In the past month, I’ve had several people ask me about blogging, how I got started, and how they can start a blog. So I’ve decided to write just a few posts for those of you out there interested in this.
I started this blog in 2012 as a hobby. It was a way for me to therapeutically write after a hard break up with the guy who is now my husband. It started out with a lot of sad posts and a lot of rambling. My only readers were my mom and said ex-boyfriend/now husband who still loved me and couldn’t stop reading. I’ll say it — it was a bit pathetic.
Since then my website has grown a lot, and so have I. I’ve learned a ton about the behind the scenes of making a successful blog. But my website is nowhere close to where I’d like it to be. I’m still learning every day, and thankfully my blog is growing and improving every day too.
If you are interested in starting a website, I challenge you to ask yourself some questions and do some brainstorming before you do anything else.
My Tips for Starting a Blog
Write down your goals for your blog. Knowing your goals ahead of time will help you as you make decisions for your website. Is your goal to help others? Promote a product? Or bring in income for your family?
Decide what you want to blog about. Having a focused niche is important to having a successful blog. Perhaps you want to write about fitness and healthy eating — that is a great niche with a strong focus in one area. A lifestyle blog, which is what I consider Seeing Sunshine, is a little bit of everything. But even with a lifestyle blog, it’s important to focus on some main topics.
Choose categories. These are 3-5 main topics you will write about. For instance, right now Seeing Sunshine’s main topics are faith, marriage, and military life. Every idea I come up with for content needs to fit within my categories.
Choose sub-categories. You should list 1-2 sub-categories that fit into each larger category. Having these written out will help you down the road when you need to brainstorm content ideas. You can always add to these later.
Choose a name for your website. Once you know what direction your blog is heading, you can choose a name and a tagline. The tagline needs to be something short that explains your blog’s purpose.
6. Mission Statement
Create a mission statement for your blog. You can find mine on my about page. This short paragraph will help you share what your website’s purpose is. I tend to look at my mission statement when I have a content idea. “Does this post idea fit my blog’s mission statement?” If it doesn’t, then I don’t write about it.
Having a very focused website with great content is what is going to make your blog successful. It’s probably the most important component. Otherwise, you write random posts with lots of rambling or random topics that aren’t going to make people want to come back. I’ve been going through my archive posts just this month to edit and improve them. I had a lot of pointless rambling posts at the beginning, so I deleted a lot of them or completely edited them to make them work better for my website’s goals.
Following these tips will save you from countless hours of editing archive posts like I’m doing. Instead, start being organized and focused from the very beginning. Once you finish these steps, you are ready to start. Read How to Start a Blog Part 2!
Have you ever thought about starting a blog? What’s holding you back?