7 Tips for Starting a New Blog

Recovering our cushions for our pop up camper.  These were featured on my blog.
Last year, I started my blog to share our family's journey to remodel our camper.  One year later, I'm still blogging.  Do you look at other people's blogs and think that you might want to start your own?  Then maybe you should.  Here are 7 basic tips to get you up and running!

1.  Decide on the blogging tool you are going to use.

I use Google Blogger.  I don't know that it is superior.  A lot of people use Word Press out there.  I don't know that either is superior.  Blogger is what I know and love.  Take a look at tools and make a decision.   Base your decision on features, functionality and where you visualize going with your blog.

If you know someone with a blog you like, ask what they are using and why.  Also, scroll to the bottom of blogs you currently read and see what format they are using.  Many blogs will state, "powered by...." or give an indication of what blogging tool they use.  You can also reach out to the blogger to admire - even if you don't know them.  Compose a short email and ask a few questions.  This is a good way to connect with other bloggers.  Don't be shy!  You are about to put yourself out there on the interwebs!

2.  Decide on a name and purchase a domain.

Since I use Google Blogger, I also use Google Domains.   You can purchase your domain for $12 a year.  I highly advise a domain name that you purchase.  Otherwise, it is harder for people to find your blog.  Blog addresses from Google that just are assigned will be based on your blog name.  So, it will appear like www.youblogname.blogspot.com or something of the like.  It's a mouthful, right?  It is so much easier to say, you can visit my blog at yourblogname.com.  It's much easier to remember.

3.  Purchase a Blog Template

Yes.  If you are really going to do this, buy a template to install on your blog.  Google and other blog services have premade templates that you can choose from.  I did this for a while.  I tried free ones.  But, when I decided that this is really something that I wanted to do for a while, I purchased an actual template.  And, this isn't as expensive as you might think!

I paid $15 for my template from an Etsy Shop.  Hello Manhattan is a shop with beautiful, mobile responsive templates.  The shop owner is responsive to email messages and will assist you if you need help.  I recently had an issue with my Instagram feed, and she was extremely helpful.  I can't recommend this shop enough!

My blogger template that I purchased came with very specific instructions.  It took me a little time to get it all set up the way that I wanted to, but the time and effort were very much worth it.

Choose something that is mobile responsive and works on desktops, tablets, and phones.  This is very important if you want to gain readers!  Think about how you use mobile devices to search the web versus the time on a desktop.  There is s big difference.  Sites that don't work well on a mobile device will quickly lose interest with readers.

If you are searching Etsy for blog templates, search specifically for templates that work with the blog service that you are using.  Search for Blogger or Wordpress or the exact name.  This will narrow searches and keep you from falling in love with something that won't work with your blog.

4.  Establish Your Social Media Profiles

I know that most everyone has their own personal social media stuff going on.  Separate personal from professional.  You can have multiple accounts on Twitter and Instagram.  Do the same for Pinterest.  And set up everything to be a business setting or Rich Pins for Pinterest so that you can track data on engagement on your posts.  Over time analytics and data will become much more important if you are trying to make a business out of what you are doing.   You can measure impact from your posts and pins and use it to guide your work.

Bloglovin' is another place to connect and use socially for your blog.  It's like a Pinterest of blog posts.  It is easy to find other blog posts and follow them.  By the same token, you can connect your blog.  This could be an excellent way to connect and follow other bloggers that have similar interest as you.

5.  Create an email just for your blog.

You need to think personal versus professional.  You can use this email to contact people when you working on your blog and more.  I use a simple G-mail account.  It is free, and I use my blog name as my username.  southernglamper@gmail.com  An email just for your blog gives you a professional presence when you contact people with questions or just general correspondence.  I also find it confusing to be reading a blog and find an email to contact that is completely different from the blogger or the name of the blog.  It makes me wonder if it is accurate or not.

6.  Start to collect photos and content.

Sit down and take some time to write out a list of ideas for your blog.  You may want to jot down ideas on the fly.  Many times, I will be laying in bed at night and have some ideas.  I'll grab my phone and put ideas into my Apple Notes.  This way I always have my notes with me.

You will also start to collect photos for your social media content and your blog posts.  I don't have a fancy camera.  This may be something that I'll do later, but it isn't a priority for me now.  However, I do recommend maybe purchasing a paid app for your phone like ProShot.  I did this, and I think that it was worth the money.  You can really tweak the settings for better pictures.

Also, stop to take pictures when you are inspired to share content with your followers on social media.  You may also want to start thinking about activities that you participate in that relate to your blog to photograph for use.  Train yourself to look for content and photo opportunities that you can use.

7.  Produce and Publish

Create that first blog post and get it published.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  Take that list of ideas you have and write about something that you are inspired about or want to say.

Starting a blog can seem like an overwhelming task.  It really doesn't have to be.  You will need to be organized.  Take your time to sort out all of the technicalities of actually creating something online.  Google will become your best friend.  I have taught myself to do tons of things that are much more technical over the past year by watching videos and seeking out information on how to do new things.

If you have something in your life that you are passionate about, you can start a blog.  You might want to blog about:
  • Your exercise and fitness journey.
  • Homeschooling your children.
  • Preparing healthy meals.
  • Making your own clothes.
  • Having a small business.
  • A classroom blog as a teacher.
  • Lifestyle, fashion or beauty
The possibilities are endless.  The keys are passion and inspiration.  I'm very much passionate about camping with our family and all of the crafting and decorating around our glamper.  I already loved decorating and home projects before I took this on.  So, my blog is an extension of this passion.  It is something that I truly derive pleasure from doing.  If I didn't, I wouldn't continue it.

My blog is devoted to Peggy Sue, our pop up camper. 

If you are thinking about starting your own blog, feel free to comment on your thoughts or questions.  You can also drop me a line at southernglamper@gmail.com.  Let me know if this helps you as a budding blogger!  I'd love to hear your success stories too.  Have a great week!  And even if you aren't a camper, as always...