Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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You know that voice that is deep within your heart, deep within your mind, constantly telling you to do something, yet often is silenced by fear, by worry, or by what others may think. Well, that voice that is deep within your heart is there for a reason, a specific purpose, and it is time to let that voice be heard. If you have been wanting to start a blog, but worried this isn’t the right time, or maybe don’t even know where to start. I am sharing a complete list of must-knows before starting a blog!
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It is time to silence the thoughts that invoke worry and doubt of what others may think. Instead, tune in fully to the passions and the dreams that live within your heart of hearts. If you have a voice, a passion for wanting to jump in and do something creative, or a voice and a passion for taking a chance on your business idea or diving into the online world of marketing, then this is for you!
I am giving you the inside scoop to the very things I wish I had known and done differently before hitting publish and starting my blog. My hope in this message is to truly provide a resource for you, especially if you have always thought about wanting to start a blog. Or wanted to focus on a creative side hustle. My hope is that if you are sitting in that place today, you can learn from me and learn from my mistakes. And start your blog on a much more solid foot.
When I began my blog back in 2018, I focused on really truly wanting to create a space on the internet that encouraged an intentional lifestyle focused on grace and freedom. Grace, giving a grace to yourself, having grace to accept yourself for who you are, and accept yourself every single day, no matter how you show up. On the days where things are going, awesome, but then the days where you fall short, knowing that it is okay and giving yourself that grace.
As well as, freedom. A freedom from comparison and a freedom from perfection. Truly trying to live a life where you are resting and abiding in who you are every single day and trusting in your purpose. Upon creating this blog, that was my whole intention to create an intentional life.
I wanted to be a voice that brought encouragement and inspiration to your life. A voice to ensure that you know you are not alone. To understand your value and your worth. I wanted to be real, honest, and genuine. Simply, I wanted to share my day as it was happening through the good and the bad. I wanted to show up in a hard. Just so other people know that in their hard moments, they are not alone.
So I started my blog. I started it within one day, . I had this idea, I came up with it. I created the Instagram account, and then I created the WordPress blog. I signed up for my own hosting through Blue Host and created my website. Within 24 hours it was live with ONE post, one lonely blog post.
I created a very mediocre about me page with a light pink heading that you could barely read the background. Everything was on just a basic Word Press template. I believe I had sparkles. Pink gold sparkles. Truthfully, I just went for it. And it is so cringe worthy now! Which is why I want to make sure you don’t make the mistakes that I did and launch your blog for success from the beginning.
If you are in any kind of online space or have an active social media presence, I strongly believe you need to start a blog. I know a lot of people like to think blogging is dead, but the reality is, there are so many blogs that are thriving. And if that’s something you wanna do, absolutely do it. Blogging allows for connection and for inspiration. It can provide hope and a community. And in a world of so many, it can help people feel seen and people feel heard, and it can provide value, and that’s all so, so important.
Also, one of the very best things about having a blog is that you own your blog! It is yours! Spoiler alert, you don’t own your Instagram account. Nor do you own your TikTok. Neither do you own your Pinterest account. Whatever social media channel you are currently creating on, you don’t own it! Somebody else owns it.
Therefore, it essential in the digital marketing world to have a place that is a hundred percent yours. A place that you own and that has your name to it. So if all of the social media things go away, that you still have a place where you can have your passion and your business. Therefore, it is essential to have a blog. And when you create your blog, there are specific things you must do from the very beginning in order to be successful right away!
Whatever it is, whatever idea you have, whatever passion you have, whatever little voice is talking to you. Deep within the night, deep within your heart, your spirit, I want you to listen to that voice. If that voice is challenging you, if that voice is encouraging you, if that voice is calling out the potential of you, I want you to listen to that voice.
Now, if the voice is full of lies, if that voice is telling you that you are not worth it, if that voice is speaking the things that are wrong and bringing up insecurity and comparison. , you need to silence that voice. That voice is not the voice that you are supposed to be listening to. In fact, that is the voice that is trying to take you away from where you are supposed to be going.
So step one, silence the voice that is not allowing growth to happen. And step two, listen in fully to the voice that is encouraging you in the destination where you hope to go. Now is the time to go after it, to pursue your passion, to get creative, to step out of your comfort zone, and step fully into the uncomfortable, and trust that that is where the growth is going to.
Don’t listen to the lies that there’s so many blogs out there. There’s so many people doing your idea out there. Whatever it is, you’re passionate. Your voice that is gonna try to take you away from your destiny is going to tell you all the reasons why you shouldn’t. And a lot of times that voice tries to say, there’s so many other people that are doing this.
There’s too many people out there. The competition is too high. And I just want you to know that you have a purpose to your passions. and your voice matters. So trust your passion. Trust your purpose, and trust that voice that is encouraging you and giving you that inspiration that you need. I think as many people that want to start a blog should absolutely do it.
Now I wanna get into the nitty gritty and share with you the 13 things I wish I had known before hitting, publish and starting a blog. Now I will say this, if these are items that you are already doing, then congratulations you are amazing. You are most definitely on the road to success and I wish you all the best with your blog!
As I shared earlier, when I started my blog, I did it within 24 hours. I was very determined to get it done and I just went for it. As my usual course of action when I have an idea, I love to jump on in. However, I would not recommend doing that. Instead, I would recommend having a plan, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna share here with the 13 things I would have done differently in starting my blog from the very beginning!
The very first thing that I wish I had known before hitting publish and starting a blog, was to take the focus away from myself. When I started my blog. I was very excited and very passionate. I wanted to share all these things that really centered around ME when instead I needed to switch the conversation and focus on THEM, the reader! How can I help somebody else? This is a great place to start, to focus on how your blog is going to serve other people!
Therefore, switch the focus away from you. Instead, how can you serve a community that you want to support you? The more that you can come from a place of service, the more that you are going to resonate with people. And the more people are going to want to consume your content. So switch the focus away from you and instead turn it to somebody else.
Still focus on the things you wanna share. But instead of focusing it on a story of you switch it. Take the story or passion you want to share and switch it how it can help someone else. For example, if you are wanting to put together a capsule wardrobe for back to school outfit ideas for the teacher, instead of listing your own personal outfit ideas, build a blog post giving tools and tips to build your own wardrobe to allow yourself to feel confident teaching in the classroom. Take the focus away from you and put it towards somebody else as a place of service.
The second important thing to note when starting a blog is to know exactly who you are writing for! Know exactly who your reader is. For every piece of content you create, your reader needs to be the first thing you are focused on. Additionally, you need to know your reader like the back of your hand. This needs to be somebody that you write to in every single post that you create. As well as the person you create content for when and if you share content on social media.
Therefore, you need to know who you’re writing to and you need to know what they’re looking for. What are their problems, their daily struggles? Furthermore, what fills them up, gives them joy, fills them up with hope. In order to be a great resource, you need to know who you’re writing for in every single piece of content you create.
Whatever your brand pillars are, or whatever your business is about, be sure to speak to that person. Know exactly who you are writing for. Then, cater everything towards that person. Because if you do that, then you are gonna grow your client base. As well as grow your following because people will trust you and believe what you are saying!
The third tip to starting your blog is consistency! Now, this can be incredibly hard. It’s so awesome and easy to start the thing and do the thing. However, in order to really allow yourself the chance to grow and become this awesome idea and strong business, you have to commit too consistency.
There are two specific tasks in order to maintain consistency. First, know when you are publishing a blog post. From the very beginning, determine which day you are going to publish a blog post and be consistent with it. When you establish a plan for consistency, it allows your audience to know exactly what to expect.
The second part of consistency is knowing how long you are going to commit to. Personally, I would encourage you to give yourself at least six months. Truthfully, a year is more ideal. A year of consistent blogging will give you the growth and traction you are looking for. And within that year timeframe, don’t get obsessed with analytics. Don’t get consumed by your number or your page views or your post views per month. Simply give yourself some breathing room to grow during this window of time. Know what your goals are and commit too consistency.
Similar to long-term consistency, the fourth essential tip in how to start a blog is to make a goal for long-term growth. It can be so tempting to want to obsess over your analytics, trust me, I am constantly looking at my analytics for my podcast. But see if you can try to avoid looking at the analytics from the beginning. Instead, make a goal for long-term growth. Write it down. If you are looking for tips on how to write a good goal, feel free to check out this post here!
In a year, I wanna have this many page views. Or, have a certain number of page views per month. By a certain time I wanna have this many clicks, or I want to monetize to this specific level, bring in this type of revenue, etc. If you don’t have a goal, it’s really hard to get to your destination. Whatever that goal is, have a very specific goal and write it down clear. When that goal is written down, it becomes alive. It is fully alive and well and ready for you to tackle it. Therefore, when starting a blog have a goal for long-term growth.
Another essential step in starting a blog is to learn SEO and utilize it to grow. SEO stands for search engine optimization. If you can learn this from the beginning, you were going to be in a way much better place than I ever was. Simply put by using SEO, you utilize the very basic skills it takes to help your content rank in search engines. The goal here is to try and optimize your content to rank higher in these searches. That way your content can be found.
The key to SEO is creating content that people are searching for. In order to be a great resource, the right keywords and phrases need to be used that people are already typing into the search engine. This will help your content rank. This will help bring in more and more viewers to your content. In order to start your blog successfully, I highly recommend using the completely FREE SEO resource, Ubersuggest!
Ubersuggest is an incredible tool to use when planning out content to be able to search for keywords that are good and quality keywords. That way you can know exactly what types of things people are searching for within your category. Not only does it give you a ranking of the keywords, but it also gives you synonyms that you can use, as well.
Additionally, it provides tools to help visualize how different keywords can be plugged into headings and subheadings in order to improve site ranking. Furthermore, it also shows you other posts that have been created that are similar to your content, which you can utilize for content inspiration. Not content copying, but content inspiration. Never, ever copy an idea that you see already created and one. However, you can utilize an idea and make it your own. Be your own authentic voice and bring something new from your perspective to the table. By using SEO from the very beginning of your blogging journey, you can absolutely guarantee a more successful process from the start!
Sixth in starting your blog, pick a launch date and plan accordingly. Now, as I already told you, I did not pick a launch date. I just did it within 24 hours, one blog post. That was it. Okay, that was terrible planning on my part. When staring a blog, pick a launch date and plan for it. Not only do you want to plan with one blog post, you want to have about 10 different posts, 10 different content pieces that are LIVE on your blog.
When you launch your blog on that specific date it allows people to utilize your website as a resource. When you first launch, you are gonna get a lot of traffic. A lot of people genuinely are curious when you start something. Therefore, you want to have a lot of things on your blog that provide value. A place that immediately serves as a resource that people are excited to come back to! Pick a launch date and plan for it. If you are looking for tips on how to plan for something like this, I share my exact launch planning process here!
Number seven, a very important step in starting your blog is to start your email list from the very beginning. I kind of did this when I first started my blog, but not really realizing what I was doing. I had a very beginning mailing list attached to the very first foundation of my blog. This allowed people who wanted to hear updates about new content, get a notification on newly published blog posts.
However, my first list wasn’t on a platform that I liked. Because of that, I just didn’t do anything with it. Fast forward to more recently, I switched over to Flodesk, my favorite email marketing platform to use to make emailing your list easy, amazing and absolutely beautiful.
Flodesk is incredible. It’s a company started by women that wanted to really change the aesthetic and the ease to email marketing. I do have a code for you to get 50% off your first year of Flodesk, if you are in need of an e-mail list provider.
As a blogger, or online business owner, you want to have a mailing list. Number one, this is also something you completely own yourself. You don’t own your social media platforms, they can be gone, then you have no way to communicate or contact the people who like you and follow you and feel connected to you.
Secondly, a mailing list is great to stay in communication with your audience. Even if you aren’t planning on sending out things on a regular basis from the beginning, find a way from the beginning of your blog to bring people in. To allow people who love visiting your site to stay connected with you.
Through Flodesk, you can create inline popups that appear on your blog prompting visitors to sign up for your mailing list. This is a really great way to bring people in to your online community. Therefore, in order to find long-term blogging success, start your mailing list from the beginning.
Eight on the list of how to start a blog, take yourself and your passion seriously. You owe it to yourself and to your dreams to be serious about them. You have that passion for a very particular reason. Therefore, believe in yourself. Trust yourself, and trust the process to take you there! In order to be successful as you start your blog, it is so important to take yourself and your passion seriously. Imposter syndrome can be tempting, and self-doubt is a real temptation. Therefore, take yourself and your passion seriously and trust your heart throughout the entire process of starting your blog! You can do this!
Next on the list of how to start a blog is to focus on creating content that solves a very specific problem. As you are setting up and launching for your blog, and as you begin your creative business, create pieces of content that answer a very specific question. This is gonna help you rank with SEO.
Additionally, this is going to help you write to your specific person you’re creating content for. As well as, this is going to allow you to be a very resourceful voice in the online space. Therefore, create pieces of content that answer a very specific question. That way you can be helpful and informative and educational. That is what’s gonna draw people in.
In order to start a successful blog, it is a great idea to create a launch team. This is a really fun way to get your friends and family involved. By bringing them along and asking them to help you share the news that you’ve launched. Bring them along for the process. Tell them how excited you are. Share with them how hard you have been working on this. Share how you would love their support because this is something that you care about.
And this is something that if they care about you, they would also care about. Create some graphics and basic copy and pass it along for them to share on their social media channels the day you launch. As a way to say thank you for their help in launching, you can write a sweet note, or send a little coffee money. Or something else small and simple. Just a way to say thank you for your help in launching my blog!
In order for your blog to be successful, definitely create a launch team, even if it’s just a few people. Because it’s always great to feel like people are on your side and people are on your team supporting you along the way.
When starting out your blog it can be very easy to instantly feel overwhelmed by all the things. Therefore, in order to protect your peace it is essential to start out by only focusing on ONE social media to share your content to. Pick one social media channel to start out with to help you grow. It can be so easy to want to post everywhere and share all the things in all the places. However, the reality is there simply is not enough time in the day, and you want to pick a place where you can show up more consistently.
Focus on one specific social media channel to start out with, to help you grow. In doing this, it is so important to make that be a place that you actually enjoy spending time on. If you don’t like Instagram, then don’t let it be Instagram. Wherever you decide to show up, be sure it is a place you can feel encouraged by! Don’t commit to spending time somewhere that’s gonna make you feel down. More on my current social media strategy here!
Another super important step when starting your blog is to spend time focused on branding. When you first start your blog, you want to ensure that you have a clear, visual brand identity. You want your blog to be recognizable. Therefore, you want to have a logo that is recognizable. Brand colors that are recognizable. Additionally, you want to include a few photos that can serve as your professional headshot or your professional imagery for your site.
Furthermore, you want to have fonts that are recognizable to your brand. Now, here is the disclaimer, when you start looking into actual branding designers, you can quickly realize how expensive professional branding is. Full branding designs, including website and everything will cost $4,000 at minimum. While, a basic branding package, including a logo, font & small number of branding elements can start at $500.
However, in the beginning, when starting your blog, you don’t have to make that kind of investment right away. It’s a great goal to have for someday or for when you reach a certain goal. To have professional branding done that is very customizable to you and your personality.
Instead, you can make your own branding through Canva. Canva is amazing. The Canva Pro subscription is absolutely worth it for all its excellent and super helpful features! Right at $11 a month, this has been one of my best investments (and a really affordable investment for my business). Within the Pro subscription, you have your own brand kit that allows you to save your branding, logos, fonts and colors to make your designs and graphics even easier.
You can add in your colors, you can create a logo. All the logos I currently use have all been created in Canva. Anytime I create something, it’s so easy to just add that logo to that piece of content. From the beginning it is so important to have a recognizable vision to your brand, so that way people know and recognize you. In order to be and look professional from the very beginning. And Canva absolutely makes that possible!
Finally, the final thing that I wish I had done differently from the very beginning, to treat your blog as an actual business. Treat your blog as an actual business. Even if it’s just a passion project, even if it is just something you’re doing on the side with the hopes of one day becoming something bigger. Treat your blog as an actual business from the very beginning. Before you even launch, schedule time every single week into your daily and weekly schedule. Allow this to be the time where you are going to commit and work on your blog.
Make an appointment with yourself and write it in your calendar and show up consistently to that time of work. That way you owe it to yourself and owe it to your dreams to commit to the time it takes to see this thing through. To work on it, to develop it, and to grow. Treat your blog as a business. The more you do that, the more you will start to believe that it’s a business. The more that you believe it’s a business, other people will believe it’s a business. Once you can do that, more and more monetization will come through and more and more support and growth will come with it! Treat your blog as a business from the very beginning.
There you have it, the 13 things that I would’ve done completely differently if I had actually taken a moment to stop and think before publishing my blog five years ago.
Most importantly, through all of this, trust yourself. Invest in yourself and trust the process. Believe in you and know that your passions are your passions for a very specific purpose, a very specific and destined reason.
So why not? Go ahead and just do it! Start your blog! The truth is you’ll never know unless you try. You have a voice that needs to be heard and your thoughts matter. You can do this. I am cheering you on every step of the way. Have the best day!