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How to set up a blog

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How to set up a blog and write successfully

Do you have a passion?  Something which rocks your world?  Then blog about it!  Having your own blog can open the door to a vast range of opportunities – indeed, chances are, whatever you want out of life, a blog can help you get it…  Write about your interests, hobbies, travels, opinions; showcase your baking, crafts, theatre group… a blog will attract like minded folk as well as potential employers.  It’ll hone your writing skills and demonstrate your skill in online communication.  And yet blogs are amazingly easy to set up – if you can write and send an email you’re ready to blog!

How to start your blog

So, you’ve decided what you want to write about, the audience you want and how much time you’ll dedicate to it per week – remember, a blog is a living thing – your audience will want to interact with you and will need to see fresh content on a regular basis.

Now for the technical bit!  First, choose your blogging platform – this is just the website which will “host” your blog. At this stage many guides will take you through the decision of whether to opt for paid or unpaid and give a list of recommended platforms to choose from. No need for any of this – beginning bloggers should simply opt for WordPress.com, the free, hosted version, where the site is automatically maintained and updated for you.

WordPress

Although you’re limited in terms of the formats you can choose and you’re not able to make money from your blog, WordPress is the blog host and once you’ve got your feet wet using the free version, you can migrate your blog to the paid site (WordPress.org) or simply pick and choose exactly where you want to go next.  Setting up the blog couldn’t be easier – WordPress takes you through the process step by step.  Just a few pointers to keep you on course:

Have a domain name in mind

how to set up a blogIf you can think of something appropriate that’s still available, it’s a good idea to register it immediately (only costs a few pounds) as otherwise you risk someone else doing so and subsequently being unable to use it.  You can use it on the free site (WordPress will take you through the process) – it can be something like myfabcakes.wordpress.com. The shorter the better and the myfabcakes part (which is your domain name) can be retained for when or if you migrate to a self-hosted or paid blogging site.  So choose something that encapsulates you and your passion – ideally you’ll want it to last a long time!

Personalise your blog

Once you’ve downloaded WordPress onto your computer it will take you through the set-up process, allowing you to choose themes and personalise your blog. Link to your other social networking sites,WordPress will guide you through linking your blog to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts – spread your net wide! Write your first blog post

In which you should tell your audience:

  • Who you are – post a photo of yourself and your passion/products.  Visual images help readers to relate to you and your blog.
  • Why you’re blogging and what your blog’s about.  This will (hopefully!) reassure your audience that they’re in the right place and get them coming back for more.
  • How to get involved.  Can they leave comments or email you?  Remember – the idea is to make your blog a “living thing” – the more activity you can attract the better.

Then post at least once a week

Keep your blog regularly updated and fresh, and remember to respond to your reader’s comments!

And you’re done – welcome to the world of blogging!

 

 

 

 

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About Phylly Alexander

About Phylly Alexander

Phylly Alexander is a working parent. She’s been doing it for a long time, with number one son just about to turn 21, and by the time the last child (hopefully!) flies the nest she will have been at it for around 30 years! Apart from the first six years at home with aforementioned number one son, she has worked throughout, mainly in secretarial/admin roles for employers including solicitors, the Employment Service and, for the past 12 years, the NHS. She trained as a student midwife and has written for The Practising Midwife. A middle-aged “techie” she is hoping to improve her work-life balance by getting more internet work she can do from home – she enjoys writing, editing and proofreading. As someone who is interested in (and unfortunately has an opinion on) almost everything, she has a wide-ranging general knowledge – an asset for pub quiz nights. More specific interests include cycling, running, midwifery and Shakespeare! She is also currently completing an unfinished degree via the Open University and is finding the study of sociology a real eye-opener. The job that got away? Teaching. Age (aka tiredness!) and family commitments probably mean she’ll never get to do it now but…. she thinks she would have loved it.

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