How To Start A Blog
So, you want to start a blog? You've come to the right place - I have some exclusive tips for you! (Okay, maybe not "exclusive". But I will share some relevant and hopefully helpful tips so that you can begin to develop your online platform). I launched my blog, Recovery By Meghan, about a year and a half ago and it truly has become one of my biggest passions. Here is what I have learned over the past 18 months.
1. Figure out your niche.
It's important to figure out your reason for blogging. What will you be writing about? I've read numerous blogs over the years and the ones I gravitate to the most are the blogs that have a clear-cut theme. For example, if I'm looking for fashion inspo, I will turn to a fashion blog. Or, if I'm wondering what to cook for dinner, I will open blogs from some of my favourite recipe developers. The point I'm trying to make here is that if you write about a little bit of everything, I fear that your blog will not be the first one people think of when they are looking to do some reading. So, figure out your niche, your purpose, and your reason for writing. Then, go with it.
2. Have a couple of posts lined up before you "open up shop”.
Now, I'll speak for myself, but I love when I come across a blog and there are at least a couple of posts available for me to read. This makes me happy for a couple of reasons: 1) it allows me to learn a lot without having to leave the blog and 2) it gives me a good sense of who the blogger is as a writer. This is important because often the first impression I get will determine whether or not I re-visit the site. Want to hook your readers right from the start? Give them some material to read, and give them the chance to get to know you!
3. Quality AND quantity.
Now, this one is important. We often hear the old saying "quality over quantity", but what I am proposing here is quality AND quantity. Your pieces should consistently represent some of your best work. I'm telling you, there's nothing that makes me more frustrated than spelling or grammatical errors in blog posts! Your blog posts should also provide good quality content for your readers: well-researched, clearly articulated, and attention-catching. However, quantity is also important. When I re-visit blogs, I love to see that new posts have been published since my last visit. Why would I want to keep returning to a site if there is never anything new? Blogging is a serious and time-consuming hobby - I definitely understand the struggle of wanting to put out content but being limited by time. But, keep in mind that posting regularly is a surefire way to engage your audience and ensure that they return as readers.
4. Do your research.
Before I launched Recovery By Meghan, I looked at A LOT of different blogs. I noticed things like content, photos, style, layout, and details. I studied blogs with a similar niche, but I also branched out and studied different types of blogs to make sure I wasn't missing anything.
When I do my research, I don't do it to copy other bloggers. I do it to get inspired, and to get informed as to what others are currently doing. I get a sense of what I like (and what I don't like) about the blogging world. And then, I take everything I need and apply it to Recovery By Meghan so that it is a true reflection of who I am. Doing your research takes time, but it is a vital step in developing your blog. Don't skip it! You must put in the time to reap the reward. I promise, it'll pay off.
5. Have fun!
Never lose sight of why you started your blog in the first place. Blogging can be time-consuming, frustrating, and discouraging, but at the end of the day, you should always be receiving some kind of benefit. Blogging, for me, is incredibly therapeutic. It also makes me happy when I can connect with all of you. So, when I am feeling overwhelmed, I take a step back and remember the pure joy I feel every time I hit “publish”. I always try and have fun with what I'm doing, and remember why I'm doing it.
Do you have a blog? Let us know in the comments!