Reader Stewart says:
I wanted to ask how you started your blog. Did you design it yourself?
I myself am an expat thinking of starting a blog and telling my story on GringosAbroad.com so
any feedback you can offer I appreciate. We moved to Ecuador from USA last year.
Hi Reader Stewart,
Wow, thanks for your message! How is Ecuador going? I have loved moving abroad and GringosAbroad.com is a fab website, which is doing really well.
I thought I would publish my response as it may help inspire others to start their own blog. After all, if I can do it, so can you!
I didn’t have a clue how to make a blog, all I knew is that I wanted to start one. Luckily, everything is on the web, so you can simply Google everything you want to find out.
Here are some things that got me started with my site, which may help you:
Firstly, to understand what a blog actually was, I looked at others for inspiration to get kick started. I recommend you look around at other similar blogs to follow the ones you like.
My personal favourite is www.designmom.com. As you can probably tell, I used a similar style with mine, as I especially loved the clean, simple layout, use of photos etc.
2. Getting started
I stumbled upon this fantastic article, which pretty much covers all the steps through to the end: www.howtostartablog.org.
From this, I decided to host my site via Dreamhost where I paid about £50 for the year’s subscription. The design and layout is thanks to WordPress, and they make it really easy to install and get started on the content. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use WordPress as they have lots of step-by-step guides and there’s also plenty of info available on YouTube.
3. Pimping up your site
After I had my basic site set up, I wanted to add social media tabs to link my blog to my Tiwtter and Facebook accounts. Again, I needed help as I had no idea how to do this. Luckily, via my Twitter account, I got help from @2createawebsite who gave me the following link: michelleshaeffer.com
4. Knowing your audience
It’s useful to know if anyone (apart from your mum) is actually reading your blog, so I recommend adding Google Analytics to monitor your traffic. It’s a FREE service and you can find the link here.
This was invaluable advice given to me by @uzi_1
Well, that’s it. Now you know everything I do. There’s lots more things you can do with blogs, but I am happy with mine at the moment.
Maybe my readers will get in touch with their experience.