Monday, April 1, 2013

How to Start a Disney Blog


First, let me say by no means am I a professional blogger or even a blogger who knows what I'm doing half of the time!  I'm just a mom who loves Disney and wants to share my love with the world and record my memories.  I have been keeping my blog, "A Disney Mom's Thoughts" for 3 years now.  Crazy how time flies.  Over those 3 years I've "met" some wonderful Disney friends through blogging and have learned a lot!  I've also met some Disney fans through my blog, twitter and Facebook page who do not blog, but have a great love of Disney.  Several times I've been asked, "How do I even start a Disney blog?"  So, I'm going to share some of my tips and thoughts with you today!

The first thing you need to do is come up with your niche- what will you focus on?  Do you want to blog about Disney parks and news?  Food and restaurants?  Disney with kids?  Disney for adults?  Movies, TV and products?  What is it about Disney that you love?  What do you want to cover in your blog?  This is one thing I did not do in the beginning!  I just started writing and blogging.  Now my blog is a Disney hodgepodge!

Next, decide on your blog title.  Check a few names online to see if it's already taken.  Then once you have your name decide if you want to use Blogger, Wordpress or another blogging platform.  Once you have your platform, you may want to consider buying the domain name.  Originally my blog's url was www.adisneymomsthoughts.blogspot.com.  Once I purchased the domain name through godaddy.com, I was able to secure www.adisneymomsthoughts.com.  Another tip, that I didn't do, is to have your email address match your blog name!  I used bgwdw71 at gmail.com for my email, but wish that I had used adisneymom or adisneymomsthoughts at gmail.com instead.

Once you have your blog name, url and email set, go on and set up your social media accounts to use to promote your blog and posts.  Again, like with the email address, choose your social media names to match your blog!  Some suggestions for social media are Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.  Other options are tumblr, youtube, flickr, google+ and linkedin.

One thing I did when I first started was make an outline of all the topics I may cover in my blog.  Think back to high school or college when you would write an outline before you started writing your report or paper.  That's what I did.  (Maybe I did learn something useful in high school!)  Some of the topics I added to my outline were planning a trip (when to go, where to stay, how to get there, tickets), packing,  travel tips, park info, extra things at WDW, hotels, restaurants, & attraction reviews, things for kids, things for adults, free things, bucket lists, and resources (books, web sites, magazines, etc).

When you have your blog up and running, start posting!  I would suggest getting a few good, solid posts in place before doing anything else.  Once you have several posts (that could keep a reader there for a few minutes reading what you have to share), start getting followers.  There are several ways to do this:

  1. Join blog hops.  There are several Disney bloggers who host Blog Hops each week.  A blog hop or a link up is when one blogger has a topic or theme for a "hop."  (S)he posts the theme along with a linky where you can  add your blog post to the list or hop.  Once you link up your post, you can visit the other blogs in the hop and comment on their posts.  Hopefully they will visit your site in return and you'll pick up a new follower.  A few Disney themed blog hops I currently participate in are Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia, Disney's Wordless Wednesday, and PINspiration
  2. Comment.  Visit other Disney blogs and comment on their posts.  When someone comments on my blog and they include their web address, I visit their page in return.  When people comment on your blog, try to respond. (I'm not the best at this because life gets in the way... :( )
  3. Guest Post.  Ask other Disney bloggers to guest post on your site.  They will write a post for your blog that you will publish.  Usually, those bloggers will post a link from their blog directing their readers to your blog to see what they wrote.  In turn, you will hopefully pick up a few new readers!
  4. Host a Giveaway.  Have a giveaway on your blog.  Pick up an extra Disney souvenir on your next trip or grab a Disney gift card on your next trip to Target.  Use rafflecopter to set up your giveaway and ask your readers to comment, follow your blog, follow your social media site or whatever you want!  This will help you gain new followers and fans.
  5. Interact.  Interact with your fans/ followers on social media and through your blog.  Encourage your followers to comment by ending your posts with a question.  On twitter or Facebook, ask questions to your followers to get them talking.  Post links back to your blog on your social media sites.  

What did I forget?  What would you add to this list for newcomers wanting to start a blog?

17 comments:

  1. 400 Miles to DisneylandApril 1, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    What a great, helpful post! Terrific tips, Beth!

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  2. Orlando Vacation RentalsApril 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Hi Beth, Great post and some invaluable advice, I think you've just about covered everything there! What advice would you give to someone who's suffering from the dreaded writer's block?

    Best wishes, Kate

    http://www.thetopvillas.com/orlando/

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  3. great question Kate!! When I suffer, I go back through old photos from past trips to spark my memory. I also look at old park maps to get ideas of what used to be. Sometimes I poll my FB or Twitter followers for ideas. I've also seen a topic covered on other blogs, then write my own take on the same topic. Hopefully these help!! :)

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  4. I want to thank you for writing this. You inspired me to finally take the plunge and start my own blog. I have been going back and forth for a few years. I have had a FB page for some time, but wanted to do something more. I have tons of ideas, but I have never done anything like this before. I can only hope that it will be half as good as yours. I love reading your articles! Again, thank you so much!
    http://www.mydisneydevotional.com

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  5. Thanks for writing this, this is a nice blog. Its provide good information.

    Botox Sunshine Coast

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  6. I'm trying to get a Disney blog up and running. I just started with Blogger. and would like to share my link if you don't mind. Also would like to know how you get the advertisements on your blog? Is that only available when you purchase your domain name? http://disneybloggingit.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for the questions! You don't have to purchase your domain name to have ads. I have lots of blogging friends who still have blogspot or worspress in their URL and have plenty of ads. One thing that a lot of advertisers ask when you apply to host their ads is how many followers, readers, etc. you have. I would suggest building up your blog with posts, readers, followers, social media numbers, etc. before seeking ads. They want to know people are visiting your blog to see their ad before accepting you to host their ad. I hope this helps. You can look at the affiliate programs for any of the ads i have on my side bar- or google blog affiliate programs.

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  7. We had just started our blog site and I wanted to thank you for all of your advice! We are now trying to figure out how to get our name out any advice or help would be great! love your site by the way :)

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  8. Thank you so much for posting this! I've just started my own Disneyland blog and have been referring to this over and over again. It's amazing how no one else has thought to give this advice. Love your site, too!

    http://disneyland4ever.weebly.com

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  9. This is great advice all around. Thanks for the inspiration!

    http://pairofears.blogspot.com/

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  10. I'm just curious. Are there any legal hoops to jump through if you use "Disney" in the title of the blog? Thanks!

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    1. Jennifer, i have not run into any problems so far! Honestly, I believe there are so many "Disney blogs" out there now who are providing free publicity for Disney, they aren't going to waste their time going after all of us!

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  11. Thank you so much for this helpful post! I just started my own Disney blog a few months ago and was really at a loss for how to gain traction. I like your point that Disney bloggers (like other bloggers) need to find a niche.

    Thanks again!

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  12. This is great info! Thank you!

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  13. Thank you for the wonderful article! I've been a long time reader of Disney blogs and finally decided to start my own. It's not so much the writing posts that worries me, but gaining traffic. Hopfully in a year or less it will be a distant concern!

    You popped up when I goggled Disney Blog link ups, and I'm so glad it did! I've done some clicking here, and I'm going to be a regular reader from now on! I just love your blog!

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    1. I'm so glad you started your own blog- I'm visiting now! It is so much fun for me and I love connecting with new bloggers. Good Luck!

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