If you’re reading this and you’re ready to start a blog – like I was just two years ago – then, hold on and remember to BREATHE!
For years, people had been telling me to start a blog so that I could share my work and all the travel opportunities and events it involved. But the years flew by and I never quite found the time to open my laptop and begin writing, that is, until December 2013, when I finally launched EMMAMILLER.COM – or, as it was known then: www.emmamilleruk.wordpress.com.
The good news I finally found out, is that it’s easy to start. The bad news, it’s not so easy to keep it up. Though – somehow – I managed it and now I can be proud of my small corner of the web and the community – all you guys! – that’s grown up around it. Now I wanted to share with those of you who might be interested, how to simply start a successful blog in 20 minutes or less.
Begin with a focus. Writing for the sake of writing is all well and good but it won’t get you very far.
Before you start writing for an audience, set out your aims. Even if they change later down the road, it’s important to have that framework to begin with, so your audience can know what to expect and can decide whether to subscribe.
Choose a platform. There are many web hosts to choose from and I suggest you do some research to find the one that suits you best. For me, I found Squarespace, Wix and WordPress to have some of the easiest-to-use interfaces.
Choose a name. Don’t spend too long thinking about the domain name. This may seem like the be all and end all at the beginning, but I promise you, so long as you choose something that won’t embarrass you later, what you decide to call your site won’t make much difference in the long run.
Having said that:
– make it short – the shorter the name, the easier it is to remember.
– make it unique – that way you can use it across all social media and people can find you easily.
– make it memorable – for inspiration look at successful blogs, like Man Repeller or The Blonde Salad, which have names that aren’t easily forgotten.
Choose a layout: again, don’t fuss too much over this before you even start. Go for something simple that doesn’t distract from the content. You can always update it to something more professional later.
Start posting, but be different. While it’s great to take inspiration from more experienced bloggers, copying content will do nothing for your credibility and will only ensure that you don’t stand out from the crowd. I soon realised that if people are coming to my site over someone more established, it’s because they’re interested in my approach to a subject, not something I’ve regurgitated from elsewhere.
Draw up an “editorial calendar” and stick to it. Blogging may seem care free and that’s part of its appeal, however an awful lot of work goes into making a success of it. Drawing up a rough calendar of what you plan to post and when, will make it easier to stick to posting regularly and allow you to plan in advance for important dates – like fashion week! – and upcoming travels.
If you’re proud of it, PROMOTE IT! It can be daunting at first, but you have to share your content to your social platforms to take advantage of the reach. Asking your friends to visit your site is a great way to get started!
Finally, if you have any questions leave them in the comments below and I’ll go back to you asap! 🙂