So many of you are under the impression that I came into the blogger game knowing exactly what to do and how to do it, but you’re wrong. It was much less of a magical journey and much more of a one-thing-at-a-time process that’s brought me this far. My hope is that sharing this will assist some of you with starting or improving your own blog, and point you in the right direction into following your own unique passion. I’m still learning new techniques everyday, while fighting to maintain originality and authenticity, but I can share what I’ve learned up to this point.
Most of the action items that lead me to the point of launching The B Werd, I simply figured out along the way through Google searches, or bloggers I liked and admired who were willing to share. I’ve simplified the steps that brought The B Werd to life so that you guys can use the blueprint as well. If I can do it, while working full-time, anyone can.
Keep in mind, nothing happens overnight. I’ve been blogging for three years now and have had many late nights, early mornings and frustrations along the way. It’s HARD work. Especially in the beginning with trying to figure out how blogging works, what works best for you and working full-time, but I don’t regret the decision to start my blog. It’s been very rewarding and a lot of fun. If you’re committed, you can do it too!
Here’s are the steps you can follow to bring your blog to life –
FIND YOUR NICHE.
Before I started my own blog, I knew which blogs I liked. I knew which blogs were my go-to’s and for what reasons and for the most part, they were all fashion blogs. Although that was what I liked, I didn’t have very many, if any, go-to blogs that talked about real life; real work, real relationships, real truths, like trying to stay cute on an entry level job budget – so I knew there was a space for me to create that for women like me looking for the same thing. I didn’t find someone who did the things that I liked and tried to do those things like them. I found what other bloggers I liked, lacked, and decided to create it.
Before you take off running with your blog idea, you need to do a little research and planning. What you don’t want to do is decide a few months later that you actually don’t love the thing you are blogging about and want to switch your focus. Or change what you want to talk about when you see another blogger succeeding at something else. Plan appropriately so you can be committed long-term. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. YOUR PASSION
Blogging is a lot of fun but also a lot of work and you want to be writing or producing content about something you absolutely love or you will honestly burn out. Pro tip: even if you love what you’re talking about, you still may burn out which is why it’s imperative you’re talking about something that means more to you than your free-time. For me, that was encouraging women, helping them follow their own paths to their version of success, while looking good and pushing limits. Blogging about something you already know or do on a daily basis is much easier than trying to learn something just to hopefully make money off of it. The topic has to be your passion.
- Write down three of your hobbies or areas that you truly enjoy. These might be things others praise you about or encourage you to do. What do you envision yourself doing on a bigger scale if nothing was standing in your way? What’s a topic you feel comfortable enough giving someone else advice about?
- If you had to talk about something for the rest of your life, what would it be?
2. BE UNIQUE
So, now you have an idea of what you want to blog about, but now you need to make it unique. This sounds so cliché right? Part of finding your niche is defining what will make your blog standout. There are a ton of blogs discussing fashion, business, travel etc., but what makes yours different?
Although blogging is a saturated market- there’s still room to find your voice. I knew that I didn’t want to sell my readers a dream. I didn’t one to be one of those bloggers that had all the designer clothing, with no job other than blogging, but made it seem like that was normal, or even realistic. I wanted to resonate with the average girl, working her way up, moving at her own pace, who could afford to spend a little, but was still smart enough to save, so she could invest in herself. I wanted to incorporate the reality of being a 20-something year old girl but also knew I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into strictly cheap thrills, clothing or businesses.
Maybe your unique strength is your informative sarcasm or your one of a kind curly coils – use whatever makes YOU unique and incorporate that into your blog.
- Take your general hobbies you wrote down and write a more specific feature of each. Food (i.e. Whole30, gluten free), Travel (i.e. getaways for under $300 total) and see what you come up with.
- Check out your market as well as your competition – who is it you want to have as your audience? Is there anything that they’re missing that you could offer?
- Ask your family and friends the question, “What do you think makes me unique?” Sometimes this gets the creative juices flowing and provides you with an outside view of yourself.
3. BE CONSISTENT
Across all ends. Once you figure out your niche, stick with that. For me, I knew I wanted to keep it along the lines of Girl Boss and incorporate lifestyle with my personal experiences. However, you won’t see me offering cooking advice or making you sit through makeup tutorials. I like to mix a little bit of beauty when I find a handful of products I absolutely love, but for the most part, if you visit my blog you know it’s all things boss ladies.
On the other hand, if I decided that I wanted to incorporate beauty, food and fashion as the main three focuses- you would see at least a post each week from each category to make sure I was evenly committed to what I was blogging about. Three blog topics should be max. Don’t be all over the place. If you’re not completely sure about your blog’s overall theme or message, then you can bet your readers won’t either. That’s how you easily lose interest. Be consistent with whichever areas you want to be your focus.
- Of your general hobbies and their unique spin, remove anything you can’t see yourself being committed to in the long-term. Maybe you want to write about it here and there, but it’s not going to be the main defining theme of your blog.
4. CREATE YOUR TAGLINE
In one or two sentences, sum up what your blog is about for those who first land on your page. You want your audience to understand what they can expect right away from reading your blog. This will also help you figure out what you want to be blogging about overall.
I’m a Houston raised, 20-something PR professional with a lot to say. The B Werd is a thought provoking community for women who want to build and live their brand.
With that in mind, everything I typically write about circles back around to building the life you want to live, and doing it so well you create a brand for yourself. Being mindful of your tagline will help you stay focused on the overall theme of your blog. Think of it as your Mission Statement.
- Pretend you just met someone for the first time, in one to two sentences- explain what your blog is about.
5. SECURE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
As soon as you know what you’ve decided on for your blog theme and determine a name that fits, SECURE YOUR DOMAIN Your domain name is your .com that you don’t want to allow anyone else to take away from you. If you sit on your great idea for too long, chances are when you finally decide to move forward with purchasing your domain, it’s already in use. Don’t wait. I use Bluehost, so my domain name is completely free with my service. Securing your domain name will also light a fire under you to get going since you’ve already figured out the hard part and don’t want to waste time holding yourself up. Once I purchased my domain through Bluehost, my first blog post was published three weeks later.
ACTION: Visit Bluehost and see if the domain name you have in mind is available. If it is, secure it! There’s no better way to push yourself other than to pay to own your site.
These are the first 5 steps I took when starting my own blog and figuring out my niche, which I know can be the most difficult part for so many of us. Hopefully they will help you as well!
I love getting comments + emails from you guys so that I can better understand how to help y’all with whatever you may be struggling with. If you have questions, I’m sure other people have the same ones – which is why I encourage you to leave your questions below each post, that way I can hopefully help more than one person with my response.
JUST FOR FUN, leave your tagline in the comments below. I would love to hear what your blog is about! If you don’t have a blog and are just starting out, comment your ideas on what you have in mind for your tagline.