If you’re starting your first blog (or fifth) I’m sure there are a million thoughts running through your head. It can be overwhelming especially if you don’t know where to start but it’s not impossible.
Before you stress yourself out too much take a minute to breathe. The most important thing to remember is that you can take this one step at a time. The difficulty lies in figuring out how to create a good blog that people want to read. You will most likely go through a few stages before getting it right, which is ok.
Once you’ve nailed down your topic I want you to ask yourself these questions…
Why do I want to blog?
Figuring out your why is so important. Back in the day, people started blogs simply because they had something they wanted to share with the world. I started my personal blog because I love clothes and I wanted to share that love with the world. I started this blog solely to connect with other women, not for any ulterior motive. Once everyone figured out you can make money from blogs that became the main motivation. While it’s possible to make money from your blog, having realistic expectations about it goes a long way.
If you’re starting your blog because you want popularity you’ll find yourself burning out quickly because it takes a long time of you consistently posting to make it “big.” Of course you could be one of the lucky few who goes viral but I wouldn’t bet on that.
You’ll also want to think about who you’re blogging for. Is this for you? Maybe you want a place to keep your writing or maybe it’s a journal to record your memories. Is this for other people? Is your primary goal to help, inspire, or teach others? You will approach your blog differently depending on who you’re blogging for.
If it’s only for you that’s great. Those blogs have their place and we need them but if this blog is for other people you may have a stronger business model.
Is my blog topic sustainable?
Can you write about this blog topic for the next 3-4 years? Blogging is a long term investment and if you can’t see your blog going the distance you should accept that. You might need to think of more creative ways to write about your topic or you may need to expand your blog’s niche.
You’ll also need to think about if topic cohesiveness. It’s possible to be a lifestyle blogger and blog about several different things but they have to relate to each other in some way.
What blogs do I love and why?
Looking at blogs you admire will help you shape your own blog. You obviously can’t copy another blog but you can take inspiration from it. Why do you like it? Is it the branding? Does the blogger seem like a nice person? Do they post daily? Figure that out and then figure out how you can incorporate some of those same elements into your blog.
Is everything available for my blog?
Can you get the url, social media handles, and email address? Is someone else already using that blog name or a very similar name? If everything is available go for it. I always recommend buying your blog’s URL even if you aren’t ready for a self hosted blog. You never know what might happen and it would suck for someone to buy your brand’s name from right under you.
How much time am I willing to invest in my blog?
Blogs take time. I work on this blog and the community for several hours every single day. Obviously I’ve built this blog from the ground up and at this point it’s become a brand but I remember spending hours on this blog before I made a dime from it. I remember coming home from work and writing or tweaking the design even if I was tired. Are you willing to make that time commitment?
It’s ok if you aren’t. It’s perfectly fine to only blog on the weekend or when you have the time but if that’s what you’re going to do you have to manage your expectations.
How much money am I willing to invest?
I’m a big believer in investing at least some money in your blog. If you had a photography hobby or a bike hobby you’d invest money into that so why not this? I think purchasing your URL and getting hosting is the least you can do. That’s less than $100 and makes you look professional. Yes, it might take a while to get your money back or you may never get it back but what’s the point of doing something half way?
Having great content but a horrible layout will turn readers away from your blog. You also need to think about other investments like photography or design work.
How will I find my audience?
Will your rise be organic? Will you pay for advertisements? Will you become really involved in some type of blogging group? How will people find you? There are tons of resources on the internet to help you figure this out and time will help as well. You don’t know what you don’t know but you gain knowledge through doing things.
How will my mindset affect my blogging goals?
If your mindset is messed up you’re going to burnout quickly and you won’t make it. I get so many emails from bloggers telling me they’re sad that they only have 50 readers after their first month of blogging. I don’t understand what people expect. Rome wasn’t built in a day girl. You have to give it time. You also can’t wrap your worth into your blog. You are more than that. You have to center yourself and get to a space of gratitude for what you have and work towards your goals. All the people you see shining had to work their ass off to get to that place.
You’ll notice that…
I didn’t say to ask yourself what you want to blog about. I’ve always felt that if you don’t even know what topic you want to cover then blogging may not be for you. I understand wanting to narrow down topics or polish a topic you already have in mind but if you want to be a blogger but don’t even know what you’re passionate about I have to wonder why you even want a blog. Like I stated earlier if you only want to blog to make money that’s fine but you’re going to have a long road ahead of you with no passion.
What questions would you add to this list?