If you're thinking about starting a blog, the first steps can be a little daunting. But really the process is quite simple.
Easy online blogging applications are here to help you to get started in a jiffy. However, before you rush into blogging, there are some choices you might want to consider.
1. Thinking of a name
When selecting a name for your blog, there are a few things to think about.
Your blog's name should be unique and simple - it needs to roll off the tongue, so to speak.
Well, once you've established your blog, you'll probably want to purchase the 'domain' (for instance www.yourdomain.com) - domains are all completely unique. Ever wondered why Daddy came before Dad (oi, naughty - I'm talking in the 'name' sense, here!)? It's because Dad & Daddy wouldn't have been unique.
If you are eventually going to attract the attention of subscribers, new readers and brands, a simple, memorable name is essential. Keep it short, relevant, straight-to-the-point.
Also, think about who's going to be doing the writing, and what perspective your blog posts are likely to take. If you're planning a personal blog about you, your style and experiences and you have a catchy name, perhaps consider using your own name for the blog. Daddy & Dad worked for us because we wanted to write and produce content as a couple, on behalf of the whole family.
2. Select a blogging platform
Online blogging platforms are generally very simple. They're designed with the beginner in mind, they're intuitive and require very little technical skill. Before you get started, take a look at this helpful blog post (link will take you to a completely different website in a new tab or window):
If you set up your blog in one platform and don't get on with it, don't worry. You can change your mind and migrate the blog from one platform to another. We've moved the whole of Daddy & Dad four times, from Blogger, to Ghost, to Wordpress and finally to it's forever home here at Wix. You'll eventually find the platform you're most comfortable with.
We recommend Wix, because it's really easy to set up to your own specification and design and their pricing is very transparent. There are loads of pre-prepared templates which you can use to place your own images and text, or if you fancy getting creative you can start from scratch, dragging and dropping the components in as you please (that's what we do, by the way). Also, Wix customer support centre is responsive and very helpful if you get stuck.
To get started with a Wix blog (don't worry, it's completely free unless you want a premium package), click here.
3. Setting up your blog
Start simple, with a nice big header picture and just a couple of categories. You can build and elaborate on your blog as the content grows.
Your blog's components and design is completely up to you, but do try to include an 'about' section towards the top to explain who you are and what your blog is hoping to achieve. It's also common to include some helpful navigation, for example an 'archive' menu that sorts your blog posts by month, or a 'tag' menu that sorts your content by keyword or tag.
4. Select a domain
Once you've set up a basic blog using your choice of blogging platform, choose an online domain name provider to purchase your domain.
A quick Google search for 'Buy a domain' will present the leading domain providers. There are loads of online domain name stores, we use 1&1 for our domains (for Daddy & Dad and our other websites) as it's very easy to use and navigate.
Choose a unique domain name and add it to your checkout. Try to find a domain that matches your blog name and is easy to spell out to people. A proportion of your blog's visitors will arrive by manually typing your domain into their browser's search bar so keep it short and simple.
Be aware that you will be expect to pay an annual fee to retain your domain. The domain providers often display a 'fishing hook offer' price for the first year to tempt you in, followed by an inflated price for subsequent years. Do check what you'll be paying annually. You should budget around £10 a year for a nice, catchy domain. Dot com (www.domain.com) domains generally cost more than Dot co dot uk (www.domain.co.uk). If you're based in the UK, a .co.uk domain will help your visitors and Google bots to locate you.
When you've bought your domain, return to your blogging platform and visit the help section to find out how to connect your blog to your domain. It's not as complicated as it sounds, for instance Wix guides its customers through the process step by step, automatically checking the connection's progress as you go along.
5. Start writing
Start producing regular blog content, daily, weekly, monthly - the frequency is up to you but do try to stick to a familiar schedule as your visitors will be more likely to return regularly (to be honest we're dreadful at doing that!).
Keep your content conversational, relevant and honest. Most successful blogs provide an easy read and research suggests that 800 - 1100 words is the optimum size for maximum engagement.
When you've written a blog post, give it an eye catching title. Keep capitalisation and format consistent where possible (again something we must improve on). Then, add tags. Tags will help your readers to navigate around your blog content and may even boost your Google Search credibility later on.
Grow a loyal audience by consistently sharing your posts among friends and family via social media and email.
If you do set up your own blog and you'd like us to share it with our readers, please get in touch. We'd be happy to help and we look forward to reading your blogs!