Beginner's Guide: How to Start a Blog

Starting a blog can be a super fun, but super stressful thing.


When I first started the Extra Blog, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I knew how to put together a website due to my college internship (working at a PR firm, I learned how to do web development), but no clue what SEO really MEANT, what meta data did, how important (and legally required) a Privacy Policy is, etc.


The more I did, and the more I learned, the more I figured out I DIDN'T actually know.


Whoops.


But, I've been running the Extra Blog for over a year now and have learned SO much and have done the research on pretty much every aspect of building a blog. Lucky for you, I took notes along the way and put together this beginner's guide to starting a blog.



Quick Intro

Taylor is a practicing attorney who helps women life their best damn life by helping women legally setup their businesses and become their own boss. Not only does Taylor co-own her law firm with her husband, she is also an attorney blogger, running her own blog (theExtraBlog.com) as well.


@theExtraBusiness shares daily small business advice and legal tips and tricks AND all the month of September she’ll be sharing resources on how to start a blog. Be sure to follow to learn how to start a blog and conduct business legally!









Before we start, it's a good idea if you download my FREE Business Starter Kit - it helps you setup any type of small business and will be a helpful addition to this Beginner's Guide.











HOW TO START A BLOG +

STARTING A BLOG RESOURCES


BLOGGING ESSENTIALS

-Ring Light

-Phone + Computer

-Camera is optional if your phone has a great camera

-Backgrounds if you do product photos

-Extra Lighting

-Website

-Social Media

-CanvaPro


That’s pretty much it! None of these costs should be barriers to entry, they’re all pretty minimal. As you grow, upgrade your tools but wait until you start making money and scale accordingly.

BLOG RESOURCES

At the beginning stage of starting your blog, you should be doing tons of research and setting goals for the future success of your blog. You can read how to Research + Set Goals here.


In addition, I’ve put together (8) great beginner's blogging resources to read about blogging to get your feet wet. While you're at it, check out all of these resources for female entrepreneurs.


Another way you can conduct essential research is by studying successful blogger’s accounts who do something similar to what you want to do. Things you can pick up: popular and relevant hashtags to use and followers from commenting something topical and helpful to the reader.


Doing these things can help ensure you’re setting yourself up for success.

LOGO ADVICE

A great logo is three things:

  1. Communicates a Message

  2. Simple

  3. Unique

Be sure to get your logo in all of these formats: JPG, PNG, & a Vector File such as EPS or AI.

HOW TO BE CONSISTENT WITH DESIGN

Get a Canva Pro account ($$$) and it has a build in Brand Color Themes set to your preferred brand colors. You can even apply your brand theme to an entire template or multiple graphics. The most important two elements to repetitively use are your graphic colors and fonts.


Another way to be consistent with your brand design is to make a plan. If you plan your content out on a scheduling app, it's easier to stay on brand. Why? You aren't scrambling for a last minute photo to post, you have the time to post a graphic that is consistent with your brand.


It's also important to remember your "Why." Your vision and mission should be communicated through your branding and you should want to stick with it to establish your brand in your audiences eyes.


At the end of the day, if it's too much for you, it's worth it to invest in someone to handle it for you. Consistent and beautiful branding is worth the money when compared to inconsistent posting that confuses your messaging.

PHOTO TIPS FOR PROFESSIONAL LOOKING PHOTOS

New to taking photos and need some guidance? I did too. Taking great photos can be really hard!


But, an expensive camera isn't necessary and you don't need to spend $$$ on a new camera when you're first starting out. You can easily take great iPhone photos using a few tips and tricks!


Tips for Professional Looking Photos:

  1. Make Sure Your Lens is Clean

  2. Use Natural Lighting

  3. Shoot Away From the Sun

  4. Avoid Zooming In

  5. Use Composition to Your Advantage

  6. Take In Both Portrait + Landscape

  7. Look For Interesting Details

However, if you do have a DSLR - this is the step-by-step guide on how to use it to get the best photos. It's super comprehensive and detailed, written by a photographer.

HOW TO EDIT PHOTOS

If you’re new to editing photos, especially just on your phone, there are a few apps that will make it a LOT easier for you.


Editing Tips:

  • Check screen brightening levels prior to making edits

  • Check and adjust your photos straight lines and leveling

  • Get rid of unwanted images in the shot