I have a few people who came up to me and ask me how to start a blog. I am no expert in blogging but I have been asked several times by friends to help them in starting a blog. So I decided to create this blog post. However this post comes with a disclaimer. I am not a big-shot blogger and I am no expert in achieving blogging success. I do earn a modest amount from blogging and I do get brand/company invites but I still have a long long way to go in my journey as well as my learnings to be a good blogger. So what I will be writing here would just be how to jump start your intention in starting a blog and what I learned from my 8 years blogging adventure. To achieve blogging success, you may need an expert blogging coach like Martine De Luna of Make It Blissful for that.
Photo Credit: Canva
Read my blogging journey here.
So here are my tips in starting a blog:
1. Ask why you want to start a blog
This is important. If you ultimate goal for starting a blog is to earn money and monetize it only, I advise you not to start at all. The first objective of a blog shouldn't never be the monetization because I have to say it would frustrate you and fail you. The reason why most of the celebrity blogger raise into fame because they started early and they persevered because they are passionate about what they are doing.
I starting blogging because I love writing. Stringing words into stories excites me. So even if I won't be earning from it or I won't get any sponsored post, I will still continue blogging. You should start a blog if it stems from your passion, if it is a hobby that relaxes or makes you happy, if it allows you to express your interests. Earning from it, media invites, freebies, etc are results of your hard work and perseverance.
However, if you intend to start your blog to promote your business or enhance your social media exposure for your career, this should be taken seriously which means careful planning and you investing on properly in the right people to stir you to the right direction. I advise you to get a brand specialist to strategize in create the best template and formula to market your business.
2. Choose your blog niche
What do you want to write about? It is important that it is something that you are truly passionate and interested in. Don't just "be" a certain type of blogger because that is currently trendy. Blog about something you like, something you know (or better yet, something you would say you are an expert at) and something that you can imagine yourself writing for years to come.
Photo Credit: Canva
Once you decided on your blog niche, drill it down a bit more by being more specific. This would make you more unique and differentiate you as the rest. Example: Fashion Blogger. You blog about fashion but you are identified as a fashion blogger for plus-size working women. Another example: Food Blogger. You blog about gluten-free vegan recipes mainly.
When you are starting, easy to categorised yourself as a Lifestyle Blogger because it encompasses everything under the sun. I categorise myself as Lifestyle Blogger too but narrow down to blogging about my life experiences, discoveries and many more living abroad, specifically Singapore.
Here are general blog niche to choose from:
DIY/Arts & Craft Blog
3. Choose a name for your blog
Your blog name should be something meaningful. This is important. It should be catchy and shouldn't be too long. It should reflect the content of your blog. You can say use, Happy Foods Ph, as a blog name when you are blogging about beauty & makeup. It is also important to check that there are no other blog name same as you. You will have a hard time if you have a duplicate in case you want get your own domain later on. More about the domain name/url later . Some keep it safe and use their complete name as their blog name like www.catjuan.com or www.pattylaurel.com. But again these are usually celebrities and some low-key bloggers prefer to keep their real name to themselves.
4. Choose your blogging platform
There are several free blogging platforms out there for you to choose.
– WordPress.org & Hosting
Try to research on these blogging platform and see which you prefer. For my blog, I initially was on Multiply then I explored to Blogspot then when I got a domain url and hosting, it automatically shifted to WordPress.
Blogspot is so user-friendly and easy to navigate. Some suggested WordPress with hosting if you plan to monetise your blog.
Some words to understand:
URL: is the web address of your blog. If you create your blog under wordpress.com or blogspot and other free blogging platform. You would see a "—-.wordpress.com" or "—.blogspot.com" after your blog name. Before when I was under blogspot, my blog url was www.littlemisshoney.blogspot.com.
Domain: means the your url belongs to you. It means you own that domain and no one else can acquire than name as long as you pay the annual fee. It would need for your to buy your domain name from sites like:
Most domain cost $10-15 USD per annum. If you want to look more professional for possible sponsors to contact you for collaboration and have big plans to make your blog a serious business, having your own domain is a better option. However some people choose not to buy a domain name continue to blog under free blogging platform. Popular Singaporean blogger Xiaxue blog still have blogspot spot attached to it – www.xiaxue.blogspot.com but she still have lots of sponsorship and collaboration. It didn't impede her blogging success.
Do take note however if you decided to choose the free blogging platform first and eventually buy a domain later on. There are possibilities that you may lose some readers. So collecting their emails is helpful for work through subscription channel.
Hosting: is the accessibility of your site over the internet. Once you have your own domain. You have to get a hosting from sites mentioned above to provide you a server machine that is dedicated to traffic your website. This can be really technical so you can hire someone to do it for you or like me, it means calling the Godaddy Customer Service a lot of time before it was up and running. Its fee can go as low as $50 USD per year. But if you choose to not get your own domain or hosting, you dont need to worry about this.
Free blogging platforms have free templates for you to choose from. You can change it anytime you want. But if you prefer to hire a graphic stylist to create your header that big banner on top of your blog page site which has your blog name in it as well as the whole website design template with your preferred color pegs, go to a reputable graphic designers. Do your research and ask around. Make sure the designer aesthetics is in line with your vision.
Some graphic designers I know:
5. Create your content
Now you can brainstorm on what topics you want to write about. You can start by introducing yourself and your blog. You can write daily on your blog or maybe twice-thrice a week. Or maybe 3x a month if your schedule does not allow you to write often. But I urge to write consistently. Don't neglect your blogs. Never allow your blog with no new blog post for months.
Write with an ideal reader in mind. Think of who are you writing to and your blogging voice should be speaking to this ideal reader. Determine their age, their gender, their location, their educational status, marital status, their social media habits and what they would like to hear or learn. This is also the time to know and refine your branding. Read more about branding here. But most importantly, be yourself.
Also put in your Pages an introduction of yourself and what your blog is about. You can also provide the different categories of blog topics you write about. You can also provide a Page tab for what services you can offer when you plan to monetize it. Check out mine here. Make sure you provide your contact details so they know where to contact you.
6. Enjoy the process
Keep writing. Keep learning. Invest in good tools for your blogging gig. A reliable stable laptop or personal computer, good camera or even your handy Iphone would do. The important thing is to learn how to take good curated photographs. Invest in photography classes or workshop if you can. If photography isnt your thing, you can find beautful stock photos online or purchase in stock photo shops.
Reach out to fellow bloggers of the same niche for advice if they are willing to share. Join Facebook Groups for your blog niche. Have a mindset of community not competition. Follow top bloggers of your blog niche and learn from them.
The journey of blogging is not a stagnant process. You learn and improve as you go along. Just keep moving forward and never stop blogging. You will acquire new skills and new knowledge. You will gain new friends through fellow bloggers and your readers or followers. You will realize sometimes your blog niche will change as you go along or slight refinement along the way.
Don't wait until you get everything perfect before starting a blog. You will learn as you go along. Just start and enjoy the wonderful world of blogging!
If you have anymore questions just drop me a line, I would be happy to answer your questions.