Starting a blog is extremely overwhelming, especially now with all the social media outlets and different choices we have. About 10 years ago when blogging first started to take off, you opened a Blogger account and you were good to go. Now you’ve got Wordpress, Squarespace, or Blogger mixed with Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. That’s like 10 different options right there that you have to decide whether you want or not. It’s a lot for sure but I always say if I can do it, so can you!
I spent about 5 years trying to get everything “perfect”, and I wish there was something like this that I could have referenced because it would have saved me a ton of time and money. But there was no one willing to give me the no BS version of how to start a blog so without being too cliche. I created the ultimate beginner blogger cheat sheet for you. If you can, print this out, bookmark it, do whatever you can!
Strategic blog name:
When picking a blog name, go for something that has longevity. If you’re taking blogging seriously, treat your blog like your child.
Your blog name should be something that can grow as you grow. So you want to think about your long-term goals and go for a name that is in alignment with them. Don’t just settle for the first name you think of. Your blog name should make sense for you and what you’re trying to accomplish.
I changed my blog name 3 times before I got it right. Don’t be like me. Think strategy. If you want to turn your blog into a clothing brand think about what that name would look like in a tag. If you want to turn your blog into a healthy snack bar company, visualize the package branding. Do you like your blog name enough for either of those scenarios?
Next, you want to self-host your blog with a trusted site. The reason you want self-hosting is you have more flexibility to do what you want with your blog. Self-hosting means you own your blog entirely. You can grow it however you want, add multiple domains, and pay for site maintenance/support. It’s all under your control.
For beginner, to mid level bloggers, I recommend Bluehost because it has all the capabilities you could possibly need for a reasonable price. You won’t need unlimited bandwidth with 10,000 KBs of memory (I don’t even know if that’s the right terminology I’m just making this up right now). Plus Bluehost has outstanding customer support. You send them one email expressing your concerns and boom they email you back almost instantly. This is especially helpful if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.
Social media is obviously a major, major component to running a blog. It’s the most common way to communicate to your audience and reach new audiences so it’s absolutely necessary to have. Social media is such a general term that covers a variety of mediums, it would be crazy for you to try and master every single platform.
I do recommend making an account with every platform just so you have your username secure in case you do decide to tackle a new platform. You also don’t want someone else to snag your username because then you’re SOL.
The best social media channels to get on are Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat/Facebook. Snapchat and Facebook are tied for 3rd.
It’s obvious why Instagram is #1, it’s the biggest most used platform in the world right now. You have the potential to reach millions of people. This one is a no-brainer (more on Insta here, here, and here).
YouTube is another obvious platform you want to be on because of its ability to suck viewers in. You watch one video on how to DIY a shoe shelf and then you end up watching all of Aimee Songs’ home renovation videos. It’s a black hole for consumers which is great for you if you’re producing valuable video content. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, video is king. (Learn more about YouTube here and here.)
Even though Snapchat’s stats have been down since Instastories, it’s still a valuable platform because of geofilters and the profile sharing capabilities. If your Snapchat friends find value in your content, they’ll share your profile with their friends. And if you want to reach new audiences you just create a custom geofilter with your blog name attached, (more on Snapchat here, here, and here).
Facebook ads are extremely valuable and Facebook has an entirely different demographic than Instagram which is incredible for your brand. You can get more personal with people on Facebook from the groups to messages to comments. I highly recommend having a Facebook fan page. (Check out more on Facebook here).
Probably the most important piece of the beginner blogger puzzle is creating content. All the social media followers in the world won’t be able to help you if your content sucks. What I mean by this is some people don’t know their blog strengths.
Some will write long personal posts but they’re not the best writers so that content performs poorly. Other bloggers will rely heavily on picture content but none of their photos are in focus or their style isn’t the best, but they continue using the same technique anyway. You won’t get anywhere in blogging if you’re not able to get honest with yourself and the quality of your content.
Your content should either entertain, educate, or inspire, and it should always be created to the best of your ability. Your content is ultimately what will set you apart from the crowd so it’s important you figure out what you’re good at and go full force with it.
There are so many other levels to blogging, this post is just cheat sheet for beginner bloggers that grazes the surface. Successful blogging takes time and patience – two things that are hard to acquire but are worth it to have in the end.
If you’re a beginner blogger I want to hear from you. Leave any/all questions in the comments below and I’ll do another blog tip Q&A and give you a shout out!
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