A friend of mine. We met a few years ago…at a church playgroup. My friend needed some information about blogging for a business. I wrote a lengthy reply to her. I am wordy hear me roar. My reply made me wonder if I should post my tips. I removed all the identifying references to my friend and her business. Here goes…
How to start a blog
- Check out blogger.com. You can set up a blog for your business or family.
- Blogger is free.
- The design is basic, but it would be a start. You can choose from a selection of templates. I like the 3 column format, with text in the 2nd column. You can use the sidebars for links to other sites or a listing of your favorite blogposts.
Getting serious about blog design
- Once your blog is up and running with the blogger template, you can look in to experimenting with free themes. Search for “free themes.” A free theme will give your blog design features not offered with the free blogger platform. You can insert the free theme in to your blogger blog. I am not techie…but I got it to work.
- If you get serious about blogging, you might want to hire a designer to create a custom design so that you don’t have a “free theme by XX design” in the left-hand corner of your blog.
- Blogger does not include a header. A designer can create a header for you. Remember: Your header is who you are…what you write about. When anyone comes to your blog the header should “say” what your blog is about. See the two girls pillow fighting on my blog header? The image represents that I blog mostly about raising tween and teen girls…no matter what their behavior is like!
- If you are on twitter, tweet out a request for a designer to help you. Many designers are new to the business. You may get a good deal on a design for your blog or a custom logo. A good friend — @OhMariana — asked if she could do a blog header for me. I was thrilled! I had no idea how to make a header that was more than the name of my blog. My friend not only created my header, but transferred my blog to WordPress. I owe her a great deal…she gave me the tools to brand myself!
- A designer might also help you make the transition to a more advanced platform, such as WordPress. Coding can be tricky. I have seen many a tweet from someone who has fiddled with code without knowing what they were doing.
- With a blogger blog your url will be, for instance: http://www.writingmylifeoneblogatatime.blogspot.com/ or whatever you decide to name it. This blog title was a mouthful. Imagine typing it out each time. Shortening my blog url to http://www.musingsfromme.com led me to branding myself.
- If you use your blog as a business even if your business is not a profitable one, consider creating a custom url for your blog. I played around with names, but stuck with my twitter name as my new blog domain name. “Musings from Me” is what I am thinking, writing, or dealing with.
- You can buy custom domain names (urls) at Godaddy.com. I bought http://www.musingsfromme.com/, so that no one could copy my blog name.
Does this help? Anything not clear? Let me know in the comments.