress with your site.

6. Select A Theme

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Once you’ve got the back end ready, all you need is an easy to understand but an aesthetically pleasing website. Depending on the focus of your blog, there are a number of themes you can select from. WordPress has a vast variety of paid and free themes that you can play around with. Each of them come with a set of customisations, from colour to font changes, but if you want something even more unique, hiring a developer might be more appropriate. However, we suggest getting a developer only once you’re up and running – to begin with the themes on WordPress are more than enough.

7. Upload Your Content

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Alright, so here is the fun bit, you’ve chosen your theme, and your website is looking good, now you get to make it even better by uploading all the content you’ve been working on. If you’re using WordPress, the backend is pretty easy to understand – if you’re a little confused, there are a ton of Youtube videos that you can go through to get more information. Or, go to a developer in your area and ask them for a crash course on WordPress, most will be happy to help at a small fee.

Uploading your content with pictures will allow you to get a feel for what the finished website will look like – this is where you should ask yourself – what can be improved. At this stage, only you have seen the site so you can change it as you see fit.

The key to a successful website or blog is categories and organisation. Make sure your header and footer have the appropriate categories so that readers can quickly sift through the content they’re interested in. Also, no blog is complete without an ‘About me’ and ‘Contact’ page, if you’re serious about turning this into a business, companies and brands need to know about you and be able to contact you easily.

8. Soft Launch

If you’re happy with the initial version of your blog, start to spread the word amongst friends and family. Ask them to give you their honest feedback so you can make the necessary changes if you deem necessary.

9. Use Your Social Media Wisely

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Social Media is one of the best marketing tools for any new blog, so make it work for you. Even before you do a soft launch for the blog, start uploading content to your social media. Talk about your blog, do teaser campaigns, put up memes – there are a number of fun things you can do on social media to create a buzz and start building your numbers.

10. Keep Learning

The best advice we can give you is to never stop learning about blogging. Keep reading articles on the latest online marketing trends, meet people who are in the industry, talk to developers and foster good relationships so that you’re on top of your game. Even if you feel like there is too much information to assimilate, keep at it, don’t give up – the more you learn, the more things will start to click and running your blog will get easier.

11. Go Live

When all the pieces have fallen into place, and you’ve been posting and blogging for a good month, it’s time to share your baby with the world. The key to blogging is consistency, keep writing, keep learning and keep blogging – eventually your blog will start to become a business that you can scale up into something even better.

Well, we hope you got a better understanding of what it takes to start a blog. It can be daunting, and we’re sure you’ll have a whole lot of challenges and triumphs along the way, but if you’re really passionate about blogging – JUST START!

#Blogging #Blog #Guide #Beginnersguide #PropShop24 #Lifestyle #Worklife

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