So you’ve decided that you want to take the plunge and start a blog. Kudos to you my friend, it’s not an easy task to gather up the strength to say you want to showcase your life, talents, and passion to the rest of the world. It’s 2017, so I feel like I don’t have to go in-depth to explain what a blog is, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 10 years – a blog consists of written and/or captured content of some sort of shared idea between the writer and it’s reader(s). Blogging is a wonderful career and with your foot in the right direction, doesn’t have to be difficult to start one. Here are 5 steps I took when I too took that plunge!
Decide what to blog about
Whether it be fashion, food, fitness, or travel, always base your blog off your own interests and/or life experiences. If you don’t care about the topic, writing and creating content will be a nightmare! If you enjoy yoga and exercise, write about fitness. If you find yourself constantly looking for the best local restaurants, go down the foodie route. If you’re a first time mother and want to reflect and relate to other moms, starting a mommy-blog is your answer. You get the picture. Choose a niche in which you can picture yourself as an authority figure. The whole point is for your audience to look to you as a leader and expert in your specialized niche. However, chances are that your niche is heavily populated with others on the scene. Hello, it’s 2017 and everyone is a “blogger” nowadays. Don’t fret though, just keep on creating tons of content while still keeping in mind how you can make your blog standout on an everyday basis.
Come up with a name
One of the first things you should ask yourself is what you want to portray within this blog. Sure, you can use your first and last name, but the most easily marketable blogs are the ones in which your brand perfectly describes the your specialized field. Think of Song of Style and Fashion Toast, both fashion blogs, and Lust for Life, another fashion blog that incorporates world travel as well. When I chose my blog name, I sat myself down in front of a blank piece of paper and wrote down random words in which I wanted to describe what fashion meant to me. I let my mind wander finally deciding on two words – Luxe and Linen. Make sure your name is not too long as well – you want to make it catchy and memorable as possible. You want to be able to put this everywhere – site titles, social media, business cards, etc. Your name should ultimately be a part your slogan or elevator pitch. When describing what my blog is about, my response is, “Luxe and Linen simply highlights my love for effortlessly luxe street style.”
Pick your poison
Once you get your creative juices flowing and create your blog name, you want to pick your poison – your platform poison that is. There are tons of platforms to choose from such as WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Wix, etc. I have seen a few websites powered by Squarespace and think it’s a fabulous option for minimally aesthetic website templates. Personally, I love Wordpress as I feel it’s a popular platform and gives me great flexibility and functionality. WordPress also has two options – WordPress.com, which is the hosted website, and WordPress.org, which is self-hosted. The self-hosted website does require you to drop some money, but I think it’s totally worth it especially if you plan on blogging professionally. If you’re not too sure and just simply want to dip your toes, don’t worry! You can start on WordPress.com (it’s free!) and find out if this something you want to take more seriously before converting to a .org.
Create good and engaging content
Here is the fun part where you can finally put all your hard work, knowledge, and passion to work. Think of topics to write about and capture photos and/or video to help as visual aids.When creating good and engaging content, make sure your visual aids are relative to what your topic is. No one wants to read about a sangria recipe and only see one photo of a lemon! Where the hell is the wine?! Also, don’t think you need a fancy DSLR that’s $1000+ to create good content. Yeah, creating high quality images or videos is great and all, but if you don’t have the funds to buy one, don’t feel like you have to give up your entire savings. The main thing is to not break the bank especially when you first start out. Personally, I’m using a Sony a5000 at the moment while I save up to get my Sony a6000 fixed. Both are point and shoot cameras, but have the ability to change out the lenses if needed. I purchased the a6000 a few years ago for about $700 (on sale HERE) and the a5000 last year for $250 (HERE). Again, if those options are out of your budget, then use your phone! The iPhone, for example, takes amazing quality photos and video. There’s even a couple articles and YouTube videos in which they compare a DSLR to an iPhone. The great thing about just having your phone in hand is that it’s compact and you’re obviously not lugging around a large camera around your neck or bag.
One of the worst things you can do is showcase your blog all over social media for your friends and family to see, and only have one post to show for it. I see this all time with bloggers just starting out. They later give up on the idea altogether because they weren’t the results they were hoping for. Well…how do you expect to engage any type of potential audience when you don’t have the work to show for it? Creating consistent content is the key here. Instead, whether you choose to post once a week, twice a week, or every single day, cue a month’s worth of posts before the grand premiere. That means you need to have 4-5 posts on cue at the very least. This is so that once you premiere the blog, your readers see options and become engaged because you have so much content and information on the said topic, thus shooting up your true credibility as a blogger. Most importantly, once you’ve created a post schedule, stick to it. Your now engaged audience expects a post once a week, twice a week, or every single day. Remember not to spread yourself too thin though and stay within a schedule that’s realistic to you and your lifestyle.
If you guys have any other tips that I may have left out, please feel free to comment down below. Wishing you guys the best of luck on your blogging ventures!
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