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Blog 101: How to Start, Make it Cute, & Succeed Blogging

Today’s post is all about blogging!  How to get a blog, how to make your blog pretty, and I’m also answering your blogging questions.  This is probably more than you want or need to know, but since everyone is at a different place at blogging, I thought I’d give you several fabulous resources that have helped me.

This is what I hear almost every week, “Laurie I have the best idea for a blog!  {put in explanation here}  How do I make it successful?!?”  {{insert pause expecting a magic pill}}

I’m not kidding, this happens to me all the time. {{giggle}}  I absolutely love it.  So here’s the secret to a successful blog:

Start one, blog every week day, read blogs, learn, show off your personality, blog every week day, find your niche or what makes you stand out, comment on other blogs, make friends, blog week every day.

Yep, I know you were expecting something huge and profound.  Obviously there is more to it than that – but the biggest thing is to start one and be consistent at it!

How To Get a Blog

How To Get a Blog

So if you’re wanting to start a blog there are a lot of options, but the most popular are:

  • Blogspot.com for people with basic to zero computer skills.
  • WordPress.com for people starting a blog as a business or possible business.

Customizing Your Blogspot.com Blog

Q. Hi Laurie. Not sure if you have the time to answer this question. After posting funny stories about the crazy things my three girls do on Facebook for a while, everyone is telling me to start a blog. The trouble is, I tried it last week on WordPress and it looks, well……. bad. Any *tips* you can give me on the best blog start up sites and how to make it look good?

A. Yep!  Here are several “how-to” links to customize your blog as well as several blog designers you can hire to do it for you. {{wink}}

5 Great Tips to Build a Strong Blog Design Foundation an experpt from my eBook, Mom-preneur Blog & Etsy Guide.  Since design is a foundation…  here are five great tips to help you build a stronger foundation, so that hopefully your blog or website won’t be the one that fades away.

Beautify Your Blog Series – How to’s for making a customized blog on blogspot.com from Nina at Momma Go Round. A ten part series on how to edit your blog to create a customized feel.

  1. Creating a Custom Header in Blogspot.com
  2. Choosing a Blog Layout/Template
  3. Adjusting Your Blog’s Layout/Template
  4. Removing the Blogger Navigation Bar
  5. Creating a Grab Button
  6. Create A Custom Pages Bar
  7. Centering Gadgets
  8. Create Social Media/Feed Buttons
  9. Adding A Signature
  10. Adding Fonts To Your Blog Using Blogger In Draft or Adding Fonts to Your Blog Using HTML

DIY Blog Tips to Make My Blog Pretty

Blog Designers and Free Blog Templates

Things A Blogger Should Know

Things A Blogger Should Know

Using Html Tags When Commenting – This tutorial shows bloggers how to use very basic html tags like bold, italic, ect.. when they are commenting on someone’s blog.

How to write an “about me page” for your blog – Writing an about me page is an important step in setting up your blog or website. It’s one of the first things people see when they land on your blog.

Family Blog… Public or Private? – I found an easy way to take my family blog private… WITHOUT my friends and family loosing their blog roll updates!

How to set up a custom domain with blogspot.com – A few months ago I switched from blogspot to a dot com, whateverdeedeewants.com I thought I would show you how to do it. It is super easy!

Advanced Blog Customization & Tools

DIY Custom Blog Design – Everything that you need to know to  make your own custom blog design without hiring a professional.  Scroll down to see SEO tips, photo editing tips, and more.

Mom Blog SEO eBook – 30 days to boost traffic, readers and income.

Connecting with  your community of Readers Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 – What makes some blogs meccas for loyal fans? Your readership grows when you engage your readers.  Enrich your understanding of cultivating an audience and giving back to your readers in the ways that are natural for you and that matter to them.

EVO ’10 Conference:  What I learned and who I met – I had so many light bulb moments and finally “got” several things I’ve been struggling with – like Twitter.  {{dude}}  Sometimes you just need a woman to explain it to you, to get it.

WP NoFollow Reciprocity Plugin to increase Page Rank – The NoFollow-Reciprocity plugin will also insert NoFollow code into the social icons at the buttons at the bottom of this post, such as SexyBookmarks (Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc).

Tips on Improving Your PageRank and Alexa Raking – Listed below are some of the steps MomsMaterial.com has taken to achieve these statistics in such a short time.

Thanks Ladies! These blog tips are amazing. Feel free to grab my “I was featured on Tip Junkie” blog button. You earned it! {{high fives}}

Do you have a tutorial on your blog? Feel free to share it with us! Simply leave the link to it in the comments or upload a photo to the Tip Junkie Facebook page. I adore hearing from you. {{wink}}

Tip Junkie ~ Laurie Turk

Creating Memories that Endure,

Laurie

41 comments

  1. Hi Laurie,

    The best tips on how to properly write an effective and successful blog! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is a great resource for anyone starting a blog or for a refresher course. Bookmarking it for sure! Thanks a bunch. 🙂

  3. Great post. Wealth of information. I am printing and putting in my blogging binder to reference.

    Denise
    Extreme Personal Measures

  4. I just did a Blog Idol Interview series with some fabulous bloggers like Angie at 7 Clown Circus, Mama Kat at Mama Kat’s Losin’ It, Jill at Scary Mommy and Liz at Belle, Bean & a Chicago Dog – they each had their own Words of Wisdom to share. Here’s the link to all of their interviews:

    http://www.momentsthatdefinelife.com/blog-tips-2

  5. Laurie, this is a fantantic post with so many great tips. Bookmarking to come back later and check out all the helpful links. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. This post is filled with great information. I just removed my navigaiton bar from my blog and plan on using many of the oither tips. Thanks!

  7. I have been reading blogs for about 5 years now, and just recently I left a comment on a blog about my New Years Resolutions. I said I didn’t have a fancy phone (just phone and text), didn’t have a blog, didn’t have a Facebook account, didn’t Twitter, didn’t have an MP3, IPad, e-book, or any of those cool things. And I’m electronically-challenged which is why many of those things haven’t happened. I said my New Years Resolution was to change at least one fo those things. Well, bless her heart, that blogger got in touch with me and next thing I know, we’re chatting on the phone and she’s setting me up a blog. It’s still in the testing phase, and I’m not sure if I’ll end up really “owning” a blog because I find it harder to write than I ever dreamed it would be. I feel like I’m in public with my underwear showing, and can’t imagine what I would say that others would be interested in, so I don’t post for long periods of time. Sorry – I write novels when I write, but wanted to say I’ll read through your tips and hopefully I can figure out how to ease into the blogging world and feel comfortable while doing it. dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. This is a wonderful article with a lot of useful information. I have been following your blog and just love it. I’m just starting my blog and was looking for this information. However I have one more question. When you link back to someone to give them credit for an idea you are doing, do you ask the person permission first to link back to their site or do you just do it?

    Thank you.

  9. This is so timely I can’t even begin to tell you! I just started a personal blog and have been struggling with all these things – what to blog about, how to make it pretty, how to get the word out! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. BIG thank you for putting all that info together. I really needed that. 🙂

  11. What a great resource post! I can’t wait to check all the links.
    Thanks so much for wrapping everything up in such a convenient package.

  12. Thanks for sharing all these great tips! I’ll definitely be bookmarking this post for future reference.

  13. Wow!! Thank you so much for all of this wondeful useful advice!!
    You are awesome Laurie!!!

  14. well i’m new to all this as well. I figured this can’t be as hard as it is to write a novel. I have always wanted to write a novel/story and have yet to realize this ambition ;p lol but maybe my little scrap blog will evolve into more than just scrapping. I figure if you have the talent to write this will be a cinch. Don’t think about it as the naked part but as the how many people are really going to read this anyways..maybe that way you will be come comfortable with it.

    Cvjac at att dot net

  15. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your site today! Thanks so much for the useful tips. I recently started a blog so I really needed this!

  16. Excellent information! Thank you for sharing this! Off to spiffy up my blog!

  17. OK-

    Well I am now officiall computer/blog iliterate! How do I add you to my side bar; and how do I add the “free stuff” link to my blog page?

    HELP!!!!!

    Debbie

  18. problogger.net is also a good website to learn bout blogging.

    Which other blogs do you know about?

  19. I had been thinking about starting a blog. The 101 helped me know where to get started. TipJunkie has been featured but I cant figure out buttons yet.

  20. Whoooootttt!!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Years before there was even such a word as “blogging” I presented an idea to my husband. I thought wouldn’t it be neat…..and basically I was thinking about “blogging” (but I didn’t know that’s what it was called because it didn’t exist. Sigh, another idea I should have acted on….) Anyway, here I am years later and I still have not acted on my “great idea” (although it seems everyone else in the world has :0) ) I have been seriously thinking about it though (and we all know how seriously thinking about something is exactly the same thing as doing it) and have been encouraged to get at it (even by a pretty good blogger) (she offered to help and really has but she is pretty busy blogging so…..). I have a feeling this could be a MAJOR help. Everything I wanted to know (well, a lot of everything I wanted to know) and all in one place. Thank you, thank you (did I remember to say “thank you”?). I’ll let you know when I get the “baby” up and going…after all, you’ll be a big part of the reason I was able to. Debbie

  21. Debra in Atlanta couldn’t have said it better…..my thoughts exactly, and I, too, am from the Atlanta area! Maybe it’s something in the air. Anyway, I came on the “Tip Junkie” site looking for tips on making fabric flowers. I saw the “Blog” ad and here I am. I’ve tried on and off for the past two years to blog. I love to write…..inspirational stuff and “feelings” type stuff and I’m always told I should write a book…. Am creative in so many directions can’t seem to focus….too many little talents, not enough big ONE?! Not sure, but I’m going to come back to your blog and learn to blog. Thanks for so kindly sharing. And, Debra from Atlanta, I’d love to talk (email) if you’re so inclined!?

  22. My eyes have gone all fuzzy from reading these posts but I don’t mind!

    These are some super handy tips, I’ve not been bloging long and the thought of offending anyone or doing something really stupid has been worrying me, now I feel more confident in what to do!

    Thanks so much for this Laurie, much appreciated

  23. I made the mistake of doing WordPress for my blog- while it’s totally great and I love it, it’s not for people like me that wanted CUTE as priority. I’ve had a heck of a time getting it set up. I started a blogger blog and in TEN MINUTES I had a format I really liked with a cute background and font >>facepalm<<

    Now I need to figure out if I should make the switch or not since I really don't want to *start over* but my blog layout is sooo ugly as is.

  24. Hi
    I love your site! Thanks for all the info. I hope to become successful like you! I have a few tutorials you may like to feature
    http://fivelittleladies.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/free-tutorial-how-to-make-a-baby-wrap/

    take care
    ~Lia

  25. Hi Laurie,

    I have been loving all your helpful info on how to beautify my blog! I have a question for you. I use blogger and I have different tips, crafts, and recipes for homeschooling families (or families who just want to help their kids learn in their spare time- cause we all have so much! :)) My question is, how do you create the drop down options and extra pages from your menu? Also when you post your recipes I am able to just click the link to that specific recipe instead of just going to my page. Currently my recipe page is just one big page full of recipes so people would have to scroll down all the way through to find something they would want. I would love to be able to archive them somehow so each recipe has its own url to link to. Is this possible or would I have to make some sort of upgrade to my account? Thanks so much for your help and as always i LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!

    Jessica Fuller

  26. Laurie- I was excited to see MY question in your post about blogging! However, I was horrified to see my dangling participle!!! Yes, I am an English nerd. Ha! My girls (ages 6, 3 and 1) are not the ones on Facebook. I am the one posting their crazy doings on Facebook. Didn’t want anyone to think that I don’t know my grammar rules. Ok, got that out of my system! : )

  27. Oooh (that is really a squeal, really) I am sooo excited to apply some of these tips to my blog! I’ve bookmarked this post to come back to it later, after soccer, dinner and well when my world falls asleep! I never had time as a working full time momma for the past 7 years to really invest into my blog. I’m now a SAHM and want to put more effort into it and try to make a little $$$. Can’t wait to play around with it
    Thanks Laurie

  28. Hi Laurie,
    I have been following your tips and blog for quite some time. I really enjoy sitting down in the evenings after I close my store and seeing what you have been writing. I have been considering on setting up a website and blog about how my other half comes up with great meals using no recipes. You have given me alot of ideas and incourgement (sp). I will be moving forward with my idea. Thanks a bunch.

  29. I need some help with my website/blog, I have tried a lot of different sites where you can create your own blog but for some reason I was only able to make a website with wix.com. I like it but i don’t love it 😉 If any of you have any suggestion please let me know.
    By the way, I love the recipes you all have posted on the website, they are yummy.

  30. Just getting started on my brand new Utah dining blog & you have some great tips & resources! Thanks for compiling all these….I’m bookmarking it & updating my blog as I read each article!

  31. Thank you so much for all the great tips, my blog already looks 100% better!

  32. I posted a link to your site for all the great tips you have. Thanks again!

  33. hi friend… i am new in blogging.. and i dont realy know about how i improve my blog.. will u help me plz

  34. This has been super useful! I just started my blog and am super excited to keep applying what I read on these links!

    I’m still getting started.

    TheyCallMeRich.com

  35. I am interested in blogging…have a lot to say. Like many, I assume, I am not sure how to proceed. Thanks for this helpful website.

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