How to create a blog

How to create a blog that ROCKS!

Many people wonder how to create a blog that rocks. We all have different goals and definitions of success for our blogs. In the six months I have been blogging, I have followed a clear plan that has produced amazing opportunities in London. So, I will cover everything here from seo tools to branding. This is some of what my plan involved…

1- Start Early

Three months prior to arriving in London, I had the idea for Sunny in London. I created Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook accounts and started posting steadily. I wrote posts about places where I had been and used pictures from previous times I lived in and visited London. For example, on November 22, 2013 I wrote about my summer trip to Midhurst and the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup. Notice the date in the picture?

Midhurst Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup

I wasn’t deceiving anyone. I was working on attracting readers and establishing by brand.

My husband AKA “Mr Sunny” (a lifelong Londoner who was waiting for my visa approval so I could join him here) took more pictures on sunny days and sent them to me. I would tweet them and comment on the lovely weather in London.

2- Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!

I started by following everyone I could find in London on Twitter. When they followed me back, I put them on a public Twitter list.

How to create a blog

I certainly takes time to set up and maintain. I wrote down my new followers’ names each week and gave them a #FF shout out by category as a “Thank you for following me.” Here’s some recent examples:

Check my Twitter account to see the lists, follow me and follow the list members!

3- Understand SEO

I’ve read several books and countless articles written by SEO experts and other popular Expat bloggers like Found Love, Now What. I know I have a lot to learn about SEO even after 6 months of constant reading, but it’s an on-going challenge every blogger must embrace. All of the books are available in Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.  SEO is definitely not something to be underestimated. I know so many people who have noticed big changes in their website traffic once their online content has been optimized for search engines.  Above all, in the digital age, you cannot afford to ignore digital marketing strategies that incorporate SEO.

How to create a blog

4- Hire a Web Designer

Because I really wanted the Sunny in London brand to have a professional, solid image by the time I arrived in London, I hired a web designer to make it happen. Kate Jordan is amazing. She made sure the new design roll out happened nearly the day I arrived. It was FABULOUS!

5- SEEING is believing!

I’m lucky to have experience as a journalist and publicist, as well as a Master’s degree in English, so writing is less of a challenge for me. Managing my Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100 has been another story. While “Content is Key,” so are your images! Most people would rather see a story through images rather than read it painstakingly word for word. So, take time to learn how to compose a good shot. Then, use software to fix and enhance your pictures.

How to create a blog

Yep. I read this one too.

6- Rotate Booze, Beer, Beef, Bulldogs and Bikinis

This is my favourite piece of advice! I noticed a majority of bloggers were females. I purposefully wanted to include males in Sunny in London, so I came up with the B’s strategy. Face it- guys really just want to see Booze, Beer, Beef, Bulldogs and Bikinis. I try to balance all posts with those topics in mind. Watch my Instagram: flower, afternoon tea, architecture, wine bar, champagne, BURGER, BOOZE, BEER TAP.



It’s given me a 46% Female, 54% Male split in readers. Interesting isn’t it? I don’t have a dog, and I doubt I’ll post a bikini shot of myself. If you have either or both… USE THEM!!!

How to create a blog final thoughts:

So, those are my tips on how to create a blog. If you’re a regular Sunny in London reader, you’ve seen that I’ve been invited to some spectacular events. For example, I spent a day at the Covent Garden Academy of Flowers learning how to make floral arrangements. This past week I had the opportunity to view London from Europe’s tallest building!

I have clear goals to keep growing for the next 6 months. There’s tons for me to learn. For example, “How do I attend all these restaurant openings and still fit in to my jeans?”

The MOST IMPORTANT part of all of it is to be ethical and share.

If someone asked you how to create a blog, what advice would you give? What questions do you have? Please put them in the comments below! Let’s all help each other and be inspired by our individual creativity. 🙂

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42 Comments

    1. Thank you for reading! These strategies have worked, but I certainly have a steep path ahead of new challenges. The blogging community is very willing to assist, so that has made it more fun.

  1. Fabulous post! I’ve been blogging for years but I’m still figuring out new skills and how to be more effective, this was wonderfully helpful. I love your advice to share, I’ve been amazed at how collaborative the online community can be. (And thanks so much for the link love!)

    I’d say my advice would be to get out and meet people. Writing can feel very isolating at times if you’re not careful, so if you get the chance, get out and get to know the people you interact with online. I’ve met wonderful friends and make lovely connections by going to blogger/writer/freelancer meet ups. I’m still learning how to find them, but that’s made a huge difference to me personally.

    1. Thank you for the ideas! I try to meet up with bloggers a few times a week, and it has been very, very helpful. I do plan to write a Part 2 to this post and include specifics about socializing with other bloggers. Will keep you informed!

  2. I need to organize the people I follow on Twitter into lists – then I might actually be able to see the bits from my favorites. They get lost in a stream of 500 some odd others. I think that’s one reason I haven’t really enjoyed using Twitter!

    1. Sarah, it has been key to my ability to keep up with Twitter! Although, I’ll be very honest, it did help that I started the lists when I began the Sunny in London account. You could create the lists as you go and just slowly add people as you see them for a start 🙂

  3. OMG I had to laugh! booze and bikinis!! never would have thought of that but it’s brilliant. have you noticed that some fashion instagrammers have so many followers because they are gorgeous?

    1. Yes! I’ve definitely noticed that. I also see that some of the bloggers with the highest followers are in their posts half naked quite often. I have my limits (and sensibility!). I’m going to just stick with the booze and beef for my boyz. 😉 I’d love to hear some of the strategies you’ve used to be so successful and blogging too!

  4. Definitely need to get to organising my Twitter account! Great tips! I love hearing from bloggers I admire, thank you for sharing (and for the wee little shout out!!) xx

    1. You’re welcome! The Twitter lists are a DREAM! I have a few more bloggers saved for “shout outs” for an upcoming post too. I always like to share the blog love to those who have taken time to read, comment and interact with me. Cheers, Meg!

  5. Although I have no interest in creating a blog of my own, I found this post to be most informative. Almost like giving out that secret ingredient of a favorite recipe. I have a much greater admiration for bloggers! It is no wonder that your posts and photos are so exquisite; however, I would expect nothing less from you. So kind of you to share in order that others might have the opportunity to take the leap.

    1. Thank you, Patty! I have loads more to share, but I also have to keep a few tricks up my sleeve for me as well 😉 Looking forward to hopefully seeing you at the end of May. Cheers!

  6. Great tips! Particularly using Twitter lists to manage your following – never thought of that! Loved your tip about using photos to tell a story too!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! As I’ve stated in other comment responses, the Twitter lists have been the biggest help for so many reasons. Photos do add a tremendous amount of time to creating a post, but I feel readers appreciate it. I’m always eager to learn more about photo tips though.

    1. Thank you for reading, Caroline! The Twitter lists have been fantastic! I also think it makes it easier for other bloggers to use my lists to see suggestions of people they may wish to follow. Hopefully, this helps the blogging community as well. Loved your last post about the new North London restaurant. I’m a North Londoner now and near that area!

  7. Great tips. I need to create some Twitter groups, it all gets a bit much sometimes! Also, Kate is the best 🙂

    1. Sammy, Twitter is so much more manageable with lists. I like to follow nearly everyone back, but it’s easier to read their tweets when I organize them in to groups. Kate ROCKS!

  8. Hi lovely,

    This is so inspiring. Until recently, I didn’t see my blog as a business because of other priorities but now I’m trying to change that and value it as something personal and professional. It sounds like you have a great mix of the two, and clearly your background has helped.

    Thanks for sharing! My tips would be a good image editor/ app, such as VSCO and DEFINITELY web design (my new design is going up this week aaaah!)

    Ps. I’m organising a bloggers event for May/ June time; a Sunday afternoon tea kinda vibe, if you’re about? Would be lovely to meet you.

    Sophie x

    http://your-girl-is-lovely.blogspot.co.uk

    1. Thank you for reading, Sophie! I’d love to attend the event. I’ll be away for some of May, but please get in touch when you’ve determined the date and location. Thank you for the suggestions about image editors. I’ll look in to them. Best of luck on the launch of your new design.

  9. My advice would be to be patient. It takes a long time to get a solid following. It can be frustrating to keep going when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. But realize, it takes time.

  10. Fascinating. I’m going to have to add some of these to my ‘blog to do’ list, which is ever growing. Thanks for the insightful post!

    1. Thank you, Pete! The Twitter lists are the moat useful. I think I’ll do a ‘continued’ post in the future. I hope you’ve heard from a PR person whom I have referred to you. There’s an event coming up that I think you’ll enjoy!

  11. Your Twitter strategy works ! I ended up reading this post because you followed me on Twitter so of course I checked you out !
    I too use lists (and recommend using Hootsuite for an easy way to read them) but haven’t done the proper “follow friday” or “thank you for the follow” activity that you recommend. Good idea.

  12. This is brilliant!! I’m hoping to write a book, sort of like a compilation of my blogs but rewritten and editing and all that jazz. So I’m really trying to get noticed but don;t know where to start! This is such brilliant advice so thank you! And I’ve just followed you on Twitter too =)

  13. Stellar advice! So, I just found you (when you followed me on Twitter – thanks again!) and this is the first post I read, following a link from your Twitter feed. Thanks for sharing – it really is good advice, and is spot on with the beer and beef and all. Can’t wait to read more…and see more beer and booze and stuff. 🙂

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