How to Create an Awesome Blog on Squarespace
Squarespace and blogging aren’t usually synonymous, mainly due to the fact that many blogging experts push Wordpress, Wordpress, Wordpress. I’ve heard several bloggers recommend Wordpress to newbies, but there’s more than one option!
I get it. When you’re first getting started, you want to do it right and follow what all of these experts say to do. And so, you start setting up your free Wordpress website with images of a beautiful, functional blog floating in your head. Then, several hours later with your free website, you’re beating your head against the wall because something’s not compatible with something else, and you don’t really know what, but it’s not working…
I’ve had more than one Wordpress website - a couple designed by someone else, and one designed by me.
None of them were as easy to use as I’d hoped, and I was flat-out frustrated in the end. Squarespace is intuitive and user-friendly, and there’s no risk of incompatible widgets and what-nots. This is why I loooove Squarespace (among other things - I wrote a whole post about it here).
I think the other reason people don’t gravitate towards Squarespace for blogging is there are myths floating around the internet that make it sound like it’s not as good of an option (maybe written by Wordpress experts?).
The fact of the matter is, Squarespace is not only the best platform for designing, hosting, and maintaining your website, but it’s a great place to build your blog.
The best part is, like everything else on Squarespace, it’s so easy!
If you’re struggling with motivation for creating a blog in the first place, read this post, then come back to me here.
See why this is so good for you and your small business? Great!
Let’s get started creating that awesome blog on Squarespace.
First of all, you’re going to need to add a blog page to your website.
Log in to your website, and from the Home Page, choose Pages. On the top right next to Primary Navigation, you’ll see a plus sign. Click that to Create a New Page and choose Blog Page (near the bottom of the list).
You’ll then be prompted to name the new page. I encourage you to keep it simple, like “Blog” or “News”. If you do something too cutesy or creative, your visitors might not know what it is, and avoid it altogether. Stay clear of things like What’s Happening Now (too long) or Katy’s Kreative Insights (??).
Your new blog page now needs content!
Before you start typing, let’s go over a few blogging basics:
Your blog should provide valuable information to your readers. If people appreciate what you write, they’ll come back for more. Long story short, Google likes this, and it boosts your SEO (see more detailed info about this in my other post)
There are no hard and fast rules as to how long your posts should be. You should shoot for at least 500 words, but over 1,000 is even better. The end goal is to write blog posts your readers will appreciate. If you’re adding a bunch of fluff to get to 1,000+ words, then you’re detracting from the value. Give as much good information as you can without adding unnecessary filler.
The key to building traffic to your site with a blog is sticking to a schedule. Blog as often as you can, but only if you can do it on a regular basis. If that means once a month, or twice a week, your readers will know when to to expect new content if you commit to it.
Break up your content into a more readable format. Adding bullet points, numbered lists, smaller paragraphs, and different heading sizes makes the blog content easier on the eyes. This is another one of those SEO boosters that Google favors.
Add a call to action at the end of your blog posts. If you want people to check out all of the goodies your bakery offers, direct them to your Products page, or if you offer services, encourage people to book an appointment with you. You want to keep visitors on the website as long as possible, and tell them what to do next.
That’s not too hard, right?
Ok, either click on the plus sign to Add a New Post, or click in the blank space where it says, “This blog contains no items, click here to add your first item”. You can either type right in Squarespace, or in a different word processing software, and copy and paste into your Squarespace blog.
Personally, I type up my blogs in Google Docs for two reasons.
One, I have an 8 year old, so I’m constantly interrupted. I like that Google Docs continuously saves my progress, just in case. Two, it has a Word Count tool that Squarespace does not currently have (I shoot for over 1,000 words, just FYI).
Once you have your basic content, then go back and finesse the formatting. Adjust the fonts using Heading 1, 2, 3, or Normal, and add bold and italic as appropriate.
Add in your images by inserting an image block. (see my post here on optimizing your images for Pinterest). Upload your image, and choose your design. I usually opt for Inline, and choose not to display the caption. Hit Apply when you’re happy with the image.
Next, you’ll want to go to the Options tab on your Edit Post page. There are a few key things you want to do here, others are optional:
Upload a thumbnail image. This is the image that will be displayed on your main blog page with all of your blog posts. You’ll want to adjust the size based on the layout of your blog page. Mine are set to square, so my thumbnails are square. More on the main blog page formatting later…
Adjust your Post URL. Ideally, you want a shorter name that still includes keywords.
Add an excerpt. This is usually the first part of your blog post, copied and pasted into this box. The excerpt will appear on your blog page with the thumbnail.
Lastly, you can add your Location to the post, and push the blog post to any connected Social Accounts.
If you want to publish the post immediately, go ahead and click Publish (don’t worry, you can still make changes). Your other option is to schedule it for later, or save it as a draft if you need to stop and come back.
To schedule it for later, choose Scheduled (it’s counterintuitive, I know), then click on the date and time to change it. Then choose the desired date from the calendar, and adjust the time to when you’d like it published. Most bloggers opt to publish their posts first thing in the morning.
And that’s it! Your first blog post is published, congrats!
Now that you have a post on your blog page, it’s easier to format the look of it.
From the Home Page, click Design, then Site Styles. This is your home base for changing the way anything looks on your website.
The easiest way to find what you need in the Site Styles list is to click on the feature you want to change. Don’t worry if you change something and don’t like the end result. You can simply hit Cancel at the top, and you’ll revert back to the original styles.
The main things you’ll want to play around with are how your posts are laid out, and the look of the fonts. The options you have vary based on the template you’re using, so I won’t go into specifics. If you’re having a hard time finding how to adjust a specific item, you can Google it, and usually find a great Squarespace resource on just that.
Other than your main blog page, I would suggest visiting your blog post itself to see how you feel about the design. Keep in mind that Header 1, Header 2, Header 3, and Normal styles for your text will apply throughout your website. However, you do have the freedom to adjust your blog title.
Change the font, color, and size of the blog post to an eye-pleasing design. This is how all of your blog titles will look on their post page moving forward.
So, after tweaking just a few items, here’s the end result.
You have a beautiful, clean blog page that is attractive to site visitors, and entices them to read more.
What more could you want from a blog?
Blogging on Squarespace is easy and beautiful. You can see now there’s no reason not to use Squarespace for your blog!