So, you want to start a blog? Seems to be quite common lately as I’m fielding lots of questions and helping a few people get set up. I didn’t start the traditional way, I wrote on a newspaper site first, so I did things a little backwards. I had readers and then had to figure out how to get my own blog started. So, if I can help to make your life easier, that excites me. Here are a few things to consider to get a great start on your blog.
Uncover your why– Are you starting a blog because you have a story to tell? Or, are you needing to get some SEO mojo to your website? Those are two completely different things. If you want to start sharing your passion for cooking or crafts or even weight loss, you need to find topics that you’re passionate about and that others will find fascinating. If you’re blogging for business, hopefully it is your passion and that will show through. My biggest piece of advice? Be genuine.
Choose a name– This is your brand so you need to choose wisely. It needs to reflect clearly who you are and what you’re content will be. If you get too clever, you may get lost in the blogosphere and you may have to re-brand later if your blog content changes. If your a business, you’re lucky because you don’t have this issue. Reminder! Before you become married to your name, make sure the url is available. Also a good idea? Buy your own name. That way it’s protected.
Pick a platform– I’m a big WordPress girl. I started on the WordPress.com (the free platform) and then migrated myself onto WordPress.org last year so I could monetize (if you go this route, you need to find a host. I use Go Daddy and have been pleased). WordPress is super simple to use and I’m a fan of all the plug-ins. As for Blogger, I’ve watched a lot of my blogging buddies migrate off in the past year and guess where they’ve all wound up? WordPress. If you have an existing website and want to add a blog, your developer can add a WordPress one pretty simply. Just ask.
Decide on a look– If you go the WordPress.com route, there are simple templates for you to get started and there are also themes you can purchase. If you’re self-hosted, you’ll need to find a theme that you love. I wound up upgrading my blog while on .com so I had already paid for my theme. You can find some amazing ones on StudioPress and they use the Genesis Framework (which is awesome). You can check out my template for my website here.
Get started– Yes, I know this sounds simple, but I’ve worked with lots of people that set up a blog and then never get it going. Write the first post. Then another. Share that you’re blogging on your social media. Cross your fingers that people will read. But, more importantly, put together a schedule and plan for your blog. And, stick to it.