Tips on Starting a Blog

Hi Friends! When I first started blogging I got a lot of questions from friends like "What made you start blogging"  which I think I answer pretty well in my Welcome to Life After Graduation: Take Two post, but then I got a few questions of how.  So I thought I would answer them here, and give some tips of what I have learned along the way.

I first did research on different blogging platforms seeing which atheistic & feel I liked. I think I played around on the site for about 4 months before I really did anything with it.  I figured out how each paged worked, cover pages, blog pages, scheduling posts.  Learning all the in an outs of the blog.  I think this was a really important learning stage for me, because I am now able to tweak things really easily on the site if I'm unhappy and things aren't breaking on the live site.  Don't get my wrong though, I am exploring and learning new things every day. I then took a month writing content so that when I "launched" my site, aka shared it with the public, there was plenty of content for them to look at. 

Platform: I use Squarespace, the reason is because it is relativity easy to use, and their help center is phenomenal.  People usually have asked the same questions you have and the answers are very detailed and helpful.  I pay $10 for the site every month and paid $20 to buy my domain name.  Which is very important when people are searching for you site. Squarespace gives you a lot of freedom also, there are many templates but I have special coding on mine to tweak it how I want it. 

Tools:

I use Google Analytics, to get some information on my views, like what my audience is looking at, how much time they spend, bounce rates on my pages (% of people who only view one page). This has been amazing to learn how my audience navigates my site and if there are things I can do to make the user experience more enjoyable.  Google analytics can be tricky but there are a lot of videos and helpful sites.

Mailchimp is my go to for emailing.  I email my subscribers monthly to let them know of new wallpapers, posts and playlists. I see that Mailchimp is often used by larger companies.  It was super easy to use and gives you analytics on your mail campaigns.  

In a later post I will talk about my advice for blogging and social media with everything I've learned from my education, work, and personal experience. 

Let me know what your favorite sites are to use and why in the comments below or you can always email!