July 17, 2018

How to Start a Blog

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You’ve mulled it over & decided blogging is meant for you. You’re ready to start, but then it dawns on you that you’re not sure WHERE to begin. That’s okay. This is where I have you covered. Right here, right now, we are going to get into how to start a blog.

how to start a blog, confidence and chaos, from the heart of pie

Decide what your blogging end-goal is

What is the purpose of blogging for you? Are you doing it as an emotional release? Will blogging be an extension of your business? What do you want blogging to accomplish for you or your business? It is important to be abundantly clear about your blogging goals in this respect. What you choose as your end-goal in blogging makes a difference on exactly how to get started blogging.

Who is your target client or blog reader?

Think about who you want to reach with your blog. Do not think of a GROUP of people. Instead, really narrow down ONE person who would be your IDEAL client (or blog-reader).

Make sure you, first, consider for what YOU want to be known AND what kind of emotion you want to instill in those you come across. Then, get that super clear picture of your ideal client.

What is this person’s demographics (gender, age range, type of job/income, location)? What do they enjoy doing? Where do they hang out (both in-person & online)? What kind of sense of humor do they have?

Be specific. It would be hard to be too specific here. Really get to know this person. (And, if you happen to be a part of my team or another Sweet Minerals educator, be sure to ask me in our team or educator Facebook group if I can provide you with a copy of my Ideal Client Worksheet! At this time, it is a perk to being a Sweet Confidence Partner & I will extend it to ANY Sweet Minerals educator, if asked! ūüėČ )

Choose your blog niche.

Your niche is what your blog will be about. Put some serious thought into it. If you’re blogging to build your business, which many do, keep in mind not ALL of your blog needs to be business-oriented.

A good rule of thumb is to keep only about 20% of your blog articles as promotional or overtly business-oriented. So, what is the rest going to be about? What kind of theme goes along with the business you’re building?

For me, as an example, I have opted to tie CONFIDENCE into nearly everything I write about on Confidence & Chaos. Even THIS article is based on helping you go confidently into the world of blogging!

If you’d like some more guidance on choosing your niche for blogging in regard to your business, check THIS out too.

Brainstorm blog name ideas & addresses.

Will your blog name & URL address match? Why or why not? Some people use their name as their blog’s address (i.e. [yourname].com) & others match their name to their address, as I have done here with confidenceandchaos.com.

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There is no right or wrong way to go about this. However, there¬†are a few pointers I’d like to give in this regard. For example, before you get too attached to a particular name, go make sure that address isn’t already taken! Come up with variations if you need to.

Any variations you come up with, make sure they aren’t TOO close to someone else’s address or you might inadvertently send YOUR online traffic to someone else! On that same note, do not choose an address that is hard for the majority of people to spell or remember. The harder it is to spell or remember, the more likely it will be that you’re sending YOUR traffic to someone else’s site — or to nowhere at all! That’d be no good! ūüėČ

Buy your blog hosting & domain.

Yes. “BUY.” You can opt for a free blogging service. That¬†is totally okay. However, if you intend to monetize in the future — or if you are blogging to build your business — a self-hosted platform is THE way to go. Hands down. No contest.

If you’d like more information on the differences between free blogging services & self-hosted blogs, take a peek HERE.

My preferred hosting service is Blue Host. Just click HERE & follow the prompts when you are ready. They make it SUPER easy! There are a couple of options to choose from, but I got the most basic; you can always upgrade later. PLUS, once you’re in, they will automatically install WordPress (the self-hosted version!) on your site for no additional cost! You can even set yourself up with an email address using your new domain! Easy peasy!

Build up your blog content.

Now, your blog is there. In my opinion, before you can concern yourself TOO much with making it look “pretty,” you need to have something to look at first! Besides, you don’t want to launch your blog without plenty for people to peruse.

Create an ABOUT page¬†explaining the premise for your blog. You can even have a page that introduces YOU. You’ll also want a privacy policy & disclosure agreement page & a page that outlines how people can work with you (if that is on your radar). Then, you’ll just need to start WRITING.

Write about how to do things your ideal client might need help with. Write about the importance of certain products or procedures in your ideal client’s world. Find ways to offer SOLUTIONS to problems your ideal client might have.  Then write about it!

If you’d like more of a look at what kinds of things you could write about when blogging for business, read THIS too.

Choose a blog theme.

Your theme is how your blog will look. You can SERIOUSLY fall into a rabbit hole with this one! Like, no joke! There are SO MANY options on colors & layouts. Some give you A LOT of control; others do most of the work for you. Some are set up for people who know they’ll have tons of photos. Others are set up for people who want “journal-type entries.” The options are PLENTIFUL!

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The key here is to let yourself have fun with it! Choose something that matches your overall branding, of course! And make it as playful or serious as you’d like. No matter what you choose, though, make sure it is easily readable (typically, but not always, a light background with dark text). You also want to make sure it is formatted in a such a way that it is seamlessly navigated.

Also remember, if you’re starting your blog to build your business, keep that goal in mind! What feelings do you want to invoke? Choose colors that support those feelings.

Purple, for example, is loyalty & trust. I talk about a lot of mental health concerns & my own perspective on them & I seek to foster a community that can appreciate that vulnerability, for example. If you’re blogging a lot about money, maybe you’ll choose a theme with green at its center. Blue would be a good choice for serenity, red for excitement, pink for femininity. You get the idea.

Do put the thought into it, but don’t get lost forever! Your blog cannot work for you if you are always tied up in this part. Finish it up so you can get back to the meat & potatoes: the content. You can revisit the theme once or twice per year (at most, ideally).

Choose your blog email service & devise a plan for your email marketing.

If you used Blue Host to set your blog up, you can easily use their tutorials to choose your email service. And, once you’ve got your email all set up, you need to decide how you’ll utilize email marketing in conjunction with your new site.

I recommend ConvertKit, but there are several others out there if you look. Get signed up with ConvertKit, then go log into your blog & install the ConvertKit plug-in. That’ll let your site & ConvertKit “talk” to each other seamlessly.

I also recommend, immediately, going in & setting up your Welcome Sequence. This is what is automatically sent to new subscribers to your blog. It is usually comprised of one automatically sent email welcoming the subscriber to your little corner of the InterWeb & letting them know what they can expect with you.

When I got started, I stopped there with my Welcome Sequence. I highly recommend you take a little extra time & set up a SERIES for your Welcome Sequence. Make each email short & sweet, but totally conversational, even if also informational. Maybe the first email is a simple welcome & a heads up that there will be three more emails coming their way over the next few days (or weeks?) to help them “find their most confident self” (or whatever phrase matches YOUR niche! Then, have a quick theme for each other email in the sequence so none is overwhelming, but each has a purpose to help them navigate & find crucial “cornerstone” content on your site.

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If you’re really in a learning mood, check out DotCom Secrets! There is a REALLY great chapter in there that will show you how to set up a ROCKIN’ welcome email sequence (along with some other AWESOME funnel stuffs you could apply to your business later)! I am still working this into my own routine & wish I would have done it from the start! ūüėČ

Shout out your blog from the rooftops!

Now is where you are ready. Blogging is a never-ending, always-improving endeavor, but at this point, you are ready to share! You’re all set up & have several blog articles to peruse. You’ve made sure visitors can navigate well & have a good welcome. So, start talking about it!

Make sure you’ve got a good SEO plug-in installed on your blog. (I like Yoast. I use the FREE version currently & it does PLENTY.) This SEO plug in will help you know when your blog articles are easy to read or need some tweaking (& HOW to tweak them!). It will also help you assign a key word to each article & optimize it for search engines that way.

Then, go through & make sure you have good tags on all of your articles & alt text on all of your photos. These things will also help your site show up in searches!

Then, share links to individual posts on your social media channels. Use your links to answer commonly asked questions. (So make sure you’ve written a post for all commonly asked questions!) Don’t be spammy, but do start to share!

Once your blog is out there, it is always there!

Over time, your blog will start to work harder for you. The more it is visited, the more it will show up in searches. The more it shows up in searches, the more it will be visited. Post new content consistently. Go back to older articles & update the links to make sure they stay current.

Work it consistently from the beginning — in whichever consistent fashion works for you — & you’ll get to reap the rewards later. Passive income CAN be a thing with blogging!

If you want to know more about blogging to build your business, read THIS. If you want a course that will teach you how to start a blog that makes money, here is one I’ve taken in the past.

Now you’re all set! Blogging is a super rewarding way to build your business while providing value. It is the perfect strategy for LONG-TERM business success. Relying on attraction-based marketing & leading with value will always win out. I hope you find it as rewarding as I do.

And, no matter what stage of blogging you find yourself, please accept this invitation to join the Calculated Chaos Community. We are comprised of empowering, confidence-building women who seek to build ourselves & each other up as much as possible. Please join us!

Reta Jayne

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