So. You’ve been reading doll blogs for years, marveling at other blogger’s cute blog designs, glossy pictures, and creative posts. Maybe I could do something like that, you think. And here’s the answer:
Yes. You can.
I’m going to give you tips and tricks I have picked up in my three years of blogging (remember, I didn’t start out with a doll blog, I had a different one for a couple of years). Hopefully, I can give you the know-how and inspiration to hop online and create your own AG doll blog.
(You could use this tutorial for setting up any type of blog, not just AG, if you would like.)
Step 1) Get your parents’ permission. This is one of the most crucial steps in starting a blog of any kind. If you don’t have your parents’ permission, but start a blog anyway, don’t think they won’t find out. (Trust me, they will.) Creating a blog without permission will get you grounded, and your parents won’t trust you to ever have a blog, even in the future. So ask politely. If your parents say no, politely ask why. Don’t whine or beg. Are they worried you’ll run into cyberbullies or creepy guys on the Internet? Tell them that you can create a private or password-protcted blog. Are they concerned that you will spend all your time blogging? Ask them to help you set up a schedule. If they need time to think about it, give them time (without interrupting). If they still won’t agree, leave it be and ask again in a few months.
Step 2) If you got a “yes” from your parents, it’s time to pick out your blogging platform. I have only ever used WordPress, so that will of course be my recommendation. However, there are other sites such as Blogger, Weebly, TypePad . . . the list goes on and on.
Step 3) Look through and decide which plan you will use. A “plan” is basically the type of service you will get through your blogging platform. I’m not sure how it works with other platforms, but WordPress has several plans to choose from – the free plan gets you several different blog designs to pick from, a few gigabytes of storage space, etc. More expensive plans will get your more (or even unlimited storage), and hundreds more designs. Before paying for an expensive plan, ask your parents if it is okay first. You don’t need an expensive plan to blog – I have been using WordPress’ free plan for three years, and it works great.
Step 4) Pick your blog’s theme. Look through your platforms’ blog theme choices and pick the one that you think best suits your blog. Remember, you can always change your theme in the future, so don’t think you will be stuck with your chosen one forever. However, don’t change yours every week, it may annoy your followers.
Step 5) Customize your blog! This is the fun part about blogging, and the good news is, you can re-customize your blog design many times, just as you can change your theme. Set up a header picture, add widgets, etc. Make it 100% you. There are hundreds of tutorials on how to do this for your specific blogging platform on the Internet. (I may do a customization tutorial in a future blog post.)
Step 6) Now that you have set up your blog, start posting. This is harder than it sounds – but it is also a lot of fun. Get inspiration from other peoples’ blogs (however, do not copy posts/blog designs.) The great thing about AG blogging is that there are so many different types of posts you can do! Photostories, photoshoots, photoseries, craft/hair tutorials, create/participate in tags/awards, etc. You can also create something that is unique to your blog. I created The Dog Blog a few months ago, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else yet.
Step 7) Make friends while blogging. I have become really good friends with my followers – some of us even email and write letters to each other. I have mentioned this before, but friends was not something that even crossed my mind when I set up American Girls in Alaska. My previous blog was password protected, so the only people who read it were people I already knew. Start chatting in the comments on other people’s blog. You can ask someone to check out your blog, but don’t add a follow-up comment saying something like, “did you check out my blog yet?” That can be annoying. If you want to subtly invite someone to your blog, sign your comment with your name/username and underneath, add your blog’s URL. I have followed many people who have given me their URL and didn’t even ask me to check out their blog.
Step 8) Be courteous, kind and respectful. No one likes a blogger who is rude, swears, etc. You catch a lot more followers with honey than with vinegar, that’s for sure.
Step 9) Just have fun! Don’t worry about your follower count. There are bloggers who have been blogging for a year and have 40 followers, and there are bloggers who have been blogging for a year and have 300 followers. The little number on the screen means nothing. I have been blogging for eight months and I have 69 followers. Compared to other blogs, that may seem like a tiny little number, but to me, it means a lot. When I think about all the people who I have made smile while reading my blog, it makes me really happy (as sappy as that sounds.)
Did you enjoy the post? Would you like to see more blogging tutorials in the future? Do you have any tips to share? Did I completely forget something? Comment below, I would love to chat!