Love My Brit was started with a simple premise, to bring Chelsea and I closer together. Spending so much time apart, we wanted a way to spend more time together, and something that we were able to work on, improve and create together. A blog was the natural choice, and it is for the same reasons that so many long distance couples get into blogging. It is an activity you can share in, without needing to be in the same physical location, and can bring you closer together.
Our goal now, as well as writing for ourselves, is to write for people in similar situations to ourselves too. To prove that long distance can work, despite much of the negativity surrounding it. We want to help, and inspire others like ourselves to enjoy their long distance relationship, and ultimately close the gap. However, that is not to say that it has been an easy path. There are a lot of challenges, and changes that happened along the way. This guide is to help others, like us, who want to blog about their relationship, but don’t know where to start. We break down the process into five easy steps, to help you create your very own unique LDR blog!
1. Decide why you want to start a blog.
This is the most crucial stage of the whole process, and the stage that is often forgotten about the most. Before you start writing, or even start thinking of how you want your blog to look, you need to decide why you want to go about it. There are a whole number of reasons that you may want to start a blog, some might not be as obvious as you think. Here are a few to get you started in thinking about what the blog is to you:
- A way to bring you and your partner closer together
- To keep an online journal of your relationship
- To pass on advice to others in your situation
- To inspire others in their long distance relationships
- To earn some extra income
Once you have decided why you want to start blogging about your LDR, you should next consider what you want to achieve. In business this would be called a mission statement, but to call it that would be bland and uninspiring. Really, you should be looking to set out your dream. This can quite often be similar to your reason for starting a blog, but should also consider some goals that you want to achieve. Maybe you want your blog to be read by a certain amount of people, or to form a community, or perhaps even generate a certain amount of income.
2. Choose a name for your blog.
The next step, after setting out the dream for your blog, you should decide on the name. This is the first thing that any of your readers will see, so is a hugely important factor. You should always bear in mind a number of things when choosing your name, including:
- How it represents what you will be blogging about
- How representative it is of your dream
- Whether or not it is unique
- It’s searchability factor
While the first two require some personal reflection, the last two will require a little more research. Love My Brit was originally going to be called Loving From A Distance, until we discovered a blog by the same name, also discussing long distance relationships. While it is not impossible to call your blog the same as someone else’s, we would highly advise against it. Not only will it be difficult to get the custom URL (if you so desire) but it may also be confusing to your readers.
The searchability factor is a similar aspect and refers, essentially, to the amount of competition out there for your name, or variants.If you want to build a strong readership, you will need to consider how easy your blog is to find via search engine (such as Google or Yahoo). The more competition there is for your name, or similar names, the harder it will be for your readers to find you. When we started Love My Brit, the website was initially on Page 4 of a Google Search for our exact name, but with a little work we managed to get it to the top spot for the search, making it easy for people to find us.
3. Choose a blogging platform that suites you.
After deciding on your dream, and your name, you should next consider what blogging platform is most suited to you. There are a number of options available, and each comes with their own benefits and disadvantages. Some are easy to use, but require a lot of maintenance, while others may be harder to understand but will show your content in a much more professional manner. Below, we have listed some of the most popular blogging platforms, along with some of their pros and cons. Remember these are not all the options out there, so be sure to do your own research and pick the one you think will be the best for your blog.
- + Provides customisation, easy to use, simple, allows for custom URLs, free.
- – Difficult to get started, can be expensive, lack of flexibility, slow to load pages.
- + Easy to get started, free, secure, powered by Google.
- – Limited customisation, lack of support, ownership of content.
- + Easy to use, customisation, media focused, short posts.
- – Lack of long form content, similarity to other blogs.
- + Full control over design, free, allows for custom URLs.
- – Difficult to publish, limited storage space, lack of support.
4. Decide on what you want to write.
Once you have chosen your blogging platform and set up your account, you now need to decide what you want to write. Not all of your content needs to be the same, you can write a mixture of personal stories, advice, feature other couples and more. Chelsea and I originally began writing for each other. However these posts always took the form of being written to a third person. We wrote stories about our trips and shared our experiences together. Now, we have developed Love My Brit further, we write on a whole host of topics. Each idea is our own however, it is something that resonates with us, and that we think will be of benefit to other couples in similar situations.
Of course, it is entirely up to you what you want to write about. You might want to write a breadth of content, or you might want to only focus on personal stories. The choice is yours! Whatever you decide, however, should be closely linked to your original goals and dreams for your blog. If you want to inspire others, write inspirational stories, if you want to help others out, give advice! Or perhaps, like us, you want to do a little of everything, guided only by a whim and a way.
5. Design your blog the way you want it!
Finally, the last step is to design your blog. We have left this to last because all of the other decisions will usually have some impact on this last step. You will be constrained in terms of how the blog looks by the blogging platform you choose (as some allow for more customisation than others). It will also look different depending on what you want to achieve, and the type of posts you make as well. A picture blog, or even video blog will take a much different format to one centered on advice or community.
Love My Brit, originally did not start the way it looks now. In fact, the blog was originally called Chelsea & Chris, and was much simpler in design. However, as our ambition and dreams for the blog expanded, we realised that we needed to make some changes. These began with changing the name, then moving the blog from Wix to WordPress (which we felt better suited our needs), and finally updating the design to something that we believed suited our content, and would allow us to move into vlogs in the future.
So, those are our five easy steps to starting your own LDR blog. We would encourage any couple with a passion for writing to give it a try. It is a brilliant way to grow closer as a couple, even when you are separated by the distance. And if you follow our advice, it should be easy to achieve with minimal effort. We, ourselves, did not follow this pattern and made some mistakes along the way. But, looking back and reflecting on that, it definitely bought us closer together and has given us some wonderful experiences. And, of course, it has given us the insight and experience needed to put this guide together, to make it easier for you!