Find the motivation to start a blog
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Your brain is full of wonderful ideas for posts and tutorials that the world needs to know. You say to yourself “I have so much great content, But how do I start a blog?” You might get to thinking further and your realized you have so many ideas that you don’t even know where to begin! Let me help you start a blog!
Now is the time to STOP overthinking the launching of your blog and take the plunge!
Believe me when I say I know exactly what it’s like to overthink everything! Between the kids, housework, my full time nursing job, school and the multitude of life’s little adventures coming your way the last thing you want to work on is an outline to launch the perfect blog. The perfect blog that will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. And since you don’t feel like you can start a blog and absolutely launch into making multimillions instantly- you don’t.
The overthinking and second guessing stops NOW! I want to encourage and help you through those initial barriers to entry that I struggled with. I am so thankful that I took the plunge and I know you will too. So let me walk you through the process and lets get started today. Download and print this worksheet to use as a guide as we go through the process.
There are so many different things to consider when starting a blog. It can be seriously overwhelming. Remember, we will walk through these initial steps together and you will start to produce content you can be proud of.
If you are looking for a quick answer that answer is START. Start a blog right now, write a post and put it up. If you don’t have your own blog site yet, post it on Facebook. You will be surprised the amount of people that will read a long post written directly on Facebook. If you are looking for a more in-depth “how to” then continue reading.
There are a few basic “check boxes” you need to check prior to launching a blog if you want to improve your chances of establishing a loyal following.
Use this FREE worksheet to answer the following questions:
Step 1: Select your Niche to Start Your Blog
A Niche is a well defined topic or area of interest that you will focus on. Examples of specific Niches are Personal finance, Scuba diving, food, or Hiking. Examples of more broad niches would be travel, lifestyle, fashion, or fitness. The examples of broad niches are still somewhat specific but allow for a larger focus of writing topics. My blog megforit.com is a lifestyle blog where I focus on my top interests. Traveling, Nursing, Yoga, Disney, and some food. My blog is one of the more broad blogs and I have more specific readers under each subcategory of my blog. If I was starting over I would “niche down” into one specific topic and focus on that niche. But I have invested so much into megforit.com and I truly love where it has taken me.
Ok so let’s focus on selecting your Niche. Start by asking yourself the following questions.
- What topics am I most interested in
- What area do I have knowledge that other people need to hear or would benefit from?
- What topic or hobby would I like to know more and become an expert on?
- What are my long term goals as far as potential revenue?
The fourth item on the list will be harder to answer if you are brand new to blogging. (We will cover this question separately.) Let’s start with one, two and three. Use the worksheet to jot down your answers
- What topics am I most interested in: Hiking, Camping, Fishing, travel, etc
- What area do I have knowledge that other people need to hear or would benefit from? Hiking, Camping, Organization etc…
- What topic or hobby would I like to know more and become an expert on?
Many blogs begin as a journey where the author shares information they learn and gather about a specific topic. It’s truly their journey to becoming an expert. A million dollar example of this becoming true is improvephotography.com. Jim the author of this blog started out wanting to learn about photography. How his blog improvephotography.com is ranked as one of the best in the world. Examples of this could be: photography, cooking and recipes, or homeschooling.
Once you have your ideas written down on your worksheet its time to narrow it down. You need to select a niche. Do you like the idea of learning and sharing your knowledge? Are you already an expert in an area and you feel the world needs to know what you know? That’s your niche.
Make Money with Your Blog
Lastly, consider the potential for revenue and how you want to generate that revenue. Affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, ad placement or produce courses and eBooks to sell. The niche you select will drive your revenue streams. There is potential to generate revenue from a combination of all of the above. For example a hiking blog would allow you to produce more product reviews and generate affiliate income where a blog focused on personal finance might be a better platform for an eBook or online course. There is no “better” choice when it comes to generating revenue through your blog. Your readers will often dictate which streams work better for you. I believe you can monetize any niche so don’t let that be your sole determining factor. Feel free to reach out and we can kick around ideas. I am happy to answer any of your questions. Just leave them in the comments below.
Once you have your “niche” selected, its time to decide a name for your blog.
Step 2: Selecting a brand name for my Blog:
This is in essence your new alias. Sometimes you will see bloggers use their name in their title. For example, I love the blog sincerelyjules.com. I also love the blog makingsenceoutofcense.com. One incorporates and built a brand around her name and the other built a brand. There is no “better way” to title your blog. Chances are you already have an idea. People will get to know you and find you and follow you despite your title. You do want it to be catchy and roll off the tongue… that always helps. On your worksheet jot down name ideas you have. Here is some imagination direction.
- Think of nicknames you have had
- Names with your niche incorporated
- Do you want your real name to be incorporated or do you want to develop a brand name or alias?
Keep in mind that the title of your blog will often be incorporated into your website domain name. The domain name is the “.com, .inc, .org, etc…” that will be the home of your content. I do not recommend using sites like blogger simply because down the road it will be easier to monetize and make changes if you own and host your own domain. Yes, you can transfer your content later on but this will require somewhat of a “relaunch” and can affect your traffic for a period of time. WordPress makes it so easy and domains with hosting are so affordable. I recommend getting exactly what you need at the beginning. Then there is no potential of outgrowing you’re hosting or potential. Let’s move on to selecting a domain name.
Step 3: Selecting your domain name:
Now that you have your niche and title of your blog, let’s look at domains. I completely – without reservation – recommend SiteGround for purchasing your domain and hosting. SiteGround has very affordable hosting starting at $3.95 per month. Bluehost is also a great hosting site and I recommend them as well. However, I do have most of my blogs hosted through Siteground.
It is good to have a few ideas for a domain name ready because there is a potential that one of them is already taken. On your worksheet, write down as many domain name ideas incorporating your title as much as you can. If you selected a smooth title, try obtaining that domain. My blog is titled Meg For It and I was able to get www.megforit.com as my domain. Start by seeing if your title is available. If it is, purchase that title. If the title of your blog is not available, start trying similar abbreviations and variations until you find something that works. You can search available domains and make your purchase directly through SiteGround. To get started select the hosting plan less than $4 per month. The next step will allow you to select your custom domain (if it is available) or prompt you to try additional options. Follow the steps and check out. Initially you do not need to add any of the suggested add ons. Right now you are just securing your domain.
The next step will require you to install WordPress and select a theme to get started. Siteground has amazing support and will seamlessly walk you through this process. There are free themes that can be installed as you get started. This is when it can become overwhelming. I want you to take a deep breath! You have already accomplished the hardest part and that’s making the decision to stop pinning and just do it! (Don’t literally stop pinning because pinterest will be huge for you… but you get the point)
You have made the commitment to stop overthinking things and start doing. Your blog is not going to look like the professional site you want it to be immediately. This takes some work, trial and error and learning as you go. The great thing about WordPress is that there are hundreds of tutorials on Siteground and YouTube that will walk you through everything you need to get started.
Focus on the following pages and menu items to get your first post up ASAP! The list below are the areas you should focus on customizing first. This will help your blog look “lived in” and give provide and introduction and a way to contact you.
Blog Menu and Pages
About me – Contact – Blog – Home
Now it’s time to generate your first post. I have included with the worksheet a template you can use as a guide when creating your first post, or any post thereafter. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. This is a learning process and writing your first post will be a great experience. Use the template to select a topic, title, intro, and format your post to be a resource to your future readers. The beauty of it is WordPress makes it so simple to go back and edit your posts in the future. I am still revisiting some of my early content and updating pictures and the content within the post. It’s actually encouraging to see where I started and where my writing is today. Still far from perfect but noticeably improved.
Make sure that you have at least one good picture. Something visually stimulating to draw your readers in. You will also use this image or others to create Pins for Pinterest. Pinterest is the greatest source of traffic for my blog. You can join my Facebook Group Traffic Boom HERE. In this group we collaborate and support each other with traffic strategies and Pinterest collaborations.
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I am so proud of you for taking this huge step of faith. If you are still skeptical I want to encourage you by saying Blogging is a work in progress. Its never perfect and you will always be learning and developing your skills. The network of resources are so supportive and you are starting more than a hobby, you are joining the friendliest club around. BLOGGERS!
A single commitment we all share is the desire to succeed and support others so they can be successful too. You wont be alone. Plug into groups and network. You will be surprised by the friends you never knew you had!
Your journey is just beginning.
Comment below with any questions you may have.