From many points of view, starting a blog is no different than creating a new project for college or job. Everything lies in your style and way of doing things. You will learn on the fly. You will improve along the way. You will get better. You will succeed in the end.
The truth is that there are a bunch of how-to guides about how to start a bog. However, most of them can make you feel overwhelmed by all the rules and the steps you should pay attention to. That’s why we need a more friendly way to talk about blogging for those who are barely scratching the surface.
After talking with a wide range of bloggers out there: from those who are using this channel to share stories around their passions until those who are making a living out of their websites, we discovered that there’s way too little dialogue around how to start a blog on your rhythm.
Therefore, we summed up a few aspects to keep in mind when kicking-off the blogging journey. No matter the years you have, your academic background, or where you are based. You can make it work. Let’s walk you through this!
Blogging is, and it should, be about you
Frequently, people talk about how you should have a clear statement on your blog and stick to it. We encourage you to start the other way around. Write content that is meaningful and useful for you, stories that you find them insightful. This way you make sure you own what you publish because it’s part of your inner-why and blogging should define your core values, whatever they are.
Don’t try to spend days and weeks on the perfect sentence that describes your blog. You have plenty of time to discover it and fine-tune it along the way. Invest time and energy in writing pieces that say something about who you are.
Share your stories with the world
Be the first ambassador of your blog by telling your friends that you have a website and inviting them to be the first critiques of your digital stories. Go a step further and share your stories on the social media channels you use on a regular basis and encourage people to provide feedback.
Don’t try to keep the stories for yourself and draw conclusions of any kinds because they lack solid arguments such as validation from your potential readers. Jump in cold waters and make room for people to start a dialogue and offer suggestions. This way you will have a clue about which topics they find useful and which not.
Actively listen to your readers
There’s no better way to find what your audience expects from your then asking about its expectations. You can open a wide range of communication mediums to engage with your readers: from reading and responding to their comments, stalking them to find out what kind of content they consume, where do they spend their online time, until writing them e-mails.
These type of conversations are no different than the ones you are already having in the non-digital world. Take the time to listen to people, be gentle with them, thank them for their involvement, ask them what they love and hate about your blog and build from there.
Find a tribe who shares similar interests
As in any other activity, you can too find a tribe who has similar interests to learn and grow together. Fortunately, there are lots of blogging communities which address to beginners and provide valuable advice. Enter such groups and start creating bonds by letting them know about your struggles as an early-stage creator.
On top of that, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn from other people’s mistakes and ask them to support your activity by sharing your content on their networks. You keep the ball rolling and the learning curve up, which is one of the best things you can do at that particular moment.
Keep the fun side alive and kicking
Be your barometer and remind yourself why did you start in the first place. Don’t put too much pressure on your shoulders by comparing your early days with other’s late success. You have your tempo, and you should be proud of what you accomplished so far, no unhappy with projections of all kinds.
Blogging comes in many forms, so it’s up to you to experiment, play, and find creatives gateways to explore your blog. As long as you have fun and you learn from what you are doing, you are on the right track.
We created a list of questions to help you start with the right foot. Ask them, frankly and you are already doing progress:
- Who are you and how do you introduce yourself in the offline world
The same way you should create the story for your About page. Put a little bit of extra effort when you craft this one because most people will lend there to find more things about you.
- What do you want to write about?
Find a few topics that empowers you to start writing and keeps you engaged. Think about your interests today, they will definitely change with time, so be gentle with yourself.
- How do you know blogging brings you joy?
If you are going to enjoy it you will find time, energy, and money to continue to invest. If not, you can drop it without regrets. There are other ways of expressing your ideas as well.
- Where do you plan to share your content?
Make a list of your favourite social media channels (hopefully there aren’t more then 2–3) and see if you’d feel comfortable to share your blog posts there. Give it a go before saying a loud NO.
- How do you get to know your readers?
As in any other type of conversation, feel free to ask questions about their expectations, to invite them to comment on your articles, to answer their messages, and so on. It’s a good start for developing a healthy relationship with your audience.
In a world full or recipes, it’s easy to get lost in a long list of ingredients, where each one is mandatory, urgent, and highly important. I remember how I started and I am grateful I knew so little things about blogging because I had the chance to be mesmerised.
The simple act of discovery is what keeps my wheels spinning today, nine years later. I am far from what the industry calls a professional blogger, but I am a happy creator who owns her words and finds fulfillment in each post, even though I write 20 articles per year. In the end, we define what success means for each of us, so don’t be afraid to shape your understanding. Blogging should be fun too.