I truly believe that empowered women empower women. This is a motto I’ve tried to live by and encourage everyone to try. It just feels good to help someone else doesn’t it?! I have gotten some questions surrounding starting a blog, how to start and which platform to use. I’ve gotten questions about content, engagement and growing a following. Although I am not a professional and I’m sure there are others that do a much better job than myself, I have chosen to share my knowledge on maintaining a blog and give some pointers on the things I’ve learned along my blogging journey. I hope you take something away from this post and I hope that you follow your passion to start a blog yourself if your heart is calling for it!
Why should you blog in the first place?
Maybe you enjoy cooking, fitness or fashion and you want to talk about it. You want to share the things you know in hopes to inspire someone else. Find a niche that you have a passion for and brainstorm how you could elaborate on that topic. It doesn’t matter if you know other people writing about a similar topic, every perspective is unique and experiences are all different. Do not get discouraged if you feel like someone is already writing about something that interests you, although finding something special to yourself and personal experiences is what people really love to read about. The biggest piece of advice I can give is, BE GENUINE. BE REAL. Do NOT under any circumstance fluff your life to be something that it isn’t. Sometimes it may come across that way but make sure you’re not leading your readers to believe your life is something it isn’t. This can come across as bragging or chauvinistic. People don’t like that, believe me.
For me, I choose to talk about my experiences having one hand as well as things that relate to my motherhood journey. I find joy in working with companies and reviewing products as well. This is the type of content you will see on my blog. I am not a very good cook and I am not a fashion guru. It wouldn’t make sense for me to talk about these topics so to be sure my blog stays genuine, I don’t talk about things I don’t know. Make sure you follow this theory with your own blog, no one knows it all.
What to do after you find your niche?
The next thing I would suggest doing would be to find a platform such as WordPress (there are others, my experience is only with WordPress). This is where you will keep all of your content. You will design your page either using a template created for you or create a page from scratch. Either way, this is where your creative juices will flow and it will be your best friend when you need to get something off your chest. Most sites have assistance along the way which makes it really easy to create the website just for you. Find something user friendly, you are here to write- not get bogged down with technical issues.
I chose a simple template, one that wasn’t super busy because this is the look and feel I was going for. I wanted my site to be easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing. I changed only some minor details but stayed with the simplistic design. With every post, I am able to add photos, links and tabs that help get my point across in just the way I want. It takes a few posts to really come together but you’ll get there!
After your website is live, then what?
Write! Whether you have topics already thought up or you’re taking it post by post, just sit down and write. It is easier said than done, especially for us mamas. I suggest having a couple of posts ready to go before you start advertising or pushing your new blog. Write a few pieces and save them in your drafts for the right time. This will allow you to stay consistent and keep people engaged. You want to be able to write without feeling pressure to do so. Once it turns into a job, it isn’t near as much fun. Write because you want to. Having a few posts on deck will give you the flexibility you need when you just can’t find the time to sit down uninterrupted.
This is an area I struggle with. I think of topics I would like to discuss all of the time but instead of writing a full post, I jot down the idea in my drafts and walk away from it. Most of the time never going back to finish. I have about 15 topics sitting in my drafts as I type this to you but I am feeling inspired to take the advice I am giving you and complete some of those.
How do you get traffic to your blog?
What I have found most successful in bringing traffic to my blog besides the number one thing of writing consistently, would be to talk about it on your social media outlets. Use social media as free advertisement for your website, share your posts with direct links to your site and your stats will rise. Publish your blog posts at prime times of the day- times when people are on social media the most. To figure out these times, think of the most common times of day you’re on yourself. Is it in the morning before work? Lunch break or after the kids go to bed? Most people in your audience will be doing the same things as you, publish during those peak times and your blog will have a greater chance at being seen.
Each time I publish a blog post, I share it on my social media outlets. Facebook, Instagram stories and Pinterest. All of these have the ability to work in your favor by sharing the direct link to your page. Sometimes I will show my face on stories where I will talk about what I shared as well as ask for feedback from my audience. I have found that this keeps people interested.
How do I build my following?
Don’t worry about the number of followers you have just yet. If you’re just starting out, people will need to get to know you and your content first. The numbers will come if enough people are interested in what you have to say. In the meantime… engage, engage, engage. It is SO important to interact with other bloggers and influencers when you’re trying to build your own name. Support goes a long way in this community and it will almost always be given back to you if you put in the effort. Follow bloggers that are like-minded and find people that you genuinely enjoy following. Try to learn from things that work and don’t work for them- they usually are open to questions. Comment, like and share other bloggers posts. They spend a lot of time and effort on these posts, just like you are about to. It does not go unnoticed, they will appreciate you and remember it when it comes time to help you out. If not from the poster themselves, people that follow them will see your engagement and perhaps follow you as well.
I have a few bloggers that I literally watch and read every single day. I find these women inspiring and strive to have a reputation like they do. They are very good at what they do and by now have made this their full time job. I can only hope to get there one day! The thing that keeps me watching these ladies as much as I do is their relatability and their realness. A real realness, not just what they think people want to see. It’s effortless and comes naturally, this is what I hope for you and for my own blog as well.
When should I start?
Now! What is holding you back? There is no better time than now with the technology available to us and the amount of people that are interested in bloggers at the moment. Refer back to this guideline to get started if you wish but just GET STARTED! I’m excited for you and can’t wait to read your stories.
How to start working with companies?
This is a question I get all of the time and to be honest, it is one of my favorite things about blogging. I don’t do it on the scale as some and I don’t know every detail that works for others but I am willing to share my experiences in another post for you! I have a genuine passion for product reviewing and collaborating so I would be happy to share that at another time.
If you have any additional questions about starting your own blog PLEASE don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I have helped a few girls already and I hope this post inspires more to step out of their comfort zone and go for it. I find joy out of writing and I can only hope that for you as well. Happy Blogging, Friends!
Your Fellow Mama,