Are You Ready To Start a Blog?
Here are 10 things to consider before you start a blog:
Not very long ago I created a post/tutorial with step by step photos showing how to start a blog. ( How to start a blog in 15 minutes or less), and that just got me thinking that there are some good practices that will be better if you get them done BEFORE you even start your blog. And so I decided to create a series of post (being this one the introduction) of Things to do BEFORE you start a blog.
Hobby or Business?
You need to decide if this is a business or a hobby and treat it like one.
Right before you start blogging, decide what is this blog going to mean to you. Is it only for fun and a project for your spare time? If you decide is a hobby, is really important to treat it like one. What I mean is DON’T overly stress about views, and subscribers and so on. If fun and entertainment are what you’re looking for with your blog, don’t let the stats and analytic take the fun out of it.
Of course, later on, you can transform your hobby into a business. But is better to know from the start what is that you want to achieve with your blog and even when you can always transform a hobby into a business, if you decide from day 1 what is what you want, is so much easier to achieve any goals you set. For instance, if you decide is a hobby, then you really don’t need to stress about numbers, and getting money right away.
The payback from a hobby is fun and entertainment but is totally different if what you want is to make it as a full-time blogger.
On the other hand, if you decide is a business right from the start, but treat it like a hobby because you didn’t create appropriate plans, you will feel really frustrated when the “business” is not showing results. Just saying is a business, is not enough, you need to treat it like one.
Another of my mistakes. I wanted my blog to create an income for me and help me support my family. But I always treated it like a hobby. It was unintentional, but the results were the same. Blogging only on my spare time. Waiting and delaying. And so on. It wasn’t until I scheduled myself to work, and I mean work on my blog, that I started to see results. Don’t let this happen to you.
If you decide to start your blog as a business, a blog planner will be extremely helpful to help you keep everything organized, measure your success and stay on track. Check out my free printables to create a customizable Blog Planner: Blog Planner Project
Schedule your blogging time:
Ok, if is only a hobby, then no. Do it when you have time to spare, do it when you feel like it. BUT if a business is what you’re trying to grow, then plan and schedule your blogging time.
Determine how much time you can invest in your new blog. There is no wrong answer here, any amount of time you can dedicate to work on your blog is fine, as soon as there is a time that you work on your blog.
When I started this blog, I wanted to make it into my job, but at the very beginning, I didn’t treat it like one. Of course, I wasn’t getting results fast enough, and everything was going so slow. But I didn’t realize that when starting out.
So decide how much time is available to you… One hour a day? two hours? The more the merrier. But even if it is only one hour a week, is good if you stick to it. Write it down, schedule it and work that one hour you have to spare.
Check my Free Blog Planner Pages And Download Scheduling pages to start scheduling your time: Blog Planner
Choose your niche:
(Fancy way of saying topic) What are you going to blog about? DIY, Parenting, Home School, Food and Recipes? (Etc. etc)
I’m sure that you already have an idea in mind. But if you haven’t decided between two or more topics, maybe you can write it down and consider which one will be better.
Where are your passion and knowledge taking you? And think if you can blog consistently about that topic.
You don’t need everything at once. But at least have something in mind about your brand. (This is one of my mistakes, I just went with it, and didn’t really have anything close to branding).
Think style, colors, fonts and voice.
Even if you don’t decide until the day you start blogging, is very helpful to have some ideas and options. This will help you choose a theme for your blog. And I am not talking theme like in topics, I mean a WordPress theme, or the way your blog will look.
Besides all the logos, colors, themes and everything visual, I also mentioned the “voice” of the blog. This comes into branding because is how you represent yourself and your blog. Will it be serious? Funny and joyful?, Sophisticated?, A mixture of emotions?
In conclusion, having a brand vision will help you a lot. This will help you create a path that will be easy to follow, instead of “winging” it.
Goals And Business Plan
If you decided this is a hobby, a business plan is not necessary (of course!). Although, if blogging full time and making a full-time income is what you’re looking for, you need to write down your goals and hopes, get a plan in place, and start making them happen.
Now, you don’t need to create a complicated business plan, at this stage, is only for you, is to motivate you, to keep you accountable for what you said you wanted to achieve. Later on, will help you measure your success, check the goals you achieved and make new goals too.
When starting a blog you don’t need a complicated plan, a list of goals is a good start, that later can be expanded
Create a List with 10 (+) post ideas:
You’re just about to start blogging, so it should be really easy to come up with 10 or more ideas, right?
I mean, you’re supposed to blog for years to come, then is only a start. And I am just talking about ideas, not really the complete post. Just choose some topics and titles, and have them handy!
Why do this? Well… if you can’t even come up with 10 ideas for a blog post, then maybe you chose the wrong niche and need to change it up a little. Second, this will be like a to-do list, pushing you to start blogging, and third, so you don’t get stuck with writer block. As you’re barely starting this is very common to happen. I happen to me and I wasn’t prepared. Again. I didn’t know any better.
Have 2 or 3 Posts Prepared:
Once you have your list of 10 or more ideas, write at least 2 to 3 blog post. And post them ALL on the day you start your blog. Why? Because you want your new visitors to have something to read, more than just one. Remember, you only have once to make a good first impression. An empty blog is not inviting, Is not exciting. So give your readers a little more than just one.
Get Started on Social Media:
Yup, get this done before the actual blog. Why? so many reasons but the most important ones are: Is free, blogging is not always free. So if it takes you a couple of days to get your social media accounts up and running, you didn’t waste any money. But once you get your blog up and running, hosting starts counting, domain name starts counting. Second, if you start getting followers in any of the social media sites, this will be great exposure for even your first couple of blog posts! And third, once you start a blog, having your social media sites up and running, will give you the opportunity of sending your readers there from day one! Start building your fans from day 1!
Create a Budget
You need to know how much you want to invest in your blog, or how much you’re able to afford. Don’t make it complicated, just do a little research on the things you might need to spend, and how much you can spend in each category. Are you hiring a designer? Are you buying a WordPress theme instead? Will you buy products to review? Do you need to pay a babysitter to have time to work on your blog? Ask yourself these and other questions to create your budget, or at least have an idea before you jump in and realize that you will need to spend way more than what you had in mind.
Hosting and Domain
Of course, you need a place where to start blogging. Once all the previous steps are done, or the ones you choose to get done is time to get your blog up and running. And for that, you will need your domain name, which basically is your web address (www.mypage.com) mine is www.craftytuts.com and you will need hosting, which is where all the info about your blog is stored and shared to your future readers. Read more about hosting and domain and the steps to get your blog up and running here: How to Start A Blog in 15 Minutes or Less
I also want to make a workbook or homework book for each step, and so making it easier to get them done.