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Blogging: 5 tips to get you started

People often ask me how to start a blog. I think back to what a complicated process it was and what an enormous number of mistakes I made along the way. So, here are 5 things I wish I’d known when I started blogging.

1. Know your topic

When I first decided to write a blog, it was tied into my work. I had no idea where to start – I didn’t even know what to write about.

After several false starts, I fell into writing a very generic parenting blog. These days, I have a bit of a focus on travel, days out and ethical issues. This has even led me to starting up another website.

That said, my blogging area is still relatively wide. This works for me, but many people would advise you to have a more specific niche.

If you’re thinking of starting a blog, take the time now to do your research. Think about what you want to write about, what makes you unique and who your audience will be. This may take a bit of work now, but it’s worth it in the long run.

2. Decide on your platform

This is the technical bit – sorry. When I started to blog, I used the Blogger platform. This was free and easy to use. That said, as time went by I realised it was quite restrictive.

The other thing I began to realise was that brands and PR companies want to work with bloggers. They want to invite you to fabulous events and send you amazing products to review. Blogging can even become a way of earning a living.

When working with brands, the majority of them like you to be self-hosted. This means that the domain is your own rather than piggybacking on Blogger or WordPress.

To do this, you need to pay for hosting. I use TsoHost who only charge a few quid a month. I’ve only ever read good reviews about them. Whoever you decide to use, it is worth reading the reviews. After all, reviews are the one thing bloggers are great at.

Through TSO, I use a WordPress template. This is much more flexible than Blogger and I have much more freedom to choose the look and feel of my blog.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that you need to go self-hosted. But if you do want to work with brands or monetise your blog in the long term, it’s worth going self-hosted from the start.

3. Learn about social media

Another thing I was terrible at when I started blogging was social media. I was on Facebook, but I used it mostly as a people-watching tool. I rarely posted, but it was nice to see what people were up to. I had no idea about other platforms.

These days, I use social media properly. Twitter is great for promoting your blog and engaging with other bloggers.

Facebook is also useful as a promotion tool but it is a bit more hard work and more solitary. You have a standalone page and interact less with other bloggers and pages.

Google+ is a mystery to virtually everyone. But it’s supposed to be helpful to increase your search engine ranking. So, I diligently share my content on there and cross my fingers.

Pinterest is very image focused and is also a search engine in its own right. Check out my blogging resource page for some brilliant links to teach you how to use Pinterest.

Stumble Upon and Reddit are also really useful for promoting blog posts but I only tend to bother with them if I’ve got something that’s really worth reading (rarely then).

Instagram isn’t the best for getting click-throughs to your blog. But it is nonetheless a lovely platform. I enjoy posting on there, looking at other people’s beautiful images and promoting general awareness of my blog using Instagram. The key to building followers on Instagram is to really use it properly. If you love Instagram, it will love you!

If ever you want to monetise or work with brands, they like you to have a social media following. It’s also nice to read the odd word of encouragement and know that someone’s read what you’ve taken the time to write.

4. Get involved with the blogging community

Whatever your blogging niche and however specific it is, there will always be a community of bloggers that are already writing about that general area.

The community can be really supportive and helpful. You’ll get tips about promoting your blog and working with brands. It’s also a great place to get answers to any questions you have about blogging.

I’m not a sociable person in any way, shape or form. But I do find it really nice to interact with other bloggers. There are lots of groups on Facebook that are really friendly and they’re a great way to interact with people and find your own little group that you keep in touch with regularly.

Twitter is also useful for getting to know other bloggers. Just remember that it’s SOCIAL media – read and comment on other people’s posts, retweet them and show some support and they’ll do the same for you.

5. Know what you want from blogging and remember it

When I first started out, I wanted to use blogging to help promote a business. As it happened, the blog has outlived the business by a considerable distance.

But as I got into blogging, I realised that it was an amazing way to record our lives and keep a photographic record of the girls growing up.

As time has gone by, I have loved working with brands and attending fantastic events. The girls have had opportunities that they never would have had otherwise.

But sometimes, as with any hobby or profession, there are difficult times. Writer’s block, critical comments, technical difficulties and times when the only things I could think of to write were quite negative.

That’s when I stop and think back to what I want to get from blogging. Recording our lives and enjoying the amazing opportunities that go along with it.

Whatever happens, I’ll always love blogging for those original reasons. Even if nobody else reads it.

For more blogging tips from some of the top bloggers in various niches, head to my blogging resource page.

Blogging - the beginner's guide to starting a blog | If you are a new blogger or thinking of starting a blog, here are five tips to get you started. The best ways to promote your content, meet other bloggers, use social media to promote your blog and get ready to work with brands.




  1. @SarahAnneDG
    November 24, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    This is such a great post. I took an unplanned step back from my blog a few months ago, and it’s given me space to consider what it really is I want from it. I’m itching to get back with my new approach, but I’m making sure I’m ready first.

    What Facebook groups would you recommend? I still feel like such an outsider so it would be nice to get more involved in the community.

    • November 25, 2015 / 10:14 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I will send you a message about FB groups.x

  2. November 26, 2015 / 10:55 pm

    Love these tips, I think I’m still learning some of them! lol. Having a passion about your subject definitely helps for sure, it would be so boring to write about something you aren’t 100% passionate about.

    • December 2, 2015 / 12:07 am

      Oh I couldn’t agree more, I amuse myself even if nobody else wants to read my drivel 😉

  3. November 29, 2015 / 12:52 pm

    Really great post, I’m going to share it on Twitter. I think even when you’re a reasonably established blogger it’s good to have a read of these sorts of things to regain focus xx

    • December 2, 2015 / 12:05 am

      Thank you for sharing this Hannah, I really appreciate it.xs

  4. November 29, 2015 / 8:06 pm

    This is a brilliant post. All fantastic and really quite simple tips that would help a newbie blogger.

    Laura x

  5. November 29, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    Great tips. I only went self hosted earlier this year after blogging for four years, I really wish that I had done it sooner as I am now building up DA from scratch after all those years of hard work. Again, I wish I had set up a facebook page sooner as I only set that up earlier this year and the amount of interest it has had already has surprised me, I didn’t think anyone would be interested in it!


    • December 2, 2015 / 12:04 am

      Oh I totally feel your pain Leanne, I took way too long over both going self-hosted and setting up on Facebook, definitely feel like I’m playing catch up and don’t even get me started on Pinterest!x

  6. November 30, 2015 / 9:29 am

    some really great tips here. For me getting stuck into the bloggers community on twitter and facebook really helped me in the beginning! I think even though I’ve been blogging a while it’s good to look back at these pointers to make sure I’m still doing it! Great post x

    • December 2, 2015 / 12:01 am

      Thank you Alice. I definitely need to look back at the basics and reassess occasionally.x

  7. November 30, 2015 / 1:51 pm

    This is a great list of tips. I remember when I started blogging I was all about the twins but very quickly found that my niche was food. I think that when anyone starts blogging the do not realise how time consuming it is. Great tips x #Love2Blog

    • December 2, 2015 / 12:00 am

      Thank you Kirsty. It’s funny how your niche evolves isn’t it? We’re more and more about the travel and days out, I love that aspect of blogging!x

  8. November 30, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    Great tips which will definitely help a new blogger. I wish I’d read this post when I first started blogging! x

    • December 1, 2015 / 11:56 pm

      Thank you Emma, so do I to be honest!x

  9. November 30, 2015 / 9:29 pm

    Great post, I agree with all of these tips. When I first started I didn’t do any research into blogging and what it was all about, I just wrote! Social media for me is huge and I wish I knew how important it was at the beginning xx

    • December 1, 2015 / 11:56 pm

      Thank you Alex, I did exactly the same thing, I guess we all learn as we go along.x

  10. December 1, 2015 / 4:39 am

    Oh some lovely tips here, i just dived in and went in totally blind. I’ve evolved on the go and keep setting plans and goals. I think you can apply your tips at any point 🙂

    • December 1, 2015 / 11:55 pm

      Thank you Laura, I did the same as you and wished later on that I’d looked around for some basic tips to get me started.x

  11. December 6, 2015 / 3:34 pm

    Great post, straightforward and to the point, will massively help a newbie blogger x

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