Starting a blog can be a pain in the ass if you wait to do it when you are ready. First of all, you will most probably never start, because you will never think that you are ready. Secondly, others will do it, while you are procrastinating; they will fail, learn and progress, while you are still in the safe zone, contemplating over and over again. No more waiting, no more excuses! I bring you the best lessons from my failures and tips on how to start a blog from scratch!
TYPE OF BLOG YOU SHOULD START
Fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle…the list is endless and it can certainly be overwhelming to decide what the perfect topic for you is since you probably have more than one interest. Keep in mind that targeting a niche with your blog posts will help you progress much faster. For example, if you are writing about adventure travel you will get better collabs with adventure travel agencies than a fashion blogger.
I have so many interests; I simply don’t know where to start.
I don’t think I am ready and I don’t believe I know enough on the subject to share it with the world. This is a stupid excuse because there is always someone who knows less, has less and can do less than you. If your post helped one person, then your blog served the purpose, right?
Questions to ask yourself:
- What are the things I help out my friends with for free?
- If my topic is already very popular is there a chance for me to address it from a different perspective?
- Why do I follow my favorite bloggers?
- Is there anything I know a lot about that doesn’t get enough bloggers coverage?
BLOG NAME & DOMAIN
My tip for you is to stick to your name or nickname that describes you best.
Dwell well on this one, because once you make a decision and open all the social media accounts under that name it will be a pain in the ass to change it and start from scratch.
Tip: If your blog is about muffin recipes, don’t call it Ana’s muffins, because tomorrow you might get bored with muffins and switch to macaroons. A better option would be Ana’s desserts, Ana’s pastry etc.so you can allow yourself to change the blog’s main topic in the future without hurting your brand.
Get your domain on GoDaddy.
Hosting is the activity of providing storage space and access for websites. Where to get my hosting? I use Host Gator.
WORDPRESS BLOGGING PLATFORM
I use and recommend WordPress because it is very user-friendly. A lot of your friends are probably already familiar with it, so you can easily find someone to help you out in the beginning. My WordPress theme was purchased on Theme Forest and it was $50.
Where to get your WordPress theme? On Theme Forest, mine was found here!
If you’ve been following Lauryn Evarts for a while you will notice she is The Ultimate Social Media Queen. Why is that? Because she is really authentic and genuinely cares about her followers. She replies to each comment people post on her Facebook page, regardless of the comment being bad or good. She has more engagement than mainstream celebs in the US region because she knows the power of social media.
However, if you are just starting, don’t try to be everywhere at once. You can’t be super active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube all at once. Your aim will be to be active as a blogger on all of these platforms at one point but chose the ones where your message resonates best with most of our readers.
If you are a food blogger Facebook, Instagram Stories, and Pinterest.
If you are a musician Facebook, Musically, and Snapchat.
Tip: Have the same URL on all social media so you can help your friends and followers find you easier.
The language of your blog is a very important decision and that will depend on the subjects you will want to cover. Let’s say you’re writing about travel beauties of the Croatian coast, I would love you to write that in English so that foreigners who don’t speak Croatian can read it and decided to come and visit. If you are writing about issues that are only regarding your country maybe you should make it in your local language so people who don’t understand English can read it as well.
Please, don’t be one of those bloggers who only use a newsletter to send new post updates. Take time to appreciate people who gave you their email addresses and are letting you into their inbox. Prepare some special treats for them, behind the scenes, tips, and tricks of the trade, etc.
Tip: I use MailChimp!
Don’t depend on sponsors for social media posts and consider selling some products related to your blog. Tanya Burr sells makeup, Sincerely Jules her clothing line, Zuzka Light her Z Gym online program, Zanita her photography courses, etc. Bloggers can sell webinars, books, clothes, jewelry, consulting, coaching and anything else related to their field of work, expertise, and influence.
WHERE ARE MY FOLLOWERS?
To this question, there is only one possible answer: Where is your value? The followers will go wherever there the value is. Focus on the value, not on the number of followers, and they will come. You should always reply to comments regardless of them being positive or negative because that shows respect for the person that dedicated their time to leave you a comment.
Just like when it comes to going to the gym you will achieve nothing if you go for 3 months and stop in order to return after 6 months. Consistency is key to success, no matter how small are the steps you take, just take them. Your audience will appreciate you for that.
After 3 to 6 months, your blog will be ready for a Media Kit. You can send your Media Kit to brands and agencies interested in collaborating with you. Media Kit should have some info about you, your blog, social following, previous collaborations, press, etc. You should include your photo, logo and a few screenshots from your blog that show where a banner be placed.
Stats you should mention include:
- Page views per month
- Unique visitors per month
- The average time a user spends on your website
- Demographics of your audience
- Social media likes and newsletter subscribers
I hope you found this blog post was useful! If you have any more questions or you need more in-depth advice on how to start your personal blog, send me an email or reach out on Instagram!