My Tips On How To Start A Blog
This is a post I'm doing because I really think it would've helped me out when I was deciding to start my own blog. For years (seriously, years) I have been wanting to start some sort of online documentation of my life happenings, but could never find my niche (I'm italicizing this word because it's important, more on that later). Without further ado, let's get started.
Choosing Your Blog Topics
I'm the type of person that gets really enthusiastic about something for a period of time and slowly starts to become disinterested in said topic.If you're like me, the trick to starting your own blog is blogging about something you'll never lose interest in. If you pick something that isn't authentic to you, it's going to be really difficult to come across as authentic to your audience. You have to think about your blog topics as things that already make sense to your current life. In other words - don't change your life for the sake of a blog.
Let me break this down a little...if you don't buy a lot of makeup but decide you want to blog about makeup, that's going to be very difficult for you. It may be sustainable for some amount of time, but will eventually get expensive and redundant, because you're changing your regular habits solely for your blog. Instead, take a look at what you do everyday. For me, my day job is a creative director, so it makes sense for me to blog about art and creative things. I also already bake almost every weekend, so cooking is an easy addition. Finally, I have my own business and I'm growing it everyday – so this is a great experience to blog about and share with my audience.
Finding Your Niche
If you don't know where to start, pick two things you are passionate about and two things you are knowledgable about. If they go hand-in-hand, even better. Picking a few relatively similar topics and sticking to them will help you find your niche – told you this word was important! Your niche is your group of people or audience that has similar interests to you. They'll be drawn to follow you and keep coming back if you push out consistent, similar content. If you're constantly changing your topics you'll never get anyone to stick around or build a following.
Now, don't get me wrong – I know I have a random travel post here and there that doesn't relate to my defined blog topics BUT it's not so far out there that people will unfollow me. Your blog should have topics which are all under the same umbrella. For me, my umbrella is creativity. Cooking, designing, creating art, DIY's and interior design are all under this umbrella and are all things that you can expect to see at some point on this blog. Find your umbrella, break down your topics and finally just start. The hardest part about starting a blog is taking the jump to start it. It is a vulnerable place, people will have their opinions, but remember - nothing worth having comes easy.
Choosing a Platform
Website platforms or hosting sites are places where you operate your site, design your site, post content, all that jazz. I would highly recommend using either Squarespace or Wordpress for your blogging platform. From my experience, both can be figured out by yourself if you are diligent enough, but you may eventually want to hire a professional designer if you're trying to get a cohesive, professional look. Hiring a designer is by no means necessary when starting out, but eventually having a professionally designed website can help you build credibility as well as improve your audience experience.
The main difference between Squarespace and Wordpress are the templates and pricing structure. Squarespace (what I use and what this site is hosted on) is based on either a month-to-month or annual subscription starting at $12/month. Your subscription comes with everything you need, including multiple beautiful templates to get started with. Wordress, on the other hand is technically free, but you have to purchase your templates, URL and many plugins. I personally think Squarespace is easier for beginners, but that's just my opinion.
Publicizing Your Blog
Start with social media that you already have a following on. Speaking from experience - I attempted creating a different Instagram for my blog but realized this made no sense. If I just shared my blog posts on the page I had already gained followers on, I would be getting more eyes on my content and already had somewhat of a following. There's no point starting from scratch if you don't have to. Also, share as much with family and friends as you can. I'm lucky to have a really big, really supportive family and were very engaged with my blog when I first started.
Well, that is it! This was my rundown of choosing topics, choosing a platform and gaining an audience. Nothing I mentioned is a rule or something you must do. Everyone's path is different - this is just what works for me! As always, thank you for reading,