3 Tips for Starting a Blog
Just about five years ago, I started s’more happiness, back then I used to write about my life in college. I didn’t stick to a content calendar, I tried to post every Wednesday, but that didn’t always happen. I talk more about my journey to getting to where I am today in “Define Your Purpose.” I’m telling you this backstory because my blog today looks nothing like it did when I first started. I used a free Wordpress site and didn’t have the domain I have now. Before investing any money into my blog I wanted to make sure that I was actually going to stick with and enjoy it, which brings me to my first tip.
Test out blogging before investing.
One of the best things about blogging being so widespread today is that there are a lot of free platforms that you can use to do a test-run. I knew I wanted to use a Wordpress site because they had some free templates and there was no cost associated with the site if I used a “.wordpress.com” URL. I had previously tried blogging on an iWeb website in 2007, and quickly deleted it, so I wanted to make sure that I would stick with doing it again before spending any money. In March of 2014, I started a blog called Stephanie Margaret but chickened out after two weeks. I kept having this nudging feeling to get back into blogging and the name s’more happiness came to me, so I started again in June of 2014, and this time it stuck.
You have to start somewhere
I stayed with the “.wordpress.com” URL for about a year or two into blogging, can’t remember when I purchased the domain name I have now. That $18 was the first I invested in my blog and I’m so happy that I did. Three years into blogging, I decided I was fed up with Wordpress’s limited themes and switched my site over to Squarespace.
As you can see, the process of getting my site to where it is now was very purposefully gradual. If you are really passionate about blogging and stick with it, treat yourself to a site investment.
Create a content calendar.
This is a tip that I wish I had known about when I first started blogging. Back in June of 2014, I blogged very randomly about so many different things. I never knew what I was going to be writing about or when I would be posting it. It was just whenever I had the time or something I wanted to say, I would blog. Now, I have defined the purpose of my blog and separated it into three different categories. I typically plan my content out a month in advance and am working towards having my content prewritten for the month too.
Ask yourself the following before creating a content calendar:
What am I passionate about?
What am I knowledgeable about?
How can I provide value to a reader?
Why am I blogging?
How much time can I devote to blogging?
The answers to those questions will help you determine your content buckets and schedule. If you have limited time or are new to blogging, aim to get a new post out every week. Having a content calendar is crucial because then you can ensure that you are blogging about each content bucket on a frequent basis and you stay on track. Plus when you already know what you are going to write about before you sit down to write it, you are one step ahead!
Utilize free resources to amplify your posts.
When I first started blogging I didn’t know about any free resources to amplify my posts. I just took screenshots of pins on Pinterest or photos from my iPhone and used those as a visual element. Now I pull images from Unsplash and create graphics in Canva. I’m sure there are definitely more free resources available, but those are the two I use more frequently.
I hope these tips help you start a blog!