Staring a blog can be an overwhelming process so we’re breaking it down to 3 sections; Branding, Website Design and Content Creation. This is a process so don’t worry about not being perfect, you learn and you grow but you have to start in order to do so. If you need more help be sure to sign up for our waiting list to be notified when we launch our in depth Workshop or reach out to our services and we can do it for you or coach you through it!
1. ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND
Find Your Niche
What is it you want to write about? The easiest way to do this is to make a list of everything you love, then see if anything on the list can be grouped together, then see if that can be a specific niche. The more specific you are the better it is for your marketing later on. I wrote a blog post on 3 Reasons To Have a Blog Niche that goes more into it.
I listened to a podcast by The Blog Millionaire that describes which blog niche makes the most money and here’s the breakdown from his research. The first ones make the most money and Travel makes the least due to the competition.
1) Personal Finance
2) Food Blogging
5) Mommy Blogging
Identify Your Target Audience
Knowing your blog topics makes it easier to identify your target audience. Who are the people that will connect most with your blog? What do they like and what is trendy in their world? Where do they hang out? Finding all this out is what will help you market and ultimately grow your blog. It also helps you know what to write about and how to format your blog topics.
Choose Your Fonts & Colors
Next up, you’ll want to create a mood board that will help you design your website and create a consistent brand across all your platforms. The easiest way to start this is by creating a private Pinterest board and collecting photos and styles that inspire you.As a tip you’ll want 2-3 font types, one will be your main Title font, another your regular paragraph font and the third can be an accent font for design. You can find fonts on google (these will be easier to keep cohesive across your website) or more unique ones Creative Market.
Choose Your Brand Name
Next up is choosing a name for your blog and keep in mind that it’s important to have a consistent name /username across all social medias if possible. You can do a quick search for availability on this Name Checker site before deciding on the final one. This is a process that takes some time so don’t worry if it takes you days to make up your mind.
2. BUILD YOUR WEBSITE
Choose Your Platform
Now that your blog topic and you have defined your brand, you’re ready to build your website! If you have no experience with website building then I recommend you start with a Squarespace site. If you want a custom website where you can add on different plugins then I would recommend WordPress.org (do not be confused with wordpress.com). I wrote a blog post on the difference between Squarespace & WordPress. Whatever you do, DO NOT USE WIX PLEASE haha (it’s terrible for long term and almost impossible to transfer over).
Buy Your Host & Domain
If you go with Squarespace they will host your files for you and you can purchase your domain straight on that platform. It’s simple to do if you follow directions in the app.
With WordPress you’ll first need to purchase a host (which houses your files) and a domain. There are two hosts I would recommend; Siteground for the cheaper more DIY option or WpEngine that is specifically made for WordPress and comes with support and website security already built in. You can purchase your domain as you sign up for your hosts or you can do so from Google or other similar domain sites.
Design Your Site
Squarespace has build in templates you can use to get started and they have a library full of tutorials on how to do it. You can also hire a specialist like Go Live HQ to do a custom Squarespace site.
Hire us to do it for you!
If this is too overwhelming for you and you want to get your blog up faster you can hire us to do it for you. We offer website design where we help you create you brand from beginning to end! Head to our Services to contact us for details, each one is custom based on what you need.
3. CREATE CONTENT
Start With A Content Calendar
Most professional bloggers plan all their content a month or so ahead. You have to batch work in order to stay consistent and produce 2-3 blog posts a week. First thing you’ll want to do is brainstorm all the blog topic ideas you can write about. It helps to create categories and list out topics within those. Then you take those ideas, give them a temporary title and schedule them out.
There are many ways to create a content calendar including using Google Sheets, paper templates, or even programs such as CoSchedule. We also have our own simple google sheets template you can purchase here;
Powered by Creative Market
Draft Your Blog Post Ideas
The easiest way to start this is by looking at your content calendar and starting to draft out blog posts. At this point do not worry about perfection but more so you want to get your ideas flowing. As you write these drafts you’ll realize what kind of photos you want to take and your story starts falling into place.
Create The Content (Photos & Videos)
Now that you have your blog post outlined you can start creating content. The benefit of having multiple blog posts drafted out vs doing one at a time is that you can also shoot them all in the same day. This will be more efficient and save you so much time in the long run. For photo editing I also recommend batch editing with Lightroom and exporting two sets. The first set being your full size images (just to be safe) and the second set would be images formatted for the web. It is SO SO important that you format your images for the web including naming your files correctly (for example for our image above we named it blogger-studios-how-to-start-a-blog.jpg) for SEO purposes. Then it’s important to resize your image to fit your website. An easy way to do this is using a website like Compress JPG or Compress PNG to make sure it’s perfectly sized.
Finalize Each Blog Post
Now is the time to focus on one blog post at a time and finalize it. Upload your formatted images, finalize your copy and title, and add your tags. For WordPress, I recommend the app YOAST SEO to set up your blog post meta data and description (basically how it will look like on google searches). Be sure to read more on the SEO topic and finding best ways to improve your blog posts. Finally, you’ll be ready to schedule your blog posts and start sharing them.
Schedule Social Media Content
With WordPress you can schedule out your Facebook & Pinterest posts for your specific blog posts using the Nelio Content plugin. For Instagram I highly recommend Planoly which I talked about in detail here and I also wrote a blog post on 1o Instagram Campaign Ideas if you need more help.
It can be overwhelming having to create content for all social media channels so I recommend as a blogger to focus on the trio; Instagram (to build your portfolio, community and brand), Facebook (to drive content and create a group if applicable) and Pinterest (to drive traffic). The best marketing app for Pinterest is Tailwind and you can get a free month with our link to test it out. I work with many top bloggers and time and time again this is what brings about 50% of their traffic to their website.
You Got This!
That should be everything you need to get started! Be sure to join our Free Facebook Group to share your blog posts with us every week so we can feature them and to connect with our community! Lastly, don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help, we can do consulting by the hour and help you with your specific questions. Email me, Lorina, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can go from there.
BEST OF LUCK! I’m so excited to see people pursuing their dreams! You got this, one step at a time!