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Deciding to start a blog is one of the best things you can do this year! Blogging is something that requires you to wear many hats, learn a lot of new things really quickly and test all of the limits you never even knew you had. Blogging can be equally as scary as it can be exciting, but rest assured, it will be worth it. Of course you shouldn’t go at this blindly, but instead, take a look at 10 things you should do before starting a blog!
Related Post: How to Start a Money-Making Blog on a Budget
10 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Blog
1. Determine Your Blogging Purpose
Are you blogging as a hobby? Or do you plan on making it a side income/full income? Blogging has many options that speak to different ways people blog. If you’re blogging as a hobby, going the free route may be the best way to do it!
It’s not to say that one way is better than the other, it just means your strategy is going to change. When you decide to monetize your blog, the way you tailor your posts, your style and design all changes. In order to make money, you often have to spend a bit of money. This includes going self-hosted, purchasing a domain, etc. If you’re trying to start up a blog to make an income, I recommend checking out this post here!
2. Figure Out Where Your Passion Lies
What the heck are you passionate about? Write down a list of things you’re absolutely passionate about, and then narrow it down to 1-3 topics you would be able to write about endlessly. (This is called choosing a niche, by the way!)
Some research suggests niching down, others suggest niching down. Whatever works best for your writing style is going to be what works best for your blog. If you feel as though writing solely about one topic is too narrow, perhaps adding another 1-2 may be beneficial. Choose the option that best benefits you, your sharing of ideas and your writing style!
Pro Tip: Don’t be swayed by blog posts promoting money-making niches. The real potential to make money lies in what you’re passionate about. Without passion, your blog posts will be lacklustre, and your followers will see right through it! Write about what you want to write about!
3. Do. Some. Research.
Before you launch your blog, find out what others are doing within your niche to be successful! Try and find out as much as you can about blogging, before you actually launch your blog. Not only will it make it easier to actually launch your blog, but you’ll have a solid background of information to back you up and propel you into success! (And not feel like you showed up for a test you didn’t study for!)
Research can be completely free or through paid resources. The best place to start your search is over on Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual search engine (like Google!) that has MILLIONS of blog posts floating around. There is a plethora of information for new bloggers from how to start a blog to the more finite, intricate details. Gather the most research you can and then ACT on it!
Related Post: 5 Mistakes New Bloggers Make
4. Be Real With Yourself: Write Down Some Goals
Where do you want to be 6 months into starting your blog? One year? Where do you see this going in the future? Goals are dreams written on a page, broken down and backed up with a plan. You need to make goals and create a plan (even though the plan will change) to get you there. Or else your blogging dreams are going to be stuck up there in la la land with no way out!
The more specific you can make the goals, the BETTER. Creating vague goals is one way to stall your progress and feel like you’re not doing enough. Make specific, timely goals (ex. I will write 300 words of a blog post today). Don’t bite off more than you can chew, make them specific and hold yourself accountable.
5. Make a Plan
Even though I just told you in the last point that you will probably have to change that plan, make the plan anyways. A plan is the momentum that gets you moving into motion. Make adjustments as needed, but failing to plan is planning to fail! Don’t let yourself fall victim to winging it (I promise it doesn’t work).
I want you to really hone in on this point. Do you think big time bloggers, business owners and entrepreneurs just decided to wing it? You need a plan, and you will always need a plan. Flying by the seat of your pants will lead you to forget things, get disoriented and downright fall behind. The plans will change, but they are the starting point for all things GREAT. Find out more about planning your blog content here.
6. Write Down Your Whys
This is so important. It’s important to write down your whys and have them handy because you’re not going to remember them when you want to quit. You may get frustrated, you may get overwhelmed, and you may want to give up completely. Keeping your whys in a handy place will show you why you started. Why you’re bigger than quitting. Why you want to do this & why you will succeed.
Remember this list for when you want to quit. One of the big reason why bloggers don’t reach their full potential is that they give up too soon. Remember that the successes will come over time, the gratification will not be instant, and you will do great things. The difference between a successful blogger and an unsuccessful blogger is that the successful blogger never gave up!
7. Do Some More Research
Once you’ve started getting your ducks in a row and figuring out the specifics of your blog, find out what the internet thinks! Start searching topics you have a desire to write about! Are people searching for the same things, or does your search turn up empty? If your search turns up positively, you will be writing content people are looking for!
Also, now that you’ve started narrowing down specific wants and goals, you’ll be able to start researching how to build the blog of your dreams! The more you know about what you’re trying to create, the better your research can be tailored to that! (Pro-tip: Pinterest is a great resource for all things blogging!)
8. Tell Someone
The truth is, as much as you would love to keep it a secret (especially if you’re nervous about people finding out) you won’t be able to keep it a complete secret. Tell someone you absolutely trust to give you the best advice and bounce ideas off of them. Tell them what you want to do and how you plan to do it! Spare no detail. Vividly describe your dream to them! Having someone who supports you unconditionally can be HUGE when you’re just starting out.
Telling someone also holds you accountable. When no one knows what you’re planning on doing/what goals you’ve set for yourself, it can be easy not to meet them. They’ll sit in a notebook, unused, and unachieved. Telling someone (friend, family member, your following etc.) holds you accountable to a whole new level. Take the leap and tell someone your dreams of starting a blog today!
9. Ask a Pro
When you’re first starting out and doing research, you’ll likely keep stumbling across a blogger’s posts (that seem like the holy grail of information!) Don’t be scared to reach out to them and ask them for a few pointers! A majority of bloggers love their audiences and want to help in anyway they can! Reach out to someone via social media or email and ask them for a few tips, or simply check out their posts!
Remember they were once in your place, scrambling to find out all the details and make it work. They didn’t just start being the pro overnight. Blogger’s respect and love their audience. They often want to see you succeed!
10. Don’t Hold Back
Last but certainly not least, don’t hold back. If you had a dream to start a blog, somewhere deep down you had this desire. If you can’t go a day without thinking about it, or feel like this is something you’re compelled to do, then go for it. Life is too short to let great opportunities pass you by, and I can guarantee when you finally strike up the courage to start (like I did, a year and a half later than when I first wanted to!) you’ll wish you had just started then!
I hope these tips helped you out! If you’re thinking of starting a blog, absolutely just GO for it! I promise, holding back is only going to hurt you! If you’re thinking of starting a blog, drop a comment below!
If you’re totally ready to take the next step and get your blog up and running, check out here!