I started blogging in January 2020 and wow what a whirlwind it has been. I have learned so much already but I still have so much to learn. There have been a few times when I have been asked the best way to start a blog; so I thought I would dedicate a full post to my top 8 tips for starting a blog.
I have done a few of these chattier posts now, including The Ultimate Guide to Baking Cupcakes and Baking Products I love Just Now. I would love your opinion good and bad so please leave me a comment at the bottom of this post or send me a DM on social media.
Name your blog
When you are thinking of a name for your blog try and keep it relevant to the subject you are blogging about, but don’t limit yourself. I found this the hardest part of starting my blog, I had no idea what to call my blog. So I started off with some words that I thought would be relevant and suit my blog.
I didn’t want to use anything specific like cupcakes or cakes because I didn’t want to limit myself to what I could post. I also didn’t want people to become confused coming to a blog with the name cupcake in the title to find fudge and cookie recipes.
Sprinkles are one of my favourite things to use and I wanted to incorporate this into the name somehow but every name idea I had was already taken. I really wanted to go for A Teaspoon of Vanilla as I use this in pretty much every single bake but it was already in use, so I settled for A Spoonful of Vanilla. I think it works pretty well for my blog as vanilla is used in most baking recipes and I’m not limited to what I can post.
Find a reliable website host
There is so many platforms to host your blog. I personally use WordPress. I decided to use WordPress simply because I had used it before in college, so I sort of knew how to use it already.
Before you pick your platform you should check out a few. Most platforms you check out will have either an email address you can send any questions some even have a live chat where you can speak to someone instantly.
I started off with a free WordPress plan before I decided to go self-hosted. When I had my free plan I was very limited to what I could do with my blog, from the theme to the domain name (it had to end it .wordpress.com) I was also limited to the plugins I could use and the changes I could make to my site. So I decided to go self-hosted.
I decided to move my site to Lyrical Host. Lyrical Host was amazing when it came to becoming self-hosted. They moved everything over on a date and time that suited me. Lyrical Host also host WordPress blogs, so I didn’t need to relearn how to use everything! Another benefit to Lyrical host is that they have so many extras such as stock photos and free resources you can use.
Now I pay £9.99 per month to host my site but the site is owned fully by myself. I can make any changes I want to my site. I was also able to buy my domain name too so now it ends it .co.uk.
Design your site
For me, this was the fun part, but there are so many amazing themes out there. I decided to go with the Juliet Theme which is free but you could also buy your theme too. When you are deciding on which theme to use just ensure that it will do everything you need it too. I have been on so many blogs where I have no idea where to find the blog posts as only the newest appear on the home screen. Or the home screen is static but there is no Blog Post option in the menu.
Another thing when creating your site it always have a contact page. With either a contact form or email as well as social media links.
Post original content
Always be yourself and always post original content. I feel like this is quite obvious but I am going to include it in this list as a reminder. People will come to your blog because they like you, they like your recipes and your writing style. Also people will notice if you are copying other bloggers work and you don’t want to have a bad reputation.
That isn’t to say you can’t try another bloggers recipe and post about your experience on your blog; always link back to the original recipe. You could even repost a recipe but again always link back to the original recipe.
Be consistent when you are posting. I post one recipe a week at the moment and I hope to increase this to two posts per week. If you consistently post a new recipe every Tuesday, for example, then people will come to your blog on that day for the new recipe. If you post on different days and times each week then people might get confused about when your new post will be up. People may also lose interest too if you are not posting enough.
It is the same if you are posting too much. For example, if you are posting 5 new recipes each week people will be getting confused. If they are looking for a recipe on your site that you posted 2 weeks ago they will have to sift through 10 other new posts to find it.
Social media is so important for advertising your site. People will find it so much easier to find you on social media if your pages are named the same as your blog. While I was trying to decide on the name for this blog, I would check to see if the domain was available first if it was I would then search on social media to find out if the handle was available. If it wasn’t I would start again. I did this until I found my blog name.
Interact with Others
The people you will meet while blogging will become your best friends. Interact with them on social media; commenting on their tweets/photos or commenting on their blog posts. When I first started blogging I was so worried about replying to peoples tweets, but now I do it quite regularly. It is a great way to get to know more about the people you are following.
Soon you may find that you spend more time talking with your online friends than you do your real life friends.
This is by far the most important part of starting a blog is just have fun! Blogging is so much fun and I love every part of it, from creating a recipe posting the final piece on my blog. I have made so many new friends since I started blogging, I have found so many incredible blogs that I now read weekly and I have learned so many new skills about blogging and baking.
If you would like to check out more on the challenges I have found becoming a baking blogger you can check them out in this interview I did with Fancy Comma.