We’re midway through the first month of 2018. How are those resolutions holding up? I chose a word instead of a resolution, as I do every year and I feel like I’ve seen an influx of folks choosing words this year or maybe I’m just imagining this. Anyway, maybe your resolution for this year was to start a blog. Or maybe your word for the year was to write. Either way, if you’re interested in how to start a blog, I thought I’d use today to share a few tips to get you started.
I started Eat.Drink.Frolic. in March of 2010. Yes, 2010. Can you believe that? I’ve had this site for almost eight years – it’s still pretty crazy to me. I started this blog because I was interested in food, cooking and entertaining and I wanted to find an outlet to share my adventures. I had no idea what I was doing or how to even get started but after a little research (thanks, Google), I was on my way.
Having this blog has been a lot of fun, a little confusing at times and most of all, it’s been pretty cool. I’m still learning as the digital world changes almost daily but that’s sort of what makes it fun for me. If you’re thinking of starting a blog: it can be done. Don’t let the fact that you’re not a web developer or a photographer stop you. Ready for some tips?
How to start a blog in 2018
First and foremost: start your blog because you love the subject you’re writing about (and not for the money). Truth is, if you’re starting your blog for the sole reason of making money, you’re in it for the wrong reason. Blogging is fun and exhausting. So make sure before you start, your heart is in it.
Pick a niche. What are you blogging about? Perhaps you’re a DIY queen (or king) or maybe you’re a photographer who wants to share photography tips? Wherever your interests lie, start there and build on it. For me, I knew I wanted to talk about recipes, visits to different restaurants and vacation guides.
Make sure your domain name is available. This is such an important step in the process. You’ll want to make sure your blog’s name is available as well as its social media handle.
Get organized! If you really want to know how to start a blog this year, getting organized is key. Let me repeat it: GETTING ORGANIZED IS KEY. From planning out an editorial calendar to mapping out your social media, organization is going to be a huge part of your success as a new blogger. I try and plan out content at least 6-8 weeks in advance (key word: try). Even the smallest amount of planning helps me not feel overwhelmed.
Let’s keep talking about the organization piece for a second. You can map out your social media easily when your blog’s content is planned out. Have you heard of Planoly? It’s a nifty little platform to help you plan out your Instagram. It won’t post it for you but what you can do is map out what your Instagram grid will look like before you post. It’s pretty cool especially if you’re trying to achieve a certain aesthetic.
Do your research. Your blog has to live somewhere. Meaning – you have to use some type of platform and hosting company in order for your site to be live. Research and find something that works for your needs. If you live in Chattanooga and you’re interested in using WordPress, The Chattery is hosting an intermediate WordPress class soon.
Generate buzz. Alright so you’ve decided you’re going to go through with this. You have your domain name and social media accounts. Before you launch, start working on your blog’s content and make sure you actually have posts for people to read. No one wants to come to a site that has one very lonely post. Leading up to the launch, generate some buzz using social media. Tell people what to expect and why they should get excited.
Join blogger groups. Having a tribe of folks who are in the same boat as you is vital. I belong to a few blogging groups where we can promote each other’s content and learn from one another. It’s pretty cool.
Final thoughts: how to start a blog in 2018
The truth is, the blogging world is saturated with a lot of us doing a lot of things. That shouldn’t deter you from launching your own blog. As long you know your intent and purpose, everything will be fine.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You don’t know what you don’t know, right?
Lastly, I offer a few tips for launching a blog because I’m starting another blog. Yes, you read that right. Eat.Drink.Frolic. isn’t going anywhere but I’m launching a new blog soon in addition to EDF. It’s called Hostess With Mimosas and it’s strictly for ideas and inspiration for entertaining at home. I’m nervous and excited about this new addition.
The plan is to launch in March. March is my wedding anniversary AND the anniversary of Eat.Drink.Frolic. Wish me luck and be sure to tune in on social media for updates and details on Hostess With Mimosas’ launch.
I hope you found my simple tips for how to start a blog helpful and useful. Are you starting a blog this year? I’d love to hear about it!