I have gotten a lot of questions recently about how I started my blog and the various steps that are needed for others to do the same. I decided to write a post about it, so I have a place to direct these questions and also open a dialogue with those of you who are looking to create blogs of your own!
Make sure you’re serious about this.
Are you passionate about something and want to share that passion with others? GOOD. In my opinion, you need to really care about your blog, even before it’s created. A blog is as little or as much time as you want to put into it, but getting one set up is a lot of work! Most blogs are also abandoned in the first six months following their creation. I want you to start a blog and stick with it – If you’re following your heart, you will minimize your burnout as well as potential frustrations and keep blogging!
Come up with a name and general coverage.
We’ve already established that there is a passion of yours driving this blog. Channel that when you are deciding your niche, or the type of content that you will be creating on your blog. Perhaps you are passionate about helping others maintain a healthy lifestyle through workouts and clean eating; maybe you just love cooking and want to help others learn fun new recipes. Your niche can be anything under the sun: Gardening, interior design, personal style, parenting, beauty, education, healthcare, hair tutorials, vintage shopping, finances, etc. I suggest you choose a niche that you consider yourself to not only be passionate about, but knowledgable about. For example, I could never write a blog about health, but my aunt who is a doctor can.
Now that we have a better idea of what your blog will be covering, let’s name it! You may have had a name in mind this entire time, or you could be like me, clueless. My suggestion for the latter is to ask family and friends, because they know you the best. My friend Lauren is the origin of Sophisticaition – I knew I wanted my blog to be about my personal style, and by adding “Cait” into the word “Sophisticaition” that was conveyed in a unique way. This name will become something you see multiple times a day, so make sure you like it 🙂
Create your website.
YAY! Let’s make this thing happen! The first thing you have to decide is if you want to use a free blogging platform or self-host your website. That probably makes no sense to you, so let’s dive a little deeper.My website is self-hosted, which allows me to have my own URL (Sophisticaition.com) and customize the site’s appearance to my liking. I have complete control over everything, but I also have to pay for my URL and the storage of the information on my site. I also have to do more upkeep than someone with a free blogging platform – some bloggers joke that this is the same difference between owning or renting a home! There’s no internet “landlord” to fix problems for me.
If you’re just starting out, I do feel that free blogging platforms are generally easier to understand and work with. After a few months of using a free platform, you can always switch to self-hosting! Some more technical information is found in articles here and here. If you’d like my opinion on your personal situation, feel free to schedule a blog chat with me!
Whether you use a free blogging platform or choose to self-host, after your site is up and running, you can choose a theme, upload a logo, and personalize it! This is personally one of my favorite things about blogging because everyone’s blog ends up reflecting onto their own personality and interests! No two look the exact same, just like everyone’s content is vastly different.
Write your first post.
It’s time! All of the planning has led to this moment, let’s write your first post!!! For this post, feel free to introduce yourself, your blog and what your goals for it are. You can even dive in and publish an intro post along with a handful of others. My friend Caitlin started her blog earlier this year and did just that, so when people came to her site, there was a lot of content ready to read!
Blog posts vary in length by niche, but for my fashion and lifestyle content, I try to write at minimum 200 words when I have a lot of outfit photos, and try to stay under 1000 words. If you don’t know what to write about, Pinterest is a great resource for coming up with blog post prompts or ideas!
I would recommend finding a publishing schedule that works for you so your readers know when to expect a new post, whether that’s once a week, twice a month, etc. I try for Monday, Wednesday, Friday of each week, but sometimes life gets in the way and it ends up being Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 😉
Share it on social media!
This was the hardest part about creating my blog, letting others see it. I was nervous about what people would say. Would they like it? Would anyone not take it seriously? I hid my blog for far longer than I should have because I was so afraid of failure and judgment. Don’t make the same mistake I did! Share your blog with the world, because at the end of the day, the only one who needs to 100% love your blog is YOU. Anyone else is just icing on the cake :)Pinterest is a good place to share high quality photos from posts, especially if it’s related to food, interior design or DIY projects. Twitter and Facebook are easy to just plop links down and ask friends and family to retweet or share! These three sites, along with copy in my Instagram captions, are how I promote my blog posts. I’m about to pin this one right now, haha!
I hope this was helpful for those of you looking to start a blog!
For further help on this topic, feel free to email me and check out my other posts about blogging. I am offering BLOG MENTORING for one on one attention 🙂