Do you want to become a blogger? If so, stop thinking about your blog and instead think about your content and your audience. Would you build a house purely based upon what the outside of it looks like? I am personally thrilled that you want to start blogging. Now it’s time to get to work. After you have done the hard work, you can reward yourself with a beautifully designed blog.
How to get started blogging properly is a fairly complex process. Sometimes we can get lost in the details, so today I thought I’d offer you a quick overview. If you are on the fence about blogging walk through these basic steps below. If you find yourself completing these steps then you, my friend, should build a blog.
Then how should I start?
You need to ask yourself a series of very important questions FIRST.
- What on earth am I going to blog about?
It is often said that you should be passionate about your topic. Passion does help but I don’t think that it’s completely necessary. The real question is “Am I willing to talk about this day after day?”
- Does anyone care about this topic? Do I care if anyone cares?
Steve Jobs did not ask us if we wanted an iPhone or an iPad. As a matter of fact, I had no idea that I wanted one until he told me that I did. However, it is important to note that if the iPhone had not added enough value and joy to my life, I would not have cared about what he had to say. So if people don’t know that they care about your topic yet, that is fine. The real question is can you convince people to care enough to keep reading your writing?
- Do I really have enough time to blog?
Some people like to sit down and get all of their blog posts out of the way in large chunks. Some people like to work on their blog bit by bit. No matter your preference, ask yourself if you really have enough time, or how to MAKE time.
- Do I really want to do this?
Just because everyone says that you should be blogging, is not a good enough reason to blog. It’s ok if you don’t want this.
If you said yes to all these things then it is time to actually get down to it and start working on your blog. Here are a few things that I would suggest you do right away.
- Narrow down your niche. You started with a broad topic but should it be even more specific?
- Define what you are going to cover about this topic. This is called defining your categories.
- Start writing blog posts. Do not stop writing blog posts until you have at least 10 of them done.
- Find some form of media (images, video, memes, gifs, etc.) to go with each blog post.
If you have really worked these four steps (hey, at least it’s not 12 steps!) then it’s time to think about getting a blog designed. My goal is to challenge everyone to focus on what matters, the content before they worry about things being pretty.
Too often, people get excited about building a blog and forget that it requires content to make it effective.
Starting with the content first not only proves to yourself that you have it in you to do this for the long haul (sponsorship opportunities, taking on advertisers, etc.) but it will also drive the look and feel of your design. Often we think that we know what a blog design should look like but as they start writing, that design eye starts to change. Never forget that the content is the heart of the blog and therefore the heart of the design.
For example, if you tend to have attitude in your writing, your blog design should reflect that. If you are a super sweet person in your writing, then your blog should reflect that as well. Your design is just an extension of your content.
So tell me folks, what would you recommend new bloggers do first? New bloggers, what questions do you have about getting started that I did not answer?