Starting a blog is going to be a process and there is a lot to learn. Before starting a blog, there are a few things that you definitely should know and consider. This post is going to help you through 5 main areas of the planning phase of starting a blog.
There are certain things I wish I understood better before launching my own blog about two years ago. I pretty much dove right into it blindly and I want to make sure you don’t have to do the same. I’ve made many mistakes along the way and I now have more wisdom to share and guide you along your journey!
What’s Your Niche?
You may hear this a lot when it comes to blogging but the first thing you should think about is your niche. What’s a niche? It’s a funny-sounding word for your blog topic!
The question you should ask yourself is, “what do I want to blog about?” Let me give you a list of ideas.
- Student life
- Lifestyle (A little bit of everything)
When I was thinking about my own niche I was a little overwhelmed because there are just so many topics you could choose to write about, right? Let me give you this piece of advice, blog what you’re passionate about. Your blog should be based on something or multiple things you could write about all day and not get bored. This ensures that you are less likely to give up on it!
Creating Your Domain
The next important thing you’re going to need to think about is your domain name. A domain name is your blog’s identity so it’s something you’re going want to think carefully about. It shouldn’t be something you can just whip up in a few seconds because there are multiple factors to consider.
You’ll want your domain to be simple and rememberable. You want people to hear about your website and be able to easily find it when they search for it. So don’t get too creative with spelling because it’s likely they’ll misspell it and have a hard time being able to find you.
My domain name is literally just my name because I want my name to be my brand. But if you were to blog only about beauty, your domain could be “beauty with _____.com” for example.
Free or Paid Platform?
The next thing you will need to consider when starting your blog is if you want to blog on a free or paid platform.
If you’re totally new to blogging, you may want to start out on a free blogging platform to find your footing. I personally started on wordpress.com and highly recommend it! The whole platform is very easy to navigate and use. They even have an awesome “reader” section so other bloggers who use WordPress can find your posts and follow you on the platform. It’s a great way to gain an audience when you’re still a newbie!
Although, one thing I encourage you not to do is put money towards their “upgrades” if you ever realize you want more for your blog. I spent over $100 on a yearly upgrade and was still pretty limited! If you ever realize you want to take complete control over your blog, read on.
If you want 100% control over personalization and monetization to finally make some money on what you love doing, you’ll want to self-host.
What do I mean by 100% control?
- Ability to upload plugins
- You can monetize with Google Adsense
- You can download themes
- Completely customizable to your liking
- Your site is 100% yours
When I realized that was the route I wanted to go, I wanted to stay with WordPress because it was a platform I trusted. Although, I learned that you still need to find a web hosting platform for wordpress.org.
The hosting platform that I use is Siteground and they’re amazing! They made switching from wordpress.com to wordpress.org so easy and I’ve received great support. Their StartUp plan is only $3.95/month! That’s well under $100. My blog is also very fast and responsive, and that’s what you want when searching for a hosting platform. I highly recommend them.
Branding your blog can be so much fun if you let it be. You want to choose your main colors, pick your fonts, and create your logo! I’m going to let you in on a little secret though, I’ve rebranded twice now so it’s okay if you change your mind down the road. Don’t stress it too much.
What colors/tones speak to you? While you want to make your blog visually appealing to your viewers, you want to make it something you love too because you’ll be looking at it every day!
When I first started my blog, my brand colors were dark and light purple. Although, I’m now really into light and pastel colors. My brand colors are now light pink and gold.
To further understand and discover different color schemes, Canva has a post listing 50 color schemes from different websites!
There are thousands of different font styles out there so the only way to figure out which ones you would like on your blog is to play around with them! I quickly realized that I really like fancy fonts and that is what I like including in all of my blog banners and social media posts.
Now it’s time to start creating your logo. A logo is just a graphic that resembles your blog. When somebody sees your logo, they’ll think of you. For example, when you think of Nike, you think of the checkmark right? I know a lot of people hire people to create their logo but if you’re on a budget and want to do it yourself, Canva is a great tool to use. They even have many free logo templates ready to use!
Where to Build Your Audience
Even if it’s your blog’s first day of being live, you need to go out there and start building your audience. Social media is a huge reason for my growing success today. So let me give you a few ideas of where to look for your audience!
- Facebook. Facebook has many blogging groups you can join that are filled with other bloggers just like you. The groups are there to help build relationships, ask and answer questions, and share your blog posts!
- Twitter. Twitter is probably my favorite social media platform right now. The blogger community on Twitter is not only huge as well but they’re so helpful and kind. There are hundreds of pages dedicated to sharing your blog posts!
- Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine. Many bloggers claim that most of their audience comes from Pinterest! All you have to do is create a pin for your blog post, create a catchy title and description, then link your blog post. 250 million people are on Pinterest so it’s more than likely you’ll get your blog post to be seen! If you want to schedule your Pinterest pins, I highly recommend using Tailwind.
Like it? Pin it!
Before starting a blog, I highly recommend you take these 5 tips into consideration as they are vital to understand before leaping into the blogging world. As these are only 5 tips, there are many more tools and guides that I am working on to help you through your blogging journey so stay tuned!
Already created a website but stuck on your first blog post? Check out my blog post that gives you 7 tools you need to create a successful blog post!
I hope this post was helpful. If you have any questions or topics you’d wish to further understand, leave me a comment down below so I can answer and/or create another post on it!