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twirling pages

how to start a blog

i’ve gotten asked this question (how do i start a blog?) numerous times and in many different ways (emails, tumblr asks, etc), so i thought it’d be best if create a blog post to direct people to. (i’ve been meaning to write this post for ages.) i’m actually not the most qualified person to ask, but OH WELL. but anyway, here’s my guide to starting a blog. (WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE.)

step one: decide what you want to blog about.

before you begin, you should know what it is you want to blog about. it’s fine to have random posts about life and fashion and books and fitness and BASICALLY EVERYTHING, but it’d also very messy. you probably wouldn’t have many readers because not everyone is interested in everything you’re interested in. you would also feel confused about your content because you have no clear focus. for me, i’m blogging about literature and life.

step two: choose a blogging platform

when making this choice, you must figure out where you want to go with your blog. do you intend to SERIOUSLY blog for at least a few years? is it just something where you want to drop by every so often with a few posts? are you not sure where this is going? here are some popular blogging platforms people usually use. you should look into the pros and cons of each when deciding which one to use. you should make this decision based on what you need, so think carefully!

  • wordpress self-hosted (more for serious bloggers, more freedom, but paying monthly)
  • wordpress.com (limited flexibility, but easier to switch to wp self-hosted in the future)
  • blogger (customizable theme, but i’ve never tried it personally)
  • tumblr (tumblr blogging is different from blogging blogging)
  • squarespace (no idea)
  • weebly (no idea, either)

step three: name your blog

i’ve gotten asked a few times on how to choose a blog name. it’s actually a fairly time-consuming and difficult process to find the ~perfect name~. (in fact, i think i could dedicate an entire blog post on this topic, but i’m just going to condense it.) choosing a blog name is kind of like choosing your own name, so choose wisely. most of the time, people in the blogging community will probably know your blog name before your blog. in a way, you’re signing a contract with this name and there’s no going back. of course, you can change your name, but it wouldn’t recommend changing your name every other week – especially when you’re just starting out.

things to consider when thinking of a blog name:

  • don’t make it too long; one to three words is good.
  • try to make it memorable; generic names are not the best (ex: booklover101)
  • make sure no one else has the name!
  • try to incorporate what it is you’re blogging about (ex: twirling PAGES because i book blog)
  • you can also incorporate something personal (ex: TWIRLING pages since i also dance ballet)
  • create a list of related words and mix & match for ideas
  • or think of popular says and recreate them your own way
  • any type of word play usually makes the name stand out more.
  • avoid too many symbols or numbers (ex: bookworm1234567890 is not ideal)
  • write all possible blog name ideas down! you could change/combine some ideas together in the future.

step four: make it happen!

this is when you go out and MAKE YOUR BLOG. you’ve decided on all the things you need to decide on; you know what you’re doing, so just do it! in this process, you’ll also choose (or make) a blog theme, but that really depends on what platform you choose, how flexible it is, etc., so i’m not going to go into detail about that. make your blog, write your first post, add pictures, click publish, and TA-DA! you have a blog.

step five: connect with others

i’d start off by creating a new email account with your blog name. it’s easier to categorize things (like all your blogging stuff is in one place) and it’s more professional and convenient when you contact companies in the future. (even if you don’t plan on contacting them, it’s safe to have because… you never know.) after that, you can go out and make new social media accounts under your name and blog name. even if you’re comfortable with sharing your blog with your IRL friends, i still find it better to having separate accounts. your blog is also a brand, so it’s better not to mix up the promo posts (CHECK OUT MY LATEST BLOG POST!) with the personal ones (my dog is so adorable!). however, you can still feel free to share personal stuff on your blog’s social media. the difference with this is that your followers are also expecting “promo posts” as to your IRL friends on the personal account that might find you “spammy.” the audience is different. my favorite blogging social medias are twitter, instagram, and tumblr! but i know others use facebook and pinterest as well. aside from social media, visit other blogs who are talking about the same/similar topics as you. comment on those posts (people LOVE comments) and get your blog out there.

i hope this post was helpful for those who are thinking about joining the bandwagon! for those who are already blogging, when did you start your blog? let me know in the comments!

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a twenty-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer or practicing yoga. she currently resides in los angeles, california.