Starting a blog can feel daunting. You know you have advice or stories to share, but that doesn’t stop the overwhelm of thinking about #allthethings that have to be done in order to actually create and run a successful blog. But here’s the secret tip for whenever you feel overwhelmed by a task, project, or just your to do list: reverse-engineer it.
It’s all about breaking. it. down.
Imagining that shiny new (and finished) blog might be satisfying, but we have to start small. Let’s be real, you’re not going to get it all done one weekend. And that really is a good thing! Going back in and reviewing what you’ve done means you have the opportunity to make it better. Nothing is perfect on the first attempt.
So let’s reverse engineer starting your blog and create actionable steps to get you to your end goal without all the stress (it’s 2019 after all)
1: Know your name
Starting a blog means starting with a name! If you’re an English Lit buff then you’ll know that Romeo and Juliet were all about that ‘what’s in a name?’ vibe, but in today’s modern (and marketing-focused) world, your name is your calling card.
You might want to keep it simple and just stick with your name. This is perfect if you’re planning on becoming known as a guru in a particular field.
But if you’re all about a niche and would rather let people just see the content (rather than seeing you provide the content) then it’s time to get your creative hat on!
Of course you can combine the two options (like I did 💁🏼♀️). My friend over at Blogging By Soph did too. See what works for you and get crafting those names. My personal fav brainstorming method is mind-mapping so get out your notebook and get thinking.
2: Pick your niche
You may already have an idea of what you want to write about (which is probably why you want to start a blog) so what’s the focus? Lifestyle, health, organisation, reading, film critic… Okay, the list is endless, so focus on what it is that you want to write about. Then you have to be honest, what can you write about? Let your passion drive you to niche it down.
Once you’ve worked out your niche (and are happy that you’re going to stick to it) you may want to look back over your name again. If you’re starting a travel blog, for example, you might want to make that the focus for your name.
3: Check it’s available
Check the domain name is free, as well as checking the names are free on social media (if you’re planning on making new accounts to go along with your blog). Having socials with the same name as your blog looks professional, as well as making it easier for people to find your multiple platforms online.
Having socials with the same name as your blog looks professional
4: Set your blog up
You’re ready to actually start your blog with your name and niche. Head over to WordPress and get started! This is the exciting bit because it actually becomes real!
Do a bit of research about purchasing your domain. There are a few options so find out what’s going to work for you and your budget.
You can use WordPress for free, but you won’t have your own domain name. It’ll be www.whateveryourblognameis.wordpress.com
If you’re cool with that, then skip the research.
When I set my blog up, I went to Pipdig and purchased a theme. They then migrated my existing blog to a self-hosted version (that’s the domain name without the .wordpress section) with SiteGround. The service was flawless and really quick, so if you’re looking for an easy way to get started, I’d recommend this method.
5: Get the right visual feel
Colours, fonts, pages – there’s a lot to get on with in the WordPress Customise section. Play around and get it exactly how you want it.
Don’t rush this section, but remember you can always adjust it later on.
6: Draft your content
Starting a blog also means starting to write. Brainstorm your first four posts. When you have a brand new blog it’s easy to feel a little disheartened because your blog can look a bit empty. So we’re going to really push the content to begin with. Even if you only plan on posting once a week (join the club 🙋🏼♀️) try to post once a week for your first month.
Now you have your niche, draft 12 blog post titles. Flesh them out and cross the weaker options out. You want clear, strong content to introduce yourself and your blog to the world.
Draft your first four posts and schedule them for each week.
7: Find your competitions and make friends
It’s a saturated market and there’s no use pretending it isn’t, but, as Lareese said, your unique voice is needed and it’s always worth sharing.
Find blogs in your niche and make a list of things they do that you like and want to incorporate into your site and/or content. Then reach out to those creators and make friends! Blogging works 100% better when we lift each other up (rather than trying to stamp out the competition like one of the stepsisters in Cinderella).
Join blogging Facebook and Pinterest groups and say hi! These places are goldmines to new bloggers because you can immediately reach new readers of your blog and ask for advice on literally anything. They’ll also keep you inspired to keep writing and sharing.
8: Share your work
Now you’ve created an entire blog and content to boot, start sharing it with everyone you know! Encourage them to share it and leave comments. Engagement is the key to creating.