The Essentials of Blogging

THE BLOG Domain Buy a domain for your blog. A "dot com" looks far more professional plus it will make links easier and neat...

The Essentials of Blogging

THE BLOG

Domain
Buy a domain for your blog. A "dot com" looks far more professional plus it will make links easier and neater to share. Even if you already have a domain for your business, keeping the two separate means you benefit from enhanced SEO. (Please don't listen to people who say one blogging platform is "far superior" than another, all of them have their pros and cons - read up and find the right one for you.)

Mailing List
Mailing lists are golden. Mailing lists allow you to access the people who really love your blog and want to hear what you've got to say, so much so they let you into their inbox. If you intend to monetize, you need to set one up immediately. Even if you don't want to monetize, there are a whole heap of ways you can use them to reach out to your readers.

An Adequate Commenting System
If you want people to comment, don't make it hard for them. Pick a system that provides multiple sign-in options and sends notifications when a comment or response has been left.

Basic HTML Knowledge
Learn how to write posts in HTML, code links, insert images, format posts, and tweak your layout. Trust me, as someone whose job used to be making websites, learning these basics is easier (and less frustrating) than relying on someone else to do it for you.

Informative About Page
Who are you? What's your job? What do you blog about? How can we get in touch with you? Write a brief but informative about page and make sure you answer all those questions everybody always asks including links to a few of your most popular posts.

A Disclaimer
This is super important if you accept any type of PR request including sponsored content, advertising, and/or samples. Be clear, transparent, and open about your policy; honesty is always the best policy.

Google Analytics
If you're interested in seeing who is visiting you site, how many visitors your blog gets, how they're finding your content, what your most popular posts are, and who is linking to your site - Google Analytics is the best tool available although it requires patience and research to understand.

A Consistent Format
Find a format for your posts that you love and stick to it. Check your line-spacing, keep paragraphs short; make your posts as easy to read as possible.



THE CONTENT

Notebook & Pen
Ideas come whenever they feel like it, keep a notebook and pen with you wherever you go.

Digital Note Keeping
For more in-depth note taking or for when you need to work on the finer points of an idea, find a digital method that works for you; it's far easier to amend digital notes than it is written ones. I use Evernote to organise ideas, write up posts, and "clip" reference articles.

Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar provides an overview of content, helps generate post ideas and key topics, enables you to visualise content marketing, and allows easy in-process adjustments. Scheduling ahead makes it easy to stay consistent and productive with blogging.



THE EQUIPMENT

Camera
You really don't need anything fancy (especially if all you're using it for is simple shots), just something with decent specs that you feel comfortable using. I take photographs with a Canon 550d for most of my blog posts but I take a more compact Canon PowerShot out with me everywhere I go - both of which are relatively old cameras but with good specs.

Tripod & Remote
Two super useful yet inexpensive tools that every blogger should own.

Adobe Photoshop
You can have the best camera in the world but the real power is in the editing. Adobe Photoshop is expensive and can be tough to learn if you've never used it before, however, it's absolutely worth it. Other editing suites offer various tools but none are quite as extensive as Adobe Photoshop.

External Hard Drive
Back. Everything. Up. You only need to experience losing every photograph you've ever taken once to realise how stupid it is not to back files up.

You Might Also Like

65 SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  1. Really useful tips! Have a good day :)
    Hannah x
    Hanniemc.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. 100% agree. Domain name is just so inportant nowadays.

    http://splash-of-edge.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would be really interested to hear how you set up your mailing list and what how you use it. Like are there any mailing list no-no's? What's too much, what's spamming people etc etc. Obviously there may be some snazzy tips you want to keep to yourself but I would love to know anything you want to share xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Really helpful post. I guess I should really get on the domain thing.

    http://insidesai.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Emma Helen12/23/2014

    Same here! I would be really grateful for such advice as it's not really something I have any experience with. Good questions, Maddie! X

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for the advice above......although it requires me to *think* which currently I cannot do....later....with my tea...tea..helps with this process.....

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year....here's to getting fat and getting rat ars*ed!! ;)

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome advice Sophie! I definitely should get my own domain, but all of the good ones seem to be taken! x

    A Little Treat | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

    ReplyDelete
  8. A BIZILLION TIMES YES, and with caps, to the commenting system. Blogger is such a pain in the butt to comment! So I never do.

    I've been meaning to add Google Analytics but don't know how. i guess it's time to read on it. *sighs*

    ReplyDelete
  9. Everything about this post is true! Gladly I have everything :)

    http://www.hellodalli.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yasmin Kaikai12/23/2014

    Love this post... I need to get a tripod...

    http://simpleplaintruth.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely post. I started blogging properly last month, but have been collecting different tips x


    pintsizedbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  12. Brilliant and utterly useful post! I've just got myself an external hard drive and I feel a lot better, kept half expecting to lose everything on my laptop. I need to get myself a tripod and remote!

    Katrina Sophia

    ReplyDelete
  13. A tripod is been on my list for ages! I really need to invest in one. Great tips!


    adoseofjo.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is so helpful, especially the notebook idea as I am constantly having ideas and then forgetting them once I get home, Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays
    hannahcatherin.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really like your blogging tips/advice/things related with blogging. What I don't really know is this whole thing of mailing list. I'm not a professional blogger, I just have my blog as a hobby so do you use it to send emails to your readers or what's the main purpose of it? I don't want to sound rude or anything, sorry for my ignorance :s

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this post. You summarize it perfectly. Thank you very much.


    janatoldme.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. lorna williams12/23/2014

    Love the blog post! I would appreciate if you any of you would check out my own review of a pandora bracelet x

    http://dainty-confessions.blogspot.com/2014/12/pandora-bracelet.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. I totally agree with the last one. I forgot to back up my recent photos from a buffet restaurant that I was about to make a review for, then my phone broke and there's no way for me to recover the photos ever again. Lesson learned, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love this post, and how you've broken everything down into sections! My vow for next year is to become more organized with blogging so this post will make sure I stay on the right tracks. Thanks :)
    xxx
    Tasmin | Grandiose Days Blog

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love this post! Thanks for sharing all your tips :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Love this posts! You don't know how off-putting it is for me to find a nice blog that just have a bad comment system... Disqus it's my favourite by far: easy, you get notifications... the rest I've seen are just not as good for me!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Excellent advice! There is not a single thing on here that I disagree with so bravo to you for putting together a very comprehensive list!

    ReplyDelete
  23. These are great essentials. I just need to get a few more things checked off my list like a mailing list and photoshop. I have the baby version of photoshop, I have photoshop elements.

    ReplyDelete
  24. this is a really good post of essentials. Totally agree! The HTML basics is an absolute must, even though it takes forever to teach yourself... I guess I should get myself Photoshop for Xmas?

    Valentina
    http://valentinaduracinsky.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  25. gah, i need to be better at backing up.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I totally agree - a domain was probably the best thing I ever bought for my blog! It makes it look 100times more professional and neat. Besides, if you tell people your blog name in public, it's much more likely that they'll remember it if it's a .com. :)

    Elina

    Miss Blue Eyes

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love all of these ideas, they are very useful - thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Sophie, I just featured this post on my blog. I like it because you explain everything in a very simple and not overwhelming manner.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love this post and round up!
    Now I must implement some of your suggestions ;)
    Where would you suggest learning basic html?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Thank you, Holly. I would say simply online. Google, play with code; the only way to learn basic html is to get stuck in and try it. I would also recommended ALWAYS writing blog posts in html, it's the quickest way to learn the basics and it gives you more control over the format.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you so much for sharing my post, Maria :))

    ReplyDelete
  32. Glad you found it useful - thank you for reading :))

    ReplyDelete
  33. You're right, it is so much easier to remember a blog if it's a simple dot com.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm the same - I do it monthly and really, with the amount of photographs/documents I have, I should be backing up weekly..

    ReplyDelete
  35. Photoshop is amazing and I would recommend it but I would also say, if you do buy it, remember that it takes time to learn how to use it. Don't get frustrated if you find you struggle to understand it. I've been using it for years and still learn new functions.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I have never used Photoshop Elements but I have heard good things :))

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you for reading, Ashley.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Absolutely. I hate blogs that require me to log in through Google+ and give no other options. I usually don't bother responding if that commenting system is rubbish.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for reading, Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  40. I wish you all the best in 2015 - onwards and upwards :))

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ugh, it's happened to us all.. and it's instant regret.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thank you so much for reading, Jana.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I totally understand where you're coming from; I'm not a professional blogger nor do I earn money via blogging, so it feels like a mailing list is pointless.. but I would suggest thinking of it as another way to get to know your readers and to become friends with them. It's all about feeling more connect, sharing more with a smaller group of people, and expanding your reach :))

    ReplyDelete
  44. Never rely on your brain to remember an amazing idea, chances are it won't - that's the lesson I have learned the hard way! :)) Now I write everything down.

    ReplyDelete
  45. You can pick ones up super cheap and they are well worth it :))

    ReplyDelete
  46. I dump everything onto my external hard drive every month and I feel a bit safer knowing it's stored in more than one place :))

    ReplyDelete
  47. I hope this post helped and I wish you all the best with your blog :))

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thank you for reading, Yasmin

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you for reading :))

    ReplyDelete
  50. I hate most commenting systems but Disqus is awesome, it's fantastic for engaging with people.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you for reading and I hope you find a name you like soon :))

    ReplyDelete
  52. Haha, I know the feeling! :)) Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  53. It's important if you want to blog consistently :))

    ReplyDelete
  54. I might do a post on this although it might be a little boring..?


    I have two mailing lists - one for my business and one for my blog. Both are set up on Mail Chimp, which is super easy to use and manage.


    The business mailing list sends newsletters approximately twice a month and I use it to inform customers of new designs, product launches, rare sales, and when items become back in stock. The blog newsletter I use for reaching out and engaging with my readers. I don't use it that much currently but will be in the new year when I announce a project I am working on. I don't make money from my blog so I never use it to push products or sell ecourses/ebooks, etc. like a lot of bloggers do.. I'm not comfortable with any of that.


    My advice is: send newsletters once or twice a month, anything more and people start feeling spammed; don't be pushy, don't try to sell - make it more about them than about you; think about whether you would be OK with receiving the newsletters you want to send; make everything look nice.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I think so too, it's how people will remember you.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you for reading.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Even though I just use a wordpress.com dashboard to write posts?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Great post, the best thing I did this year was buy a domain name if I'd have known how simple it was to do I probably wouldn't have put it off for as long as I do. The pen and notebook thing is such a simple trick but something I often forget I always think Oh I'll remember that…then forget two seconds later definitely need to get better at jotting my ideas down x Happy New Year hope you have a good one :)

    http://www.rinicawrites.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. Awesome this is really helpful. Thanks for taking the time to type it all out! xx

    ReplyDelete
  60. thisoutlet1/04/2015

    Consistency with formatting and photographs is a great point; your photos are really lovely by the way! I'd really like to set up a mailing list too, it seems like a good idea.

    ReplyDelete
  61. This is really helpful! Never really thought about the note keeping but its so true, ideas come to you when you least expect it and then 10 minutes later they're gone again. Thank you for this post :)

    http://afraicisabelle.blogspot.ie/

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanks for the tips! I still need to buy my own domain name and understand google analytics lol. Also I want to buy a better camera that the one I already have!

    http://atouchofpink1.blogspot.ca/

    ReplyDelete
  63. Thanks so much for the tips! I love how clean and organized your photos are!
    Spokhette
    www.spokhette.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and leave a comment - I read and respond to as many as possible. Please feel free to leave a link to your blog but please do not advertise or post links to giveaways, these comments will be deleted. Thank you.



Never Miss A Post