I blame the story of Julie and Julia for giving us all the misconception that blogging is really easy. It also proves that truth is often stranger than fiction. Julie Powell, a secretary in New York, decided to work her way through Julia Child’s recipes and blog about it. This all lead to a book deal, a movie, and the rest is all a bit of history.
Other than the movie, I had actually never really heard much about blogs. Scott really encouraged me to start one around the time this little gem of a movie was released. I was not really satisfied with my corporate job, and definitely was in need of an outlet. I finally decided to take the leap and start one, but I had absolutely zero clue where to begin. I enlisted the aid of my poor mother and together we decided to try to untangle a long line of google searches. It was all so complicated…
So let us dive into the blogging chat!
How to Start a Blog
Decide Your Why for Blogging
Do you want to blog for yourself?
Maybe you want to blog for just your immediate friends and family. A lot of people like to do this if they move far away or prepare for a race so they can share their adventures.
I was not sure if I necessarily saw myself doing it as a career, but the presentation mattered very much to me. I made an investment in WordPress, but it was completely worth it in my opinion. If you only want to casually blog, a free platform may suit you just fine.
Define Your Voice
I think this largely helps you to decide your blog focus and how you want to craft your posts. For me, I often look to blogs I enjoy reading when I feel a little lost with my direction. My focus is clearly healthy living with a lot of content dedicated towards recipes, food and fitness. However, I always like to get to “know” the authors and appreciate updates on their lives, weekends or sometimes what they wore to an event. Blogging has a “voyeuristic” quality to it. Call me nosy, but those litte details are fun! So for me, whenever I recognize I can blog about anything I feel way more creative.
Since I write so frequently it becomes easier and easier for the worlds to flow. I write like how I talk, but never use contractions in my writing. I include a lot of quotes, but not for every post. Simply writing helps you to learn these things. When I had that brief starter blog I decided there needed to be a new quote each time. It was incredibly stressful to track down the perfect quote. So now if I feel the inspiration or one strikes me I include it.
Choose Your Platform
Definiting your why will lead you to knowing which platform is right for you. There is a free version of WordPress as well as Blogger if you want to just give it all a whirl and see if this is the right investment for you.
WordPress was all scary so I decided to choose what I saw as the easier option – Blogger. My first few posts were incredibly fun to put together. However, it was taking me a lot of time since I was clueless. Plus because Blogger is a free Google platform it is very limited. No matter how much time I spent with my pictures and copy it always looked like I had drawn the post in my basement with a crayon. Not very professional, and certainly not the looks of what I was seeing out there on the worldwide web.
I kept up my first blog for about a month and a half until I called it quits. If I invested the time I knew I needed Word Press and I would absolutely recommend that platform to anyone. Once you get the hang of it you will be unstoppable! I am by no means a seasoned blogger, but I have been doing it for almost a full year now. In the beginning, I was just posting casually and not really promoting it anywhere. Last August, I got serious about the whole process and dove in head first!
Buy Your Domain Name
Spend a lot of time deciding your blog name. Consider if it suits what you want to write about. Make sure it is not too long. In short, really think it through. Of course you can always change the name down the road if you decide it no longer is the right fit. However, it is of course, easier to not have to go through that process.
Get Comfortable with Social Media
This is tricky because social media is important to promote your posts. However, it can truly get away from you and take away a lot of time and energy. If you are naturally social media savvy than get started with the channels you are comfortable with already. If you have to ask yourself what a Facebook page is then slow on down. Choose Twitter for example and play around with networking and promotion as a start.
Improve Your Photography
My photography has improved ten-fold since I started blogging. I remember my mother actually called me a bit worried that I was eating raw or severly undercooked chicken. I was using the same i-Phone I have now so it was clearly not technology working against me. I have never been someone who whipped out their camera all the time so I felt out of my comfort zone.
Photography is a bit of the first impression you leave on your blog. If someone randomly clicks on it a pretty picture could make the difference of whether or not they stay around for a while. I now try to look at the format of my picture, the lighting and backdrop. I want it to show that I cared about the finished product. If you rush your photography it can be a bit of a dissuading factor.
I am going to put an end to my post right about now because I could go on and on! I had no idea blogging was the endeavor that it is, but I love how I learn new things and challenge myself with it every day.
Best of luck with your blogging adventures! I appreciate if you are here whether you have your own blog or just enjoy being along for the ride as a reader.
Question of the Day:
- Do you have a blog?
- Is so, what is the biggest thing you have learned in your journey?
I always love hearing from you! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.