So, You Want To Start A Blog

I’m going to save you a ton of time:

Just start.

That’s the point of this post.

I strongly encourage you to close this post out, go to wordpress.com and get started right now. 

Even if the thing you’re thinking about starting isn’t a blog, close this window and start. I’m 1,000% sure you can start whatever it is you’ve been pining for today.

Even the tiniest baby step counts. GO GO GO!

But if you need more detail or a good kick in the ass to take the leap, keep reading.

I know I should start, but where?

Start with a simple, free WordPress site. That’s what you’re looking at right now.

The only thing I’m paying for is my domain name and it’s not expensive at all. You can always start now and pick a domain name later (maybe just keep it simple? use your name.com?).

Set up your WordPress site and start writing. Start creating. That’s really where you start.

In the beginning, you have no way to know what will “work” and what won’t.

You can’t know what will help you get “big” as a blogger when you start. I’m sorry. That’s just not how it works.

Write content that will help people.

Solve a problem. Share your story. Give suggestions. Make people feel like they’re not alone.

If you want to start a blog, I assume you have something to say — something you need to get out in the world. And that’s amazing!

The beauty of starting is that no one cares at first. No one’s reading your blog. Maybe your mom… IF she has the link to it!

You can say literally whatever you want and it doesn’t matter… because you can always take it down later.

When I started Workweeklunch.com I wrote four blog posts before publishing the site.

They’re all unpublished now.

Why? Because I had no idea what problem I was really solving. I was just guessing. Later on, I found out what problem I was solving and realized those initial blog posts were irrelevant. It’s part of the process. It wasn’t a waste to write those first posts.

What matters is that you get over yourself and do it.

Think about it this way: your content could improve someone’s life and have a positive impact on the online community.

Think about it another way: you have nothing to lose.

Yes, people made fun of me and didn’t take me too seriously when I started Workweek Lunch. But I also didn’t take myself too seriously because blogging is FUN. (I still don’t take myself that seriously, to be honest. I still can’t believe 50,000 people read my site every month).

Tell the part of your brain that cares what other people think to pipe down and let the creator in you take the stage. See where it goes.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Do I need a logo?

No. You do not need a logo to start a blog. Come back to this later.

In fact, you don’t need ANY fancy graphics to start a blog.

Exhibit A: this blog you’re on right now. I am using a free WordPress template. I don’t have a logo. People still read it.

I got a logo for Workweek Lunch on its one year birthday. Prior to that, going logo-less didn’t stop me from developing a distinguished brand and aesthetic to my blog just from my scrappy photography. (I still shoot on a $1 posterboard I bought at Walgreens)

Your blog just has to look clean enough to not be distracting. That’s it. Focus on good enough, not perfect.

How do I pick what to write about?

The best question. I’m going to focus on what to write about when starting a personal blog for this question:

I would start writing about whatever you feel like you need to share with the world.

Think about experiences that define you.

For me? One of those experiences was my 11-day road trip. Another was deciding to ditch the idea of a career. Both are popular posts on this blog.

If you want it to be more focused, think about a problem you have dealt with that you can help others solve. What have you overcome in your life?

Did you have a tough time getting a job out of school?

Do you want to help people avoid making the same dating mistakes you made?

Do you want to connect with others who may be dealing with whatever you’re dealing with in life?

These are good places to start.

Lastly, with a personal blog, you can just focus on your passions.

It doesn’t matter if they’re all over the place. Write about everything you’re passionate about, and later you can figure out what to focus on.

I’m not a technical person. Do I need to hire someone to set up my blog for me?

No.

You can do it yourself.

That’s what YouTube is for.

What tools do I need to start a blog?

Just working internet, I guess!

Don’t worry about tools in the beginning. They’re a distraction from the real work.

When should I start a social media account to go along with the blog?

Now.

Start your social media profile (pick ONE platform to focus on, okay?) the day you start the blog. The sooner the better with social media.

And again, DO NOT worry about your social media profile looking perfect. And in the beginning, don’t worry about how fast you’re going.

Accept now that it will be messy and slow and you’ll have a much easier time with it.

How do I get thousands of followers and readers?

Uh, don’t get ahead of yourself. If this is all you’re after in the beginning, it’s going to be a looooong road.

Focus on helping a few people first.

Focus on figuring out what you want to focus on first.

Get into the swing of blogging consistently first.

If you can’t show up consistently now, you’re not going to be able to show up consistently when you do have a ton of readers.

What if I don’t get “big”?

Again, don’t worry about that now!

Blogging is fun and having a blog can be a huge asset, no matter how many readers you have.

Example: this site you’re on right now helps me get clients when prospects Google me or “Instagram marketing specialist”. It’s the first thing that comes up when you search my name and it gets people familiar with who I am. It doesn’t matter how many readers I get, honestly.

I’m not trying to get “big” here, just putting my best stuff out there for those that come through… and it’s still worth my time.

How do I make money from a blog?

There’s no simple to answer this because there are soooo many different ways to make income from a blog.

Here are some of the more straightfoward ways to make money from a blog (but there are probably many, many more ways):

  • Advertising on your blog or email list (banner ads and stuff like that)
  • Affiliate marketing (partnering with other companies to sell their stuff and you make a commission)
  • Create and offer ebooks (this is what I do on workweeklunch.com)
  • Create and offer courses
  • Create and offer workshops and webinars
  • Create and offer a subscription service via your blog
  • 1:1 coaching or consulting services (this is what I do here on taliakoren.com)
  • Sponsored content (working with brands)
  • Create and sell your own physcial products

I don’t advise that you start monetizing your blog from day one.

First you need to generate traffic, which either takes time or money (like spending time building your blog slowly or paying for Facebook ads) because more traffic = more customers/what advertisers or sponsors want.

Also, all of the above options cost money to set up. For example, I pay $20/month for SamCart, which helps me process credit cards. I also pay fees for Stripe, another tool I use for processing credit cards. And if it doesn’t cost money, monetizing a blog costs you in time too.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s good to have monteziation in the back of your mind.

Pay attention to what people who inspire you are doing.

Learn more about each avenue of blog income before moving forward and choosing one. You have to be strategic and think ahead, but focus on buidling an audience first.

What’s the point of starting a blog again?

Like I said, if you’re thinking about starting a blog, I reckon you have something you want to share with people.

That’s the whole point.

Sharing your experience to connect with and help others. Your stories, your tips and tricks, your experience — all of that can help make people’s lives easier or better in some way.

That’s HUGE.

Having a blog that actually helps people (even if it’s just two or three people who read it) can be your way of contributing to the world and making it a better place, all from your laptop.

So, what are you waiting for?

Just start!

 

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