Since starting the blog in January 2011, I often get asked or emails of how people can blog themselves. My answer is usually simple and straightforward- You just start and figure the rest out from there!
The great thing is, if you google search “How to Start a Blog” it will usually send you to countless links and helpful feeds. Problem with this if you are suffering from one of the deadly sins of bloggers like trying to be PERFECT, it’s a killer. I believe it’s mostly the reason why large majority of people who think of starting a blog at some point in time don’t.
Ok- so we agree, no one is perfect? Which means your blog doesn’t have to be either. It’s constantly a work in progress. The first thing you need to consider is- What do you want to blog about? What ultimately does your “brand” look like. Let’s be honest in this digital age- most people are branding themselves- whether they know it or not in their social media feeds. So if you want to blog, what are your passions and interests? I truly don’t advise anyone to start blogging just because they think they will monetize or “get free stuff”, if you’re not engaged and enthusiastic on your topic, this will come off to your audience and they won’t want to engage or follow along either.
1. What’s in a Name? Next up, what’s the name of your blog and will it ring through to what you want to talk about? Here’s the rules for picking a domain name:
- –Keep it short. (This also helps setting up social media accounts as well)
- –Keep it simple. (Short and easy to remember!)
- –Keep it true to the blog and on topic. Maybe research to know that it’s not a meaning for any other topic you wouldn’t want your site to be searched for or affiliated with!
- -Make sure it’s available and not used by anyone else!
2. How to Build a Blog? There are so many different platforms and hosting options. I personally use WordPress and self hosting through Bluehost. I find both services inexpensive to use compared to some other platforms I’ve researched and it allows me have my own .com site without having a web developer build everything for me.
3. Brainstorm and Pre-Plan Your Topics. So you’ve finally published a couple posts to the blog. The problem with gaining followers is consistency in posting. Most people want to come back to your site to see something new, so try and set a goal of posting 2-3 times per week and building a month’s worth of content ahead of that. There are many scheduling calendars for posts, you can add them as a plugin to your blog, I’m personally a pen & paper gal, I like to take the calendar and jot down post ideas or deadlines of when I need to have sponsored posts completed by.
4. Drive Traffic with Social Media. Have a new post you want to share? Schedule it to your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest account. Use linktree to connect to your Instagram account. I didn’t truly understand the power of my Pinterest account or even Instagram until about a year ago. Once I finally started on focusing on the numbers and how to organically engage and grow viewers I started to see changes.
5. Learn to Take Better Photos. I mentioned before in a post on how to take Blog Worthy Photos, your visual content is unique to you and your brand. Having original content does take work and planning, but it the level of authenticity will translate through to your site and viewers. The main thing is to try not to become overwhelmed and try to learn things in bite sized pieces. The blogging world is big and vast- think of it as a fun learning opportunity!
So think you can manage to come up with a blog idea and get running? Awesome! Now how do you manage running a blog with a full-time job? Stay tuned next week as we’ll be talking about how you can stay sane and manage both!