So you want to start a blog but not sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place! By now you have probably read several posts on why you should start a blog and if it is hard to do so. To answer both of these questions, yes you should and no it’s not! The hardest thing to do is to get over your fear of sharing your work. I’ve been writing my blog for the last 3 years and frankly, I wish I started it sooner. When I write, hours feel like mere minutes and when I look back on my old posts I can tell just how much my writing has improved. I’ve connected with bloggers all over the world and despite what you think about it being over-saturated, there definitely is a space in the blogosphere for you!
“Where do I start?”, I hear you ask. I’ve broken it down for you in the below checklist so that hopefully it won’t feel as intimidating:
1. Blog purpose
You may have heard people say pick your “niche”. But let’s start in a more general sense. What topics will you be writing about? Will it be fashion, plants, women in tech, cooking, baking, travel on a budget, lifestyle, arts &crafts, health & wellness? The list goes on! Once you have decided on this, think about what type of blogs you like to read or would want to read. Will your blog’s purpose be to educate, entertain or perhaps be review based? Once you’ve figured this out, it will help you discover what kind of voice you want your blog to have.
2. Blog name
Once you have decided what you want to write about you can begin thinking about your name. There are lots of name generators online, but if you’re stuck I’d suggest to begin writing a few posts and see what name best reflects the pieces you have written. Then you will need to do a bit of research to see if your blogs name (domain) is available (see point 3).
There are lots of great blogging platforms to use. I use WordPress but there is also Blogger, Wix and Medium to name a few. WordPress has lots of good free templates and packages to choose from. Not sure if you want to invest in blogging right away? That’s ok! There are lots of free templates and a free packages available. Once you have chosen your platform, it will let you search to see if your name is available, and if not it will suggest a list of some alternative names to use.
4. Content & Blog Design
I’d suggest to have a draft post written when you start designing your site, start short between 350-500 words. This will allow you to see what template and style you like best as you start bringing your blog to life. There are so many designs to choose from! I’d recommend to start with the free templates unless you are 100% sure what design you want.
Don’t be shy and add some photos to bring your blog to life. There are so many free stock photos you can add, but get creative and share your work. You don’t need to show your face if you don’t want to and you don’t need an expensive camera. Take photos on your phone and play around with editing them on free apps like Adobe Lightroom or VSCO.
7. About Me
Feel free to add an “About Me” page which should include an introduction to your blog. Why did you start it and what can people expect? Keep it short and snappy.
Perhaps the scariest of them all is sharing your blog with people you know and strangers. It took me 6 months to share my work and tell more than 1 person about it. Then I got too scared and didn’t write for a long time. Ignore the little voice in your head telling you your work isn’t good enough and that people will laugh. Why you started your blog is bigger than this voice. To name a few reasons, for me blogging is a great creative outlet, a wonderful way for my friends and family to keep up with me, a weekly challenge and a fab way to look back on old trips. Share your blog across social media to begin with, maybe set up your own Facebook page, a new Instagram etc. These are free and easy ways to grow your readership.
So what should you expect at the beginning?
- You may have some tech issues and frustrations at the start, but remember you’re learning something completely new and YouTube is your best friend!
- Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to stick to a rigid blogging schedule. Yes, it does help to tell your readers how often you will share posts, but let your creativity come naturally otherwise it just won’t be enjoyable and you will probably give up more often.
- Posting more regularly will help increase your blog traffic (i.e. views). In January 2019 I wanted to get back into the swing of blogging so I did a month of daily blogging and I saw a big surge in views.
- Unless you already have a large following across your social media, the likelihood is that you will slowly build a readership. But Rome wasn’t built in a day!
- Don’t focus on the stats of your blog too much and don’t compare yourself to big time bloggers or influencers. It look a time for them to get there.
- Concentrate on writing about what makes you passionate, not what you think people will hear.
- Yes you can make money from blogging in the long run, but it likely won’t be lucrative at the beginning. It will be dependent on how many people view your blog monthly, what you are offering to your readers, if you use ads, affiliate links, work with brands etc. But do not let this put you off!
- Go at your own pace and again, DO NOT COMPARE.
- How long does it take to write a post? Well, how long is a piece of string? I can spend anywhere from 2-6 hours writing and editing my blog posts. Most of my pieces are very lengthy though, so that’s probably my own doing and it depends on the style of the post, e.g. a short story takes much longer to write and edit than a smoothie recipe blog post!
- Lastly, remember to enjoy and welcome to the blogging community! Let me know if you’re new to the world of blogging and let’s connect!
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