12 Years ago i was looking for ways to improve my graphic skills and i was looking high and low over the internet trying to find some tutorials. Coming out masters in Fine Arts (Majors in paintings) with no knowledge of ANY graphic related software i was fascinated to put the paint brushes down .
I was clueless but thanks to my habit of reading lots , i digged deeper into the Adobe illustrator help section. And started drawing !.
Not long after that i wondered if there are more people looking for tutorials on graphics out there trying to learn. So i started creating tutorials by creating screenshots and thus my blog was born.
I believe that every person is expert in a field one way or another and i believe that world must know that knowledge.
Now 12 years fast forward i would like to share the knowledge of how you can start a blog for yourself too. If you ever wondered how to start a blog and the whole process seems daunting for you then this post is for you.
I will take you step by step over next series of posts showing you how to start a blog of your own , share your knowledge and ideas. Best of all I will step by step show you all the technical parts around that.
And if you are a graphic designer or illustration artist like me then you must be looking for ways to start sharing your works or showcase your portfolio or simply get some clients through your blog .
I will walk you through some of the simple steps to start off your work portfolio blog that is self hosted , and works on a wordpress engine.
Setting up your own blog / portfolio is so easy and quick ! . You can start right away and once you are finished following these simple instructions you will find your blog up and running in no time.
Starting to blog a step by step Guide
All you have to do is to follow these simple 3 steps. Lets do it!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links that i share are affiliate links , I receive a fraction of money if you purchase something from these links. I recommend these because i have myself used them and believe in the validity of them. I have been using most of these since last 12 years .
Steps to Start a Blog
1- Domain name and Hosting
3-Dressing it up.
1First and foremost we need to have a name for a our blog (Domain Name) , which is nearly the most fun filled part of the whole process . Here is how to accomplish this step.
I recommend to make a list before you google the name for your blog .Make a list of the names that you have in mind , this can either include your own name OR a name which you have picked for your business. After you have a possible list , mark out the best of best which you hope to get . Or you can try Bust a Name service It allows you to type in some key words you want to use in your domain name and suggests available combinations. Just spend some time trying around you might find the perfect name for your blog.
Now that you have found the perfect name you would want to register at ASAP. Next head on over to BlueHost Or Go-Daddy
I recommend both of these service providers as i have used them for over 12 years now and never thought of looking another way. Below is step by step showing hostmonster screen shots but the setup is pretty much the same with both of these hosting providers.
Setting up hosting with HOSTMONSTER
1) You will be presented with the button to SIGN UP NOW . click on that . Dont worry even if you don’t plan to sign up right now you can just go ahead and check the domain availability in the next coming step.
But through this link you will be getting Free domain with the hosting .
if you decide to go with Bluehost
1) Navigate to This link You’ll be re-directed to Bluehost through my affiliate link and you may get a few additional perks for signing up through my code. (Thank you for your support!) Click the big green “Get Started Now” button.
You will be presenting with a screen with some options. You can go ahead and choose starter this will be just enough for now.
Click on Select and you will be presented with a screen where you can choose to either just Purchase a Domain Name OR get a free domain name with a hosting account.
2) Make your choice ! .
TIP: If you choose to pay for multiple months that will save you a bit of cash as well.
NEXT type in the domain name you wish to have and click Next.
You will see a form and possibly a congratulation message if your preferred domain name is available. Choose the best possible price package for yourself and all the other details requested and hit submit.
This is it ! you have a domain name and if you chose for hosting you a have a free domain name and paid hosting 🙂
For a blogging platform i will recommend a wordpress installation . And with Hostmosnter the option is so easy with just a few clicks .
Now that you have signed up login to your Cpanel with your login details.
Click on the On-Click installs button under Mojo Maketplace panel.
you will be presented with a new window that is the account of Mojo MarketPlace , look for the icon of WordPress click it.
After you click WordPress you will be prompted with next page in the browser Hit Install.
Select the domain you would like to install to
and just check the following boxes to start the installation
Thats it ! you are done!
you should receive an email once you installation is complete . This email should contain the login details to your blog.
You are now a proud owner of a self hosted blog ready to publish some works or start posting.
Dress it up
There are great themes that can be really quickly downloaded and uploaded to wordpress with a few clicks and your blog will be as pretty as a dude or a lady.
My personal favorite place to purchase some themes is Theme Forest.My Current theme is Bazar theme . Just because i am an illustration artist and i dont know much of coding part i prefer to purchase the theme and just set up the site in a few minutes .
I will share with you in a next coming post how to download , and then upload a theme.
And thasts how easy it is to start a blog! . At this point you are all ready to start publishing through your blog . I would recommend that you take some time out and install a few supportive plugins that will make your life whole lot easier during the process
Like get a Editorial , decide what you will post about , How often you will post and once you are ready start posting .
If you ever have any questions about the technical side of setting up a blog or having some troubles or concerns or questions, please ask away in the comments, and we’ll try to help as best we can. No go out there and rock the blogging world!!
OR take the plunge and go right ahead explore the possibilities.
To some this will be a very basic thing but for some this is something that they really need help with , If you are someone who is new to blogging or thinking about setting up a blog ( Start a blog is very easy do it now ) or plainly want to set up a newsletter this post is for you.
For someone who is in the initial phase of doing business online setting up all these tech can be daunting and really confusing, it all seems like it is a BIG task that you need to accomplish and chances are you are putting it off to a time when you are free or when you have time in your hands. Well you are in for a treat you are going to set up a newsletter for free in just a few steps today and even have it all set up and installed in a few steps.
Here is what we are going to cover in this blog post
- Why do you really need a newsletter ?
- What do you need to do in order to get the most out of your newsletter?
- Which is the best program out there for starters and Mailchimp alternative?
- Where to get your initial subscribers?
- 3 steps you need to do before you start sharing your newsletter/
Why do you really need a newsletter ?
If you have a business online or are even blogging for fun, maybe you have an instagram account that is booming and maybe you have a facebook following or a group . You think that this is the best mode of communication with your tribe . But wait! These platforms are although the best places to get in touch with your clients or readers or community. But really you can not track how many of them are loyal to your content. How many and the other metrics like what people are clicking on and what are they most interested in . These metrics can be measured only by directing these people to your website or blog and Newsletter could be your best tool when it comes to learning more about them.
Having a newsletter means , you can send them periodic offers, product launches , News about the latest and when they forget to login to facebook you can always pop in their email account. Facebook , instagram and twitter can suddenly wake up one day to a totally new rule and maybe you get locked out or whatever way universe plays. You can loose your community .
What do you need to do in order to get the most out of your newsletter?
My top tip? frequency! yep stay connected with your audience with atleast 4 emails / month . 3 of which could be full of value and one with your offer. People connect with stories , share your life and share your struggles and also give them a chance to get specials through offers and promos .
I am guilty of not emailing much and I am also guilty of removing optins from my website because I was getting 100+ email subscribers per day, while I had no time to connect authentically with them. Authenticity is the key, my email open rate for some lists have been 50% which is considered Awesome by industry standards. This mean that people are reading your emails and connecting . AND this happens when you are sharing value rich emails.
Which is the best program out there for starters and Mailchimp alternative?
I use MailerLite other programs that I have used in the past and are free to start are
Where to get your initial subscribers?
- Best practices are to set up a list in your email client.
- offer something of value to your website or blog visitors in return of their email address
- Write 3-4 blog posts around the topic of that Value freebie
- Attach this free download to your welcome email
- insert this code on your blog in sidebar and inside all of these blog posts.
- Create atleast 3 pinterest images of these blog posts and share them in relevant groups and your profile ( here is how promote mine on autopilot )
- Write 3-4 automation emails following the download email this can be done inside Mailerlite as well.
- And done!
Now once you have created this plan of action you will continue to get consistent subscribers and they will continue to receive initial emails until your next update email send as an update.
Let me know if you need any help with this <3 I am here to help
How i use tailwind as Pinterest Scheduler to increase sales of my digital products and increase traffic to my blog
I have been listening and reading about how Pinterest is a very useful tool to increase sales and to drive traffic to your products for a while now. And I read hundreds of blog posts on the same topic too. So I started experimenting with my own account on pinterst.
I was instantly able to double my online sales ! But following and sticking to a solid posting schedule was becoming a tough task. I found out that if I use Pinterst regularly and shared my each and every content on a regular basis to my own and other group boards I was getting a spike in traffic and sales.
In case you are wondering I have a product based business on etsy where I sell Wall Stickers and Wall decals. Also I have some digital products and illustrations that I sell through this website and through etsy as well.
I admit that although I had subscribed to Tailwind for Pinterest for while but I was not fully utilizing it to its full potential and capacity. I was never a fan of various schedulers until I realized that I really need a tool to help me keep myself sane . And since I had already noticed increase in my sales through Pinterest I knew it is time to take it seriously. The very first step within your blog is to optimize your pins for greater conversion I have covered this in one of my previous posts on where I share my on blog strategy to optimize my pin you can read about it here.
Below is a screen shot from one of my pinterest profiles and this is just the current month stats.
Do keep in mind that this post contains affiliate links and in case you decide to purchase anything using my links I will get a small commission from the service provider. However trust me that I only share tools services and softwares that I have myself used and enjoyed and found also found useful.
Since I started using Tailwind I have never looked back.
I am going to share a full walk-through of how I use pinterest to get blog and shop traffic below.
After viewing my analytics and realizing that the biggest traffic driving source is pinterest , I really needed to up my game and get serious about it.
I had been using boardbooster for a while now, and I liked it to the extent that it helped me ” Pin the pins for me” but once i decided to up my game I had to play serious!
My aim was to double my sales at that time my monthly earning from my wall decal business was accumulating to around $1200. I believe that creating amazing products is very important but then after the product is created 80% of efforts should go into marketing it and placing it in front of the right audience.
And since I knew my audience was hanging out over at pinterest. I had to take my leap.
I had previously signed up for the free Tailwind trial but it was only when i signed up for the initial month ( that gave me more pins to pin) I started seeing instant results.
Here are some of the reasons why I recommend Tailwind:
- It is the only scheduler approved by Pinterest there are others like Viraltag, FriendMe+ and formerly Boardbooster, Hoostsuite but Tailwind is approved by pinterest.
- It’s only 9.99/month with the yearly plan where you will get unlimited pins.
- You get a suggested times optimized plan for your pinning schedule
- You get access to tailwind tribes
- You can create board lists and by categorizing your content you can pin them to board lists, this helps you to control the content when pinning to relevent boards.
- You can use Smart Loops to create seasonal content lists, and when the season arises you have to take no extra actions and release seasonal sales , promotions and posts on autopilot.
- Access to Analytics to better optimize your content sharing strategy this includes
- Profile performance,
- Board insights,
- Pin inspector,
- Website insight,
- organic activity
- Referral Traffic
Here are some of the reasons why Tailwind will help you gain more clients:
- With increase in more eyeballs on your product you will be able to increase sales
- You can have more traffic to your website
- You can increase subscribers and followers
- You can have tailwind set up once and then forget it.
- Your posts will get published across all media while you concentrate on creating and working on new ideas
Tailwind Strategy that I use to increase Sales:
CREATING A POSTING SCHEDULE
One of the features that tailwind provides is the optimized time slots. You can create a weekly pinning schedule where tailwind will autogenerate time slots for you that best suits you. You will be asked to choose number of pins that you want to pin daily and hit create schedule and BOOM! youve got yourself a time based plan !. All the pins that you pin will be released to pinterest whenever the next time slots allows it to. So this means that you have a total control over number of pins and frequency of the pins that you want to push through Tailwind.
This is a screenshot from my Tailwind dashboard, you can access this from under the publisher tab on the left hand side menu. You have choice to choose how many pins you would like to pin each day. The green slots are the suggested times provided and set by Tailwind. And the green dotted times are Other suggestions that I can use with just one click!.
I also have the option to add time slots manually should I choose to do so , You will find a Add time slot button on left side in order to manually add time slots.
If at any later time you decide not to post on a time slot and delete it , no worries because the pin will automatically be shifted to next available time slot.
So how do you know when is the right time to pin, it really depends upon person to person and content to content. There is nothing to loose, I personally started with pins as less as 15 and increasing my pinning keeping in view the interaction that i saw on my pins. Currently my plan includes 50 pins per day.
BOARDS LISTS AND HOW TO USE THEM
WHAT ARE GROUP BOARDS?
The best thing you can do to increase eyeballs on your products , services or blog posts is to join various group boards. There are tons of group boards on various topics. So which boards to join? look for boards that have your audience, people who are likely to interact with your content, blog post or product. If your niche audience is mom bloggers then look for group boards where they will hang out. Use PinGroupie to find some boards and send them request to be added.
HOW TO FIND AND JOIN GROUP BOARDS?
The trick is to find high quality boards. I usually measure this by looking at the number of pins, followers and number of contributors. Most of the boards either require you to send them email , join their facebook group or simply leave a comment. Usually their descriptions will mention the process.
Another way to find good group boards is by spying on your competition, see which boards they are contributing to and you can join those boards too.
Al you have to do is to go to their profile , then to their boards list and scroll down to find group boards joined by them, the group boards have a round icon with sections.
USING BOARDS LISTS IN TAILWIND
Now comes the fun part , once your profile is connected to Tailwind you will be able to create lists of boards, they can be listed and grouped in various ways. You can list them in category, by subject or by interest. I like to keep separate board lists to promote my products, and a separate list to promote my blog posts. Again you can figure this out once you have joined a few group boards and you are aware of your audience. Where they are and what they are interested in .
Creating a board list is very simple. Go to “Publish” and “Board Lists” tab, click to add a new board list and organize your boards in categories. It’s so easy to sort out your boards and it will save you so much time in the future. Whenver you are ready to pin one of your pins to multiple group boards , the board list will come on top of list and you can simply choose from there.
Tailwind will distribute this pin to all the boards keeping in view your time schedule ( explained in detail below)
SMART LOOP FEATURE
Think about all the content that you have ever created all the product listings , blog posts , items that are currently sitting idle but could be working for you , driving traffic back to your website.
Smart loops makes it easy for you to find every piece of content that you have pinned from your website and find the best performing ones . it then recirculates those pins for you at the best times for engagement over and over again , so that you can get back to doing what you love creating
You can even setup seasonal loops that will circulate only at the specific time of the year . And smart loop will keep track of every loop and pin so that you can perfect your performance over time.
How to create a new loop?
Choose the name for the loop that you are creating based on the category of the items you would like to create looop for maybe it is a list of reciepie blog posts, graphic design articles , or your products. Then decide which boards you would like to share it to? you can include the list of all the boards ranging from your own and group boards. How exciting is this!
You will be able to pull list of group boards right here with just one click, or you can choose single ones as well. This will pull groups that are either yours , from a boards list or from your joined boards.
Next you will give it a time frame confine it to just a custom time of the year or all round the year. Tailwind will pull your best content and will allow you to choose pins of your liking so that you can add them to the loop.
How can you use it to drive sales for your products?
Good question right? think about it you no longer have to worry about creating and then worrying about your products sharing all the content again, you really dont have to worry about now. Just create loops based on your products categories and then loop them up. While you are busy creating new posts, new products or simply affiliate products they will keep on looping on auto to those boards for you.
HOW TO SCHEDULE NEW PINS USING TAILWIND
You can easily install chrome extension for tailwind once installed the tailwind button will appear over the images once mouse is hovered over them.
This is really simple, easy and fun way to schedule all your blog posts, your products and your content across all the social medial platforms. When you are scheduling you can add the same pin to facebook, twitter and sharing with tribe members for additional boost. I have found Tailwind as hands down the best social media platform !
Which platform do you use? would you like to try tailwind? get a free month when you use the link provided below!
Are you an entrepreneur / biz owner who is still trying to figure out the perfect logo that speaks to your brand spirit? Or you love your logo but feel lost when it comes to other graphical aspects of your business side.
You struggle with your designer , or feel lost when it comes to designing your letterhead , product tags , social media posts , social media styling. Somehow and every time you struggle going through canva or in your computer trying to get just the right thing out?
Possibility is that you are missing one essential part of your business that is your brand styling guide.
Do you really need one?
Every Business needs a brand styling guide , be it a startup or a big name . When I started working as a designer my first mistake had been not to create my own brand styling guide. Due to this I know how it feels to be lost trying to figure out where your brand identity lies. Every aspect of your business feels like a brand new design job and nothing matches the next.
Chance are my friend you missed creating a proper brand style guide when you started your online business.
What is a Brand styling guide?
A brand styling guide includes distinct guidelines on how each and every graphical or visual aspect of your company will be handled . It is something you can always refer to when creating your online presence.
- This guide establishes rules for creating the presence of your brand online and in the market. This includes everything from a logo , a visiting card , letter head design, the look of a website and product design.
- Brand styling guide acts as a personal communication guide for your social media , advertising and product design needs.
- Your brand styling guide also serves as a guide for designers , including typefaces and styles to color palette , image use , text and tone and also emotional portrayed by the brand.
Above all a brand style guide brings every aspect of your business together to attract the right sort of clients , compels them to do business with you and enables you to create authority.
Why it is important for your business , blog or shop?
A good brand style guide must capture the essence of your business Your brand identity should speak the essence of your business and must resonate with the core message of your business. It should be something that makes your heart sing when you look at it.
YOUR BRAND IDENTITY MUST REPRESENT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS
So What is included in a Brand style guide.?
- Below are a few brand styling guide should include
- Overview of brand, including history, vision and personality
- Logo specifications and examples of usage
- Typography palette
- Color palette
- Textures and patterns
- Image use specifications, including photography style
- Letterhead and business card design
- Social media guidelines
I have created a checklist that will help you come up with your brand style guide step by step . This checklist includes exact steps working towards creating your basic style guide which you can always come back to once need arises.
download your brand styling guide checklist