Months ago, I made a post on how to start a blog. If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you start there. Today, we’ll talk about the best way to blog.
These days, it seems like everyone and their mother has a blog, and that’s great. It’s even easier to share information with others, creatively express yourself, and gain income. However, with so many faces, it can be difficult to stand out and to be taken seriously. That is where this post come in. Today, I am sharing the best way to blog and 3 ways to be taken seriously as a blogger.
The Best Way to Blog
Use Powerful Words
The most important suggestion I can give to you as a blogger is to speak like you know what you’re talking about. A post riddled in “maybe” and “I think” adds too much deference and distances your position from that of an expert. Now, I understand that many of us (read: women) are socialized to portray a form of politeness that encourages conversation tactics like those, but don’t be afraid to speak power through your words. When you’re giving advice in your posts, state your points as facts. When you write fashion posts, name trends as you please. If you don’t feel sure enough to make a statement in a post, study your subject longer until you feel comfortable enough to share your point.
Data is another way to make your words count. Using numbers and real-life stories in your posts will turn your readers on to trusting you more because you’ve provided real experience. Theoretical advice is cool, but a real success story will spring me into action.
Custom Domains & Self-Hosting
When I decided that I actually wanted to be recognized as a blogger and not as a girl with a blog that I sometimes updated, the first thing I did was register my custom domain name. This summer, MayaFleming.Com was born. Having a custom domain name rather than a “.blogspot” or “.wordpress” made me feel so much more professional, and it was the best way to blog and stand out during this age.
The second big decision I made was to self-host with WordPress (.org, not .com). Previously, I used Blogger to host my blog. Though Blogger was fairly reliable, all of my content was technically owned by Google, and if they wanted to shut down my site, they could. Also, I had so much more freedom over themes and other controls through WordPress. I understand if you want to start with a free option like Blogger or WordPress.com, but let me be the first (and hopefully last) person to tell you how difficult and frustrating it is to make the inevitable switch to self-hosting. If I could go back and do it all again, I would most definitely self-host from the start.
Self hosting and domains do not have to break the bank. There are plenty of hosting options at a variety of prices. I’ve tried a few, and I would recommend HostGator to all of you. Keep in mind, if you choose to host through HostGator, I will receive a small commision, but the price you pay will remain the same. Use the code ‘MAYAFLEMING’ for 25% off your order. HostGator offers three plans at affordable prices. I would recommend the Hatchling plan to start off with since it has all the features you’ll need. You can pre-pay for as little a month or for as much as three years. I typically pay for a year at a time.
For your domain, you should go for the ‘.com’ option, as it is more professional. Before you purchase a domain, of course, you should think about whether or not you will want to rebrand later. When I bought my domain, my blog was named Maya on the Hilltop, but I knew that wasn’t a name I wanted to continue with because it would be much easier to build a brand from my own name. I’m just happy I didn’t pay for MayaontheHilltop.com only to change it later.
After you’ve purchased your plan and domain, integrating with WordPress is super simple. The site is very straightforward and takes about 0 seconds to get used to. The next move is choosing a theme, so let’s move to the next point.
Your blog design and visual elements are the things that will either entice your potential readers or make them run to the hills. When you choose a theme, choose one that has a clean design with room for you to add your own personality. An easy way to find great themes is to go to Etsy and search, “responsive WordPress themes.” Make sure you find one that is responsive because that means your blog design will translate to mobile platforms. Most of your audience will be reading on phones, so you don’t want them to miss out on your beautiful theme and have to see Trebuchet MS (no shade, but shade). My current theme is from Pipdig, and I have purchased a number of themes from them.
You also want your design to translate to your graphics. Use high-quality images for your posts and use clear, easy to read text over them. If you don’t have your own camera or are otherwise unable to produce content, there are plenty of bloggers who offer free, stock images for you to use. I love using Adobe Illustrator for my graphics, but Canva, a free, Internet program, is very easy to use, as well. Figure out what colors and fonts you want to use for your brand, and stick to those. That way you’ll start to develop a look and aesthetic that people recognize, and you’ll begin to gain credibility.
in other words…
Blogging is becoming more and more popular as the years pass, so it is important to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Posting consistent, valuable content is a great way to gain credibility and to be taken seriously, along with the 3 tips above. Believe in what you’re saying, own your platform (literally–self-host!), and share it beautifully. That is the best way to blog. Blogging is an amazing tool to share information with the world, so make them want to read it. If you ever have any questions about blogging, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram, or email me!
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