How To Start A Blog Easily

Although I have had a blog for two years, I didn’t start taking it seriously until two months ago. Up until that point I simply wrote a poem or a book review every now and again.

In May I decided that I wanted to properly become a blogger and so began researching how to set up my blog properly. I learned so much about some the important steps that you have to take when setting up the foundations. Here are some of the steps that I took to get going with my blog. You could call it a recipe for a good blog.

  1. Know your audience

    Yes I said know your audience rather than grow your audience as step number one. That’s because you need to make a decision about your niche. Now, for me it was easy as I always focused on things to do with reading but I also wanted to keep commenting on environmental issues too, as these are close to my heart.
    If you can have two subjects in your degree then why not for your blog? If my blog were a degree then the Major part would be in literature and the Minor bit would be about the environment. 3/4 of my posts are about reading after all, even though when I do write something eco-friendly, it carries a lot of weight for me.

  2. Use titles which are grabbing

    In the past I had written whatever I’d felt like writing with titles that were totally made up. However, when I started looking at other people’s blogs and doing some basic research, I realised that I needed to be more punchy.
    Readers like list articles where they are told five or ten ways to do something. They also like to be answering a specific question, such as ‘What kind of reader are you?’ One of the most popular blog types is the How To, which is what I am writing now.

  3. Traffic

    As this article is about the very first steps that you take, we have to consider how to get those initial followers and retain them. So, it is obvious that you must make sure to write a blog post at least once a week.
    Writing engaging material is important, of course. But you also need to get yourself into the blogging community.

    Start reading and commenting on other blogs and following them.

    It is not about making people follow you back but it is about essentially making friends and showing the community that you have arrived. Some wonderful bloggers will soon take an interest in your blog. You may build very useful relationships that can later lead to guest posting.

  4. Be known

    In order to be visible and to appear on search engines you need to know something about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). To be honest, I knew nothing at the start and had to watch several Youtube videos about this to establish a grounding.

    Key Words
    Much of this I will cover in a later blog post but initially the main thing to consider is Key Words. UberSuggest is an app which is free and can help you search useful Key words to use. It shows you how competitive they are. Just noticing trending hashtags can also be very useful.
    Crucially, after you have chosen a key word or two, you must then make sure you use them in three places. Include them in the post title, the body of your article and in the tags. Search engines look for them being replicated in those three places.

  5. Shout a little

    Everyone needs to start somewhere. A wonderful blog may go undiscovered if you don’t promote it properly.

    Twitter
    Twitter is one of the big platforms that allow you to promote a blog relatively easily. Jump on the daily threads which have hashtags such as #writerslift and #shameslessselfpromosunday as these are safe places to share your wares without charge.

    Instagram
    Add am image of your latest blog post onto your instagram story and make sure your readers know to check your link in bio.

  6. Get Pinterest

    I was late to the party with this one but now am really utilising Pinterest. It seems to be one of the best ways to drive traffic towards a blog post. Have a go at sharing one of your posts there. Try using the free app ‘Canva’ to design the picture and text.

    Pinterest is such a complicated search engine to use that I will write about it in more detail in a future post (once I am more secure with using it myself).

These were what I consider to be the most important starting points when setting up a blog. My own blog is still growing and I have much to do to improve it but have definitely loved every minute of it. Here is one of my recent eco-friendly posts: https://jamieadstories.blog/2021/07/07/how-eco-friendly-are-you/

Thank you for reading my article and if you found it useful, perhaps follow my blog for more of the same.

If you put some of yourself into your blog, it will be brilliant!

How To Do Editing In 7 Easy Steps

My Top Editing Tips

The writing process is fraught with many challenges and can be very time consuming, but for most of us it is a labour of love. Whether writing blog posts, short stories or non-fiction, the hardest part is usually the editing. Trying to finalise a piece and make it presentable enough to share with an audience can be very stressful so I thought I would share with you some tips that I have learned as a fledgling writer, teacher and blogger.

  1. Look away

    When you have finished an initial draft of something, always give yourself some space from the project before attempting that very first proper edit. For a blog post, leave it an hour before returning to it. When writing a story, try to give it a few days or even a week and then you should be able to look at it again with fresh eyes. After this the editing can begin.

  2. Read it aloud

    Find a quiet space and read out loud what you’ve written so far. I always find that my fluency improves so much after I have heard myself read my work aloud. You definitely quickly discover where something sounds repetitive or incoherent. If it doesn’t sound right, it probably won’t read right either.

  3. Check your pronouns

    It sounds like a small thing but it really is important to make sure that you have used a selection of pronouns rather than just repeat ‘they’ and ‘he’ or ‘she’ over and over again.

    Along with this, check that every sentence has a different starter. A long list of sentences beginning with ‘She’ can soon bore a reader and cause them to give up altogether. Careful editing of this can make all the difference.

  4. Read it to a trusted friend

    This sounds pretty obvious but it’s not always something that people feel comfortable doing. Asking someone else to listen to your story or article can be very handy. They can tell you whether it flows or not and let you know their favourite parts. Once you know the best bits you can think about expanding these elements. This may even result in you cutting other parts out that didn’t seem to resonate as well.

  5. Be prepared to rearrange

    At times, it may be useful to reorder the paragraphs within your text. Usually, having read it to yourself and showed it to a friend, you will have new ideas about the sequence. This may not be the case with a story so much but could apply to blogs. Even writing out these points, I have changed the order as I reviewed my content.

  6. Ask some questions

    When you get to the stage of editing your work have these questions in mind:
    1) Does your story or blog have a clear message?
    2) Does it make sense on its own?
    3) Are you able to summarise the story in a single sentence?
    If you can say yes to these questions then you probably have something ready to publish.

  7. Let it go

    There will come a time when you will have to let your project loose. Having followed the above steps, your short story or blog should be in a good position to fly. Be prepared to show the world and leave it to simmer for a while before thinking about it again. Then promote it with all of your energy and enjoy responding to readers’ comments. Comments, after all, make writing all the more worthwhile.

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If you enjoyed this post, perhaps consider following my blog for more of the same type of content.

Here is a post that I recently wrote about short story writing:

http://jamieadstories.blog/2021/06/06/how-to-write-a-short-story/

You can find out about my own writing here:

https://jamieadstories.com/