Do you want to start a blog, but you don’t know how to?
Don’t worry; we all started like that. We wanted to start writing about something that interests us and we thought: “Why not start blogging? It sounds cool!”.
And it is. Blogging is great for a lot of reasons. But, as with everything worth doing, it can also be hard sometimes. To help you a little bit, here are some tips for starting a blog.
1. Choose Your Niche
Your niche is the main topic of your blog. It’s the topic that most of your posts will be about, so choose well. You’ll be spending a lot of time writing about it. Not that writing something irrelevant to your niche is out of limits, but it may not be so interesting to your regular audience.
Your niche can be pretty much anything. No matter how specific it is, there are always going to be people around the globe who want to read exactly about this topic. One of the pros of having 8 billion people on our beautiful planet!
Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to choose. So here are some things to take into account while deciding:
You will write about your niche A LOT. And don’t think about the first two weeks when you’ll be excited to write on your blog. Think about when you’re 6 months in and you’ll have already written 30+ posts. Will you have the same will to keep writing about it?
Do you know your niche well enough?
It’s okay if you don’t. Just be prepared to do more research on it while writing your posts. Which, again, is great if you like your niche, but it’ll be tiring if you get bored with your niche after a while.
- Something You Know Well
You can choose something you already know a lot about. Something about your job or a hobby you’ve had for a long time. Something you’ve studied a lot.
You’ll have experience on the topic and you’ll know enough to write personal opinions on your posts. Also, writing your posts will probably be faster since the research will be less than if you were a beginner.
- Something You Want To Learn About
You can choose something you’re interested in, but you don’t know a lot about. In this case, you’ll make this journey along with your readers.
It’ll be easier to understand what they’re going through because you’re living it right now. Time has a way to erase the memories. If you’re a beginner yourself, you’ll empathise with them easier.
One is no better than the other. You may think you should go with the safest road and choose something you know well, but if you know a lot about a subject, you may lose the will to learn more about it along the way. On the other hand, if you choose something you don’t know anything about, you may get tired from all the research you’re bound to do.
Which brings me back to my previous point: Choose something you’re passionate about. And hope for the best!
What NOT To Choose
Don’t choose something just because you believe it’s popular or that it’ll help you make money. If you’re not interested in it, you’ll get bored quickly and give up eventually.
2. Choose The Name
The second thing you have to do is choose the name of your site. I love this part of the process, even though it’s not so easy to choose. I’d suggest you pick a name:
This is YOUR blog. You’ll work a lot on it. You’ll share it with friends, family, the world. It’s nice to have a name that you love so that you can be proud when you talk about it. If you don’t like it, it’ll start showing.
And why would you want to choose a name you don’t like, anyway?
Relevant To Your Niche
It’s preferable if the name is related to your niche in some way. This way, the readers get an idea of what the blog is about without even being on the site.
Find a name that represents your blog. Make it witty, funny, serious, whatever you want.
By the way, the first is more important than the second. It’s all right to choose a name you like and it’s not relevant to your blog, but not the other way around.
3. Start Training
When I started blogging seriously, I started training for it as well. When you’re a beginner, it’s nice to have a guide. Otherwise, you make a ton of mistakes.
Not that you won’t make mistakes with the right training. Of course, you will. But it’ll be easier and faster this way. You’ll have lessons to follow in order and a lot of advice from experienced bloggers. It will be easier to go through the difficult parts.
I chose Wealthy Affiliate because it has training for people who are beginners at blogging – I was a total newbie then – and it has a wonderful community that supports you throughout your journey. Most of the members started without knowing anything, so they know the struggles you’re going through. And since new members join the platform every day, you meet a lot of people that start from scratch like you!
Also, you can check it out for free, so I thought to give it a chance. 😀
4. Write Consistently
Set a schedule you feel comfortable with and stick to it. Maybe it’s once a day, once a week, or once a month. But no matter what, choose how often you want to write and don’t deviate from the schedule.
Just remember how annoying it is when you wait for something and you can’t have it when it should be available. Annoying, right? Why should your readers have to go through this?
So try to be on schedule or, if possible, be ahead of it. Start writing your posts early enough so that if something goes wrong, the next post will still get published on time.
Lack of self-discipline will be your enemy here because nobody has a say in your writing except you. Things happen all the time, and it’ll be easy to start neglecting your blog. It’ll be easy to start procrastinating writing, leave everything until the last minute and then rush through it. Especially when you’ve just started blogging and you don’t feel the pressure that comes with having people checking what you do on your site every day. Something that began as an exciting activity will start to be a bother.
I’m not telling you this to scare you; I’m just telling you so you know what you have to deal with. Try to stay on schedule and everything will be fine!
5. Think About Your Audience
Before you write a post, think why you write it, what’s your audience and why they look for it. What do they want to learn?
Thinking about the reason you write the current post will help you find the main goal of the article. What do you want to have answered in this post? What is the main focus of this piece of content?
Depending on what your audience is, you can write in plain language or use more advanced terms. Whatever your niche is, there will always be beginners that want to learn the basics. There will also be people who have been around for a while and they search for something more advanced. Decide on whom your post is for. It would be nice to include both, but usually, it’s difficult. So try to choose one.
After you find the answers to these questions, start writing your next post. Now it’s easier to be helpful because you know whom you try to help and what they want help with. And being helpful is always well appreciated.
6. Add Your Personal Touch
Make your blog unique by making it reflect your personality. Don’t copy other people’s content or writing style. They are successful because they are who they are and people love them for them. You are who you are and your readers will love you for you.
Find a way to transfer your character traits to your writing style. They will make it all the more special and fun. Blogging is a great way to reveal all you really are. So why shouldn’t you?
Be helpful, be honest and, most importantly, be yourself while writing. Your readers will understand it if you’re open with them and they’ll trust you because of it.
7. Choose A Colour Palette
Choose the main colours you want to use on your site. You can use them for your logo, your images, your fonts, etc.
Try to choose not only colours you like but also colours that match your blog topic. Have a look at the feelings that each colour provoke and use each one to get across the feelings you want. For example, if you start a blog about children toys, don’t use black and red; use more soothing colours, like green and yellow.
You can check out some palettes on Adobe.com or Canva.com or you could create your own.
8. Navigate Like A Pro
Navigation is an essential element of your site. How will people read your posts if they can’t find them? How can they know which of your posts to check out if you don’t point them out?
Creating an easy-to-navigate menu will help your readers find your posts easier. Don’t make it complicated. You want to help people, not confuse them more. You want to make your site so easy to navigate that your readers will feel like they’ve been there before. Like they have been so many times that they know it like the back of their hand.
So here are some things to take into account while making your menu:
- Don’t use long names for the menu items.
- Don’t make the menus too long.
- Don’t have too long submenus. You don’t have to put all of your content there. Have only the important posts; otherwise, it’s even more difficult for people to choose what they want to read.
- You can use categories to split your content.
- While creating your menu, keep in mind that you know your blog but your readers – especially the new ones – don’t. So keep it simple and easy.
9. Make a Logo
Having a logo makes your blog looks more professional and gets across the general feeling of your blog. It also helps you build your brand and make your blog instantly recognisable if found somewhere else.
For example, if you go to a conference and you wear a T-shirt with your logo, then when somebody from there visits your blog, they’ll go: “Hey, I remember the guy. He looked cool”. Or if a fan of your blog sees you on the street wearing something with your logo, they could talk to you like: “Hey, I read this blog, too. Are you a fan?”. (Just imagine their surprise when you tell them you’re the writer!)
Or if you have your logo as your Gravatar and comment on someone else’s blog, someone can see it and think: “I know this girl. I was at her blog the other day. I’ll check out to see if there are any new posts”. Plus, seeing you interact with others helps your readers connect with you and see you as a real person.
And I know that some of these things look a little too much when you start out (like someone on the street recognising your logo?) so let me give you some other reasons to create a logo, too:
- Create a business card and include the logo on it.
- Put it on your social media accounts.
- It’s so much fun! I love making logos. Creating something yours for your blog is great.
- It gives a fresh look to your blog.
And if you worry that you can’t do it on your own, just don’t. You may think that creating a logo is hard, but it’s not. It’s easier than it sounds. And you definitely don’t have to be a designer to do it.
A great tool to create logos is Canva. It has ready templates that can help you make your logo and free graphics to choose from. Cooltext and Flamingtext are useful as well if you want a fancy font for your logo.
10. Manage Your Expectations
Last but NOT Least: Manage your expectations!
Blogging is a great pastime but, your blog will need time to grow. All good things take time. You need to be patient and don’t be disappointed with the time you have to wait until your blog takes off.
So, don’t expect to have visitors for a while. There are a lot of blogs out there and it’ll take time for people to find yours.
An excellent way to make the waiting shorter is engaging in social media, forums, other blogs, etc. Start commenting on other people’s blog and leave the link to your site. Some of them will take the time and visit your blog, too.
Join forums and groups for bloggers or people interested in your niche. You can get some new readers from there and have some feedback, as well. Just don’t overdo it with sharing your posts. You’ll be annoying and after a while, banned from most communities.
But even if you do all you can to promote your blog, it will still take time. So don’t get disappointed and keep trying. And the most important? Don’t forget to enjoy the journey! Enjoy every little moment you get to work on your blog.
The Fear of Starting
Starting something new is a little intimidating, so I leave you this video to check out. Enjoy!
So these are the tips I have to offer to people who want to start blogging. And one more…
It’s easy to find reasons to procrastinate. That’s why you have to start NOW if you really want to be a blogger.
Let me know what you think about blogging and, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer. Any suggestions are always welcome, so tell me about topics you’d like me to write.
And if you liked this, check out more tips for your blog.
See you next time!