So, you want to start a blog but don't know where to begin. Honestly, beginning is the hardest part. You have to, first, get over the doubt and nervousness that comes with putting yourself out there. Then you have to put aside the time to actually build a website and add to it often. It can be daunting, but the payoff is worth it. Seeing your blog come to life and all the work you put into it and it finally going live is so amazing. If you're like me, you'll keep refreshing the page and looking at your home page again and again.
Alright, let's get you on the right track to starting this thing, shall we?
Here are some tips for starting your blog!
Tip 1: Stop caring about what other people think
I always hesitated starting a blog because of what other people would think.
- That's cliche.
- That's lame.
- Who cares about this stuff?
- No one is even going to read it.
All of those thoughts would circle my brain. Even after I started, I would judge my own blog posts based off of what other people would think.
STOP CARING. If it's something you care about and are passionate about, who cares what other people think?! Judgement is going to happen no matter what you do and you just have to be ready for that.
Tip 2: Build an attractive website
Your website should match your vibe and be appealing to others as well. Ultimately, your opinion is the most important because it's YOUR blog. Outside opinions are important to hear, but not always the deciding factor. Use a website builder like WIx or Squarespace. Start with their templates (or from scratch) and build it out from there. It took me like 2 full days to get my website anywhere near where I wanted it. Trial and error. Also, find a website you like the look of and mimic it a little. That helped me a lot. Make sure you have a clear message or greeting on your home page and then have a place for them to subscribe. Your visitors should have to do little to no work when they get to your page. Everything they need should be right there in front of them.
Tip 2: Have a catchy name
This is a tough one for me because I really wanted to have a lifestyle blog and name it my own name. I didn't want to be "thelifestyleblogger" or "thegirlthatdoesxyandz" I just wanted to be me. If you want the same, do it! I struggle with my last name because it's really hard to spell. It's not easy to just tell someone quickly. That's one thing I would change. That being said, if your name is Jane Smith you're going to have a hard time standing out and being found on Google. Find a happy medium. Like "LifeWithJane" or if you're a blogger in a specific niche, pick something with that niche. i.e. "Janethetraveler" or "ChefJane." You get it.
Tip 3: Pick a general theme or niche
All bloggers will tell you to pick one specific niche for your blog. I say pick whatever you want. If it's something you're passionate about and it's a broad niche...do it. Go big or go home. You are going to customize that niche with your own unique voice. Don't feel intimidated by the millions of beauty or travel bloggers. You can do it too! I wanted to do every single niche; beauty, fashion, DIY, food, fitness, travel... I'm a crazy person. I didn't know what my main thing would be until I started. The biggest tip I have for people that are interested in different topics is try them all. Lay them all out and see what you add to the most. You can always minimize it as you go and take away the topics you don't really visit.
Tip 4: Write inspiring and engaging blog posts
You're not always going to write winning blog posts. You're just not. I've written blog posts that I thought were absolutely amazing and they got very little engagement. I've written blog posts that I didn't think were that great and people loved them. You can't please everyone all the time. Write from your heart and go for it. You find things to write about as you go. It can start with answering a question. What do people ask you about? What do people compliment you on? Is there something you're always helping people with? Those are great blog posts. Ones that help people solve their problems or answer a question. Lay some ideas down and go go go!
Tip 5: Get people to listen and share
It can be really hard to get people to listen. People see your posts and they like them but they don't always engage or share. How do you make them care? Write about things they care about and provide incentives. People love when you give them free stuff. Tell them to subscribe for free tips, or a free e-book, or something that they'd find value in that doesn't take much of your time. People love helping others when there is something in it for them. Tell them to share and you'll share theirs in return. (Like for like, etc.) Reach out to everyone you know. Post on all social media. Get yourself out there!
Tip 6: Don't give up
One of the most common issues when starting a blog is continuity. People start, get bored or discouraged, and give up. The truth is, starting a blog takes time. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of slow slow traction. You'll be slowly creeping uphill until you get to where you want to be. That's completely normal! Don't get discouraged. No blogger started a blog and hit a million subscribers in one week. (that I know of anyway) When I started blogging, I started with 2,000 followers on instagram and like 2 people subscribed to my blog. (literally my mom and my boyfriend) You have to be patient and really sell yourself. You have to think of your blog as a business and sell it! People will start engaging when they see you're really serious about it and you're really making an impact. Don't give up on yourself. Show people you are a blogger!
I hope this helps you get started. I want to have a full course soon that can answer more questions in detail. I'm super proud of you for wanting to get started and putting in the time to read this. Research all that you can about marketing and starting a blog. You can always learn more.
DM me or email me with any questions you have and I'd be happy to help!
Love you lots!