How to start a blog

I’ve blogged from a number of platforms. Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress and a few other CMS platforms. For me WordPress has been the best platform. It’s also one of the biggest, and it’s open source which means it’s created by the community, for the community. I was recently asked for advice on how to start a blog, and whilst there is lots I could say here. I thought I’d share with you my response with you.

1. Think of an idea or topic you’d to write about? What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about? It could be travel, beauty, food, healthy living, being a new mum?

2. When you log onto WordPress you can sign up, and create a blog for free, or upgrade to the pro account (I think it’s called) so you have a (nameofyourblog.com) it will cost about £60 for the year, but I recommend it. There are some really good free templates that you can use too.

3. What do you want to call your blog? Do you want it to be your name or something different? Check and see if your URL is available, and if you can I recommend purchasing it. There are usually not that expensive. Try 123 reg, or something like Namecheap. I’ve never had a bad experience with these ones, and you do have to choose wisely. There are a lot of cowboys in this industry. Don’t be fooled into paying more than £10 for your URL that’s my recommendation. If you are ever asked by a company to pay and then they will transfer the URL to your name… stay clear! This is actually happened to a girl I recently met.

Recap:

  • Be organised and be consistent
  • The trick is to find a niche to write about
  • Write content that is helpful, entertaining, or engaging that people will want to share

I hope you find this helpful. Let me know if you want me to talk about anything in more specific detail.

 

Happy Friday!

 

Advertisements

The power of choice

Watch this powerful music video by Rudimental. It’s a powerful and moving story of how our choices can lead us on two very different paths.

Which leads me to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how you start in life, it matters how you finish. Every day we make choices that affect our tomorrow, which means we have the power to choose how tomorrow looks.

What you do today will flow into the Friday and so forth, so even if some challenges come your way today, how you respond to them will determine the altitude of your tomorrow.

We can choose many things today. Some of these may be:

– hope or depression

– love or hate

– kindness or selfishness

– curry or soup

– boots or flats

– press on or give up

– give or don’t give

– positive or negative

They are greatly varied;  but big or small they all add up. Here’s a good question to ask ourselves daily – are the decisions we make leading us to where we want to go in life?

Rudimental- Not Giving In from Josh Cole on Vimeo.

Just because we can…

I’m not sure if many of you reading this, know me other than the writer behind The Social Exchange, or the chick who writes a bunch of posts on business, social media and leadership? If anyone doesn’t know me at all and interested in finding out more about how it changed my life; you can read that here, on The Good Web Guide website.

Tonight’s post came out of a desire to find a place where I could talk about the above-mentioned areas, which I am passionate about, and The Social Exchange was a place where I could do that away from previous blogs where I have shared other kinds of posts (also motivational) – it seems I am challenged to write anything outside of motivational;  when it comes to writing for myself. However, today I have been inspired and encouraged to write this post, just because I can.

Sometimes structure is good, and writing formal posts that address business is great, but there are also times where we can get stuck and in a rut and that my friend is why I am waffling on, in this post, to help myself more than anyone, break out.

Life is multifaceted, and I am too. I want to write about fashion, and baking, and books, and fiction and heck I want to write about anything I want. Ideally I want to write about it and engage with some other folks on the subject of choice, hence why I called it the ‘social’ exchange.

So what’s stopping me?

That is the million dollar question.

This battle to be structured and stay on point is a tiresome battle at times. Maybe a girl just wants to have a little fun once a while and post pictures of cool things:

Like this…

..and this…

No not a ring. 😛 Just the box! Like cake in a jar, who doesn’t like good surprises? Or going to exotic places?

Do you want to know the cool thing about all this venting in this way?  This is exactly what many businesses need to do, open up! Shed a little humour, colour; show a splash of personality for crying out loud! Let’s have a little fun, like innocent, or a send a greeting card with moo. The most amazing thing about creating a space to do that – whether it be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or a blog – is can express who we are as a team, as a company, as a individual for not other alternative reason that just because we can.

This is The SOCIAL Exchange, right?

Well I just exchanged something, how about you do too!

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Whether you’re attempting to start a business, or own a multi-million business everyone has experienced moments of fear on some level.

Fear of the unknown, fear of risk, afraid of doing it wrong or failing. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we shouldn’t be scared of failing. We should learn to love it.

Whatever stage your business is at, don’t be scared of social media, or blogging. You need to embrace it because it’s not going away. Take the plunge, and give it ago. You won’t know until you try. Of course these are just the lessons I am learning, and gaining through my own experiences.

The best way to know if something works or not, it’s to try it. Think of it like dipping your toe in the water, before you dive into the pool.

Although I am talking to start-ups, or businesses that have yet to make the switch to Social Media; this post is applicable for everyone, from every background.

Oh, and one last thing. When it comes to blogging for business;

  1. Get one – Last year was the year to get one, so get one fast, and start sharing. This year it’s all about context.
  2. Be as consistent as you can – Choose a timeframe, daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly and stick too it.
  3. Be as relevant as you can to your industry. No sales talk. Think about what your consumers would be interested in.
  4. Have fun, and be creative. Video is huge, and QR codes are going to be huge. Sorry to all designers out there. They may not be pretty, but they’re already on the increase in the US. If you haven’t already seen them on a billboard or magazine, they look like this:20120118-000211.jpg

You can check out YouTube, and WordPress for tutorials on how to do that. (Note to self you must switch domains asap).

If you like this blog. Please don’t forget to leave a comment, or share your thoughts, (even if you don’t like it. I’d love to hear what, and why). You can also subscribe to this blog by entering your email in the top right hand side, (so you wont miss out).

I’ve got some really exciting news about to break blog readers. All will be revealed within the next two weeks!! Look forward to sharing with you soon.