How I started a blog
Updated: Jan 13
I am what you would consider, the person who took the traditional path in life. Go to college, get a well-known career preferable in the healthcare field (Pharmacist), graduate, get married, and then hit the world of work. Long hours, a strenuous work environment later along with two back-to-back births, I think I had it all figured out. But that career path wasn't helping me to be what deep down I thought I knew what I enjoyed doing the most, and that was writing.
I loved writing and it was just a way of expressing how I felt. I could just write it all down. I then thought about what I would write first, what I was passionate about, and then just write away. I knew I was fond of everything that involved parenting. I wanted to know more about different aspects of parenting and how to overcome each stage as my kids progressed along the way. By the way, let me formally introduce myself.
"Hi I am Donae, and I am not the perfect parent, who has it all figured out." I just love to share my experiences with others. I take each parenting milestone as I go and share with you the good, the bad, and the not so pretty side of parenting, and combine it all together hoping to help another mom along the way.
Have you always wanted to start your own blog? Let me know. Please feel free to ask your questions or concerns in our FORUM section. I will be happy to help you!
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“This blog post is not a post list of step by step strategies that you need to start a blog. That's the easier part. It's motivation for the long haul!"
For those of you who are interesting in starting your own blog, here is the defining moment to actually know if blogging is for you. If it is, then I will provide you with tips on how to get going, while being motivated and inspired to actually see it through.
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?
I was passionate about parenting and the many stages that occur along the journey. I also wanted to help other moms along the way who were struggling in any aspect of parenting that I myself have struggled with. I also wanted to chronicle the current journey as well with my kids and the ways that I deal with various aspects of parenting.
Here's the first step. Identify what you're passionate about? When you identify that passion, try to see if it is a fit for blogging. Is there a lot of information to write about? Can you write for a long time on that specific topic?
There are so many different niche ideas, such as cooking, crocheting, dog training (yes I have seen that), lifestyle, travel, etc that can be done. However, the goal is to know what you want to write about and then explore the many different facets of that particular topic.
YOUR NICHE HAS TO BE SOMETHING YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT
I loved writing blog posts about my journey through motherhood and my personal struggles or successes along the way. That was my niche!
You know what it is you love to talk or write about. You already have that feeling or drive that there is just something you are meant to write about. It is your God-given talent that you know, no matter how you convince yourself enough you just can't stop that desire.
The next question to ask yourself to be very sure is are ready to start a blog? If you are willing to write as much as you can about your passion and enjoy doing it, then I would say go for it. That is key because it will determine whether you start for the long term or give up along the journey. You have to have the drive or motivation to want to write continuously non-stop for a long period of time in your particular niche.
RESEARCH YOUR NICHE AND KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Now that I identified my specific niche. I had to know what my readers in my niche wanted to hear or needed help with.
You are excited and ready to start the journey ahead. You know what it is you want to write about and you are confident that you have much to say in this particular niche. It doesn't start with writing everything that you can think of right away (I am guilty of that).
Research is actually key in the world of blogging. It is the defining moment of many blog posts, whether you may have readers or not. You may have a lot of say and to offer, but is it what the readers need? Research is key in knowing who your "target audience" is and writing articles that will be relatable or help them to solve a problem.
PLACES TO DO BLOG TOPIC RESEARCH
These were the places that were helpful to me while researching what my target group wanted to hear.
Research can be done on popular web search engines like Google, by just typing in your topic and then seeing what questions are being asked out there. Also popular to use for research are social media feeds like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. just to see what people are sharing and liking in that media space.
Another way to find what people are interested in or need help with is to go on forums and interact with others. You can do this by joining a forum support group in your niche if one is available and find out what questions people are asking or what they need help with.
In my niche, for example, pregnancy, potty training, and behavior patterns in children were popular topics of discussion. Yes, the topics I myself struggled with as a mom are similar to others' struggles. It was perfect for me to write about my journey and to offer advice as well. For example, the Do's and Don'ts of Potty Training and the Do's and Don'ts of Overnight Potty Training blog posts were written from my own personal experience with my kids.
Identifying what your target audience needs to hear, can help to define what you write about daily.
RESEARCHING YOUR WEBSITE BUILDER
The next step for me since I was confident enough that this was my passion and I could write non-stop about parenting, was to search out the best web hosting site on the market.
Now I am not the blog that will say who is the best hosting site on the market because as you will see it will vary a lot depending on your tech-savvy approach to the world of computers and your budget.
Many bloggers like to point to other sites such as WordPress etc. But I do think it all depends on your ability to spend the time figuring out the nitty-gritty world of website building and then choose which one is right for you based on your skillset. Websites like WordPress may or may not be a suitable match for you. It all depends on what you are capable of doing, and the funds that you have available in the beginning stages.
I chose Wix because they had sites that were already built that I could tweak and use right away. That was a no-brainer for me because let's face it. I am not a tech-savvy person at all. I need to get things accomplished much quicker than the norm, or I get frustrated trying to DIY everything. If DIY is your passion then go for it.
Wix worked perfectly for me and got me started right away. It had everything I needed to be able to launch. Also with Wix, I was able to start for free on their platform before I even started paying for a monthly subscription. Do your research first on the different website builders and choose the best one for you.
GETTING THE JITTERS OUT BEFORE LAUNCHING YOUR VOICE
I had the jitters before launching my voice out in the public. It was frightening at first because I was inviting people into my world of parenting. The good, the bad, and the not so pretty stuff that I didn't want anybody to know. But I did it anyway.
Ok, this is key and is the defining moment for most start-up bloggers and most definitely will be for you as well. The question is am I a good writer that people will want to listen to? What if they think I am not good enough?
We all get this as writers every time we launch a new blog post or any writing whatsoever. This is my take on writing. It's unique to every individual as much as there is an audience that is unique to your writing.
Not everybody will like what you have to say and you have to be at peace with that. Writing is a form of creative expression that can be taken anyway whether for good or for bad. So instead of being afraid to showcase who you are naturally, just take a plunge and see what happens. There are people out there that will love to hear what you have to say. So just do it!
BE READY FOR THE LONG JOURNEY AHEAD
So you have probably like myself seen many posts (or will see them) in the blogger's world about getting traffic to your website. They literally eat, sleep and drink, traffic to websites and how to do it, etc.
Let's be honest with ourselves, blogging is absolutely not an overnight success story. It takes a lot of intentional time and focus when building a blog. There are many times that I want to just give up, but for the most part, I keep going and try to be motivated to continue because there is this one person out there who needs my experience on how I overcame a particular problem I struggled with as a mom.
That is my motivation to continue writing! Plus it brings me so much joy to just start writing away. Writing is definitely engrafted in my DNA. So expect some sadness, frustration, and no sign-up anger along the way. My advice is to stick it out and keep going!
Don't look at the numbers too much, but just provide the information needed for even that one click that you receive.
DON'T SECOND GUESS YOUR TALENT
Sometimes in moments of frustration, when I do hit a writer's block or just can't seem to find the sweet spot on what to write in my next blog post, I tend to start second-guessing my abilities as a writer.
Am I really a writer? Maybe it was just a dream or an illusion of something I was missing. The amazing thing about being a writer is that you do know that you are one. To second guess your natural God-given talent is just really trying to excuse yourself from who you are.
Think about it briefly for a moment, not everybody finds writing pages of words enthusiastic. If you do, then there is something there that needs to be explored. Search it out as much as you can and do not second guess your greatness!
Staying motivated has definitely been a struggle in different aspects of my blogging journey. One minute I am supercharged and ready to pump out blog posts, while on some days, I want to just give it a break.
Staying motivated with writing a blog is going to be key while continuing on the journey. There are many ways to stay motivated, one of which is to not check your traffic reports every minute on the hour. Seriously it is the zapper of motivation by far!
Keep looking at that one person who clicked your link and found it helpful to be your motivation to continue to provide more information, than the many clicks that you want for your blog. You will feel like throwing in the towel. Keep being diligent with your progress and continue to write and share your many success stories along the journey.
For example, the Do's and Don'ts of Overnight Potty Training and What to eat in the 1st trimester of pregnancy is actually my most popular clicked post. Think about it, they are both areas as a mom that I had to experience along my pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy parenting journeys. There are moms out there who can really get the help or motivation they need from just reading that one article.
Think of your blog that way and try to stay away from the motivation zappers as much as you can.
GET THE HELP YOU NEED FOR YOUR BLOG
Sometimes there are things that I may need help with while on my blogging journey. It could be anything from how to write an effective blog post, SEO-related information, etc.
There is so much information available with just a search. A google search can show you helpful articles by other bloggers about anything that you struggle with as a blogger.
There are also programs that you can pay for to help you as well. Initially, you may not have the capital upfront for the most expensive programs out there. However, articles and videos produced by top bloggers or other persons are available as well to help you along your journey.
This blog post was not a post list of step-by-step strategies that you need in order to start a blog. That is actually the easier part. My goal is to just give you the motivation or inspiration needed to actually get your own blog started and also to provide you with tips as well for the long term. I do hope that it was helpful and insightful.
Did you find the strategies listed in this article helpful? What were some of your favorite tips? How have they worked for you? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know what you think.
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