Starting or Updating Your Personal Blog

How to Start or Update Your Personal Blog

If you have something that you would like to share with others, having a blog is pretty easy and fun. Blogs can be created to share crafts and DIY projects, mommy life and tips, recipes and more. If you have an idea for a blog, do it. It's a great creative outlet.

I've been using Blogger for my site for a while. It is a project that I started a few years ago and have recently revived my efforts due to our Pop Up Camper Remodel project.

Most bloggers have a very specific market they are targeting - cooking, parenting, travel, etc. I should probably narrow down my focus a little, but it is more of a lifestyle blog. And, that is another post or really just a conversation to have in my own head.

Blogger from Google is an easy way to create a blog.  It has a content editor that functions like a word processor.  It also has an HTML option to view and edit code.  Blogger allows users to add photographs, links and even video.

One of the things that is limiting about Blogger are the template options.  I finally decided to update my look with a free Blogger Template.  While it was okay, I never could change some things that bugged me.  So, I finally broke down and purchased a template from Etsy made by Sweet Theory Designs.  The creator on this shop make blogger templates as well as social media icons that make a blog look professional and polished.  For $30, I had both.  Well worth the investment.

Purchased template from Sweet Theory Designs on Etsy

Social Media icons for purchase that easily coordinate with the Blogger Theme.
Blogging Templates on Etsy are easy to find and have modern looks and many different options.  A friend recently suggested that my Blog had too much of a feminine look to appeal to both men and women readers.  My new theme is much more gender neutral.  I'm hoping that this will grow my readers.

However, if you are considering a blog and want to appeal to women readers or a very specific audience, there are options for templates can be specific to the audience you are growing.

To get started with your first blog, start with an idea and a name.  I would recommend purchasing your own domain name.  I used the Blogger assigned name for a long time, but I feel like this doesn't grab many searches online.  I purchased my domain for $12.  This is a dollar a month.

After you have a name and a domain, then select a template.  If you are not sure about what you want to do, then use a free template for a while.  But purchasing one can be very inexpensive.  I purchased my theme for $25.  It belongs to me, and is something that I can use until I want to change it again.

Then you will want to start creating content.  I typically have about 3 posts per week.  Your content can be anything from product reviews, recipes you have tried to travel.  It might be clothing or make you want to share about.  You are in total control of your content.

I would recommend pictures.  This will appeal to readers and make your blog look better!  If you are using a cell phone to take pictures, I would also recommending upgrading to a better camera app than the one that came with your phone.  It will make a difference.  ProShot is the app that I use.

Finally, share!  Promote your blog posts through social media outlets.  I pin my posts to Pinterest for other readers to find and read.  I Tweet, Instagram and share on Facebook.  It does make a difference.

Hashtags are also very important.  Use hashtags that are relevant to your content and will help readers to find you.  For example, with my pop up camper remodel, I used hashtags like:  glamping, camping, travel, popupcamper, popupcamperremodel, popupcampermakerover, and diy to attract more readers.  Using the right hashtags will automatically help to grow people viewing your content over time.

A bonus depending on what you are going to be doing with your blog could be joining Amazon Affiliate or other affiliate programs.  These programs provide advertising on your blog.  Then, when readers click on links and purchase from your site, you make money.  No, I'm not quitting my day job But it is nice to make a little here and there.  I also actually promote products that I am trying and using for our Pop Up Camper and other DIY projects that I do at home.

Blogging is a fun, creative outlet for me share what is going on in our lives.  I really enjoy the process.  Its a hobby that allows me to use my technical skills from my day job for something that is personally enjoyable.

If you have questions, ideas or comments about my blog, feel free to share your thoughts.  I'd love to hear them.  This is very much a work in progress.  I learn something new every single week and love that this process stretches my mind.  Have a great week.  Hope you enjoy my blog.  Feel free to follow along so that you can receive a message when new posts are added.  Its the easiest way not to miss a thing.  Most of all, find a hobby that allows you to express yourself in something fun.  And if that is blogging, share your site with me!  I'd love to see what you are doing too!