50 things to know when starting (and running) a blog

I started my blog not long ago. I thought it would be quite an easy process. Pick a domain, choose your blog host and start posting your articles. But as you delve deeper into the complexities of making it something where hopefully you’ll see a profit and gain a lot of traction out of it, you realise there’s a lot more to starting and running a blog than you may realise.

Fifty things to know when starting a blog

Therefore I thought I’d break it down into 50 things to note when starting a blog:

  1. Be prepared to pay a fee for your hostname.
  2. Be prepared to pay for your domain URL.
  3. Set up email marketing from the beginning or you won’t have many people coming back to your website.
  4. Either choose one social media platform to focus on or know you’re adept enough to manage multiple.
  5. Utilise Pinterest for blog ideas.
  6. Create catchy headlines.
  7. Use Canva or similar software to create eye-catching blog post banners.
  8. Create a Pinterest version of each article banner.
  9. Be prepared to spend quite some time researching SEO.
  10. Download Yoast SEO and make sure you fill it out before posting every single article
  11. Don’t be afraid to use YouTube to watch tutorials.
  12. Browse other people’s blogs to get ideas for widgets and layouts.
  13. Write an ‘About’ page. This will make your blog feel more personal and relatable.
  14. If you have any design skills, create some digital downloadable content for people to buy for cheap.
  15. Use scheduling software to optimise when your content goes out on social media.
  16. Use your visual graphics across all of your social media channels.
  17. Make sure your content has internal links to other articles you’ve written
  18. Use the graphics you’ve used in those other articles throughout the post to promote them better.
  19. Sign up to Amazon associates so you can link to Amazon products and potentially earn a small commission when people visit the page and buy the product.
  20. Use external links to other websites. This is great for SEO and Google loves a website that promotes other sites.
  21. Share other people’s content to your own Pinterest boards. If you want people to follow your content, you can always have other people’s pins on your boards.
  22. Create surveys to engage your community. Engagement is the best way to keep people coming back.
  23. Set up your emails to be regular or consistent but not spammy. I’d recommend once a week on the same day every week or a couple of times a week in the evenings.
  24. Use your email marketing to promote your blog posts but make it sound genuine and not like it’s been sent purely to get them to click.
  25. Share content into Facebook groups.
  26. Look into creating a Facebook page or group of your own and consistently post into this.
  27. Use Pinterest to see what people are searching for. Pinterest’s search tool allows you to type a search term and then you can use the list of suggestions below to see what others searched with that word.
  28. Utilise your sidebar. You can make a sidebar appear on almost any page. Make sure it promotes your newsletter and recent posts. Both give people reasons to stay or return to your blog
  29. Use analytics to find which of your posts do well. Use Google Analytics or your Insights from Facebook or Pinterest or whichever platform you choose to find out which posts do well and do more similar posts like this.
  30. Write posts that teach people things. People want to learn how to better themselves on the internet and they always want to know how to make their own blog/money etc.
  31. Write articles you actually want to write. It’s important that you’re not only writing for others – write for yourself too as this will keep you interested and this is key!
  32. Regularly check your website is still running smoothly and works well on mobile.
  33. Respond to every comment with a genuine response.
  34. Branch out from your niche. Mine is “books” but I’ve started doing posts about the blog that these posts are laid out on as I know people who want to start a book blog will want to know these tips too.
  35. Be patient. You won’t make money instantly but persistence, hard work and research should pay off.
  36. Do your research. Don’t be afraid to Google whether your website is capable of different functionality.
  37. Listen to Podcasts on blogging and making money. I’d recommend Side Hustle Nation and Laptop Empires.
  38. Make sure links to external content open in a new tab.
  39. Use a consistent brand across everything. Pick two or three colours and decide which are your main colours, which are your highlights colours and use these often.
  40. Be willing to have fun with Pinterest graphics. To completely contradict myself – be willing to use a variety of fonts and colours to create an eye-catching graphic for Pinterest.
  41. Work those extra hours. Blogging won’t earn you money instantly so blog about something you love so it doesn’t feel like work when you’re working on it after your day job or at the weekend.
  42. Take in constructive criticism and improve.
  43. Set yourself a goal every day to motivate yourself.
  44. Keep a journal of the bigger milestones.
  45. Don’t spend too long fiddling around altering the look. Keep it simple and effective. Use other blogs as examples.
  46. Be consistent with your blog posts and even set up a regular schedule if this helps
  47. Only put the amount of effort into it that you enjoy doing. You don’t want to get burnt out before it actually gets any engagement.
  48. Consider a Start Here page. This will allow you to show people a quick glimpse of some of your best content. The best content to put there is your most eye-catching articles and the posts with the most internal and external links.
  49. Don’t use images copied from Google. Everything I use is royalty-free from Canva or from pexels.com which offers royalty-free images as long as you’re not selling the images for money.
  50. Subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on Pinterest and join my Book Bloggers Group for all things books and blogging

I hope at least a few of these tips will be of use to those of you who are starting out with your blogging. Many of these are what I use to keep going or plan to implement within the coming weeks and months.

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