Why oh why does the weekend go by so fast? I had a pretty quiet weekend owing to the snow and blizzards that hit majority of the UK last week, but that didn’t stop me from setting up this new design for the website. I’ve also spent most of today researching and finding new ways to improve the site and what services we offer and then I thought – Do you know what? In the past six months alone I’ve taught myself so much about blogging, the internet, how to use certain web platforms and various other tech-savvy things that I had no idea about before!
I graduated with a History degree around three years ago – and that had absolutely nothing to do with blogging! So I thought since we’re at the six month mark for the blog that I would throw together some ideas for how I started to grow this blog.
Here it goes!
- When you’re first thinking of starting a blog, take a look at the other blogs out there first. How can you make yours unique? What will separate you from the millions of other bloggers out there? (I didn’t do this – I just jumped head first into it and thought about it later! Rookie mistake!)
- Is your idea going to work? Well the truth here is, you won’t know until you try! If I had maintained my posts just to my blog then I would never have continued. The numbers on the blog alone aren’t always high, but if you post elsewhere on Social Media like Instagram and Facebook you’re more likely to generate an audience much faster!
- What is your blog about? – Planning is KEY when it comes to organising and running a blog. You can do this before or even a few months later when things start to kick off for you. It took me six months to start a diary for my blog, mainly because I had books coming out of my ears, but now I know what’s up next and when my deadlines are!
- You won’t make a full time income from blogging – at least not straight away. I know shock horror and all that, but hello! Reality! Depending on the type of blog you plan to run, you wont generate an income from your posts unless your recognized. This could take days, months or even years. But your blog should be your hobby, and if you show it love and care it will grow on it’s own.
- Grow your audience organically. Don’t fall for those Instagram pages that promise to generate Followers for you – people will know and they’ll notice your attention grabbing. Research is your best friend while blogging, and seeing what’s catching peoples attention is the way forward. Now, I’m not saying be a sheep and follow everyone else, but put your own, unique twist on your blog posts. You can’t and won’t please everyone – but someone out there is going to like your stuff, you just need to find them!
- Create a free blog, right here on WordPress! I chose this platform for my blog 1) because it was free and 2) I had the option to upgrade it. Now, you don’t know how well your site is going to do, but WordPress gives you access to your website ‘stats’ so you can see how many people have viewed your blog post and how many have visited your site – this is essential information when you’re trying to generate more of an audience.
- Once your blog has garnered some interest you can upgrade to a premium or business plan. The premium is cheaper, but gives you access to loads more themes, colours, additional fonts and text along with a million other things that I’m still learning. Plus you get the added bonus of ADVERTISING!
- Advertising can generate you an income – it’s not much and it’s not consistent but it’s still money in your pocket. With the WordPress premium plan you can sign up for WordAds – advertising strips that appear on your blog. You get a % of this!
- Another way to generate income through your blog is affiliate links. These are basically website links that you generate through sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Book Depository. While these are specific to Book Blogs, the Amazon Affiliates programme links to everything that Amazon sells! (Links Below). When someone clicks on these links and purchases an item through your site you get a commission.
- The best thing I have learnt through blogging is putting my self out there. Talk to your audience – engage them in the discussion. Especially through comments and such on Social Media.
- Be prompt with your replies.
- Don’t be rude!
- PLAN, PLAN,PLAN. I know I’ve already mentioned this one, but I’ll tell you again! Planning your blog posts is essential. For me, I have a different post planned Monday through Friday. The weekends are always kept free (this is great, especially if you have a family!) WordPress allows you to write posts and schedule them to be posted on a specific date and a certain time. So, you can essentially write a blog post months in advance and not have to worry about it!
- Photos. Now this is where blogging can get tricky. You want to include those beautiful pictures on your blog – but are you allowed? Copyright laws prevent you from posting photos that you find on search engines such as google. You could even end up with a hefty fine or court proceedings if you don’t follow the Copyright on a certain photo.
- Find photos without any copyright attached to them. Websites such as Shutterstock and iPhoto allow you purchase photos, but this can rack up a hefty bill! WordPress has a selection of free photos that you can include in your posts, and websites such as Canva (they also have an App) allow you to purchase photos along with having a wide variety of free ones!
- On the other hand, if your pretty creative and have a good working camera (I use both my DSLR and iPhone) you can create your own! You can find great props around your house and have yourself a mini photoshoot! *Tip* Shooting in natural light is always better!
I hope these tips will help you when you’re trying to start up a blog – or even if you have already! You can follow me on –
Barnes & Noble
If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them if I can!
Happy Monday! I hope your week is fun and full of dirty books!