Hi! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to part 1 of my new Blogging Basics series!
…you’re an absolute Blogging Newbie
…you just started blogging and you feel like you could need some helpful tips and tricks
…you have been blogging for a while but somehow feel like you might have missed out some vital steps
…you have been blogging for years but somehow you have trouble getting people to read your blog and subscribe
“Blogging tips – great!
Wait, what? Didn’t you just start blogging? What do YOU know anyway?”
There are millions of blogs that have existed for years now and probably know much much more than I do after blogging for half a year.
And there are probably hundreds that have already written about How to grow your blog, How to grow your traffic, How to this and How to that.
I started reading such Blogging Tipps when I started, but soon was completely swamped with all that information about Twitter, Pinterest, Search Engine Optimisation and so on. I hadn’t even decided on a layout yet! I missed the simple stuff. The “How to start”-stuff.
During the past six months I learnt a lot. But most lessons I learnt the hard way. And as soon as you get more traffic, the first subscribers and blogging becomes part of your every day routine, you begin to take everything for granted. Very soon you tend to forget how it all started, how you struggled in the beginning and that some months ago you were without the faintest idea of how to insert that stupid link.
Before I forget, I want to share the blogging basics I learnt in the past weeks and months. The things I found most helpful and wish I would have known from the start.
PART 1: GET PEOPLE TO LOOK AT YOU
What’s the point of blogging, when there’s no one to read your blog? Well, it’s not that there is no one. There are millions out there that could be potential readers of your blog, but they don’t know yet that you exist. That’s why you have to get people to look at your blog and to remember it.
#1 Have a good blog name.
Take your time to think about your blog name. Don’t necessarily use the first thing that comes to your mind. Was it just your first idea because you’ve seen something similar before? Or maybe there is a catchier version of your idea? Think about your name really hard!
Your blog name is important, because you will be stuck with it for a long long time.
Pick a name that says something about your blog’s content or is interesting and creative. Make it memorable!
Do you want to describe yourself or your blog? If your blog is a personal blog, pick a personal name.
For instance, some of my favorites are “Adventures in Dressmaking”, “A Matter of Style”, “Trash to Couture” or “A Fashionable Stitch”. These names include some information about the blog’s content and aren’t boring at all.
“A Beautiful Mess” is less obvious, but it’s creative and the oxymoron (combining contradictory terms) makes it even more interesting.
Be inventive! When you have an idea, google it. Sometimes names are already taken. Don’t take a name that’s already out there. Don’t be “Trash to Couture #2”. This only leads to confusion and makes it look unimaginative, especially when you copy a name that belongs to a well-known and popular blog.
#2 Blog URL should match your blog name.
Your blog URL should match your blog name. This is important if you want people to find your blog. People are most likely to remember your blog name instead of your URL. If the two are the same, it’s easier to find your blog on Google, Bloglovin’, in bookmarks etc.
Therefore it’s worth getting your own server. Not only that you have so many more options to customize your layout, but a “Thisblogisnotforyou.com” is more memorable than “thisblogisnotforyou.wordpress.com”.
Which link is more likely to be followed? “suzy89.blogspot.com” or “sewing-suzy.com”?
#3 Have a memorable and easy-to-read URL.
Your blog name will be more memorable when it’s easier to read. If it consists of more than one word, it might be reasonable to use hyphens or underscores to break up a hard-to-read name/URL. There are some that work better with and some better without hyphens/underscores. “Abeautifulmess” or “Sewingsuzy” works fine without separating the words, whereas “suzysawesomesewingtips” would probably look better with hyphens.
However, using hyphens is usually discouraged, because it’s somewhat associated with spam website. And once people know your blog, and they type in your URL themselves then readability doesn’t matter any more anyway. So the hyphenated version is mostly useful if you want to advertise your blog by posting the URL somewhere. If you want, you could get both the hyphenated and the unhyphenated version and redirect the former to the latter. This way, you can give people the easily readable version if they don’t know your blog yet. And for anything else you can use the version without hyphens.
#4 Invest time in your “About” page.
Your “about”-page is the flagship of your blog and the place where you can tell people why spending time on your blog is a good thing. It doesn’t need to contain all personal data about you. Instead it should summarise what your blog is about and what its aim is.
You also should tell people a little bit about yourself. Why are you doing what you do? What is special about you and your blog?
The “about”-page is one of the most visited pages on every blog.
I didn’t really care about it for the first few weeks until I realized that more and more people clicked on it.
People rarely follow your blog because of a single post they liked. That might happen, but most of the time people want to know more about a blog before they decide to follow it. People are more likely to enter their email address if they know a little bit about you and your blog.
Make it look interesting. Include a picture of yourself. If you want to stay anonymous, take a picture of something related to your blog, draw something etc.
Be critical. Revisit your “about”-page every once in a while. If you don’t like it anymore, change it!
#5 Do some “research”.
Before you go on to make decisions about layout, content and social networking options – do some “research”. What blogs do you love and admire? Look at the blogs you love. Don’t copy, but study them!
What makes it so unique? What so special about it? What parts of it do you like, what do you find annoying? Get inspired!
Liked it? Have feedback? Please do tell me!
And stay tuned…Part 2 of my Blogging Basics is coming up next week! In the next part I will share some helpful tips for your blog’s layout! x