Blogging 101

Blogging 101

Blogging 101

I have found great joy in pouring my heart out on these pages. The ink stains (okay, maybe keypad imprints but you get the idea) on my fingers are treasure troves of memories; of heartaches eased and lessons learnt. So, it is as a tribute to the joy blogging has brought me, my readers and fellow bloggers that I am doing this blogging feature.

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Okay, let’s get right into it…

1. CHOOSE A NAME

Like most things that matter in life, preparation is key in starting a blog. Step 1 is choosing your blog name. Most times, people will go for something like www.shelahowino.com which is okay if you are a public figure like Oprah or Joel Osteen.

If you are planning to take on blogging for the long haul, I suggest reading my friend Patsy’s article on how to choose your blog name. I cannot say it any better than she does.

2. BUY A DOMAIN NAME

Once you have settled on a name, you need to secure it by buying the domain name. This is key if you are planning to go pro or for longevity of your blog on google and the internet.

However, if you are just starting out and do not want to incur the cost of domain name purchase, your free WordPress account will work just fine. The disadvantage of this is it limits your style and theme options.

The internet is stock full of various tools and resource to help you get your website. Find out more about this by clicking here.

3. CHOOSE YOUR VOICE/NICHE/AUDIENCE

I feel like this should come before you choose a name but you can still modify your name or use your name to get the niche. Your voice ought to be authentic. No one likes a fraud! Don’t be afraid to write about the things that seem unacceptable to society. If it tugs at your heart, then write about it!

I write about emotions, emotional health and state of mind because I believe that mindset and mentality affect everything in life. I will soon be writing about exercise and weight loss because it has been a huge part of my teen life. Choose your topics or focus based on the impact you want to have or the change you want to create.

Content matters a lot! Your blog will either stand or fall on the validity, authenticity and consistency of your content. If your content is good and relevant, your blog is well on its way to success. A tip on how to choose your niche is to think about a gap you have noticed in society or as you grew up that makes your heart bleed.

Remember to proof read your post before publishing it. I have fallen prey to missing words and grammatical errors that could have been avoided.

4. APPEARANCE IS EVERYTHING!

How your blog looks will affect your readers! It should not be crowded. Choose your theme colors and images with this in mind. These things may seem superfluous but they are uber important.
WordPress offers various free themes. Make use of them. Do not be afraid to tinker around with different themes until you find one that best suits your taste and blog.

PS: Only save changes when you are certain that it is the One!

Use images that are relevant to the message in your blog posts. Be creative. A wonderful resource I have found and love to use is Unsplash. The images are high quality but this means that they are larger files. In a later post I will talk about plugins that can help lower the size of the files without affecting its quality.

Okay! I’ve dwelt on this for far too long…

5. PACE YOURSELF

Blogging is a whole new world. Even I don’t know everything! Be patient with yourself and open to learning and improving your blogging skills and knowledge.

Pace yourself! If blogging everyday is too much, try every week, twice a month or even once a month. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too much all at once. Learn something new and try it out then move on to the next. Don’t allow to be bogged down by a torrent of information.
And in the spirit of avoiding TMI, I will stop this post here. Just to remind you:

1. CHOOSE A NAME

2. BUY A DOMAIN NAME

3. CHOOSE A VOICE/NICHE/AUDIENCE

4. APPEARANCE IS EVERYTHING !

5. PACE YOURSELF

Above all, be true to who you are. There is no need to use huge words if you do not commonly use them (it becomes hard to understand your writing anyway!). Write like you are having a conversation with your reader because you are.

Until next time,
XO
Sheelz

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