Friday, September 12, 2014

Blogging basics

When I started my blog, I had no idea what I was doing, BUT, as with everything else I take on in life, I did TONS of research - the blog even got it's own spreadsheet!

Alot of other blogs told me I had 3 big decisions to make before I started:

1 - Why/what will you be blogging about?
Well! I hadn't thought this one through...The day I started this blog, I was off sick, in bed with Bronchitis. I was SO bored, lying in bed, wandering what to do to pass the time, when I had one of those little "lightbulb" moments. "I'll start a blog! It can't be that hard." So decision 1 - why/what will I be blogging about... I don't know,... baking, recipes, DIY projects, a bit of travel - just life really! I have alot to say. I was born with the gift of the gab. I can blog! Afterall mom did always say she gave birth to a mouth and I just grew onto it, and every single school teacher said I was a friendly child but I disrupted the class because all I wanted to do was chat with my friends! Yes, I have lots to talk about, so I'll start a blog about our life! Ok, so that's decided then.

2 - What will the blog be called?
Well this one was rather tricky, it had to encompass what I would be blogging about - Mainly baking, recipes and our life... after narrowing the name options down to three from about nine (3 of which were already taken! You NEED to make sure your blog name is available!!), I consulted with a few bloggers and we all preferred "Our Flavourful Life". Nice! That only took about 3 hours and umpteen visits to the thesaurus!

Damn! Who knew blogging would be so time consuming!!

3 - What blogging platform will I be using?
How will you create your blog? I knew that you could create a blog using wix, I had seen it when I made the website for my cakery, but I wasn't crazy about the appearance of the blogs. All the other blogs I read spoke about using Wordpress and Blogger. I had tried to use wordpress when I was making the cakery website, but I'm not too technically inclined, and html is rather confusing, you need some knowledge of it to use Wordpress, so that made my decision to use blogger a swift one.

So there I had made my three big decisions, I was ready to tell the world our story, and so the fun began.

I'm still very new to blogging, but in the short time that I have been blogging I can tell you a few things that I love about using the Blogger platform:
  • It time stamps and dates the posts when you publish them, this way you can see when your blog traffic increases in relation to the time (and day) the post was published.
  • You can see how many views your blog has received in a day, week, month etc.
  • You can see which posts were viewed and which countries your readers are from.
  • You can customise the blog to look however you like, there are alot of templates available for download or purchase on which to base your blog.
  • You can link up to all of your social networking sites and you can make your posts pinable.
  • Its easy to use and there's lots of online advice and tips for when you get a little stuck!
  • With a little bit of html knowledge (or a hubby with lots of html knowledge), you can make alterations to the layout of the template and the html code to have a blog that looks exactly how you want it.
  • You can export your blog and back it up! Better safe than sorry, right!
  • It's easy to insert pictures, links, videos and lists into your posts. 
  • It has spell check - this is great, I'm a rather fast typer and often switch letters around so this is a godsend for me!
This is not an extensive list, I could carry on, but I'm sure you get the picture!

As a side note I would like to say a few things:
1 - Stay true to yourself and who you are, remember why you wanted to blog in the first place. Don't write about things that don't interest you, even if your readers like it. You're interests and writing style are probably going to change over time, so be it! Write about things you love.
2 - If you don't have anything to blog about then don't blog. Quality over quantity!
3 - Let your personality and uniqueness shine through in your blog design and blog posts. If you're crazy, be crazy. If you're witty, be witty. If you're bitchy, keep it to a minimum, nobody likes a bitch. Jokes! Be a bitch, if people don't like it then they shouldn't be reading your blog.
4 - Who cares if your photos are not taken with a dslr? Chances are you're doing the best with what you have. After all, I have never seen a camera that can take a good photo without the photographer.

It's almost 3 months later and the focus of my blog will soon shift slightly, when we move I'll also be using the blog to keep our family and friends back home up to date on our weekly shenanigans as we continue on this adventure called life!

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