How to Start a Blog

How to Setup & Start a Blog

Following on from my post about ‘picking one platform,‘ over the next few posts we’re going to take a deep dive into setting up your platform of choice, starting today with your blog!

1. How to setup and start a blog!

It just so happens that I have actually written a very detailed post about Starting a blog, customizing it and publishing your first post all in under 10 minutes!

10 minutes you say Jo?

Yep.

Here is the video from the post;

However, even though I truly want to toot my own horn, I must point out another resource for you which goes into a lot more detail than my post.

Ryan Robinson probably has the best article on the web today for starting a blog – How to Start a Blog in 2020

It’s a mammoth piece of content and I urge you not to get too caught up in some of the finer details. But as you grow, the information within his article is priceless.

The detail he goes into on design, plugins, your about page, writing, publishing, promoting and monetizing your blog is second to none.

I highly recommend bookmarking his post and keeping it somewhere for future reference as your blog grows.

For now focus on getting your blog up and running with a simple but effective free theme to get you started. Do not let perfection stand in the way of progress, ok??

You can tweak and improve as you go (a little bit like these action guides, my whole plan is to improve upon these over the coming years so they truly become the place to go for anyone wanting to start a lifestyle business).

Once your blog is live, focus on writing the content you have outlined in your content plan.

Types of Blog Posts

For this I’m heading back to our good friend Brian who has two excellent articles on blog content creation;

1. 7 Examples of Proven Blog Post Templates

I’ve summarized them here and added example headlines for articles I could create in my gardening niche using his template suggestions;

  1. List Posts – Example – ‘101 Inspirational Garden Designs from Around the Globe
  2. Case Studies – Example – ‘How This Single Mum Designed the Garden of Her Dreams on Her Rooftop
  3. Comparison Post – Example – ‘X Garden Design App vs X Garden Design App; The best app to use for your garden design
  4. Things to do After ‘X’ – Example – ’10 Things you Must do After Planting Your Vegetable Garden
  5. The Beginners Guide – Example – ‘A Beginners Guide to Designing Your Garden on a Budget
  6. How They Did It – ‘How These 12 Couples Created Beautiful Gardens Even Their Dogs Can Enjoy
  7. The Myth Debunker – ’25 Seasonal Plant Myths the Experts Don’t Want You to Know

I tell you what, I’m seriously considering getting into the gardening niche!

2. Brians second article is about how to create evergreen content, so content that will stand the test of time and which you can update and distribute time and time again!

As someone who used to create social media courses, is used to platforms changing literally hourly, and therefore having to constantly update my info, I can’t recommend evergreen content as part of your strategy enough!

As Brian says;

But how to actually craft your post?

Here’s Neil Patel who’s blog gets over 7.5 million hits a month! (A month!!!) To tell us exactly how he crafts his posts;

In summary;

  • An attention grabbing headline. Love ’em or hate ’em use magazines & Newspaper headlines as inspiration. They spend their lives crafting headlines people want to click on!
  • Focus on your intro! Hook people in with a bold statement and give an overview of what’s covered in the post
  • Make your content easy to skim with lots of subheadings. I actually read this morning that something like 63% of people skim read blog posts, so make your subheads interesting and relevant!
  • Keep your paragraphs short, around 5 – 6 lines long, no-one likes to read huge bodies of text, particularly on mobile (note to self, go back and shorten all paragraphs!)
  • Link out to other sites & resources. This is one of my fave’s. No matter how much you know about your niche, you don’t know everything and I’m sure there is content out there already created by someone else that can complement and enhance your own content and offer huge value to your audience. Don’t be an island my friend, build relationships, credibility and influence through collaboration!
  • Lastly, always end posts with a conclusion or as I like to call a summary and where relevant action steps. Neil says on his video that visitors to his blog tend to scroll to the conclusion first and then go back to the top to read the rest of the post so make it good! Also end with a question if you want to encourage more comments and engagement on your posts.

This is a great strategy to follow and you’ll find all sorts of tips and tricks all over the web on how to craft the perfect blog post, however always remember to write in a style you believe will resonate with your audience.

There are no shoulds

As my good friend Dan Morris from Blogging Concentrated told me once in an incredible interview we did, there are no shoulds.

If you ever find yourself asking;

How long should a post be?
What headline should I use?
How often should I post?

There are no shoulds! There are no hard and fast rules.

Case in point;

Seth Godin writes daily posts that range from 10 characters to maybe 500 characters at most.

Marie Forleo publishes a weekly video with a 1000 – 1500 word summary.

They both attract between 250k – 300k visitors a month with totally different styles.

So you do you my friend! That is the most important thing to focus on.

If you would like some more structure for your posts to help you get started however, then look no further than this amazing guide called ‘How to Write a Blog Post in 2020: The Ultimate Guide’. Written by Written by Liz Careathers, Esq. for the very talented and inspirational Jon Morrow over at SmartBlogger. (I had to look Esq up as in the UK where I’m from that’s used for a man who’s almost a knight, but apparently in the US it’s for an attorney. Good to know).

There are some great tips on creating an irresistible headline, writing attention grabbing intros and motivational closes.

Worth a read, but…. don’t get overwhelmed!

Lastly before you continue, here is the longest infographic in the world about blogging ideas by the folks over at Digital Marketer.

If you can’t think of what to blog about after reading this, I can’t help you!

That’s it my blogging friend!

Any questions ask in the group, for now, get writing!

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