Last week, I shared the first part of my guide on how to start a blog from scratch. I wasn’t able to cram everything in one post so I’ll be finishing off this topic today. I’ll leave the short intro and get straight into it by first addressing some of the questions I received in the last post.
Question: Why do we need to pick a niche? What does that mean exactly?
As I mentioned in my reply, a niche is important because it’s how you differentiate yourself. Blogging for the sake of maintaining an online diary isn’t an entirely viable method anymore. If your goal is to simply write about your life experiences and interests with no intention of making it a full-time gig, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you want to put a structure and strategy to your business (i.e. your blog), then it’s time to think about how you’re different and who you’re speaking to. Having a niche doesn’t have to pertain to a certain identity, physique, or style – but it can. A niche can also apply to hobbies, a way of doing something, or a certain mindset. A niche gives you clarity, which is so important when you’re running a business so that you’re not executing on someone else’s terms nor competing with everyone else.
Question: Don’t you like blogger?
I surprisingly got a bit of resistance when I didn’t mention Blogger as an option under “Platform”. Don’t get me wrong, Blogger is an excellent place to get started on because it’s so simple and easy to use. You can literally sign in and get started. WordPress is a little more confusing to navigate; however, it provides a world of flexibility that Blogger does not when it comes to coding, design, and creative control. If you ever want to step into the world of e-commerce, it wouldn’t feel so seamless on Blogger. Plus, if you want to take advantage of SEO, WordPress makes it easier.
Now back to starting a blog from scratch…
To get a great head start on your blog, I suggest you set goals and clearly decide what you want to gain from running this blog. When I decided to start a blog, I knew from the get-go that I’d want this to be a full-time job one day whether it turned into an online store or a social media influencer. I also just loved creating beautiful content and shooting photos
Create a content calendar
After you know what your goals are and you’ve targeted a niche, it’s time to decide what your content is going to be about. When starting out, I recommend planning out content three months in advance and then adjusting topics or adding new ones as needed. Decide how many times you’re going to post every week and commit to a production schedule. As you come up with content calendar, brainstorm catchy titles that others would be inclined to click on. You can review my tips here and here for more on creating unique content and optimizing your workflow.
Everyone wants a blog that drives traffic. Not only will it help you get paid, but it helps get you noticed. A few quick and easy ways to get traffic to your blog are getting featured on other websites. This would be a good opportunity to partner with other bloggers and showcasing one another on your blogs (much like tagging on Instagram).
Even better would be if high-traffic websites like PopSugar, WhoWhatWear, or online magazines feature you. If those options feel out of reach, you can always email your favorite bloggers and ask to guest post on their site.
Don’t forget to take advantage of sites like Bloglovin as well as newsletters to get your content noticed.
Improve your social presence
Improving your social presence requires strategy and clarity. First and foremost, your aesthetic is everything. You can try using websites like ColorKuler to see what the scheme of your Instagram account is – that will help you determine if it’s in line with where you want to be. You can also look to creating mood boards on Pinterest so you get to the heart of what inspires you and how you can inspire others.
Next, engage! You cannot improve your social presence without engaging! Yes, respond to your comments but also go out and explore new accounts and leave thought-provoking comments as well.
If there’s anything else you guys want to hear, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments!