Welcome to the second part of a new series, Moms Who Blog. Today’s topic is starting from scratch.
When I started blogging, not a lot of people were doing it. But today, it seems like everyone and their mom has a blog. It seems like everyone knows what they’re doing. And it can feel overwhelming to figure out where to start.
Honestly, the best way to start is to just start. Decide what you want to blog about, and go for it. I know, easier said than done. Follow me through the steps below.
First, decide what you want to write about. Pick anything! But not everything. Some people will go to the other extreme and say you need a very definite niche. I don’t think that’s necessarily true either.
Instead, think about the blogs you like, and what you would want to read. Share those things. Maybe pick an umbrella to keep over your topics. (Like motherhood, for instance?) But from there, pick the topics you like – maybe cooking, style, books, products, home design. Again, anything, but not everything.
Next, choose a name. I know it probably doesn’t seem like the biggest deal. (Or maybe it does!) But this is a major part of your blog’s identity, as well as your social media presence, if you choose to add that. Also, it can be tricky to rename your blog in the future, and keep your readers up to date on changes.
What to name? Some options might be: your first + last, or first + middle name; a play on words or a play on your name; a cliche saying (see my blog) or famous quote; a nickname; something that you like or that inspires you; two different things (this & that, etc). Maybe do a bit of research to be sure it’s not taken or overpopulated with similar names.
Third, create your blog. The actual technical side of creating a blog really hasn’t changed much over the years. In fact, it’s actually pretty simple. There are many blogging platforms through which you can create a new blog. The two I recommend are Blogger.com (run through Google) and WordPress.com.
In my experience, if you are really not tech savvy, Blogger is a great place to start. The process of building a blog there is very simple and straightforward. It’s where I started What You Make It, and I found it very easy to set it all up.
On the other hand, I would go with WordPress if you’re looking to eventually self-host and monetize. WordPress also provides a lot of tools for customization, SEO optimization, social media sharing, and more. (I hope I didn’t just lose anyone there! Those things are important, but if they don’t sound familiar, just stay with me!) I moved my blog over to WordPress after scouring the web to find the best option, and I am happy I did.
Finally, make it yours. Play around with the layout and colors. Use Canva or PicMonkey (both free) or another editing tool to create a blog header. Add a picture of you. (Yes, your face.) Add a blurb about who you are and a few things you love.
I encourage you to keep it simple and clean. The more colors, patterns, and features you add, the more distracting it can be from your content. And overwhelming for your readers.
Also, whatever design help you need, you can probably find on Pinterest or Google. That’s pretty much how I put anything together involving my blog – by searching it. There are SO many posts that can help you with whatever specific problem you may have.
Note: Many people are choosing to wait to make their blog public until they have a few posts written. Go with what you’re comfortable with. You can make your blog private to start and public later, if you want to add posts or play with your design first.
All that said, what questions do you have for me? Feel free to comment below, or email whatyoumakeitblog @ gmail . com.