How To Start a Blog

For all the prospective bloggers out there, this post is for you!

If you’re here, I’m assumuing you know a bit about the blogosphere. So, if you don’t have a blog and you’d like to get one, I’m going to tell you how to get started.

So, the very first step is deciding what platform you want to use. Evin did a post here on Blogger vs. WordPress, but there are also other platforms like Wix or Weebly. I recommend WordPress for most bloggers, so I’m going to share how to start a WordPress blog.

First, you’ll need a WordPress account. It’s super easy to set up, so I’m not going to explain how to do that.

Okay…so there should be a button that says “Add new site”

For me, it’s under my current sites, but I don’t remember where it is when you don’t have a blog. It shouldn’t be too hard to find though.

Next, you name your blog. I’m not keeping this site, so it doesn’t really matter what I call it. But you can figure out what to name your blog using this post.

Okay, so now you’re picking a domain! If your name has a string of numbers afterwards(like mine, lol), try to have something more memorable? Like, if you have Diamond’s Diary, maybe try Diary of Diamond, or Diamond’s Interesting Diary, or something…

Also, even though a .com or .org domain is awesome, if you’re just starting out, you’re probably good with a .wordpress.com domain.

Then, WordPress will prompt you to pick a theme. It really doesn’t matter what theme you pick, so just pick something random. (The LBTL Design Team would love to help with the design if you need help!)

Okay, so then your site is officially launched! That didn’t take so long, did it?

Here’s a checklist! I’ll type it here if you can’t read the image.

  • Site created
  • Name your site
  • Create a site menu
  • Choose a theme
  • Update your home page
  • Launch your site
  • Confirm email address
  • Get the WP app

Now, most of those things are pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t go into detail on those.

Well, now you have a site, so I could stop. But, I think that when you start a blog, you also need to write a post to introduce yourself to readers!

Your post should…

  • Introduce yourself
  • Share the purpose of your blog
  • Share how often you’ll post
  • And anything else you want!

Once you’re happy with your first post, hit the publish button.

Here’s the published post! Don’t worry too much about making it perfect. Blogging has a learning curve, and no one’s perfect at it. Your first few posts (or first few hundreds like me,) will look a little rough.

There is so much more to go over when it comes to blogging! It could get overwhelming, which is exactly why LTBL was started! If you have any blogging questions, flip through our archives. If you still don’t have an answer, then ask us on our advice page!

If you start a blog as a result of this post, please let me know! I’d love to check your new blog out.

Answering Questions I Had As a New Blogger

Hey guys! Welcome back to LTBL! It’s lizziegrace here!!

It seems like forever since i’ve been on here! 😂

So, i started my blog, Above the Clouds, in September. Before that I had TONS of questions, even when I started my blog it took a while to learn all (well, not all) the tips and tricks.

Right before and right after i started blogging I made a list of my questions in my blogging notebook. Today i’ll be taking a look at them and answering them! A couple of them were ideas from D. So thank you!!

1. How long does it take to design a blog?

A while! It took me about 3 days my last blog update. It depends on your theme and how long you work each day on it. You can get help here with designing.

2. How many drafts do you have at a time?

I usually have 2-4 on the WordPress site/app. I know bloggers who limit to 1 and others who have 20. It all depends on your creativity at the moment or what you like.

3. Where do you write your posts?

I actually split them up. Sometimes at night i’ll get inspiration and write it in my notebook. Then i’ll type it up on my computer the next day. The other half of the time i’ll type it onto my computer or use my phone if i don’t have access. I’ve also used Voice Memos a couple of times.

4. How long does take to write a post?

It depends on the post. On average 30-45 minutes. Sometimes it’ll be spaced out between a couple days. Other times it takes 5 minutes. Others 3 hours!

5. How often should I post?

I don’t have a schedule but i try to post 1-3 times a week. You can change it up if you’re busy or do it more often if you have more time. Tip: if you write a lot at one time try scheduling some of them for busy times. That way you don’t just disappear.

6. Do I need to open up comments?

YES! Well, no. Personally I love commenting and responding to comments. I know lots of people like to know what people say. You can also make sure you have to approve comments before they hit the blog. Tip: If you add comments make sure to check the spam. Sometimes comments with links will go there.

7. Should i have any pages besides the blog page?

An about page. As the owner of a private blog when someone requests access to my blog the first thing i do is check their about page. It’s also a good way for readers to know who you are. I also have a contact page, in case anyone wants to do a collab post or guest post. Even a giveaway. A home page is nice for looks. A blog button page is really nice to point bloggers to other bloggers (see question 12 for more about blog buttons) Tip: Contact the LTBL design team to help make those pages.

8. Should my blog be private or public?

If you are blogging for views/followers/likes/money then public. If you are blogging for fun and you don’t mind the whole world seeing you then public. Go for private and you’ll be more safe, no random people can go look at your posts. Especially if you post personalish information. Now, if it’s private you won’t get as many followers but it is much safer. I feel way safer with my blog on private. It just depends on your comfort level and what you post.

9. What category should i post in?

I can’t tell you that! You can mix it up. You can have a baking blog or a DIY blog. I’m part of this blog which is a blogger help (?? i think ??) blog. I’m also part of a devotional/faith blog. My personal blog is all over the place!

10. Should I start with a collab blog or personal one?

Starting off i’m gonna say personal. The think is, with a collab blog things can get confusing, you might not have the same limitations or theme that you would have with your personal one. I wouldn’t join a collab until you get the basics of blogging and blog for a little while. Of course, there are some people who can jump right into a collab blog. So find what’s best for you.

11. What’s a ping back?

Oh boy! A ping back is when somebody adds the link from your blog post onto one of theirs (not a reblog). In the comment section it will give a link to the ping back (basically pings it back 😂). If I didn’t explain that well enough here’s with WordPress Support says: “A pingback is a type of comment that’s created when you link to another blog post where pingbacks are enabled. The best way to think about pingbacks is as remote comments: Person A posts something on his blog. Person B posts on her own blog, linking to Person A’s post.”. WARNING: If your blog is private it will not do this. Tip: This can be useful to know which posts are popular.

12. What’s a blog button? How do i get one?

The big question! Here’s an example of a blog button:

It’s a square or circular image that has the name, tag line, and/or link of/to your blog on it. You can design it in any way. (again the design team will help you with this). A blog button is kid of like the logo of your blog. Then you ask other bloggers to “swap”. “Swapping” is where you put their blog button on your blog and they will yours on their blog. Quite simple actually. Most bloggers have a page dedicated to this but some add it onto the About page or another one.

I hope this answers some of your questions! If you have anymore you’d like answered please comment them. If i get enough then i’ll do a part 2 if not i’ll just add them into another post!

Thanks for reading everyone! Have a great day!

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Blogging Milestones

*ding! ding! ding!*

The little notification bell is ringing.
But this time, it’s not just a like,
comment, or follow.

You’ve reached a milestone!!!

WOOHOO!

Now it’s time to celebrate.
Do you need some ideas?

That’s what we’re here for!

Hey there!! Welcome back to Living the Blogging Life, the blog help website where we aspire to help YOU enjoy blogging to the fullest. We’re so glad you’re here! There’s a whole team of writers on LTBL (you can get to know us better here!), but this specific post was written by me – Maggie! Let’s check out today’s topic.

Blogging is a really fun hobby, and celebrating milestones can be exciting and awesome! It could be a follower milestone (i.e. reaching that first 100 – like Living the Blogging Life recently has!) or a like milestone.

Whatever you’ve accomplished on your blog through time, effort, and the help of others is something you can celebrate!

It’s not required, of course, but celebrating is a fun way to involve your audience, share some upbeat content, and reflect on how far you’ve come!

Not quite sure what a blog accomplishment looks like? Here’s a bullet point list with some examples!:

  • followers (10, 25, 50, 100, 200, etc.!)
  • likes (25, 50, 500, and more)
  • views (100, 250, 500, etc.)
  • your blogiversary (“blog anniversary,” which marks your blog being around for 1, 2, 3, and so on years, and you can also write about your experience blogging for one month, six months, etc.!)
  • the completion/duration of a post series (i.e. have you been sharing one type of post every Friday for four months? that’s some awesome consistency right there!)
  • a theme/design makeover (if you’ve been trying for a while to customize your blog’s look and you’ve just completed a design you’re really happy with, you can celebrate it!)
  • reaching personal blog goals (i.e. collaborating with a certain amount of bloggers, developing a weekly posting schedule and sticking to it, etc.)

Now it’s time to think about fun ways to celebrate these cool milestones! Let’s get started!

Fun Ways to Celebrate
Blogging Milestones

#1: blog party

Bloggers love interacting with new people and being part of a virtual celebration! If you’ve never hosted a blog party before, here’s a straightforward way to go about doing it:

  1. write a short post letting your followers know when the party’s going to start! Include the date and time (make sure to specify the time zone since bloggers live in different parts of the world) and share how long the party will be open
  2. share the blog party post
  3. encourage discussion in the comments of your blog party by providing an objective (i.e. introduce yourself, tell us what your blog’s about, and share your best blogging tip!)
  4. respond to comments and get to know the people who came to your party better!
  5. make sure to check your spam folder for comments that accidentally end up there
  6. when the party’s over, you can close comments on the post and update the title with the word ‘closed’

#2: a gift/helpful post for your readers

Is there a post your followers would really benefit from reading? This would be an awesome time to do it! You can do a post that helps your audience get to know you better (i.e. room tour, day in your life, what you’ve learned, etc.), a fun game/activity for them to do in the comments (i.e. would you rather, this or that, etc.), or something else that you and your readers would find special!

#3: giveaway

This is really fun, although one thing you have to think about is where the majority of your readers live. If most of your followers probably won’t be able to participate, what you can do is a digital giveaway! Here are some ideas:

  • one of your readers wins a guest post spot on your blog
  • one reader (or more!) wins getting to have their blog button/s in your sidebar for a certain amount of time
  • the winner/s get a gift from you (i.e. a custom post, special blog graphic, etc.)

#4: a question and answer session

I’ve gotten to know different bloggers so much better when they’ve hosted a q&a session on your blog! All you have to do is: write a quick post asking for readers to send you questions (in the comments or the Contact form), then you can answer the questions in your next post or in a series if you get lots of questions.

#5: a blog tour!

This is a very fun way to celebrate blogging! This concept can take a bit to understand, but once you do it’s pretty awesome. A blog tour is what a blogger does when they collaborate with other bloggers and do guest posts on their friends’ blogs over a week or so. It takes creativity, coordination, and communicating with your blog friends, but it’s SO worth it!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe thought of some ways to celebrate on your blog. Congratulations on all your blogging accomplishments! Whether you’ve been blogging for ten minutes or ten years, there are big and small goals you’re reaching every day that are worth recognition.

How do YOU celebrate your blogging milestones? Have you used any of these ideas? We’d love to hear from you!

On Living the Blogging Life, we love encouraging you to…

Maggie @ maggie’s doodles is a 20 year old girl who loves to sing, laugh, dance, and blog. She’s been blogging since 2010 and enjoys sharing what she’s learned with others!

How I Create My Featured Images

Creating graphics for your blog can be a little hard. Finding the right colors, style, and all that is very hard. (Lucky for you we have a blog design page! self promo!! 😂)

I have found an app and style that works really great! Here I am today to share with y’all how I create it all!

Oh, I should probably introduce myself! I’m lizziegrace, uhhhhhh, there’s more about me on the “About the Team” page. *laughs nervously* This is my first post on LTBL! *parties* Maggie did an amazing job finding ideas for this blog and the team has been so much fun to work with! *hugs everyone* Idk what else to say so lets get into de post!

What do i use for my featured images? I’m gonna make you go through 20 dots…

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CANVA!

I’ve been using canva for bout a year now. Although i’ve only been blogging for about 2 months!

Anyways into what I do!

  1. Pick a size

Today I’m going to be making a featured image so i chose the YouTube thumbnail template. You can use Facebook cover for this too.

2. Chose the style

I usually start completely from scratch but for the purpose of making this easier we’re gonna use a template and edit it. If you want a more complex version comment and I will do that in another post or if you want to learn how to make a blog button or some other thing. I chose this one because it’s not exactly centered around the image but it’s still on there.

3. Change the title and subtitle

Next I changed the title and subtitle. Most of the time I will change the font and color but I liked both of those for this image.

4. Change any images

I decided to go for a cake theme so i added that image. The title for this post might be something like “Bake With Me” or “How to Bake a Vanilla Cake”. i added this image from the free photo library on Canva.

5. Change background colors + behind text colors

I changed the color theme from light pink and white to dark blue and gray. To find the right color you can search on Google “hex color for light gray” copy which one you like and paste it in the color space.

6. Change object + color + position

I changed the feather into a cake to go the the whole cake theme. Then I changed the color to the same gray as the left side. then I changed the position to be completely behind everything.

7. Add your blog link

Lastly click on text and add a subheading. then paste your blog link onto that. You can turn it sideways or whatever direction looks best. I changed the color to the dark blue and changed the font to match the title font.

The final product:

And that’s it! it is very simple to create a featured image! (which is great bc i need one for every post). I would be extremely happy to help/create any blog graphics you guys need and I know the rest of the team would as well!

If you want a how to create a blog button, header image, sign off, spacer, or anything else drop a comment and I will write that post!

Have a wonderful day!

12 Easy Ways to Beat Blogger’s Block

A fresh draft has been opened. The blank template awaits your creative inspiration.

It beckons to you: “Add a title, and start writing here.”

Every fiber of your blogger being wishes to bring the next new blog post to life.

But try as you might, the blogging canvas remains blank.

Your brushes remain dry. Your paint is still unopened.

You click off from the empty draft, a subtle feeling of defeat welling up inside you. Doubt begins to kick in. Your inspiration fades away.

What do you do?

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