By: Traci Kenworth
I’ve spent quite some time building websites. I started my first one back in 2009 and changed the name a few times before moving from Blogger to WordPress. Like a lot of things, it’s both easier and harder to do than you think. So, if you’ve given this blogging thing some thought, you should look into doing the following.
What Do You Call Your Site?
When you think about names for your site, try to make it something unique. Search to make sure that name is available. With Country Lane, I ran into a website by the name of Country Hill. Closer than I liked, and it seemed that they’d post blog posts similar in content to our own. We switched to another name, found no one else using it, and it started attracting an audience.
But if you’re the author, using your name or pen name is an option. I do this for two sites.
If you’re interested in another type of blog, research what you want to write about, and think of a twist on that. Sometimes writing down choices helps; ask friends which title they believe reflect your voice, or toss your favorites into a hat and draw one out. Seriously, if you liked them all, this is just as “scientific” as any other method.
How Do You Choose Your Content?
When you’re writing your content, ask yourself these questions:
- What are your interests?
- What can you bring to your audience?
- Can you attract guest writers?
Are cars your market? Talk about repairs, or bodywork, or the latest model of your favorite make. You don’t have to be an expert, just willing to learn about the subject or have some knowledge already that you can add to as time goes along. I picked things for the home, recipes, book reviews, a bit of everything. Except for cars, lol. Unless it’s the purchasing of them, I’m all in for that.
Humor and Fun, your thing? Climb up on the stage! Here’s the mike and have at it! I’m funnier on the page than in reality. I love to stir up the fun, though, and so I scout the galaxy for things to expound on in my blogs. When I hear things – bizarre, amusing, or out of the norm things, then I spin them into my humor posts. Hey, take the material where you can find it. That’s what comics do. Try not to get into the offensive, though. Bad jokes about ethnicity, religion, or gender are not appreciated.
Shoot, when I posted about “poisoned” apples, people reported me as abusive on one site. Apparently, some thought I meant real poison, I guess. Nope. Not that kind of person. But then, these same persons thought German Mustard Skillet or cartoons were offensive as well. Neither the dish nor the cartoon could even be considered mildly offensive. I was writing about the holidays – Halloween and New Year’s. I get it. Some people don’t like Halloween. Any more than others like Christmas. Or Thanksgiving. We can find something wrong with every holiday if we think about it. Does that mean we stop celebrating holidays? I hope not. Same with enjoying other countries’ cuisine.
Which Host Satisfies Your Needs?
There are a lot of hosts to choose from out there. I’d had WordPress blogs previously, and I really liked the ease of it, so I wanted to stick with something close to that. That’s when I discovered that Bluehost also supports WordPress in its paid packages. I went with a basic package through them, and I’ve was able to start monetizing my site as soon as I set it up. Of course, it’s been tough getting those first sales, but it’s picking up now. That’s with my https://www.adashofseasons.com site. My other two sites are still on WordPress.com.
Both Loleta Abi Author and Book Blogger and Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger will be updated as my goal is to grow these sites into money-making in the next few years.
Bluehost has been great with support, and believe me, I’ve used them when I’ve needed to; I’m not shy about asking for help when I need it. Sometimes there are things that bloggers can’t figure out, and they have 24/7 support, so why not put them to use?
The only other platform I’ve used has been Blogger, and they got hacked so easily I went straight back to WordPress and never got hacked there once! My WordPress sites also have the support, and they help out when necessary as well.
Which Theme is Right for Your Blog?
You can choose one of the many offered themes, or you can customize one of your own. I started mine with one of their themes, but eventually, as I got more comfortable, I went with my own themes. These don’t have to be expensive. They can be a favorite photo or something that means a lot to you.
I switch out my themes for my YA and romance site every six months to a year. Usually, I choose a scene from Pixabay or Unsplash that represents a character or story I’m working on at the moment. Currently, my YA site features the protagonist from my latest short story. My romance is a proposal for my characters. Now, over on A Dash of Seasons, I chose a pic of different seasonings.
When I’m posting a blog, I also use pics inserted in that post as well. Readers like images and like to see a hint of what you’re talking about – the weather, books, a telephone pole. As long as it somehow relates to the post, it works.
There are many free pics to choose from as well as perhaps taking pics of your own that will enhance the post. I know a lot of bloggers who get very creative with their blogs with mini images of themselves or different emblems from their books.
With this basic break-down on how to begin a website, you’re ready to start your blog. As for maintaining one, that’s a future post. A LOT of work goes into that, so be sure if you want to put up a blog, you spend time on it. It won’t grow on its own. It needs careful tending, just like a garden.
Bio: Traci Kenworth
Traci Kenworth writes all genres of YA as well as the occasional historical romance. She lives in Ohio with her son, daughter, and four cats, chasing snippets of whatever story she’s working on at the time.
She has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Writing saved her during a dark period in her life.
She is forever grateful to God for this way out of the darkness and into the light. That’s the type of hero/heroine she writes about, survivors and those they love. Her writings show others a way back when they think everything is lost.
Her character’s stories give the reader that most welcome gift – hope. Some other things she enjoys: genealogy, riding horseback, and, of course, reading.
Follow Traci on her adventures of getting published.
Find out what Traci is up to on Where Genres Collide Traci Kenworth YA Author & Book Blogger
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
Don’t have your site ready but want exposure for your writing? Then consider a guest post at Two Drops of Ink. We publish poetry, prose, and problem-solving posts for bloggers and writer. Already have your site? Then a guest post will give you links back to your site. Great PR.