So I’ve only been going at this blogging thing for a couple months now, and I don’t pretend to know everything, or even a fraction of all the blogging knowledge out there.
I’d always wanted to get into it, but it was scary for me because I had no idea how to start, and a lot of the posts/videos/how-to’s out there would talk about things like SEO and analytics, or HTML and CSS; some things I had a grasp on from uni but other things seemed terrifying and complex. I wanted to know where to start! Especially being truly scared because it really is a pretty big undertaking, and being so busy, the steps I needed to take varied from source to source and I just put it off continuously, constantly feeling like I’d let myself down.
It took a lot of ‘micro planning’ to get me going. This isn’t a legit term, I think I honestly just made it up, or I’m using it completely wrong, but it’s basically lots of little things I started to do to get me ready for the bigger things.
If you have always wanted to blog but always been too overwhelmed (aka: me), or you’ve just started out and just don’t know what you’re doing, these might help you at least get a bit of direction! There are heaps of great sources I’ve come across that can help you get started with bigger stuff once you’re ready, so send me an email if you’d like further help! Otherwise, let me know if you’ve tried any other tips and what worked for you — I’d really love to hear them.
So, here’s a few things you can do right now that might help you get started. Good luck!
1. Make a list of other blogs you like, for reference and inspiration. Whether it’s the appearance or content, make notes next to each one about what stands out to you. When I first wanted to start blogging, I would ask myself “why are they successful?” and jot down a few reasons why I thought they were doing well. This isn’t about copying anyone’s ideas, it’s about learning more about the blogging community and what is actually possible. Pinterest is probably pretty good for this too, but I haven’t spent enough time really looking into it. If you’ve had much success with it, please let me know!
2. Look into hosting. It’s good to know prices and packages ahead of time, even though you don’t need to worry about purchasing anything for a while yet. This is more about finding out what’s available and what options you have. You can then do further research on the different companies offering web hosting. There are some pretty big differences between all the major hosting services, so work out what works for you and your content. If you’re thinking about investing your own personal funds into your blog, being aware of any expenses ahead of time is really helpful in the long run.
3. Create content — even if you have nowhere to post it just yet. Having a file on your laptop from which to pull posts from as required is good, because it helps you stay consistent with posting and allows you to take some of the pressure off yourself down the track. Even if you only manage a paragraph or two of a single concept, this could be enough to get you started on an otherwise unmotivated Wednesday night after a full day of working.
4. Decide which social media services you want to use, and start setting them up. Obviously, it’s best to keep the same or similar usernames on all sites, so it’s handy if you can plan this out as well. I nailed down my Insta username ahead and just kept the account on private until I was ready to start posting.
5. Grow your social media following. The more authentic, the better, so start checking hashtags that relate back to your content and only comment if you have something to share that will translate as sincere. A lot of this is about working out the best way for you, so feel comfortable taking the time to actually work it out.
6. Make time to work on your investment. This is a really hard one for me, especially working full time with part time commitments, but it IS doable – maybe you can only afford a few hours a week right now, but with careful planning (and more trial and error) you may be able to gradually shift your schedule to make more time for it. I’m bloody loving using the Calendar app on my iPhone/Mac lately to pop in the details of my day or week (it’s very satisfying, don’t know why, unsure if this scheduling motivation will last but HEY), and colour coding when I’ll be posting, when I’ll be writing, when I’ll be out taking photos or networking. It’s taking a lot of practice, but it’s so worth it.
7. Last one. Just make sure you’re doing it because you enjoy it. Wanting to make money from your blog eventually is definitely not a bad thing, in fact it’s a great goal you can set for yourself. But if you’re not passionate about it (passionate about getting paid doesn’t reeeally count), it’s not going to be anywhere near sustainable enough for you. Pick something you can talk about. Maybe a few somethings. Listen to your audience as it grows and develops under your hard work, make the time, improve the content. Make it successful because you love it so much! (So cheesy!!! But really, it makes such a difference.)