Start A Travel Blog - Day 4

Welcome back for Day 4!

You are making great progress. We are over the Day 3 hump and moving full steam ahead into Day 4. 
But first, I need to make sure you have completed these steps from Days 1, 2, and 3:

At this point you should be through these steps:
If you’ve skipped any of these steps, go back and do them first because today’s coursework builds on the previous steps.
Today, we are going to finish these steps:
  • Step 10: Write About Me page
  • ​Step 11: Write 1st blog post
  • ​Step 12: Start Your Social Media accounts
Let’s get started with Day 4!

Today we are going to talk about writing. After all, isn’t that what you do on a blog?
Writing your blog can be fun and rewarding if you choose a niche that interests you. I love to write about things that interest me, and I’m sure it comes across in my writing.
I want you to keep in mind that it may not be necessary to write in “The King’s English”…meaning a lot of writing these days is done in a style which allows your personality to shine through. Most readers want to feel a connection to you and having your own writing style will deepen that connection.
Your writing style is something that will define itself over time. Don’t worry too much about being perfect from the start, because believe me, it won’t happen. It takes time and practice to get really good at something, so the quickest way to get there is to simply get started now.

Write About Me Page

Your first writing assignment is to write your About Me page. This is a main page on your site (found in the main menu) that tells your site visitors all about you. You’ll find that this page will be one of your most popular pages on your site because your site visitors want to get to know you!

Want to see what our page looks like? Click here. ***Note: our page is quite extensive because it features our whole family. Your page doesn’t need to be as long at this stage.

Your About Me page should be an easy one. Everyone loves talking (writing) about themselves, right? Tell everyone who you are and why you are writing this blog. If you have a particular background which qualifies you to be an expert on a subject, the place to toot your own horn is here. Make sure you explain why you are doing this blog and also makes you unique.

You may want to review the section in WP Fast Launch called: Working With Site Navigation - Pages and Categories

That video will show you how to create a “page” so you can feature it on your main menu.

Write your 1st blog post

Your first blog post should be something you will remember…I wish I remember what my first post was, but I wish I did. Give it some thought… When you have a concept just run with it. Make sure to tell a story in your post. Don’t just throw up cold hard facts, instructions, or other information that is completely impersonal.
You will build an audience by letting your personality shine through. Facts can be found anywhere, but presenting the information in an entertaining or informative way is harder to find. As a blogger your challenge is always to look at something from your readers’ perspective. What would they like to know? How can I deliver information or value? If you do well at this, your following will grow quickly. If you do a poor job at this, you will always struggle.
As with any content on your site, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time it is published. It is very easy in WordPress to go back and revise posts or pages when you come up with new ideas. In fact, making changes and updates is looked upon favorably by Google and most readers.
Are you stuck on idea for your first post? Here are some ideas:
-Make another version of your About me page. You can easily adapt the content you created for your About Me page and adapt it to your first blog post. Just make sure to make some changes so you are not duplicating it exactly
-Write about how you got interested in your niche
-Write about a favorite topic within your niche
-Write a tribute to someone or something that you admire

There are endless ideas for creating blog posts. The point here is to get your feet wet with writing blog posts. You’ll find that they get much easier to do, the more you do it! Also, you’ll get a lot better the more you do it.

Note: Take a few minutes and review the video in WP Fast Launch called: How To Create A Blog Post. After watching the video, you’ll understand how to easily get your first blog post on your site.

You are getting closer to being up and running with your new blog, but you are not there yet. An important step that we need to cover is building your social media profiles.

Start your social media accounts

Having a social presence is VERY important if you are interested in becoming a successful blogger.

The more you can build your social accounts, the more traffic you will be able to drive to your blog.

Also, if you build a significant social media following, you can get paid to share solely on your social media accounts.

We like to think of social profiles as magnets for your blog. Your ideal readers for your blog are spending their time on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. You need to have an established presence where they are at, and ultimately they will be interested in visiting your blog when you share posts that appeal to them.
We recommend that you setup the following social media accounts/profiles:
  • Facebook Page
  • ​Pinterest Business Page
  • ​Twitter
  • ​Instagram account
Before you can work on building your social media accounts, you need to make sure they are setup properly. Here is some information to get your social accounts setup the right way.

Setting up your Facebook Page:

It can be a little confusing to set up a Facebook page, so here are the instructions:

Make sure you are logged into your personal Facebook account, then select Create Page (lower left margin).

Most bloggers then select Artist/Band/Public Figure, then select Blogger.

VERY IMPORTANT: Do not create a new Facebook login. Only create a page from your current Facebook account. Your Facebook friends will not see that you created this page unless you choose to share it with them. (hopefully you will)

Setting up Twitter:

Many of you have not used Twitter, but you definitely need to have a Twitter account for your blog. This is pretty much mandatory for bloggers. Not only is it a great source of traffic, but many brands will require you to share your blog posts on Twitter if you work with them on any sponsored campaigns.

If you already have a personal Twitter profile, you may use this for your blog. It is definitely recommended to add your blog information to your bio.

If you are setting up a new Twitter account, it is a fairly straightforward process. HERE ARE THE STEPS directly from Twitter.

Setting up Pinterest:

Pinterest is a great source of traffic for bloggers. For some bloggers, it will turn out to be your most important traffic source. This is especially true for Food, Travel, Fashion, DIY, and Craft bloggers.

Most people already have a personal Pinterest account established. You can either use your existing Pinterest account for your blog, or you can establish a new one.

If you choose to use your existing account for your blog, just make sure to change your profile to align with your blog.

We recommend that you setup your account as a Business Account because you will then have access to some advanced stats. If your existing account is personal, it is easy to switch to a business account. SEE THIS TUTORIAL from Pinterest.

Setting up Instagram:

Instagram is very important for bloggers. It is a great place to build a community and also build a relationship with many people that are interested in your particular niche.

Most people already have an Instagram account. At this point, you need to decide if you wish to use your existing profile for your blog, or if you would like to start an entirely new account. The choice is yours!

Just consider whether you can use your existing account as a jump start, or if you would like to keep them completely separate.

After you set up your social media accounts, you need to make sure they are complete. There is nothing worse than seeing a social profile that is missing a profile picture or a bio.

Take a note on the following:

  • Bio: Each network has their own standards for this. Write something that is catchy and descriptive and adapt it to each platform. It can be something similar to what you already have on your blog, or it can be a little different. It's great to show some personality here. Read some other bio's on that particular social media network and use the ones you like for inspiration for yours. Remember: It is never okay to copy, but it is OKAY to use a style for inspiration.
  • ​Profile Picture: Each social network has their own size requirements. Upload a photo of yourself that represents you the way that you wish to be portrayed. It is great to show some personality here too. We recommend having a photo here and not your blog logo.
  • ​Cover Photo: Again the size of this is different for each social network, but this is the large image at the top of your profile. It is normally only seen when someone goes directly to your page to view your profile.
  • Link to your Blog: Whatever you do, don't forget to add this in your bio!
After you are done creating and setting up these accounts, your homework is done for today…..woohoo!!
Day 4 Assignment Recap
Ready to keep going?
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