Work Life

Blogging tips #1: Starting a blog

July 3, 2018

Starting a blog is one of those things I never thought I would do, I worked in a media agency for over 10 years, read blogs, loved blogs, even worked with bloggers on campaigns but it’s never something I thought I would do.

Fast forward a few years and two babies later suddenly I had a passion and something I wanted to write about and I think that’s how blogs are born – through a passion to tell your story about something that you truly have a passion for.

work with me surrey mama

I personally think blogs are the new magazines, written by people who know their stuff. They provide a wealth of knowledge to their readers, they’re there for inspiration, a community, advice and a friendly voice at times of need.
I have been blogging for 18 months now and I love it! I will admit, because I write on Instagram and also a have a Youtube channel (and two kids) I have spells where I write more and some months where I write less, but I always come back here to write when something is bothering me or I’ve been through a certain experience.

My blogging tips 
1) Find something you WANT to write about, something you’re passionate about, it could be parenting, baking, weddings – whatever it is YOU love reading will probably be a good start. If you have a passion in something that will shine through in your writing. 

2) If you can go self-hosted straight away do, it will save a lot of work later on. Being self-hosted essentially means owning your domain (so your domain wouldn’t be surreymama.wordpress.com for example). My blog is hosted on GoDaddy and is on the WordPress.org platform. Island Living wrote a great post on this with all the details.

Why go self-hosted early on? I started on WordPress.com and after a while was frustrated that I couldn’t get certain features or a design that I really loved so had to move to wordpress.org to access this. I had to move my whole site which is quite a big job. Luckily my husband works in web design so was able to help me but we had to have many calls with the host and it was stressful at times, especially when you’re panicking about losing months of work!

3) Think about who your audience are – are they Mums of new babies, Mums with multiple kids, or Dads? Once you know who they are writing content for them will be a lot easier! It could be that it’s for people like you – I.e you’re going from one to two children or a local audience.

4) Don’t panic if you can’t work out your niche straight away. Start writing, live your life and you’ll fall into a niche. Unless you have a very specific ‘challenge’ or situation to write about it can be quite hard so don’t worry!

5) Think about the quality of everything. When I go to a blog I love to see great pictures and a well laid out blog. If it looks awful, sorry but I’ll probably leave straight away. I’ll power read blogs when I have a short break in my day, so I don’t have time to waste on not being able to navigate around.

6) I can be guilty of making mistakes (we’re all human) but if you put a post live make sure you’ve double checked it for spelling mistakes and errors. I often read something back and think ‘what on Earth was I saying’ so always double check.

7) Tell a story. The best blog posts are the ones that tell a story. I always remember what I learnt at school. A story should have a start or introduction, middle and an end. Sounds obvious but sometimes it can be really easy to just waffle (I do it sometimes)!

8) Use images. Images really do bring everything to life, if you don’t have your own there are lots of free resources. I use pexels for some of my images.

9) Make sure you set up pages on your blog so people can easily contact you / find out more about you.

10) Collaborate and share. Blogging is a community, so join the community and share. Twitter is a great place to find people in your niche and linkys* (explanation below) are also a good place to find blogs you want to read. I’ve made so many friends through blogging, lots I haven’t met in real life but I love seeing their updates.

I hope that was helpful.

Sarah x

Other articles in the series:

Blogging Tips #2: Photographing Children

Blogging Tips #3: Equipment I use

Linky – A linky is a page set up by bloggers, usually every week, on their blog for others to share content. You usually need to read and comment on one of the other bloggers posts so when you start out this can be a great way to a) get inspiration b) find a community and c) get your blog ‘out there’ so to speak. I run a linky every Thursday for blogs and YouTube videos called Thursday Team.

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