If you’ve always wanted to start blogging but could never figure out the technicalities, read this post and learn how to get started and set up a blog!
I’ve been blogging for a year now and love it to the core! And now I decided to share that joy with you by giving you all the tips and tricks about blogging in my monthly series How–To–Blog. This is where I will try to give you as much information as possible about the blogging world, from setting up your blog to food photography, I will cover everything. So let’s get started with the basics!
So you have a hobby that you want to share with the rest of the world by blogging about it but big technical words like WORDPRESS, SELF HOSTING, PLUG-INS, WIDGETS etc really intimidate you or the fear that no one will ever read your blog apart from your sister or your mom stops you from ever starting? Congratulations..you’re not alone! Believe it or not I was where you are right now a year back and I had the same questions (especially the “who’ll read my blog” question). It’s natural to second guess and question your abilities but the key is to decide and DO IT.
Let me start off by telling you how I started my food blog.
So before December 2013, I had no idea I ever want to blog or write or even that I wanna make food for the rest of my life and definitely not FOR A LIVING. It was a transitional phase of my life because I had just come back from London after completing my MBA and had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I didn’t want a boring corporate job and I had just abandoned a lucrative business idea so life was slow. To keep myself entertained I read blogs, tried recipes from them, and that made me really happy. But I didn’t know what to do next! One day when I was going through my favourite blog Sally’s Baking Addiction, I came across her post How To Start a Food Blog, I gave it a read and thought to myself “I could start a blog”, ever since then this whole idea of starting my blog was always at the back of my head and I was always thinking about it. I spoke to a really close friend who was going through the same shitty phase and we decided to start one together. This is not my first blog FYI. My first blog was the one I started with my friend and it was called Food Travel Fashion (How original! NOT. haha It’s still up btw, have a look at it but pleaseeee don’t judge me! and yes the Christmas theme is still up)
Did you see it? Now you see where I was and how far I’ve come? Does that give you some confidence? YES? Good. 😀
Now that your confidence is restored let’s move on. I enjoyed writing about food more than anything and Maitri (my friend who I started the blog with) just didn’t enjoy blogging so we abandoned that blog and I started sugarnspicebyradhika.wordpress.com and I decided to write about food only. I uploaded some content and next day I got really supportive calls from friends and family congratulating me and telling me how amazing it is that I’m doing this. That was a great confidence booster and since then I’ve never looked back. Sure my growth has been slow but it has always been steady and I’ve received SO much love from my readers. There were times when my blog was not my priority but I never abandoned it, I tried my best always and now I’m proud of what I’ve created.
So now that you know my story, let’s get you started too. P. S. these tips are not restricted to only food bloggers, they’re very generic and anyone who wants to blog can use them.
Here’s how you can set up a basic blog –
Choose a platform
A blogging platform is where your blog will run. It’s like your personal Facebook account which you use to upload pictures or statuses, only bigger and more complex. There are a lot of blogging platforms out there like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr etc and every platform has it’s own pros and cons. I chose WordPress because I was playing safe. It was the best ranked platform on almost every article I read on Google so I went with it. You can safely choose it too because it has a lot of benefits like clean themes, better Google rankings among others and a lot of big shot companies like BBC also run their blogs on it. It is slightly difficult to understand and at first you will be overwhelmed by the number of buttons on the admin panel (this is where you do everything) but with time it will get easier. Research a little and see which platforms suit your needs. If you want a picture-only blog, go with tumblr, if you want something easy peasy go with blogger, if you want cleaner designs and better rankings go with WordPress.
Pick a domain name
This bit is crucial. Domain name is your website name, just like mine is sugarnspicebyradhika.com. Before settling on a domain name think long term, pick a name that you’ll be okay to be associated with 10 years later because remember nothing dies on the internet. Foodtravelfashion.wordpress.com doesn’t sound as appealing to me now as much as it did 2 years back so choose carefully. Ask around, get people to vote or even suggest names. Next, check online if that name already exists. It’s quite possible that the name you love and adore has already been taken, so start again. I did that a few times, I wanted to name my blog sugarandspice.com but it was taken, so I added my own name to it to make it original. You could do that too!
Make an account
Once you choose a platform and a name, go to the chosen platform’s website, enter the domain name you picked, press “Create Website” and that’s it. That name is yours! (Instructions for every platform are different, these are for WordPress). Just remember that at this stage your blog domain name will have the blogging platform’s name on it. So if you choose Dayum, your domain will be Dayum.wordpress.com. Now, make an account and remember the details.
Choose a theme
Once you’re logged in you will be presented with options to choose a theme. Choose your theme VERY carefully because this is how your website will look like. You can pick free themes or paid themes, I ran my blog on a free theme “Adelle” for a year, it’s wasn’t bad but restricted. But I thought it was cute lol. Most importantly, check if the theme you chose is responsive (meaning it will adapt itself according to the device it is being viewed on). Responsive themes have better rankings so make sure your pick a responsive theme. Once your theme is set you can start posting content on your blog.
This is where the fun begins, you can now start posting content on your blog. Figure out a posting schedule and try to stick to it. Set up your social media pages and connect with people with similar interests as you.
Lastly, don’t lose hope if you don’t see much traction in the beginning. It’s easy to feel demotivated by looking at other blogs but remember they were not always that way. If you ever need a push head over my Food Travel Fashion blog for instant motivation! Haha..! If I can do it, so can you.
FYI This is not it! There’s a lot of information that I still need to share with you, so wait for my How To Start Your Blog Part 2.. <3 If you have any questions you can leave them in comments below and I will answer them in part 2.
Also, don’t forget to share links of your blogs that you set up after reading this! I would love to see them!!