Hey girl hey! Over the course of the past 4 years, I have used blogging as a creative outlet. It’s a great way to showcase your expertise, while also potentially making a few bucks as well. When I first started out, I didn’t see it as a business opportunity–it was more of a fun hobby that I did in my free time. However, blogging can be turned into a full time career if you really put the effort into it. Today’s blog is going to be all about how you can start your very own blog + some tips to help get you in the business mindset of blogging!
First and foremost, you want to make sure you have an idea or a passion. Just simply starting a blog about your day-to-day life is great, but there needs to be more. We live in a self-serving society–people want to walk away having gained something. What things are you an expert on? What can you teach someone? How can you give your readers something of value? Write these things down and really look into how you can help the general public. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just add value where you see fit!
Once you have figured out your desired topic (called a “niche” in the blogging world), it’s time to figure out your audience. Who are you trying to reach? Is your blog catered to millennials? Maybe your content is geared more towards women versus men. Is there a certain part of the world/country that you are trying to reach? These are things you need to consider, especially once you write your first post! To give you an idea, when I first started out, I wanted my audience to be female, around the ages of 20-35. Obviously, people outside of my target audience read my blog, but I catered my writing style and graphics to fit that audience.
Now that you have your niche and your audience in mind, write out a few blog post ideas that you have. I constantly keep a running list of post ideas in the notes section of my phone, as well as a little notebook that I keep in my purse at all times. If a blog post comes to mind while I’m just hanging out, I’ll always write it down somewhere. It’s important to have a blueprint of where you’re going in order to remain organized and streamlined.
Coming Up With a Name
This is the hardest part of blogging, I promise! Coming up with something that is marketable, available on social media, and is memorable is so hard. Prior to mallyelizabeth, I was lipstickandlessonplans, and before that, I was makemeovermally. If you have a super streamlined name that makes sense for your brand, go for it! However, now that I have switched to a variation of my name, I will always suggest doing the same! Your name is the most marketable thing about you. When pitching to brands, they will always remember your name, but volleyballgirl45 might be less than memorable and brand friendly for them. Keep it simple, but put a lot of thought into if it’s something you would want to be stuck with you for the long run!
The Tech-y details
I’m going to be completely honest…this is my least favorite part of blogging. I’m not a super technical person and I’m all about instant gratification. Blogging is definitely not an instant gratification process by any means. With technical stuff, it’s important to keep reminding yourself of that. I’m going to break down a few of the main things you need to worry about straight off the bat.
The biggest way to insure success for your blog is to start off with a domain and hosting site. I personally use WordPress.org as my host, because of the customization factor, and because I 100% own my website. If you go through other hosting sites, you might not own the rights to your own content. With WordPress.org, you can purchase a domain through an outside source, and connect it with your account. I personally went with A2 Hosting and I could not be more thrilled with their service. Their prices are low, their customer service is amazing, and my website isn’t slow.
However, if you are simply blogging for a hobby, do not worry about purchasing a domain or anything special. But if you’re like me, and you want to make a little money + have sustainable sponsorships, you’ll want to focus on the behind the scenes tech stuff right off the bat. I won’t go into this too deeply, but if you follow me on Instagram, feel free to ask me as many questions as you need! I am planning on doing a whole separate post on the tech details of blogging!
Yay! Now you’re ready to create your first posts. Congratulations! A lot of people feel the need to create an “about me post” to get started. I would suggest straying away from this and starting your content right off the bat. For me, as a beauty blogger, I wrote first and foremost about my favorite products. This opened the door for readers to get to know me through my product knowledge, and set me up as an expert in what I write about. Of course, it’s your blog, so you can truly write about whatever you want.
One thing that I would strongly recommend is to have multiple posts already written before you tell people about your blog. Try to shoot for at least 5 already posted onto your blog from day one. This will give your readers a reason to stay on your blog and read for a little bit, plus it makes your blog look a little more professional as well. Give your readers an example of what they can expect from your blog.
Now that you have written your posts, you are ready to share them with the world! As a blogger, your biggest tool for growing your brand and getting the word out about your blog is social media. I highly suggest starting with Instagram and Pinterest, and then add on Facebook and Twitter. If you want your blog to be more of a fun side hobby, just using your personal accounts will work just fine. However, if you want your blog to really take off, create new accounts that are solely dedicated to your blog. For example, I have a personal Instagram account that focuses more on friends, life events, and my hometown & my blog account focuses more on what I blog about. I will be doing a whole blog post on how to use social media to market yourself, and how to grow a following, so look out for that!
Just remember: this blog is completely yours, and others’ opinions are completely irrelevant. Reflect that in your writing and in your posts. If you are constantly ripping off others’ ideas, you won’t stand out from the next blogger. Write about things that you truly are passionate about, as well as an expert on. Whatever your expertise level is, there is someone out there searching for that topic. Always keep that in mind! Don’t be scared to share with family or friends. My family and friends are my most loyal readers. Just always stay true to the things that you love, and you’re guaranteed to succeed! As always, if you have any questions, or just need someone to hype up your blog, I’m always on the other side of your phone or laptop! Message me, I would love to answer any other questions you have.
Be sure to follow me on all of my social media listed to the right, and comment below with something that makes you excited to blog about!