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:
- 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.
- 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... :( )
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?