I started blogging in January. It wasn’t the first time I’d decided to blog, but this time I wanted to put myself out there for more than just my family. I wanted to not only help others with the things I’ve learned throughout my life, but I wanted to learn from others as well. In doing this, I did some research, as a librarian is wont to do, and found a couple of things that may be useful for anyone else wanting to start a blog.
Find your Niche
Decide ahead of time who you want to write to, and what you want them to be able to get out of your blog. For me, this was a Motherhood Lifestyle blog. I wanted to be able to be able to share my journey through infertility to becoming a mother, and beyond. All the ups and downs of motherhood, how to feel beautiful, etc. These are my peeps. The people I want to surround myself with, and those who I want to learn with as well.
Blog Title/Website Name
Once you’ve established your niche, you’ll want to come up with a catchy name for your blog. Something that others can easily remember, and encompasses your blog. For me, this was Lula. Lips. Love. LuLaRoe consultant, LipSense distributor, and Love embraced my life as a mother, wife, and woman. My life in three short words (If I could have fit Librarian in there I would have done that as well).
Self-Hosting vs. Hosted Blogging Platforms
If you’re going to go for a self-hosted website for your blog, which I recommend, you’ll need to pick a provider for hosting, and make sure that your blog name is available for your website. I suggest Bluehost (they’re having a sale right now!) or Siteground for low cost providers with good customer service and help setting up your site if you need it. I use wordpress.org with my self-hosting provider.
If you don’t want to have the cost of self-hosting, a blogging platform such as wordpress.com or blogger can work. With these, you will have less control over what you can modify on your blog. However, if you decide later to go to a self-hosted website, you can migrate what you have over to your new provider.
Start Writing Content!
This is one area where I didn’t take my own advice. I waited until after I’d already made my blog live to start creating content. If I had posts written ahead of time, and prepped, it would have been SO MUCH EASIER in the beginning. Having two to three blog posts ready takes the pressure to write on a specific day away. It allows you to have an “off” week, and still have something to post. I’m still working on getting ahead on content so I have things to post without freaking out and scrambling something together last minute.
This is something I’m still working on myself. I feel like it’s something I will be working on my entire life as a mother and blogger. I try to set aside at least an hour ever day to work on social media promotion. This includes Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I use all these platforms, with the same name as my blog (lulalipslove), to share my new posts, and keep my followers excited to hear more!
I also have a goal to post three to four new posts a week. By having new content consistently on my blog, it keeps my readers interested, and provides me with a steady stream of information to post to my social media accounts.
I also highly recommend using Hootsuite for queueing and posting your social media for you, so you don’t have to worry about them all day long. This takes a lot of pressure off me. I sit down on Sunday, and schedule a week’s worth of posts for twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If anything changes, I can switch up my schedule, but this way I know that I always have daily posts.
Facebook Blogging Groups
JOIN THESE! It is amazing to have a group of bloggers to bounce ideas off. Ask for help when you have a writer’s block. Help promote each other’s content via social media. By utilizing these groups, you can have a greater reach than if you were on your own. There are a ton of Facebook groups for whatever niche you’re in. Here are a few that I’m in and recommend:
Writer’s Bra – A support group for those who are looking to make money from their writing, through blogging, eBooks, traditional publishing, and self-publishing.
Blogging 101 – ‘Blogging 101’ is a hangout place for bloggers of all abilities. It is a place to share traffic building methods, income streams, blogging resources, ask questions and to have fun!
The Women Blogger’s Community – This group is for women bloggers who are looking for blogging/social media community and resources. We are about lifting each other up (remember a rising tide lifts all boats). It’s also the place where blogging and social media business opportunities are posted by the admins. If you’d like to be considered for sponsored work, please join our Talent Book.
Rock Your Blog & Biz – This is a group for bloggers and online business owners to build real meaningful relationships, get support and advice, and have some fun.
Successful Blogging – Hello and welcome to Successful Blogging. In this group, you’re welcome to share blog articles, questions, etc. This is a group where you can seek advice and feedback on your blog or blogging questions.
Mom Bloggers Tribe – Mom Bloggers Tribe is a place to connect with other mom bloggers, support one another and grow as bloggers and individuals.
I hope these things help you on your journey, and please reach out to me if you have any questions! I’d love to help! The most important thing I want you to take away from this though, is HAVE FUN!