So, You Want to Start a Blog? Stop Overthinking and Just Start

I received an email weeks ago from someone who wants to start a blog. She was seeking my opinion on whether or not she should write about her personal life on her blog. She feared that sharing her individual experiences and stories may not readily attract an audience because her content would not fall within the realm of celebrity gossip, fitness, fashion, and beauty (i.e. the more “sexy” blog topics).

I won’t regurgitate my entire email response here, but in essence, I told her that the most important part of blogging is starting.

Starting is what will take the most time, the most energy and ultimately, the most confidence. From the time the idea to start a blog pops in your head to the day you actually decide to press ‘publish’ on your first post, doubt will consume you. This is natural (it happened to me), but it should not keep you from starting.

When you’re a newcomer to the blogosphere, the first thing you have to do is stop allowing fear and self-doubt to debilitate you. You can ponder the what-ifs all day long. It’s easy to consider all that could potentially go wrong with your first blog post. But, what if you expended that same energy on writing the first post, editing it, and then pressing the  ‘publish’ button?

In the beginning, it’s best not to fret about the logistics and technicalities of your blog. Don’t even fiddle with the plugins, labels, tags, fonts, and other customizable elements because none of that is as important as starting.

I suggest not fretting over these minor things because I cannot recount the number of times I have revamped my blog’s design and reimagined its content over the course of my three years of blogging. And this is typically the case for many bloggers, no matter the niche. This happens because over time, you will inevitably discover more along the journey. And, with more experience and knowledge, you’ll want to tinker and tweak how your blog looks and you might even rethink its purpose and who you are as a blogger.

First and foremost, though, you have to start the journey. And the way to start is by forcing self-doubt and procrastination to the side and begin writing your first post. Once it is written, you then have to edit and publish it. If you never publish a first post, you will never have anyone to read it. And if you don’t have readers, you’re never going to figure out who your audience is and what kind of content resonates with them.

So, as you see, it comes down to starting.

Fight the urge to think about who will read, who will comment, how many page views you’ll get the first day, how to best categorize and tag the post, how many shares it will get on social media and just start. Because, from experience, I know that starting is the only sure way to figure everything else out.

Do you remember how you felt when you wrote and published your first blog post? If so, share your experience with us below. If you’ve thought about starting a blog but have yet to do it, what’s the one thing that’s keeping you from starting? Let us know in the comments.

Drea is a Chicago-based freelance writer and lifestyle blogger at The Drea Daily. She's obsessed with coffee, books and blogs, handbags, and lipstick. When she's not blogging, you can likely catch her tweeting about something on Twitter @DreaEHall.