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Blogging 101: How to Start a Review Blog

This week starts the first in a series of posts on how to start a review blog. This is one of the most asked questions that I get–almost on a daily basis–so I thought it would be great to share my knowledge right here for everyone who’s interested to read and hopefully learn from.

Many of you asked me–how to start a blog so today we’ll start with the basics–creating your blog. My blog is a Blogger blog and honestly that is all I know. It is free and easy to set up, but I will tell you that most bloggers will eventually want to switch to WordPress. I hear that it has awesome features so if you can start out on WordPress, you will be better off in the long run. If I made the switch now, I would have to transfer over 800 posts, too many images to count, videos, and much more–too much of a pain.

The first step in starting your blog is choosing whether you want to go with BloggerWordPressLivejournal,Typepad, or another type of blog. After you’ve set up your blog account, you will need to name your blog.  NAMING YOUR BLOG is very important! Keep it short, catchy, and original {as in no one else is using that name}! Also, you will need to decide whether you want to pay for your own domain. For example, Jolly Mom’s url used to be–now it is It’s shorter and much easier for your readers to remember. It also looks and sounds more “professional” to companies if you plan on reaching out and working with them. Anyhow, I highly suggest that you do get your own domain! Not only for the above reasons, but eventually you will want to and you will LOSE YOUR GOOGLE PAGE RANK when you make the switch. You will have to start from scratch with Google! I know that many of you are thinking–Google page rank?–I’ll get to that later, but for now just know that it is something that will be affected if you wait to switch to your own domain in the future. If you decided on a Blogger blog, then it will only cost $9.99 per year for your own domain–cheap, easy, and totally worth it!

The one point that I really want to get across today is that PACKAGING IS EVERYTHING. OK…of course, content matters, but if your blog is visually unappealing then most people will not stick around to read your great content. Here are things that I personally don’t like seeing on blogs–clutter, too many ads, flashy ads, and standard templates. For now, let’s just stick with the template since that will be your next step. On Blogger you will be able to choose a standard template for free–I assume that is how all blog hosts are like. In any case, whatever you do–DO NOT USE A STANDARD TEMPLATE! I know most of us, don’t want to sink a lot of money into a blog–neither did I! In the beginning I used a free customized template. You can find SO MANY wonderful templates on the web that are FREE with a simple Google search.

These sites are great in also telling you HOW to upload these templates to your blog. It really is not hard to do at all! Just follow the directions and take it one step at a time.

Once you have created your blog, then the fun starts! Now, it is all about good content, bringing readers to your blog, and connecting with your new readers. Reviews will come later–first you have to blog. Soon after, if you’re anything like me and many others you will fall in love with blogging .

Tune in next week for information on how to build traffic. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions–just leave them in the comments section.