Have you ever wanted to start a blog but had no idea where to begin?
Let’s be real here for a minute.
I had no idea what I was doing when I first started blogging.
Domains, hosting, keywords, SEO, analytics – it all sounded so technical. Even for a “computer whizz” like me (as the oldies say), I was a little overwhelmed.
You see, not only did I have no idea about the technical side of things, I didn’t even really know what I wanted to blog about.
I’d write posts about holidays I went on, recipes I love and anything else that came to mind. In fact, my first ever blog post was dedicated to the one person who inspires me most in life. You can still check that post out to this day.
There is no right or wrong way to start a blog.
Whether you’re technically advanced or not, if you have a passion for writing then go for it – blog to your heart’s content people! No one is born a genius right?!
It takes time to learn the ins and outs of the blogging world, don’t expect it to happen overnight. Take it one step at a time and remember, if I can do it, you can too!
So what do you actually need to start a blog? Well, grab your notepad, pen & coffee and let’s get started.
Whether you’re passionate about helping others, sharing gorgeous images or just love writing, you need some type of passion for blogging.
If you’re half-hearted, or just in it for freebies (yes, there seriously is people like this out there), it’ll show. People can see straight through the fake-ness & won’t trust your opinions, subscribe to your socials or believe a word you say.
Be sincere, be honest & always remember to put your heart into everything you do. Let your creativity shine.
A Camera (or Mobile Phone)
I’ve mentioned before how if you don’t include photos in your blog posts, I won’t read them. I know, this seems a bit cut throat, but hey, I’m only being honest.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again – blogs need photos.
You don’t need expensive, fancy equipment to take photos. Your smartphone will do! But if you want to start a blog, make sure you have a device of some sort to take killer snaps with.
Photos will help break up your posts, give your tribe something gorgeous to look at and allows them to relate to your content. Plus, you can’t pin to Pinterest without photos! And trust me, you need Pinterest.
Something to Write On
Nowadays, there is no limit when it comes to blogging.
The world of technology is now so advanced – imagine in 10 years the capabilities the simplest devices like our Macbooks & smartphones will have!
Again, you don’t need a huge, expensive laptop or Apple iMac to write on. You can blog off your mobile phone, second-hand laptop or even your tablet.
You can literally blog from anywhere at any time.
And, if you’re limited to computer use – draft your posts by hand in a notebook & transfer to the PC later. I still do this myself sometimes. I just love putting pen to paper.
An Internet Connection
This is just a basic, simple fact.
Although you could always bum some free wifi from McDonalds – like when the power goes out. C’mon, we’re all guilty.
Something to Write About
Sounds simple, but deciding what you want to write about is super [dooper] important.
You’ll need to work out who your ideal reader is first. How old are they? What are their interests? How will your blog help them?
But, the trick is – you want to not only make sure that your blog topic will appeal to readers, but it has to be something you’re passionate about. Hence the first subheading in this post.
You wouldn’t choose to write about beauty if you didn’t know what primer was, would you?
Just like how I will never write about sportscars or rugby – because let’s face it, I’d fall asleep at the keyboard trying to write about either of these topics. It’s just not me. Find your niche & stick with it.
Website & Hosting
When I first started blogging, I used Wix. Huge mistake in my personal opinion. I just don’t believe Wix isn’t designed for blogs. The customisability of this platform did not work for me at all.
After 6 months of fighting with their support team & requesting the most basic of blogging tools, I gave up on Wix & changed to the almighty WordPress.
I mean, I couldn’t change my theme whenever I wanted, my Google Analytics stats were always wrong and you couldn’t have separate comment sections on each blog. What the hell man?! I have no idea if Wix has changed since then, but this is based on my experience at the time.
I chose to go self-hosted with WordPress.org through NameCheap as I’d had my previous photography business site through them for years. Their support team is super responsive & always extremely helpful – couldn’t recommend them anymore.
If you’re not ready to pay for hosting & want to see if WordPress is for you before committing, try WordPress.com. Just keep in mind that you won’t have half the customisation options you have when you’re self-hosted.
Then, when you’re ready to commit, all you have to do is convert over to WordPress.org – simple!
Social Media Presence
Before you start a blog, I recommend deciding which social media platforms you’re going to be active on.
Having a strong presence on at least one social media platform is crucial as a blogger.
Whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Google + or Tumblr. It doesn’t matter. Start with one and focus on it – don’t go crazy and sign up for all of them if you can’t maintain a consistent presence on them all. You don’t want to end up focusing all your time away from your blog do you?
So, choose a platform & run with it.
For me, it’s Instagram. Why? Because Instagram allows me to share what I love most – photos, photos & you guessed it, a few more photos. Plus, I am in love with their new “Stories” feature. It’s another great way to draw viewers to your blog.
Simple tips, I know. But, we all start somewhere.
And once you’ve started, there’s no stopping. You’ll be designing drool-worthy graphics for Pinterest, taking high-quality shots & working with established brands before you know it.
Trust me – you can do it.
Take a leaf out of my book, the more time you invest into your blog, the better the outcome.
You got this!