Someone recently commented on my IG asking ‘how do you really start?’ [a blog] and I totally know what she meant. Sure, I’ve covered How I Started My Blog, and Tips For Starting a Blog, but I’m sure if you’ve done a thorough search on these topics, you’ve likely heard all of this already. Motivational speeches aside, there’s a lot of technicalities involved in actually starting a blog. Today I’m going to cover 5 important steps in beginning your blogging career.
Before I dive in, I do recommend glancing through my Blogging Tips section in case you have other questions that I don’t answer today. While my advice today is more geared towards execution, some of the previous posts will help you refine your goals before taking action.
Another sidenote. The below tips are for anyone looking to blog as a business. So while you may disagree with some of my advice, it is all coming from the perspective of someone who started blogging for fun and has evolved into a business.
Read on for my 5 tips on how to actually start blogging.
-Hire a web developer. There are many platforms that are making designing a website super easy these days (my personal fave is Square Space), but a blog should be viewed as a publication. The quality needs to be conveyed in the aesthetics before a post is even read. Unless you understand back-end coding, I recommend hiring a professional who can execute your vision.
Before interviewing developers (aim to meet with 3-4), have visuals prepared. Screen shot other sites you like and be specific–I like this site’s search bar, I like this site’s menu, I like this site’s layout, etc. From there, once you’ve found your match, work together to create your dream site. Don’t launch until everything is exactly how you want it. You truly only get one shot for someone to come to your site and make a decision (within seconds) if it’s a site they want to stay on or leave.
-Sign up for Affiliate programs. Shop Style, Reward Style, and Share A Share are probably the most well-known affiliate programs. What are affiliate programs? Good question.
Affiliate programs act as the “middle man” between Influencers and Brands. They will be responsible for some of your very first income, as they generate special links for you to use to collect commission. Some are strictly for conversion codes and affiliate links, and others offer brand partnerships as well.
-Find a photographer. Well that should be fairly easy in today’s world. But I suggest trying 2-3 different photographers to really make sure you know which direction (visually) you want to go. Are you bright and clean? Dark and moody? Editorial? Candid? Different photographers obviously have their own style and edit so it’s important to work with someone who understands your needs / vision.
With that being said, I believe in continuity once you’ve nailed it. If you’ve discovered what works for your blog and audience, be loyal to your photographer. And from a branding perspective, it’s good to keep your content pretty consistent aesthetically. Any noticeable changes should be treated like a business decision and taken very seriously.
-Map out content. I’ll be totally honest here. Mapping out content is my biggest struggle. I just can’t seem to get it together and think so far in advance. But it’s very important to do so. A blog should have a narrative, a story, and if you’re not planning in advance, it’s pretty tough to achieve.
I’m not a novelist (obviously) but I can only imagine that a timeline is created before a writer just sits down and busts out a novel. Could be wrong, but I feel fairly confident in my assumption.
-Be proactive. If you’re just starting out and don’t have much of a following be prepared to shamelessly promote yourself. I was that annoying person on Facebook who harassed all my friends to follow me, and then made them post about me to reach their network. I was very active on all social media platforms, always liking and commenting on other people’s accounts (still do), cross promoting my own content on Pinterest, etc. It’s a hustle, and it kind of never stops.
I hope you find this post helpful. If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below in the comments and I’ll either elaborate with another blog post or answer you direct :)
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