The other day I ran into the ex-employee of a client of mine in the hairdressers. She and her husband are taking their young daughter to live abroad for a few months, and they want to write a blog about their experiences and adventures. So as we sat with our hair all gloopy (you didn’t think I was a natural blonde did you…) she took the opportunity to pick my brains. What to write about is pretty much going to take care of itself: she doesn’t need any help with that! What she did want to know about, was how to set up the blog, and how to drive traffic to it.
Which is when it struck me how easy it is to set up a blog these days. There are various platforms but my favourite is WordPress. I’ve used both wordpress.com and wordpress.org, and while wordpress.com is definitely the easiest and cheapest given that it doesn’t need hosting, if you want more control then it’s worth the extra effort of setting up hosting and installing wordpress.org for your blog. Because this family want to have the option of hosting adverts on their blog, I advised her to set it up using wordpress.org, since wordpress.com doesn’t allow advertising. The host for my websites is Dreamhost, and there are too many others to list here. But there are loads of free resources waiting for you on the internet to help you choose and get set up.
The next question, that of how to drive traffic to the blog, is slightly trickier. Not because it’s particularly difficult, but because there are so many ways to do it, and to do it well requires consistency and persistence. We debated a long list of ways and means, and settled on a couple of social networks as the best places to start. We thought about where their potential readers would be most likely to hang out, and we chose two of the most relevant networks for them: Facebook and Instagram. Facebook because it’s a family adventure and people come to Facebook to read about friends and family, so this seems a good fit; and Instagram because there’ll be so many interesting photo opportunities in their new home. Both platforms make it easy to direct traffic back to their blog, and again, they’re easy to set up and there are loads of free resources to help them get started and grow their following. It was fun to talk it all through, and I can’t wait to start reading about their adventures abroad.