I often get questions about starting a blog or how to improve your current blog. One of the main questions I get is “can I even blog?” The answer is YES! That’s what is so great about it. Anyone can blog, it’s YOUR words, your stories, so you make the rules. You may know my blog started out as a training journal for running and morphed into so much more. I am by no means an expert, but as an almost ten-year blogger, I do have 5 tips for starting a blog I wanted to share with you:
1.) Don’t pigeon hole yourself with your domain name. My blog started as running only, so the name “Running With Sass” completely fit. However, after three years I was itching to branch out and blog about other things going on in my life, especially after I got pregnant, so I had to go through the painful process of switching everything over to Through Heather’s Looking Glass which was quite a lot! If you know for a fact all you will ever blog about is running, or crafting, or whatever it is that is getting you to start a blog, then that’s fine, however…many years ago I didn’t think I would want to blog about other things, so it *may* be a good idea to do a semi-generic domain/blog name to give you more freedom.
Some people choose their name or a combination of things they will blog about such as travel or fashion. Just remember there is no “wrong” blog name, it’s whatever you want! I chose THLG because it’s generic but also has a small nod to whimsy and Disney, without “committing” to only writing about one thing.
2.) Pick a platform. I started out on wordpress.com (My blog was runningwithsass.wordpress.com), and I soon paid the extra money to have the “WordPress” part taken off, and after a year of blogging, I went self-hosted on WordPress.org. This allows me to be a part of blog networks, get paid for posts, etc. I am NOT great with technical stuff, but was able to easily navigate WordPress.org, and use Bluehost for my web hosting, and WordPress through Bluehost is FREE, and they even offer technical support.
3.) Get involved on social media: So you didn’t realize that starting a blog also meant juggling social media accounts did you? Of course, you don’t HAVE to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest, but they will greatly help grow your blog. Not only do I suggest joining them, but be ACTIVE on them, and don’t just talk about yourself. Actually, interact. Also, comment on other people’s blogs and social media. No one likes “that girl” who gets tons of comments but never interacts with the audience. It makes you seem un-relatable and not a real person. (Note: I’m not saying you should have to respond to EVERY comment, but some interaction is nice!) I think picking a “main” social platform is a good idea but also having secondary ones as well. For instance, I am on Instagram daily. It is fun, it directs people to my blog, and more. I still use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, I just don’t put quite as much time into them because I am doing well on Instagram at the moment. This may change of course!
4.) Don’t compare. This is a biggie. A lot of new bloggers will look at blogs that have been around for years and immediately want to be like them, with the same number of followers, page views, social following, and the like. Very few people became an overnight success, so put in the hard work and your blog will grow, evolve, and change. You are at a different part of your journey, and everyone has to start somewhere.
5.) Hire a logo designer: This is unless you are a great designer yourself! A sad and elementary looking header/logo will ensure brands don’t take you seriously, and other readers probably won’t either. You do not have to spend a fortune on this! I just redid my blog, and the girl I hired designed my logo, AND installed everything including a new theme for $80! I’m super happy with it and think it was a great investment. It also may boost your self-confidence and make you feel more official!
Want more of a step by step guide to setting up your blog plus more tips where I walk you through getting your blog going? Enroll in my FREE e-course now!