Are you looking to start a blog with Notion so that you can easily share your experiences with the rest of the world?
While there are numerous CMS options available, you might be looking for something that allows you to publish blog posts as easily as writing notes in Notion. This is where a Notion blog builder like Feather comes in, bringing simplicity and creativity together.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you how to set up a professional blog using Notion. We’ll also show you how to customize it to match your branding.
Let’s get started!
Is Notion Really a Good Option for Blogging?
Notion is good for blogging when combined with Notion website builder tools. It is simple, collaborative, and flexible enough to start a blog from scratch.
You can easily customize the content directly using the various blocks and basically from anywhere using the Notion app. Besides that, you also get a fast, clean, and minimal blog that will give your audience a great reading experience.
So, it is definitely a yes to use Notion for blogging when you want to start a personal website at a limited cost and offer a better blog experience.
Benefits of Using Notion for Blogging
The idea of using Notion for blogging sounds great, with all the fast, simple, and collaborative features. But how good is Notion for blogging in practical terms?
Here are some benefits to help you decide:
These are just some of the benefits of using Notion for blogging. But how do you create a blog that not just displays Notion as a page but like a professional blog website? Let’s find out.
How to Create a Blog With Notion Using Feather
Feather is a tool that helps you create a Notion blog by transforming your Notion workspace to work like a CMS. It uses the database to create a simple, elegant, and fast blog. All of this is without any technicalities, as the tool requires no code to set up or configure your blog.
Here are some more reasons why you should be using Feather for creating a Notion blog:
One of the things I find fascinating about the Feather in comparison to other tools is you get to create a blog that looks like a blog.
Most Notion website builders help you create a landing page, but none come with professional blog features. Feather, on the other hand, transforms your database to look like an actual blog, and it would be hard to judge if it is actually created on Notion or uses powerful other CMS like WordPress.
But how do you create a blog using Feather? Here is a walkthrough guide for you that explains how you can create a Notion blog using the Feather tool in 3 simple steps.
Step 1: Creating Feather Account and Duplicating the Notion Blog Templates
The foremost step is to create a Feather account, and the good thing is you can start right away with a free trial. After choosing a plan and setting up your account, click the Create a new blog button to start the process of transforming our Notion database into a blog.
This will open a new page where you need to click on the Duplicate Databases button to instantly copy the default database to your Notion account.
The default database comprises of 4 Notion pages: Content, Pages, Tags, and Authors.
Let’s look at each Notion page and know what they mean,
- Content: The “content” page is a database that stores all the blog entries and their data; basically, the posts or content of our personal blog.
- Pages: The “pages” page consists of all the page entries of our Notion blog. For instance, contact, about us, how it works, or categories of your blog or website are considered as pages.
- Tags: Organizing a big blog can be difficult, especially when you are writing on various topics and experiences. In such times, you can use tags to organize all your blog content, and all the tags are stored under the “tags” page.
- Authors: If you’ve got a big website with multiple people, you can assign them the role of an author. And all the author entries are stored under the “author” page database.
You can also add more pages to the main database, and in turn, this database will also be used to create a sitemap on Feather.
This allows you to easily index all the content from your blog on a search engine like Google and get organic traffic. Once your database setup is ready, your next task is to map these databases to individual pages of our blog.
But first, let’s publish our database to the web so it is accessible in Feather to make the database mapping possible. To make your Notion database public, tap on the share button from the top-right of your screen and then toggle the “Share to Web” switch.
Step 2: Connect the Database and Map the Fields
Now that we have our database ready, the next step is to connect it to our Feather account. So, switch back to the Feather tab on your browser and click on the Next button.
On the new screen, we can find 4 different tabs, each signifying the pages of our duplicated database; content, page, tags, and author. We now need to link each of the pages from our database to the individual tab in order to overall connect the database with the Feather account.
To do this, go back to the duplicated database page on your Notion account and hover the cursor to the left of each page. This will open a popup menu where you need to click on the Copy link option.
Now, head back to your Feather account and paste the link of the page as per the label, and then tap on the Connect database button.
Here, you can see all the information related to the database. After verifying it, click on the Next button, and the database will be automatically connected to your Feather account.
We now need to repeat the process with the remaining three pages of our database. This way, the entire database from our Notion account will be connected to our Feather account.
Step 3: Assigning the Blog Name and Subdomain for Notion Blog
Your Notion blog using Feather is almost ready and requires one final thing to do; assigning a name to your new blog.
It is preferable to name your blog something that the content and audience can relate to. For example, Jane’s Blog or Journey with Jane.
Next, let’s choose a subdomain for the blog. Feather allows you to create a free subdomain for your blog. However, if you still choose to have your own domain name, you can use the temporary subdomain and change it later after the setup process.
The detailed process of how you can set up a custom domain name on your Notion blog using Feather is mentioned in the later section of this guide.
Once you have decided on the temporary subdomain for your Notion blog, tap on the Finish button, and your blog is now ready. Click the subdomain link to see how your blog looks on the frontend
How to Customize Your Notion Blog and Standout From the Crowd?
Feather comes with lots of customization option that makes it easy to have your blog stand out from the crowd.
You can find these customizations by clicking on the Design tab from the sidebar.
Here are a few design customization options you can use on your Notion blog using Feather:
As of now, Feather allows you to change up to 4 blog layouts depending on what type of website you want to create. You can either set it to look like a normal website, a SaaS product, product updates, or help docs. These layouts pretty much help you create any kind of personal or professional blog without the need for any technical knowledge.
Feather allows you to add a dark mode switcher on the frontend of the website, giving users full control over how they want to view your site. You can also set it to “System” mode so that the blog automatically adapts to the mode set on the user’s device.
The Blog theme option allows you to set a color scheme for your blog. And also lets you create your own color scheme. This is helpful to enhance the overall visual contrasts on your blog.
Shades of Grey
One of the common things Feather templates have is the use of grey color in various empty spaces of your design. With the Shades of Grey option, you can choose among different grey shades and use them wisely to give a soothing experience on your blog.
Feather also lets you choose your favorite font from a huge list of fonts for headings and content that can redesign the style of how your audience views the content. You can also upload your own font, which is pretty much great if you have a pre-loved style.
You can choose from different button styles to give your audience a more visible and appealing CTA from your content.
You can choose to set the alignment of the navigation bar and place it either on the top left, center, or right of your blog.
These are just a few of the customization options available. Feather also lets you add a newsletter sign-up form at the end of every blog post, social icon, social sharing, and much more.
After all the customization, here’s how your final Notion blog will look like.
Here’s a real life blog created using Feather.
How to Host Your Notion Blog on a Custom Domain
Custom domains are great for branding your blog or website; they are quick to remember, look genuine, and create an impact on your audience.
In this section, let’s quickly look at how to use a custom domain on your Notion blog created using Feather.
Step 1: Access the Domain Settings
The foremost thing is to access the domain settings in your Feather account. To do this, here are a few steps you can follow:
From your Feather dashboard, click on the Domains tab, which is located under the Advanced Category of the sidebar. Now, switch to the Custom Domains tab.
You should now see a screen with options to set up a new domain or subdomain to the existing database. This takes us to the second step; adding a new domain or subdomain name.
Step 2: Adding a Domain or Subdomain
In the domain field, enter the domain or subdomain name that you wish to use. It is advisable to look for spelling errors and the use of proper TLD. Once ready, click on the Save button.
Feather should now show you a DNS record which we will require in the next step.
Step 3: Adding DNS Records to Domain Registrar
Adding a DNS record is a crucial step that helps the database connect with the domain or subdomain name. To do this you will require to log in to your domain registrar dashboard. The steps to add a DNS record varies for each domain registrar, but here are the common steps that can help you.
Here are the steps to follow thereafter,
- Head to the “Domain” settings from your Domain registrar dashboard
- Here, you can find the option to “manage your DNS settings”; click on it.
- Now, create two new domain records in TXT format and enter the name and value shown in step 2 while adding a domain or subdomain name to the Feather account.
- Once done, create a new DNS record, and this time, choose CNAME as the type of record.
- Enter the name and value pair for CNAME from the records provided by your Feather account.
- Save the DNS records using the Save button.
It should normally take a few hours for domain registrars to update the DNS records. You can keep checking every few hours to see if your Notion blog is being redirected from the custom domain you used.
With Feather, you can also create your Notion blog on a subfolder. Now, subfolders are different entities but are still a part of the original domain name. This is a manual process and will require you to contact the support team to help you create a subfolder or subdirectory for your Notion blog.
Wrapping up: Creating a Notion Blog is Easy with Feather
While there are more robust CMS options, we think Notion can be leveraged as a fast, minimal, and clean blogging platform.
To make it better, a tool like Feather transforms your Notion page into an actual blog. It is easy to set up and customize without the need of coding or any technical language. All you need to do is create an account, duplicate the database, map the fields, add a subdomain, and your Notion blog is ready to use.
Besides, it offers sitemaps which are crucial for SEO, and a dedicated analytics dashboard for measuring the performance of your blog. It also supports custom domain, which is great for branding.
Feather is a must-try tool if you want to save big while creating stunning Notion blogs for personal and professional uses.