Starting a blog is a daunting task. There are so many aspects to consider and figuring out where to even begin is a struggle. But building a new blog doesn’t have to be hard, just follow these three tips to get your blog started today.
Find Your Voice
The first step in starting a blog is also the most defining: what are you going to write about? What a loaded question! There are millions of different topics in the world, how do you find one and define the theme of your blog. Well, you will need to break it down.
First, what do you know? When starting a blog you have to think of your blog's sustainability. You don’t want to write about baking when you only know how to bake chocolate chip cookies! You’ll write one post and then be stuck.
Instead you should find a topic that you have a strong knowledge of or a passion for. Chronicling your baking journey as you learn how to bake like a pro is a great topic for a blog, one that has long term potential.
In the same vein of long term potential, you want to find a topic that will give you plenty to write about. You don’t want a topic that is too broad because it will become impossible to find some coherency in your future blogging efforts. But you also don’t want a topic that is too narrow because then you will surely run out of posts after only a few months.
Think of it this way; historians don’t write entire books on one battle nor do they write one book about the whole history of the world. The key is finding the perfect balance.
The last consideration you need to assess when thinking of your blog topic is how original your blog is. The fact is that the Internet is a big place and there are bloggers for just about everything these days. In order to build a viable blog that gains any recognition you need to find out what makes you different.
There are hundreds of baking blogs for example, what makes yours different? If you are just posting pictures and recipes then you will have a hard time being heard. So think of a fun twist to a common idea or find a way to make your content quality top notch.
Find Your Platform
The next part of starting a blog is finding a home for your content. These days there are a multitude of blogging platforms that can suit any new blogger’s needs. First you need to define the goals of your blog. Ask yourself a few of these questions to get a better idea of what your blogging goals are.
What is the main purpose of my blog?
Is my blogging a personal blog or will it be a professional space?
Will I be putting ads on my blog in the future?
Having the answer to these questions will help you better decide which platform is right for you. If you are using blogging as a personal hobby then there isn’t a reason to spend money on a paid hosting site, sites like WordPress or Medium would work great for a personal blog. However, if you are looking for a more professional blog that will impress companies and advertisers then spending a little extra money on your site would be a good call. WordPress gives you the option to upgrade for a price and Squarespace has some great options for a professional blogger.
Do a little research into what will fit your personal needs; remember there is no reason to rush! There are so many applications and sites out there that you can definitely find one perfectly tailored to your needs
Find Your Plan
Once you have your themes and have decided on a platform, the final step in starting a blog is making a game plan. This will be your content calendar.
A content calendar is essentially just a posting schedule that helps to keep your content coherent, consistent, and easily manageable. When you are first building out your blog it is best to keep your calendar simple and focus on the big picture. As your blog develops so will your content calendar but first you have to create a strong outline of the "big picture" timeline of your blog.
To begin, you need to decide what is most important to you as a blogger. What do you want your readers to get out of your blog and how will go about accomplishing those goals? If you are creating a baking blog in hopes of improving your own baking skills and offering a “baking blog for dummies” experience for you readers then you need to decide what content you need to put out to fulfill those objectives.
Once you have a clear path you need to parse out your content over the course of a few months, maybe even a year. See where there are gaps in your posting schedule, if you notice that in October you go almost two weeks without any scheduled content then try to come up with more ideas to fill up the month.
New blogs suffer greatly if they go long periods of time without new content. Building up a readership is a difficult task if there isn’t enough to read! So try to get out at least one new piece of content every week, especially in the early days of your blog.
Blogging is an excellent tool; people blog as a full-time job or as a fun way to express themselves. Whatever you are looking to get from your blog is achievable. Don't let the early difficulties of getting a blog started get in your way. Take the first steps today and you will be amazed how quickly you get your blog off the ground!