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How to start a blog: 10 pro tips

Want to learn how to start a blog that stands out among the thousands of others? Simply follow this expert advice.

The web, and in particular the blogosphere, is a crowded place. With so many blogs out there, it's important to make sure you know how to start a blog that stands out from the crowd in more ways than one. And the basics of a brilliant blog start with the design.

The first thing your readers see when they visit your site needs to be eye-catching and engaging. It needs to be attractive, creative, and clever. But more than that, your blog design needs to speak to your readers. It needs to tell them why you're different, what you're offering, and why they should take the time to read on.

So, do you need to know how to start a blog that will attract and enthrall? Here are seven tips that will get you started then take your offering from interesting to inspirational...

01. Choose a blogging platform

There are a huge number of templates available to you on Squarespace

There are several blogging platforms out there from traditional mainstays Blogger and Wordpress to relative upstarts Tumblr, Squarespace and Ghost – or if you're feeling bold and know your code you can create your blog from scratch. Which platform you choose will very much depend on what you're most comfortable using, how involved you want to be with the creation process, and what you plan to put on it.

The good news is that most of these platforms are either free or have a trial session so you can give it a whirl and see if it suits you.

02. Decide upon content

You want to learn how to start a blog, but do you know what you want a blog for in the first place? Blogging for the sake of blogging is pointless and you'll soon get bored and your carefully crafted site will soon be home to nothing but tumbleweed.

Sometimes it is a good idea to grab a pad and pen before you even start and jot down the types of blog posts you'd like to be publishing, and it will always be a reference point you can come back to if the ideas seem to have dried up. Only then should you move on - you know how to start a blog, now it's time to design and populate it...

03. Keep things simple

How to start a blog - simple
'Looks Like Good Design' (http://lookslikegooddesign.com/) keeps things simple, making its design stunningly effective

When creating a design blog, it can be tempting to go crazy. After all, you want your blog to stand out and people to remember you. How harmful can a rainbow of colours and a plethora of fonts be?

The answer is: very!

Keep your blog design simple. Stick to no more than three colours, and three fonts. With fonts; you need a heading, subheading and body copy font. Your main text font can then be enhanced by different weights or attributes, but keep these to a minimum.

04. Use contrasting colours

How to start a blog - colours
The design of The Fox is Black - http://www.thefoxisblack.com/ - is based on a simple black and red colour scheme

Don't go crazy, and keep to a simple colour scheme. Contrasting colours can work well in the right design. It's a good rule of thumb that your blog features a main primary colour, a shade of grey, and a colour for your call-to-action.

05. Embrace white space

How to start a blog - white space
The 'Lovely Package' blog - http://lovelypackage.com - isn't afraid to make use of white space

When finding inspiration before you create a design blog, don't be afraid of white space. On the contrary, white space can really enhance your design and keep it looking professional.

Don't be afraid to leave some parts of the design empty where it warrants it. You should also use white space as borders to help highlight key parts of the blog. Remember, sometimes less really is more.

Next page: five more blog design essentials

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