Before you begin writing or designing your blog, the VERY FIRST thing you need to do is define your blog. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to write about?
- Why do I want to write about this? (Is it to make money? Is it to share my thoughts? Is it to encourage social change? Is it for a professional portfolio? Is it to meet other bloggers? Is it to create a community?)
- Who is my target audience? Who do I want to read this?
- What is my ultimate goal?
- Do I want to make money from this?
- How often do I want to post?
- How much time do I have to devote to this?
- Do I want people to comment or share my posts?
- Will I be comfortable with my family, friends, employers, coworkers, and peers potentially reading this?
- What is your blogging niche? If you had to put your blog under ONE category, what would it be?
2) Brainstorm Ideas for Posts
What do you want to write about? I recommend getting a notebook and bringing it everywhere with you. Whenever you get a new idea for a post, write it down! If you don’t want to carry around a notebook, make a notes section in your phone to jot down ideas.
Personally, I have a terrible memory so I’m always writing down every idea that pops in to my brain!
I promise, you will not regret doing this. You will be kicking yourself later when you run out of ideas. Even if you don’t end up writing about a random idea you had, you can always come back to it later if you need to.
Besides this, I also recommend sitting down and writing out a list of posts you could feasibly write right now and posts that would require more work (taking pictures, making a video, doing research, etc.). This way you can start planning ahead for those ones that will take more time.
3) Research Other Similar Bloggers
It will be extremely beneficial for you to research other bloggers – ones that are successful and ones that aren’t. It’s crucial to understand what works and what doesn’t. Instead of trial and error on your own blog, you can see it in action on other blogs without having to lift a finger. Find blogs that you love and then pin point exactly why you like them. Find blogs that you don’t like or that aren’t successful and pin point exactly why as well!
I recommend making a list of the aspects of a successful blog or a blog that you admire:
- What is the layout of their site?
- What do they blog about?
- How often do they post?
- Do they have a strong presence on social media?
- Do they make money from their blog?
- Do they vary what type of post they do?
- How do they use multimedia?
- Do they interact with their readers?
- Who are their readers? Where do they come from?
- What is their story? (How long have they been blogging, how did they get started, why do they blog, how did they become so popular?)
- What is something you would change about their blog?
- How would you adapt their strengths into your own?
Use other blogs as resources! The more blogs you read, the better understanding you will have for how blogs work. The more blogs you read, the more ideas you will have about your own blog. The more blogs you read, the more inspired you will be!
4) Name Your Blog
This is a fun but also crucial step! Pick something short and sweet but also relevant and catchy! Look to other blogs for inspiration for this as well.