I don’t know what it is about this week but I have gotten sooooo many emails and messages on social media about starting a blog. It gets repetitive responding to every single email with the same information so I thought I would just make it a blog post. Now I know there are several “how to start a blog” blog posts out there and they are all fabulous in their own way but this is my version of that and maybe a thing or two I would have done differently if I were to start over. So here we go!
First things first I am a member of a lot of blogging Facebook groups and I think that a lot of people jump into blogging for the wrong reasons. They are in it solely to make money and they get mad when in their first month of blogging they haven’t made anything and so they quit. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in most cases. In most cases you need to establish an online presence, get some good content out there, get those numbers up (trust me, they don’t have to be super high to start making money), and just be patient. If you are truly passionate about what you are blogging out, people and companies will see that and respond.
Ok, so let’s talk about starting your first blog!
Decide what you want to blog about. The first thing you need to do after you choose to start blogging is decide what you want to write about. Is your blog going to be family focused? Fashion? Travel? Beauty? Recipes and food? Choose something that you are already passionate about and go from there. Whatever you choose to blog about you want to be considered an expert in your field on it. I am a lifestyle blogger with a little food, beauty, and travel thrown in. I used to blog about everything and my blog was a little scatterbrained but now I have narrowed it down and that helps.
Pick your platform. After deciding what to blog about you need to goose your blogging platform. Blogger and WordPress.COM are free blogging platforms and both are great. I started on Blogger and eventually migrated over to WordPress.ORG so in hindsight I wish I had started out on WordPress.COM because the migration would have been a lot easier. SquareSpace and WIX are also good blogging platforms for newbies.
The only thing I will say about Blogger is that while it is user friendly and a lot of people use it, Blogger is owned by Google and everything on “your” website is owned by Google and they can shut you down at any time. I know several bloggers that has happened to and that’s no fun! WordPress.COM is also free and user-friendly but you can’t post sponsored/paid content on it and it’s not nearly as customizable as WordPress.ORG WordPress.ORG is a self-hosted blogging platform, meaning you have to pay monthly (or yearly) for your website to be hosted online but it is completely customizable and you have complete control over it. Do our research and choose what is best for you!!
Content is KING. After you have chosen what to write about and picked a blogging platform it’s time to get down to business and by that I mean it’s time to write!!! Write a couple great posts and start publishing them. Don’t feel pressured to put out amazing content every single day, that’s a great way to burn yourself out and start writing crappy content. Instead remember that it is QUALITY over QUANTITY that will get you noticed. I would rather read a blog that posts amazing posts twice a week than an blog that publishes subpar content 5-6 days a week.
Take amazing pictures. Let’s face it, most people these days are very visual oriented and so having amazing photos on your blog is a must. Now this doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy a huge fancy camera or hire a photographer, in fact most phone cameras take amazing photos. Just make sure they are LARGE and clear and are as wide as the content area of you blog.
…which one do you like better? You better have said the big one! HA!
Establish an online presence. By this I mean get active on social media! I know there are a lot of social media platforms out there…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, SnapChat, Tumblr, etc. but don’t feel like you have to be a rockstar on every single one. Definitely share to every one but pick one or two to focus your attention on, build you followers on, and kill it. It’s better to be an expert on one or two social media platforms than just average on all of them. Do you see a trend here?? HA!
Find your tribe! Almost as important as content and good photos is finding your blogging tribe. These are the people you will turn to with questions, comment and share each other’s blog posts, bounce ideas off of, support each other and just help each other out! Finding your tribe is super important because blogging is really hard to do alone or without someone to turn to when you have a question.
And that’s pretty much all there is to starting a blog…deciding what to blog about, picking your platform, writing good content, taking great photos, sharing everything on social media and finding your tribe!
One other thing to take into consideration before publishing tat first blog post is to decide how personal you want to get…do you want to share your real name? Talk about where you are from? Be friends with fellow bloggers that you’ve never met on Facebook? You also need to have a pretty thick skin when you start blogging. One thing you will learn pretty quickly is that not everyone is nice on the internet. You may get a rude comment or two and you can’t let that upset you. Just brush it off and focus on the positive. Remember, there are way more nice people than mean ones!!
If you have any blogging questions about blogging please leave them in the comments below!!