How to Start a Movie Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
Gone are the days when we used to wait for the Saturday pullout to get news on what is happening in the movie world. The digital age is here. We are living it. And we love it. If you are a fan of movies and reviewing movies, then you are the guy I am talking to.
There is a big niche that you can exploit when it comes to movie blogging. I know that they are many other similar blogs out there, but it doesn’t hurt to throw your chips into the table too. There is a lot that hasn’t been said about movies and needs to be said.
Movie blogging should be fun and easy for anybody with a computer or even a tablet. You don’t need to be an expert in anything to own a movie blog. You only need to love movies (I wonder who doesn’t) and to have a passion of blogging.
When blogging about movies you can write just about everything related to movies and flying cameras. You can opt to be a movie reviewer, a movie narrator, a movie celebrity magazine or anything that has something related to movies. So if you are ready to own a movie blog, I got your back.
How to start your own Movie Blog in 3 Easy Steps
I have divided this guide into two; a three-step text guide and a video guide for anyone who prefers a step-by-step approach. I have made this guide as simple to understand as possible. You don’t need any prior knowledge in web design or coding to follow this guide. Brace yourself; we are hitting the big screens…
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain
A domain is the web address to your blog site. For example, taking any random website, the domain name can be www.YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE.com. Your domain name should therefore be short, simple, unique and easy to remember. The ideal domain name should have a .com or a .net prefix.
While you can buy a .com domain name, you can get a free domain just by purchasing a hosting package on Bluehost. I will tell you about hosting next… Once you have the desired domain name in mind, you are ready for step two.
2. Sign Up for Hosting
A web host or a hosting server is a remote computer with super processing speeds and massive storage capacity that will play home to your blog. Accessibility of your blog will highly depend on the reliability of the host provider you choose. For faster access, you need a web host that is fast and reliable. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:
1. It is so easy to use
2. Signing up takes just moments
3. You get a free domain once you purchase a hosting package
4. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed
5. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your Movie blog up and running.
[Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress
Finally, you will need to install WordPress onto your BlueHost control panel. This process may be a few clicks away, but it is equally important. WordPress, FYI, is the code that will run all the magic behind your Movie blog site. The appearance of your blog and the content you can run on this blog will depend on WordPress.
I’ve found that it is easier to follow these steps if you can actually see them being done. With this in mind, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.
Tips for the beginner movie blogger
Congratulations for your newly created movie blog. Ahead lies a steep hill to climb, but likely enough, you got me. *Takes a bow*. I have compiled the basic of tips that will guide you and make sure you have a movie blog that all movie bloggers will envy. My tips might be basic, but they are really important.
- Write “original content”
In most of your posts, you will be probably inspired by new movies, trailers, etc. – as in most other movie blogs too. However, the most successful postings, as you will find out, are the ones in which you write your own point opinions or about something that’s close to your heart
- IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes are your friend
IMDB, I can bet my knees you know it, is a rich source of information about movies, actors, etc. Here you can quickly check the facts or enrich your posts with small, interesting details on actors and movies.
- Get an opinion
At the end of the day, your blog is just that; your blog. So write about your thoughts on movies, directors, actors, etc. Let people know your reasons to like or hate a movie. Do not apologize for it. *inserts ninja voice*Nobody can take you down.
- Be Recognizable
Develop a unique identity that will stand out from the mass of the film blogs. This includes a sounding name that is catchy and concise for you and your blog. A cool logo and a matching domain help.
- Increase your SEO rankings for better awareness
Search Engines have crawlers and web spiders that collect information from your blogs and present a selected theme. Use WordPress plugins to boost your SEO ranking and pay attention to the power of social media. Share your site with friends and all your email contacts… and watch your page rise to the top of Google.
Best Free & Paid WordPress Themes for your Movie blog
The first step of making your blog stand out is to have a killer blog. A WordPress theme is like a skin, but much more than a skin. It dictates the layout, color scheme, web applications and basically anything that you can have on your website. You will need to spend time choosing your blog’s theme since it will be the first thing visitors encounter when they visit your blog. I have given you some sample themes to set the ball rolling…
Stumblr is a super minimalist Tumblr-styled theme ideal for movie blogging. It adopts the Tumblr’s micro-blogging feel making it a perfect theme for posting quick videos from your smart phone. Stumblr also comes with two colour schemes and a customizable widgetized sidebar so you can add your social media details.
The Ready Review theme is a clean looking, full-featured review theme offered by ReadyThemes. It features a Top Products widget and is SEO optimized and responsive to all devices. It comes with many customization options and is a very strong option considering its price.
Valenti is an eye-pleasing HD retina-ready, responsive magazine/review theme. Fairly smooth (although slightly buggy) animations are everywhere, making it a more interactive experience. Visitors can also leave their own ratings and ratings from the site admins are displayed in a wonderful breakdown.
The Reviewer theme is one of those which is nice and simple. It has subtle animations, a clean, minimalistic design, and fast response times. It is best suited for movies.
Cost: $55 (regular license) or $2750 (extended license)
The first thing to pop into your mind when you see Puzzles is Windows 8. It does in fact have a design very similar to Windows’ Tiles. It’s crowded, animated homepage may be a bit overwhelming, but it does look very cool and is good for displaying a lot of posts at once.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for movie Blogs
WordPress plugins are little web applications that extend the functionality of your WordPress theme in certain areas. I have compiled five WordPress plugins that I believe will improve user experience on your movie blog. There are thousands of other web plugins you can use on your site.
- TubePress – Allows you to embed YouTube and Vimeo videos into your blog. This will be amazing to show case movie trailers and other videos on your blog.
- Related Posts – This plugin adds related posts automatically after every post. If you have this plugin, visitors will be tempted to explore other posts on your website. This can mean more social media sharing and increased views!
- WordPress SEO by Yost -It helps improve your search engine ranking. I can never find enough terms to describe the importance of SEO.
- IMDb Connector – a simple plugin that allows you to easily get movie details from IMDb.com.
- WPMovieLibrary – WordPress Movie Library is an advanced movie library managing plugin to turn your WordPress Blog into a Movie Library.
Great Movie Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
You can do this on your own. You will need to learn from the experts and strive to overdo them without copying them. Feel free to check out these blogs if you feel you need some inspiration…
2. IGN Movies
Everyone likes to write, to share their opinion with others. A Movie blog is one way to stay connected with your friends and at the same time it gets your opinions aired. Your decision to start a movie blog, is welcome and I can guarantee you that it will take you places (that is if you are committed). I would love to share more with you about movie blogging and blogging in general. In order to keep in touch and up to date with the latest trends in movies and movie blogging, sign up for my free newsletter. Once you sign up, I’ll send you periodic emails with valuable information.