Blogging has become a massive trend in the past few years, as we have dived head-first into the information age where nearly everyone has access to platforms to both read and share ideas. The vast range of knowledge, skills and personal experiences being shared has made for some incredible reading across the web- whether you want to know how to start your own veggie garden, to where the best places to eat in New York are, blogs provide us with a wealth of information that can educate and enrich our lives.
So, you want to start a blog? First of all, that's wonderful! A creative outlet can provide so much room for growth and learning and depending on what kind of blog you want to start, it can be a peaceful and even cathartic experience. Blogs are a great space to practice your writing and hone your craft, whilst being able to reach people from all corners of the globe.
Here are some tips to creating your blog and building your content:
1. Planning Have a clear vision for your blog. Having an idea or a goal for your writing can be incredibly helpful, and gives people an idea of what you have to offer. You can start by brainstorming the things that inspire you/what you are passionate about/ what you are knowledgeable about to create an outline of the ideas and subjects you want to cover in your blog. Do you want to start a lifestyle blog? Do you want to track a health or recovery journey? Do you want to share recipes or home DIY tips? Do you want to simply muse about personal experiences, or discuss your reaction to world issues? Consider what you want to offer to your readers, and be true to what you want to talk about. ALso-having a list of go-to subjects you want to explore can be handy if you hit a creative block and need some inspiration. Be as unique as possible, and stay true to what YOU want to write about.
2. Research Check out different blogging platforms, take a look at the blogs that inspire you and see what platform they use, and consider whether it's right for you. There are many free as well as paid sites that can host your blog, all have a unique number of pros and cons. Do your research and consider how you want your blog to look, and decide if you are willing to make this blog an investment, or whether it is purely a reflective experience (both of these are extremely valid reasons to blog!). With a paid blog you can claim a domain name and have a brand for yourself that is easier for readers to access- Wordpress is the one that I use and I have had no problems!
3. Action Once you have come up with an outline for your blog (what you want to write about, common themes) and have put together a layout that you're happy with, start writing! This is the part a lot of people get stuck on- the actual doing of the task at hand. You don't have to have absolutely everything planned out to the last detail, you just have to get writing! Create the product, and leave the finetuning and adjusting for later. Getting the words down is like preparing the main course- It is essential! The extra bits and bobs which will add to the piece can come later (eg. editing, photos, titling)
4. Promoting So you've written and posted your first blog- go you! Now one of the benefits of social media in this day and age is that we have the ability to promote ourselves in ways that people have never been able to before. You can share your blog via Facebook and/or Instagram, email your family and friends with a link so they can take a look, and use word of mouth to let people know that you've started a creative project and would love for them to check it out! Encouraging feedback from close friends, family and the wider writing community can be extremely useful to hone your skills and improve your writing with each blog you post.
Be consistent. Once you have got the ball rolling, do your very best to keep it going! Make a plan for yourself about how many posts you would like to upload in a month, and try to give yourself an adequate timeframe to complete these in. Remember, this should be fun, not a chore! Whilst letting things flow organically is great and can work for some people, be kind and realistic with yourself. Life can get busy! Setting reminders for yourself can help to keep on top of your blogging. Another effective approach can be to set aside half an hour (or however long is possible for you) each day to simply write. This writing may not all be usable for your blog, but it will create a positive pattern in which writing becomes a priority in your life. If life gets too busy (which it often does) and you haven't posted in a while, please don't fret! These things happen! Just pick up where you left off and continue on, no need to worry or apologise to your blogging audience for the delay.
Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day! If overnight success is your goal, I hate to tell you, that this is not the reality of a creative life. Success takes dedication and practice. and remember that this is for you! Any time invested in yourself and you developing your skills is time well spent, and can be so much fun along the way! Practice makes perfect.