I just passed my six month milestone of blogging. To tell you the truth it snuck right up on me. I’m the first to admit that I had (and still have) zero clue about what I’m doing, but for fellow guys and gals looking to start their own place on the web here’s a few things I’ve learnt about how to start a blog, when you really have no idea.
Up Is Better Than Perfect
A lot of the time people can get so stuck on their blog looking perfect they never launch. I launched TdM on a Saturday night, a bottle of Verdelho in and I’m pretty sure some of the pages didn’t even work. Point is, your blog is always going to be a work in progress.
I do admit to having the advantage of being a web designer and developer so getting a blog up for me was the easier part, but with so many amazing themes for WordPress around I swear it will be quicker for you to get an amazing blog up than it was for me!
Some template designers I love:
Consistency Is King
One of the ways I’ve gained over 5k readers in six months was by posting as consistently as possible. When I was overseas I backed off a little but still kept up my social posting.
People like routine. If they know there’ll be a new post from you every Thursday or every day they get used to it and will come back.
This doesn’t mean you can’t change it up every now and then but if you do find a good time for posting that suits your lifestyle and your readers, stick with it!
Stop the Comparison!
Don’t compare your blog now to blog’s that have been around for 5 years. It isn’t going to end well. Everyone – yes I mean everyone started with 1 follower/subscriber/reader. Although it may be hard, try and focus on your own journey and enjoy every step, it’s a wild ride.
Start a journal or a word doc and set small goals for yourself. Date when you achieve them. It’s amazing to look back and see how far you’ve come.
Determine your own niche. I love lipstick and tech. Did I create two blogs? No! It’s your blog so you choose what you want to write about. Whether it’s 80’s B-list celebrities and home-made hair dye, your tips for parenting or how to make a kickass souffle there is no one out there that can share your view but you.
Blog Smarter, Not Harder
By planning ahead of schedule your blogging life will be so much less stressful. Feeling inspired to write? Jot out as many posts as you can, even if it’s just first drafts. Even if it’s just an idea and a sentence, it’s something!
Try and schedule your posts using an editorial calendar and choose themes for your posts. For example Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are usually the easiest for me post wise as I know exactly what I’m writing about. A Pricey vs Priceline post, Mimic the Muse and Vanity Case Interview. This takes some of the mental load off and also adds to that consistency for the reader.
Schedule as much of your social media as you can. There’s fantastic plugins for scheduling social media posts and for auto-posting from WordPress. Some that I’m currently loving:
- Remindagram. Load in your images you want to post to instagram and it will notify you to remind you to post!
- CoSchedule. I use this to auto post to my social media channels whenever I publish a new post on TdM. Saves so much time!
Fake it Til You Make It
I will never forget where I was when I received my first email from a PR agency or the butterflies I felt before attending my first launch event.
When I was asked for my media kit, I didn’t have one. When I was asked for advertising prices, I didn’t have any.
The point is, we all start from the bottom. None of us know what we’re doing 100% of the time but never turn down an opportunity just because you don’t think your ready. Put on your big girl shoes and just smile and be nice. 95% of the time, people won’t even realise you launched your blog a week ago.
Do a Course
I could not have grown TdM as much as I have, attended as many events as I have or met the amazing brands and bloggers I have without joining a blogging course.
I chose the Secret Bloggers Business course by Kate of Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily. It’s currently $397 (a payment plan is available) and it is severely underpriced. It seriously taught me everything I needed to get started and I am still learning from Kate and her course every week.
From how to automise my social media, to how to create a media kit. How to gain readers and how to keep them interested, how to build an email list and offer eProducts. Everything I know I attribute to her guidance.
The SBB Facebook group has grown to be one of my favourite places online. There are so many amazing bloggers all going through the same thing; encouraging and celebrating each other’s growth and successes.
I’ve already told 5 of my friends about the course and they’ve all signed up and are singing it’s praise. Seriously. This course is good.
The Secret Bloggers Business course comes in two formats, the BootCamp, an intensive 8 week program that will teach you everything there is to know about how to start a blog, gain readership and work with brands and the Mastermind, a monthly lesson plan that focuses on one key area of blogging and tells you how to nail it!
I signed up for the SBB course just before starting TdM and have turned to it time and time again as the blog has grown. If you’re wanting to start a blog, or wanting more from your current blog, you can find all the answers here.