Friday, 2 January 2015

So you wanna start a blog...

So the New Year is upon us and you think what can I do to make a change? Give up booze? Take up jazzercise? Stop eating cake? Or how about being able to have a nice little hobby which you can do in your jamas whilst eating cake, having a gin and listening to jazz? (Obvs I mean Beyonce). Then blogging my friend is the perfect resolution for you! And I am going to impart some of my (limited) wisdom.

Now, I'm not one of the top ten bloggers in the world and I certainly haven't won any awards but I'm a year in, enjoying it, it's made me new friends and takes me away from watching Real Housewives of Melbourne occasionally. My blog makes me smile and sometimes? Hell actual real life people even read it. So. Here's what I did to start my little piece of the internet called 'brummymummyof2':

Where the hell do I start?
I used to (and still do) gorge on Sprinkle of Glitter so I kinda knew what I wanted my blog to be. And as I am self obsessed it was going to be all about me, me, me and my second favourite things after me. My kids (as they are mini mes)! But your thing might be fashion or photography or small tiny dogs dressed in housecoats. Whatever. I would just choose something you love as it will be a hell of a lot easier to write about. Choose a name you like. Do a little search for it on social media to check it hasn't already gone and you're off!


What the hell do I write it on?
My blog is written on the Blogger platform. But there is also another one called Wordpress. From what I can gather there are pros and cons for both. You could also go self hosted but that is beyond my IT capabilities. I did however buy a domain name which I brought quite cheaply off Go Daddy. It is then possible to have the Blogger platform that feeds through to your website. But this is not necessary to start with. There is also a Blogger app you can have on your phone and can draft on the go! Basically when you are bored to tears watching Peppa in the living room for the millionth time.

How the hell do I make it look pretty?
Trial and error. Fanny around with it. Choose a layout and background and just get it the way you like it. I like blogs with clean white backgrounds so that is what I chose for mine but for a while? I used to change it quite regularly, generally bunting has always been involved. 

What if I offend my Mum? 
I write my blog imagining at all times that my Mum, my boss are sat around with my daughter who has just turned 24 and wants to be a solicitor and they are all reading it together. If any one of those people would be remotely offended by my writing? Then I just don't put it in. Believe you me if I wrote half of the stuff I wanted to I would be an outcast. However there are ways round this 1) be anonymous a few bloggers do this and it is possible or 2) just don't give a sh*t. I give a sh*t as I work with young people and I wouldn't want to do anything to compromise that. But some of the best and most successful people in life take risks. So be yourself and say what you want! But accept the fact you may piss people off. And just don't call me fat please. 


Those first scary words
So you've decided to go on the Blogger platform, you've fiddled with it and made it look half decent, you've come to the decision you want to write about your family and that you don't really want to talk about your psychotic mother in law in a public forum. What. Do. I. Write. First? Here's my first post. It's dreadful. But? You've got to start somewhere eh! Chances are most of you read blogs so why not find a few you like and get ideas from them. This does not mean steal content. As that's like illegal? And ruddy rude. But it could give you a good idea for lengths of posts, what photos work well etc.

Two of my blog idols (who I now class as friends eek) are Hurrah for Gin and Not Another Mummy Blog. I admire Katie's creativity and bold, hilarious writing. And Alison's blog is slick, topical and stylish. She manages to write funny but also combines it with beautiful photography and bang on trends. Below is a list of other amazing blogs that you could use for your inspiration. These are just a handful of the ones I read on a weekly basis. The list could go on...:

Beautiful Photos: Mummy Daddy Me
Amazing All Rounder: Honest Mum
Stunning Writing: Mummy Says and Sisterhood and All That
Food Porn: Taming Twins
Family Life: 3 Children and It
Blogging Superstar Girl Crush Forever: Sprinkle of Glitter

Legal shizzle
I don't really use photos from any other sources bar my own camera. I have no problems with having my children on my blog. But that may not be your bag. You could always take photos of other things and not have your kids in them. But I do think photos form a large proportion of many blogs. You can source them from the Internet but you must say where you got them from. I usually just put a little link back to where it was from which is dead simple to do. But to be safe? Take your own. Most of mine are off my phone. David Bailey I ain't!

Free sh*t
OK. So some of you might think you blog and then you get automatically get free sh*t. Alas it doesn't work like that. I do get the odd free thing to review. But it took about six months to get anything and you also have to do something in return. PR people may send you for example free pens but in return you need to write a review. I always think if I get something for £25 then I really need to do £25 worth of work. So just over an hour or so. But I wouldn't worry about free sh*t when you start. That's just a happy plus if you keep it up. There are plenty of competitions on blogs though. Oh enter them. I have won some fab prizes! 


How much ruddy time does it take?
You can do as little or as much as you like. It's your blog. It's not your actual real life job. I started off writing quite a lot but now I write roughly four/five posts a week. But some bloggers write two a week. Or some write every day, sometimes twice a day! To be honest I tend to work an hour on the blog in the morning before the kiddos awake, an hour or so each evening plus one afternoon on the weekend. On top of this I am constantly on social media (obvs bar when I work). But this is my hobby, I love it, it makes me happy, it relaxes me so I don't mind spending my 'me' time doing it. I turn my phone off at 8pm. If it was a ball ache? I wouldn't bother.

The joy that is social media
Along with my blog I have a Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Google + account all in my blog's name. As well as a Facebook like page. All of the posts I write are promoted on these. I interact with hundreds of people on a daily basis. Some social media platforms? Are more successful. I love Twitter and Facebook and it works well for me. So does Instagram. I am utterly crap at Pinterest. And Google + baffles me. But that's OK as I am not Madonna. I am also not a blogging sensation. I am a chubby woman just writing a bit about my family. However I LOVE YOUTUBE! And my YouTube channel has barely any subscribers (subscribe here cough cough). But I love it. And if you love something it doesn't matter if no-one else does does it?

People be cray cray
Trolls are f*ckers. I've been called a b*tch, ho, been told my husband is an idiot, been told my kids should be took off me and so on. If you are a regular reading this then you will know how much I love my kids. But? Part of putting your life out on the internet is that you have to deal with the crazies. The world is full of them I'm afraid. But there is always a block button both on social media and on your blog. So ignore the tw*ts and rise above it. Saying that I did call a man a n*b once on Facebook and it felt sooooo good. If this scares you maybe consider being anonymous to test the waters. At first it made me cry. But now I just ignore them and think what would Beyonce do to the haterz? Well she would stroll off and do a full dance routine.


Let them juices flow
I'm sorry I have no tips about what to write or how to write it. I just write as I speak. If I was speaking about blogging to you it would be just like this. But in brummie. A good idea to start off with is to get stuck in with some linkys. Check out this AMAZING list from fab blogger You Baby Me Mummy. She has very cleverly got all the linkys in one place for you. Some give you prompts to write about, or it could be a poetry one or even just a photo one like mine of #wickedwednesdays. But it introduces you to the blogging community and gets people actually reading, commenting and sharing your writing. Huzzah!

Give a little love
I started off 2013 reading one blog. I now read roughly 50 a week. And I love it. I love nosing in peoples lives and I love seeing what my new friends are up to. Some posts make me p*ss myself like this one from Wife Bum Student Mum or some really resonate with me like this one from Sisterhood and All That. And some make me proper, proper cry. 50 may seem like a lot? But some people read 100's and 100's. You get what you put in. If you want to remain anonymous and don't want your RL (that's Real Life) family and friends to read your blog? The only way you are going to get strangers to do it is to go and read theirs and make a connection, sometimes even a friendship, with them.

So there's the basics! Just a little taster to get you started. If you are considering writing a parenting, food or interior blog you may want to join up and have a look at the Tots100 website which has loads of things to get you going blog wise. Overall my advice is write about what you love, always remember that the internet can be read by people so maybe not the best place to say you fancy your boss and think your best mate is a cow, and most importantly it's meant to be fun! If you have any other questions please leave a comment below or ask me on my Facebook page. I've avoided any chat about stats and rankings but if you want to read my thoughts check out this post.

Good Luck Babs!

75 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention lovely. This is a FAB post you amazing person xxx

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    1. Straight back atcha you clever lady you! x

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  2. Amazing post. Both funny and insightful! X

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  3. This is a great post Brum, have shared it on Twitter as I love it so much! Everyone should blog, it's brought me so much, especially my new drinking buddies! ;) x

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    1. Ah thanks so much for tweeting it out bab. I need to think of a good nickname for you too I feel x

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  4. Great post huni! Thanks so much for the mention, very flattered to be included xxx

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    1. Mmmm well that list is kinda AMAZING! x

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  5. I would have loved to have read this, this time last year when my blog was just a thought! Great tips for newbies my love x

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    1. Ah thanks lovely! Hope it helps some people x

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  6. Such a helpful post, especially ignoring the trolls. I hope you they leave you alone now.

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    1. Fingers crossed! But I suppose you never know when they are going to lurk again! x

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  7. Fab tips here hon, and written as always with a great sense of humour. Really hope to meet you at Brit Mums this year lovely xxx

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    1. Ah thanks! I've not booked my ticket yet but would be lovely to catch up! x

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  8. Great post! I've been blogging for nearly a year & love it. There's a fantastic blogging community.

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    1. It is such a lovely community isn't it? I really love it! x

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  9. Thanks Em as always you are amazing. Will definitely be looking into the blogs you have mentioned.Think I need to make my page more princessey and dare I say it maybe even pink *oh gosh i think I just threw up a little at the thought of that*lol. Thanks again Em.
    P.s. I can't wait for #WickedWednesdays to start back up ;) xx

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    1. Ha ha ha! I love pink so it sounds fab to me! And Wicked Wednesdays is back today. HUZZAH! x

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  10. Very honest and to the point! Great post and extremely useful thanks x

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    1. Thanks lovely. Glad you found it helpful x

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  11. Very honest and funny - you've been on fire with the great posts the past few days!

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    1. Ah thank you lovely. Must have been something in the mince pies! x

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  12. Great post and really helpful, thanks BMO2 x

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  13. Love this!! Been blogging for a while now but only halfheartedly and really want to make this the year of my blog!! Xx

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    1. Yay! Make this the year of the blog. You can do it! x

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  14. Aw Em I'm so flattered! Thank you for including me lovely! What a fab post too - I love how honest and refreshing you are about it all. All the stuff that matters is here - well done you for leaving out the other bits. Hope this sparks some amazing blogs to take shape this year! You will be able to take the credit! x

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    1. Oh yes and if they make lots of money I should get a bit right? That's how it works yes? x

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  15. Really interesting & helpful read, thank you! And totes agree re Stephie Doug, LOVE her writing x

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  16. Ahhh thanks for mentioning me Em! Love it. This will be so useful to people - I wish I'd read this when I first started :)

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    1. No worries! Your blog is ace and I find it a real inspiration lovely! x

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  17. Awesome post =)
    Still feel like I am totally new to this whole blogging thing so I am going to check out these links that you have given for great blogs, I do love to discover awesome new blogs =)

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    1. Thanks! Yes go and check them out. There are some really fab ones on that list! x

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  18. Great post Em. Can't believe you manage to read 50 a week. I've got hundreds on my bloglovin' but don't get round to those once I've done linkys and some I've email subscribed to. Although planning to block in specific time a week to read more.

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    1. I do every Monday night. I sit down and read for a couple of hours. And then I just dip in and out the rest of the week. Works best for me! x

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  19. I still can't believe you are only a year in to blogging, I think your blog is fab! great advice.

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  20. Fab post lady, after blogging for four months I'm finally finding my feet, could've done with reading something like this x

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    1. It takes a whole doesn't it? But it is best just to get stuck right in! x

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  21. Fab post. Blogging IS pretty great, and so flexible as to how much time you have to put into it.

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    1. On the whole bab bar the odd bit of madness it is fab! x

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  22. Finally got to sit down to read this properly on a laptop and comment (I am useless on my phone/tablet - for a blogger I really should be better!!!) Thanks for the mention, and I think that you have really hit the nail on the head with a lot of these tips. I imagine that these tips will be really useful to new and old bloggers. xxxx

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    1. Yay! Thanks lovely. You are hilarious bab. Love you lots x

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  23. Fab post! Great advice for anyone starting out in blogging - or even someone who has been blogging for a while.

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    1. Thanks lovely lady and I love you blog as somewhere I want to get to when my children are older x

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  24. Thank you for TWO mentions (which I think means you love me) and awesome tips. I smashed through a bit blindly at the beginning so this is mega useful, especially for anyone starting. Exciting times ahead for you me thinks. Big smooch xx

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    1. And thanks for your blog for providing me with such inspiration you lovely lady x

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  25. Fab post and fab advice. I still can't believe you've only been at it a year. When I began I thought you were a PRO xx

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    1. Ah thanks bab! What a lovely thing to say x

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  26. As blogging is all new to me this post is amazing. Love reading your blog. Thank You. XX

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    1. Glad you enjoy it and glad that the post helped you lovely! x

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  27. Thabks lovely lady for including me and for your kind words. This post will help so many, giving others the confidence to start blogging. Happy New Year xx

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    1. Happy New Year to you too! And your blog is a true inspiration x

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  28. Yup, spot-on, sound advice for the newbies. My friend (I have more than 1!) is thinking about starting a blog. I've chatted to her loads about this, but I'm going to send her a link to this post now. A 'ruddy' good read, lady. Well done!! X

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    1. YES for using the word ruddy. Wahoo! hope your friend gets it going! x

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  29. A great round up of blogging. One thing I don't think people realise is just how time consuming it can get. Jeez I have had to give up teaching as I was running out of time in the day to teach!

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    1. Oh bab I hear ya. It can become a bit obsessive can't it! I have had to cut back so I don't get a divorce! x

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  30. Brilliant post, lovely! Wish I'd read it when I started, would have saved a lot of trial and error (not that I'm anywhere near there yet)! You have done so brilliantly in a year and you always crack me up with your brilliant posts! xxx

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    1. Ah thanks lovely and straight back at cha! You are hilarious and love you lots x

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  31. Thanks so much for mentioning me lovely. And this is great advice to newer bloggers too, I hope it helps people and gives them the confidence to start blogging- it's the best thing I ever did! x

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    1. Same here! I love it so much! And your blog is truly an amazing space x

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  32. I love this post, so funny and so true x

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  33. Very good advice, and great reading too! This is getting tweeted!

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  34. Great post for newbie/wannabe bloggers. :-)

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  35. Just the kick up the bum I needed. Thank you muchly! x

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