So you’ve picked out your username, pin pointed your niche, set up your social channels and you’re out practising your creative skills regularly. Great, go you! 80 percent of people who have dreamed of being an Influencer never get this far! You’re in the game!
This is a business now, and you must treat it with all the seriousness that comes with it. Content creation calls for consistency. Pick a time share content and decide how many times per week you can repeat this. Especially at the beginning a minimum of 3 times a week is recommended, more is even better. Quantity must be met with quality however. A great following is built when people know, expect and look forward to the content you create. So a consistent style, posting frequency and quality level needs to be maintained. Download the free versions of apps that help you plan your social feeds ahead of time. This is crucial for two reasons. Its allows you to create content in batches when you have a lot of time, and secondly it allows you plan how your visual content will look best presented together.
Ultimately your content and the valuable audience you will have worked so hard to grow is perilous at the whims of the social platform they are contained within. A website gives you a base that you own, and traffic there is worth its metaphorical weight in gold. Use your social media accounts to drive traffic towards your website. We’ll go into how in more detail later, but for now we’ll talk about the basics of establishing your own blogging website. WordPress is the leader in free websites, and in a pinch a free WordPress website is fine, but ultimately a ‘self hosted’ website will allow you a more appropriate place to grow your brand as your career comes to realisation. A self hosted websites main benefit is your own domain name eg www.alifemorelovely.com as opposed to a free WordPress (or similar platform) which will have a domain name that looks more like www.alifemorelovely.wordpress.com To make matters a little more complicated, WordPress also offer lots of helpful products for self hosted websites such as ‘themes’, which are a kind of template for the way a website will look. If you haven’t got the skills to design your own website or the budget to hire a web designer a theme is a great alternative that allows you to take advantage of the benefits of self hosting. Some of these themes are free, some you have to pay for, they can be browsed here. Other companies offer themes too but WordPress are the market leader and offer by far the biggest selection to choose from.
Free Blogging Website
If you choose to go the free WordPress route, the set up is very simply even for someone with absolutely no experience and includes a step by step walk through. Congrats in advance on your new blog! You can get started here.
Self Hosted Blog
If you choose the self hosted route you must now decide weather to design it yourself (if you are skilled in web development), hire a web designer (expect prices to start at around £500, I recommend alate.com, they built mine) or use a theme, which is a very simple and affordable option.
If you are going to use a theme you will first need to buy your own domain, expect to pay around £10. You can often also pay a further small amount for privacy protection, to keep your details private from anyone who might want to search for the owner of the domain. The suffix of the domain, eg .com or .co.uk is important, a .com is the most popular and appeals to a global audience. A domain cannot be purchased ‘forever’. You must pay again every year. Some popular domain purchasing websites are listed below.
Once you have purchased your domain you will need to buy hosting. Hosting is in very simple terms a service that projects your website onto the internet. It must be paid for either monthly or yearly. Expect to pay anywhere upwards of £50 per year. Some popular providers are listed below.
Now choose your theme. Worpress’s catalogue of themes can be found here. There is an exhaustive choose and many are free!
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, needn’t be as complicated as it sounds. In beginners terms, SEO is the art of making your website show up when someone searches Google or other search engines. Lets imagine that there are only 5 websites in the world. If someone types ‘UK Travel Recoomendations’ into the Google search bar, Google will scan the 4 websites for the words ‘UK’, ‘Travel’ and ‘Recommendations’. Say Website A has the word ‘UK’ mentioned 1 time, but not ‘Travel’ or ‘Recommendations’, that website will get a score of 1. If another website, Website B has the word ‘UK, and ‘Travel’ but not ‘Recommendations, then it will get 2 points. If Website C,has the words ‘UK’, ‘Travel’ and ‘Recommendations’ it will get 3 points. Now Website D, our final website also has the words ‘UK’ , ‘Travel’ and ‘Recommendations’ mentioned, but it has each of them mentioned twice, so gets 6 points. The website with the most points, website D will be shown in top spot in Google search, with website C next, then B, then A. Google assumes that Website D is most relevant to someone searching for UK Travel Tips as its mentions those words the most.
In this example we have used ‘UK’, ‘Travel’, ‘Recommendations’ as an example of Key Words. Think what Key Words people will use when they search for a website like yours. Make a list and make sure you use those key words in the text both on your homepage and in your articles. Keywords can be singular or come in short strings. An example of some of the many Key Words someone searching for my blog might use might are:
England Travel Tips
Days Out From London
Day Trips From London
How To Be An Influencer
How To Be A Blogger
How To Be An Instagram Instagram Influencer
How To Build A Blogging Website
South West England
South West Days Out
South West Day Trips
South West England Days Out
South West England Day Trips
Visiting Stone Henge
……………………………………………………I could go on,and on!
If you’re new to building a blog but an old hand at social media, you’re probably thinking that SEO has very similar principles, at least in this basic example, as using hashtags, and you’d be right. Just as hashtags are words relevant to your content to help an audience find you, Key Words are the words from a search query that the search engine ( such as Google) looks for in the text on your website. But be careful, just as spamming with irrelevant keywords will get you penalised on Instagram, just using a whole bunch of irrelevant Key Words on your website will get you penalised by the search engines. Make sure to use these words naturally in your articles, in a way that actually makes sense within the sentences you are using them in! Now this is extremely simplified, there is a never ending amount to learn about SEO, and waaaay more than 4 websites on the whole internet to compete with, but you gotta start somewhere!
We will go into SEO in more depth at a later point, but now you’ve got the gist of the basics! Well done you!
Email Newsletter List
Newsletter lists are gold! Brands love to see that you have a healthy database of newsletter signs ups as a marker of an interested and engaged audience. The best way to grow an email newsletter list is to tempt views with something of value in return for their sign up. Perhaps a guide, tips or special content not available to those that haven’t signed up? Once you have a database of emails newsletter readers your weekly or monthly newsletter is a great way to prompt your audience to revisit your website and engage with your new content.
Whilst we’re on the subject, why not sign up to my newsletter for all sorts of extra juicy tips on growing your audience!