How long have I been saying I was going to write a post about starting a blog? Well, I am glad that it is finally here! It has been busy this week and I wanted to make sure I had a chunk of time set aside to write this so that I can get most of everything out that I want to say! Thank you for your patience! With the time change and warmer weather, it seems like the perfect time to start that one project you have been wanting to do. And if that project is starting a blog, hopefully this post will be of some help!
First, I want to start off by saying that you actually don't need me or this post to help you start a blog. The first and most important thing you need is the sheer desire to do it. If you have that, great! That desire and drive will lead you through the process. I think the value I can offer is perhaps some time-saving short cuts and motivation!
I have learned almost everything about blogging from doing it myself, and of course with the help and feedback from Jesse, and I think that is what has made me want to learn so much. Seeking out the answers has always left me more curious, more ambitious, and more motivated.
Basically, what I am trying to say is thank you for the emails and messages asking for support, but really YOU GOT THIS! Let's get started with a VERY basic thought process-type conversation. This is pretty much the conversation I have when I chat one-on-one with people about starting a blog.
- Why do you want to start a blog. Of course there is no right answer here. But it is important to know because it will keep you motivated when you are busy with work, school, relationships, children, travels, etc.
- The name. This is consistently the hardest part for most bloggers. Which is funny because I just named mine and didn't think twice about it. It also made sense with my initial topic of footwear.
- TIP: Do not spend too much time on this. You can change the name at any point, especially in the beginning. Try and be original, personal, and explanatory.
- TIP: Make sure the url is available. Also make sure all social channel handles are available. You will want consistency across all channels so followers can find you on all platforms.
- TIP: Don't use a word or brand that has been copyrighted. It will present a lot of problems for you in the future when you are a BIG blogger!
- TIP: Make it easy to spell! You want to make it as easy as possible for readers and followers to find you.
- The platform: I use Squarespace because I had heard about it and it was the first one I tried. A lot of old school bloggers use Wordpress (there are great plug-ins for it and a lot of designers can create beautiful templates for you- but I think for the most part Wordpress blogs look very, very similar). People I know have also tried Blogger.
- TIP: Pick a platform and play around with it. There is no perfect platform, it is all about personal preference.
- Getting started:
- Create a new email address for your blog. All correspondence will be through this email. Like Caroline.Perfect10SF@gmail.com
- Generate a week's worth of content before "sharing" with readers.
- Create social channels and sync accounts so posts are automatically pushed to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
- Pick a focus. You don't have to listen to me on this because I write about whatever I want. It is good to start off with 1-4 categories that you will consistently write about. For example: food, fashion, diy, interior design.
- TIP: If you want to get a loyal, focused following stay very focused. You will become the thought leader in that topic. Most popular lifestyle bloggers started with one or two topics and as readership grew (and they wanted to partner with more brands) they expanded categories. It can be risky to start off with 4+ topics, unless you are really on it. I love the idea of having a Monday topic, Tuesday topic, etc. and you can start that if you have content and motivation.
- Successful bloggers/ blogs (for the most part):
- Share beautiful images.
- Post quality Content with a unique point of view.
- Post consistently. Posting sporadically is the fastest way for readers to stop following you. They can't rely on you.
- Connect with readers and create a relationship.
- Offer value to readers- either inspiration, advice, or information.
- Treat their blog as a business.
- Write, photograph, write, share, share, write! Now it's time to go for it and just get in the grove of blogging!
I will be writing more about this topic, but please know that you can just do it! Have fun with it and stick with it! In my next post I will talk about how to take your blog to the next level- from daily blogging to making it a business. Essentially, that step in between starting it and having it be your full-time employment.
Email me any questions at Caroline.Perfect10SF@gmail.com!