Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I Want to Start a Blog!! Now what?

While the blogging industry is already super-duper saturated... stats from 2006 show that over 175,000 blogs were created a day!  Can you imagine?  Today it's said that over 2 million posts are written a day! Crazy stats, right?

I've attended several blog conferences and I've met people at each one of them that were 'thinking' about starting a blog!  How many times did you say, "I want to start a blog.  I just don't know where to start!" Well, this post is for you!! Here are a few starting points to keep in mind when getting started.  Before you know it, you'll be a part of this fabulous community we call blogging!

I Want to Start a Blog!  Now What? with TheIntentionalBlogger.comblogging tips

1.  Choose a Niche.

Do you want to write about food, fashion, beauty, crafts, DIY, pets, travel, etc?  Or maybe you want to be a lifestyle blogger that allows you to cover a range of subjects.  Having an idea of what you want your niche to be will help you decide upon the next important piece in the planning process, the name of your blog.

2. Decide on a Name.

If you're a food blogger, you're not going to title your blog Crafts R Us {giggle}.  So think how the name of your blog can compliment your niche.  It's always good to have a couple of favorites, especially when you move on to purchasing a domain name and opening up your social media outlets.  When compiling a list, Google them to ensure they're not already taken.  It's the worst when you have a catchy name that you're totally in love with to find out that it's already taken.

3.  Purchase a Domain and Open Social Media Accounts.

So, you know your niche and what you'd like your blog's name to be.  Now it's time to buy the domain.  Please, Please, Please purchase your domain!  It's $14.99 a year and it's worth it.  One, you don't want someone to scoop it up and then you'll have to settle on something else.  It happens!  Trust me!  Of course if you're intention is to only blog for fun -- don't sweat it, but if there is any chance that it might be more than that one day, buy the domain.

It's also in your best interest not to research the domain and say, "I'll buy it later this week."  There are people who purchase domains that have been searched and post them on auction websites to make some extra money.  It's no fun and you'll kick yourself for not doing it.

Most newbies don't want to be hassled with a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Pinterest account, a Stumble account and everything else under the sun.  That is completely understandable; however, snatch them up with your blogs name even if you have no intention of using it right away (or at all).  Having the same handle accross social media outlets makes finding you easy breezy.  For example, Live Laugh Rowe -- all of my social media accounts are /livelaughrowe or @livealaughrowe.  Does that make sense?

4.  Design.

Start a Pinterest board of blogs or websites that you really love their design.  Pin fonts, pictures, avatars and anything that inspires you and might like to see incorporated into your design.  Maybe even sketch what you think your design might look like.  If you have the creative eye and the appropriate software, you could easily design your own header.  However, if not -- HIRE A DESIGNER.  There are a multitude of people who are super talented and can turn your ideas into a magnificent blog design.  Consider colors, fonts, social media buttons, about me pages, etc.  If you do hire a designer, that pin board will help them see your style!  They'll love you for it.

5. Choose a Platform for you Blog.

Oh my goodness, oh my goodness!  You have a niche, a name, domain and a design in mind -- now what??  Well, you need to decide where you're going to host that blog!  Blogger, Wordpress, TypePad,  Tumblr, SquareSpace, etc.  Do your homework and understand what platforms are free and what ones will cost you and weigh the pros and cons of what will work best for you. 

Speaking from experience, I started live laugh rowe on blogger.  It was a blog for family and friends and it morphed into so much more.  As the blog grew, I weighed the pros and cons of staying on blogger or moving to a paid platform and decided upon a self hosted blog on WordPress.  You can read the why in my Live Laugh Rowe is moving post.

However, as you can see, I'm hosting The Intentional Blogger here on blogger, so it's really about what works for you and your needs.  Do I believe my self hosted WordPress was a wise choice? Absolutely. However,  I also believe that you have to do what's in your best interest too!

Those are the starting points, friends!  If you're thinking about starting a blog, these basics are a perfect place to get the planning underway.  Have fun and knock 'em dead! {wink}