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March 20, 2015

How to: Get Your Blog Off the Ground

So you want to share your adventures in pie baking, photos from your off-the-grid travels, or expertise in DIY beauty products with the worldnow what? With the decision to start a blog comes a wave of questions: What will I call it? Should I use Tumblr or Wordpress? How will I get people (other than my mom) to follow me?! We talked to two blogging veterans, Amber Katz of Rouge18 and Amy Kim of Homey Oh My!, to get their advice for successfully getting up and posting.

Choose Your Platform

While there is a range of free blogging platforms out there, both Katz and Kim agree that Wordpress is the best for rookies. Not only is the interface easy to use, but it comes with back-end plugins to help you customize the look and feel of your site.

Refine Your Point of View

Before you hit publish on your first post, take some time to really think about your blogs focus. When you try to cover too many things, you simply can't be an expert in anything, says Katz. So instead of deciding to be a general lifestyle blogger, zero in on a specific topic like natural beauty products or DIY home goods.

Make an Editorial Calendar

Once you know what you want to write about, create a schedule to make sure you post with consistency, even if its just twice a month at first. Posting something awesome every other week is better than posting something meh once a week, says Kim. And set specific times to devote to bloggingKatz recommends two to three hours, three nights a weekotherwise you might go overboard and burn out.

Consider Your Visuals

The images you post are just as important as what you write. Blogs are increasingly visual, explains Katz. In the age of Instagram, it's not enough to write compelling content. If you dont have a nice camera, learn how to make the most out of the one on your smart phone at a weekend workshop or online tutorial. Once youve sharpened your technique, edit the photos you take with free software like PicMonkey.

Make Some Friends

Set up social media accounts for your site, follow peers in your field, and reach out to your blogger idols for advice. After you start posting, Kim recommends responding to all of the comments on your blog and social mediakeeping the conversation going (and growing) will help you build your community. And if you like [someone elses] blog or post, comment on it, share it, like it, pin it. In other words: Spread the blog love!

Photo: Homey Oh My!