10 Things To Do In Your First Six Months Of Blogging
Want To Get Your Blog Off The Ground?
Whether you blog as a hobby or want to turn it into a business, then these tips will help get your blog off the ground and get you noticed by the right people. A lot of us want to have a successful blog that brings in thousands of views each month, sells lots of affiliate products or your own products and services, and connects you to people all over the world.
Personally I am trying to turn my blog into a full-time business, which is no easy feat!
When you first get into the world of blogging, it can be so overwhelming. There are thousands of posts, courses and videos with advice, tips and walk-throughs to help you, and knowing what to do first can be a nightmare! We all want to do the best things to really boost our blog and get it out there, but knowing what to choose and which way to turn isn’t always that simple.
I decided to create a guide of the ten things you need to do in your first six months of blogging. These are the things that I’ve discovered during my first six months of running All In My Head, and have implemented myself. I’ve learnt them from trial and error and working out the things that work and the things that don’t.
But don’t forget, we all have to learn and we all make mistakes along the way. It’s okay to get things wrong, to try things out and to experiment. There isn’t a definite way of doing things in relation to blogging and you should always give things a go! There’s no harm in trying!
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
*This post may contain affiliate links. It means if you purchase using them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! Please read my full disclosure policy for more info.*
1. Get A Good Hosting Company
If you want to turn your blog into a business, then you are going to need to become self-hosted. I explain this in more detail in my post how to start a profitable blog.
Being self-hosted gives you the freedom to do what you like with your blog and get the maximum results from your business.
I recently made the switch across to SiteGround, and have been extremely impressed. My blog loads soo much quicker than I expected, even though I’ve read from so many pro-bloggers that it would! They were also absolutely amazing – they transferred my blog across from my old host in a few hours, and made it so simple. I only had to change my DNS names and that was literally a two second job.
You can check out SiteGround, and grab hosting from just £2.75! >> SiteGround Hosting Plans
2. Choose A Beautiful, Customisable Theme
To begin with, you will most likely have chosen a free theme. I certainly did when I started All In My Head. But as time goes on, and you want to make a stunning website, then you are going to need to buy a premium theme. You can get all sorts of amazing ones online, although be careful about where you buy them from.
Not all themes are made equal. I was getting errors in my code in my old one, and could no longer contact the author, so I updated it.
I bought my new theme from the Creative Market. I recently completely re-branded All In My Head, and it was the best thing I could have done for my blog and my business at this point in it’s journey.
If you need help getting set up with a theme, you can read my full tutorial to get you sorted!
3. Choose An Email Service Provider
To run your blog as a business you will need to collect email addresses. It’s a huge part of becoming successful and something you should start doing right away. Getting your first email subscriber can be a daunting task, but it’s well worth it in the long run!
I use Mailerlite, and have been nothing but impressed with them. It’s completely free for the first 1000 unique subscribers, and there are so many great features that you don’t get for free on most of the other platforms.
You can create beautiful signup forms, landing pages and pop ups for help capture email addresses. I’ve created this handy sheet for what to send your email subscribers once you’ve got them on your list, which will help those pre-email jitters!
4. Social Media Icons
An obvious one, perhaps, but people often forget to include these on their site! Make sure that they are displayed prominently on your homepage and anywhere else you see fit such as your sidebar.
I have mine displayed on my homepage, at the top of my site. Having your social links on your site will help any potential brands and collaborators easily see and connect with you. They can check your followers and your social presence with ease and this is exactly what you want!
5. Logo & Header
If you are looking to turn your blog into a business, then you definitely going to need a logo. It really helps you stand out and set yourself apart. It also becomes what you are recognised for, and becomes part of your brand. You can pay to have a logo made up for you, or you can create one yourself.
A great tool for creating any kind of graphics is Canva. I use Canva all the time, as they have so many amazing tools that you can use to create beautiful images. There is more information in my post about the 5 resources every blogger needs.
I created mine using Canva, and I am very happy with it now. It looks pretty and distinctive, and I love the minimalist design.
6. Branding – Fonts & Colour Theme
To create the full ensemble of having your own personal brand, you need to create a font set and colour theme that connects to your site. Use it for everything – your blog, your social media, and any other elements of your business.
It makes such a difference in how cohesive your blog looks and how you come across as a brand. Settle on a set and write them down somewhere so that you don’t forget, and you can use them across anything you create.
Take some time and go through all of your content and make sure that everything matches. This can take some time, and is still in progress after the recent re-branding for AIMH. But it’s well worth the hard work once it’s done.
7. An Affiliate Marketing System
Certainly, if you are looking to make money from your blog, then using affiliate marketing is a great way. It’s a passive form of income that you can earn money from without having to sell your own products or services. Personally I think it is a great way to add a form of income to your blog.
I use a couple of different networks for All In My Head, depending on what I’m talking about. I also have a free different products that I am affililiated with because I use them on my blog [such as SiteGround].
For the retail products that come from brands, I have two different options. I use Amazon Associates, which is obviously for any products that are on Amazon, and I have Awin which I use for a lot of the beauty posts I write.
For anything blogging related, such as Tailwind, I use ShareASale. They have access to a lot of ebooks, courses, and tools that bloggers use, and are the perfect choice for any of my business, blogging, social media, or entrepreneurial content I write.
You can read more about Awin in my post here.
You can read more about ShareASale in a different post here.
8. A Scheduling System For Social Media
Once you have quite a few posts under your belt and you are trying to promote, advertise, write new content, connect with other bloggers, and generally keep up with #allthethings, it is important to use automation to help you with getting your content out there. It makes life a lot easier, and I know I’m all for making things easier for myself!
I’m currently in the first few weeks of trying out two different automated scheduling tools, and so far I have been massively impressed with what they can do.
Buffer is great for scheduling posts on Twitter and Facebook. It will help you set up the perfect times to share your posts, and will make it easier to get your content out there. You can spend a couple of hours setting up all your posts for the week and then you don’t have to worry about it!
The only thing I would advise is to be careful when using it with Instagram, as I’ve heard it can lead to you being shadowbanned.
Tailwind is used in conjunction with Pinterest. It’s an official partner of Pinterest, which is a great thing because it means they are happy for you to use it with their platform!
You can set up a schedule of all your Pinterest graphics, and external images from other people. Just download the Tailwind chrome extension and you can schedule anything you like directly into your own Pinterest account.
As you can see, it has created me a schedule based on the best times that Pinterest sees the engagement for my pins. You can however, use the clock icon to add or remove time slots based on your own personal preference.
Sign up to Tailwind with my link here and get your first month of the Plus plan free worth $15! I use the Plus plan to ensure I can post as much as I need to actively grow my traffic.
Using these kinds of scheduling tools will take hours off your daily to-do list and give you the time to concentrate on other important elements, such as creating content! You can read more about the subscriptions I use, to give yourself an idea of the expenses I pay out to run AIMH.
9. A Media Kit
A media kit is basically a CV for your blog. It is full of really useful information that you would want to share with a brand or collaborator should the opportunity arise. You can also send it to brands yourself with a friendly email. You can go and reach out for opportunities!
I have written a full post on how to create the perfect media kit, which gives a lot more detail on what to include and how to set it up.
Basically you need to showcase who you are, what you blog about, your stats and the opportunities you offer.
10. Your Own Product/Service To Sell
Whilst selling affiliate marketing products can be amazing for your blog, and bring in significant income, it’s always best to have some form of product or service that you sell that is completely your own.
It gives you the freedom and the ownership of your products, and you have complete control of what happens with them. If you want to change them, reduce the prices, add new items or take your business in a completely different direction then you’re free to do whatever you want!
This is a relatively new venture for me but one that I am very excited about! I offer Blogging Consultancy services for people who are wanting to start a blog or have just started one, and need some help with setting up certain elements of their site. I also help those who currently have a live blog but are stuck in a rut and are struggling to get out of it.
It could be that you need help with social media management. Or you want someone to help design you a logo. It could be that you need someone to help you direct traffic to your site.
I wanted to create a system where people can get help with their own site, rather than using generic tips that may or may not relate to their site and their vision.
Courses can be amazing, and I’ve used some myself – such as the Jenna Kutcher Pinterest Lab – and they can give you so much useful information. I’ve implemented a lot of the tips from Jenna Kutcher’s course, and they have definitely helped me increase my reach on Pinterest.
However, I like the idea of being able to give people specific advice that relates to their site, and their dreams. I want to be able to give people the advice that they really need. Or on that one specific area that is frustrating them the most!
If you are interested in the Blogging Consultancy Service and would like more information, please go to the AIMH Blogging Consultancy page.
I also offer my services as a freelance writer. If people are looking for a writer for a blog post, or a copywriter for their new landing page, they can hire me to write it for them!
By using the skills I already have from creating content for my own website, I can earn money and help grow my business. It’s important to me to use as many of my skills and experiences as actively as possible!
If you would like more info on the services I can provide, check out my freelance page here.
I hope you have found this post useful and informative. If you have any questions or need help with anything, then please let me know! I am here to help my fellow bloggers and entrepreneurs, and love to give you the support I can.