How to Start a Blog (and be successful from the start!) Part I
In my 22 (almost 23) years of life, one of the more intimidating things I've done was starting this blog. I got a comment from a reader who explained that she was interested in starting a blog, but didn't know where to start. She's not the first, as several of my friends have expressed interest in blogging. It's taken a bit, but I've decided to do a short series on how to start a blog for those who are currently debating on it right now! Forewarning, this is going to walk through how I wish I had done it to start with!
Part one is going to discuss the most important thing when deciding to start a blog: your focus! Yes, this ultimately leads to the name of your blog, your URL, etc. But if you don't have focus on your blog, you're not going to get very far. Now, I know that you can look at my blog and say, "Courtney, you blog about a number of different topics!" And you're right. I do blog about a number of different topics, but that's with the underlying idea that Elegance not only refers to the quality of items (like luxury things), but to the quality and manner that you live your life. Elegance can be found in a number of things, so because I chose a "broader" topic, I can tie my blog name and statement into each post!
First things first: what are you passionate about? Is it your religious beliefs, fashion, feminism, food, etc.? NO, you don't have to limit yourself to just talking about that thing, but this is a great way to come up with your blog name. My friend (and one of my fantastic sponsors) Chelsie at Life with Rosie chose to pay homage to her precious pup, who is frequently photographed on her blog. No, Rosie is not the only thing that Chelsie blogs about, but Rosie is a huge part of her life! I could have done that, but I think naming my blog "Life with Queen Bey" would be a little weird, not to mention ripping off Chelsie's creativity.
Which leads me to my next point: be original. I mentioned how I don't like blogs that copy each other in a previous post. Chances are, anything that has to do with Prep, Prepster, etc. are already copyrighted by Carly Heitlinger. As they should be! She built her brand in a brilliant marketing way, and people calling themselves [Insert city/school] Prepster is (unsuccessfully) trying to steal her thunder. Same with anything to do with peonies. Think things through. If there's already a blog that is using that, or something similar enough that people will call you out, brainstorm some more! What works for them is because they were authentic to themselves. Try starting with that instead of a name similar to theirs!
Finally, brainstorm and write up some drafts of post ideas. Seriously, I wish I had done this. Not only would I have started refining my writing before I hit publish for the first time, but I would have been able to be more consistent with posting, something I still struggle with today! Start off consistent, and you'll build up that habit; As a blogger, consistency is a great habit to have.
If you're thinking about starting a blog, awesome! I can't wait for you to join the blogisphere! I hope this post encourages you and sheds light on some steps I think you should take prior to clicking publish so that you start off successfully!