A little over year ago I began my blogging adventure; just an English major with a love for words, for God, and a desire to use my words to connect my own story with others. I went from 500 followers to 8,000 in a year and five months-and I have gotten several messages from other aspiring bloggers about the best way to begin their own blogging adventure or to go deeper into the blogging world.
I must say that I still am quite new to this whole world but I am happy to share with you some of the things I found to be important and helpful.
1. What are your goals?
I think this is always a great place to start when diving into any new creative project. There are many ways to set these goals out. A Dream Board(my personal favorite version, I have a cute chalk board from target), journaling, or getting a scheduler are all excellent ways to list out your goals.
Why do you want to blog?
There is no wrong answer here. What is motivating you to share your ideas and thoughts?
What is your message?
Branding is a big part of blogging, and being consistent is important.
Are you writing about life as a Mom?
Are you a political activist?
Are you a photographer or artist?
Are you going to share how to DIY projects?
Are you going to write about your faith? Your chronic illness?
Are you going to share your favorite meal plans?
Yes, you can definitely be a blogger who has many messages, but I would recommend picking two or three things that are your main topics. Something that you are passionate about.
Who is your audience?
Who do you want to read your blog? Moms? Christians? Atheists? Republicans? Social Activists? Millennials? Fellow military wives? Stay at home fathers?
Who is most likely to read what you are writing or sharing? This is important to be able to write and present things in a way that is appealing to the audience that you desire to connect with.
Once you have figured out your goals and what you want your blog to be you need to pick a website in which to host your site. I recommend if you are serious about your blog to pay for your own domain.
Here are some popular blogging sites:
www.squarespace.com (I am most likely going to be transitioning here very soon)
As far as design is concerned, I think that simplicity and personality is key! Pick a layout, color, font and pictures that really represent your personality but also do not overdue it. You want it to be inviting, personal and not cluttered.
If you can afford it, hiring a web designer would 100% be worth it.
How often are you going to post to your blog? Weekly? Biweekly? Monthly? Pick an amount and commit to consistently posting content to your blog.
Are you a writer?
Now it's true you do not need to be an excellent writer to be an excellent blogger. For instance you could mainly post photos, videos, recipes etc., but I do think that honing in writing skills is definitely going to make your blog more appealing. If you have the time take an English or Creative Writing Class, or hire a tutor to help improve your writing if you feel lacking in that department.
A book I personally love on writing is On Poetry by Glyn Maxwell. While that book is specifically on how to write poetry the author gives some really wonderful exercises at the end of each chapter. Journal everyday, write letters, and I cannot emphasize this enough: read as much as you can.
Read the writers that you admire and desire to be more like and I promise it will show in your writing. Examine what it is about the way they convey things that engages you. Can you imitate it?
When all else fails you can hire a copywriter, which is someone who writes content for you website.
Professional Photos and/or Design
I would suggest hiring a professional photographer to take lifestyle shots of you/the things you are writing about, or finding someone to design images for your content. This will make your website look professional, and will come in handy with other forms of social media (which I will discuss later).
3. Tags, Instagram, and Facebook
Ok great, you have your goals, content and now you need to get the word of your blog out!
In your blog you should be able to label or tag subjects that you are writing about.
I have found that the majority of my readers come from Instagram (this is where those wonderful professional photos will come in handy) and using hashtags of subjects you are writing on, from online communities that you are joining, and use those consistently.
Post cohesive pictures on Instagram, similar colors, shapes, and photos.
Follow similar accounts to yours, and engage with them, get to know these fellow bloggers and be in online community with them.
Share your posts publicly on Facebook and even ask if your friends who like your posts, if they would be willing to share it.
4. Have fun, be yourself and be kind.
The internet can be an overwhelming place and I think the most important
aspect of joining the online community is to make sure you are enjoying yourself, that you are able be your authentic self (you don't need to try and be anyone other than your beautiful self) and always remember to be kind, never say something that you wouldn't say to someones face.
I am available to hire for Social Media Consulting or Copywriting if you'd like support on this journey and a more personalized game plan. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and to connect.
Photo Credit: http://www.alyssaluzaichphotography.com