Where do you start and what should you do first?
Here’s a quick list to get you started. I didn’t actually do points one and two right at the beginning though I wish I did. Point four still keeps me going today.
The first five things to do when you start a blog
1. Set up your social media accounts
You don’t need to be on every social media platform, but it helps to get online now and reserve your name for later.
Hair Romance is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Vine (remember that one?). When I started blogging some of these didn’t exist, but as each new social network opens I would hop on and grab my name.
Try and keep your name consistent across every platform. This helps readers find you and makes it easy for them to tag you across different networks. Sites like NameChk are really helpful for seeing which names are available.
2. Install Google analytics on your blog
Find out where your readers are coming from and which is your most popular post with Google Analytics.
It’s the industry standard for statistics and it’s free.
I don’t want you to get caught up in the numbers now, but installing Google Analytics early will give you more data to check as you go on.
3. Find your ideal reader
Why are you writing your blog? Who are you going to help?
Working out the why and who will help you define your ideal reader. Once you have a clear picture of who needs to read your blog, you can work out how to find them. Where do they hang out online, what other blogs do they like to read? What social networks are they on? Answering these questions will help you focus on what to write and where to share it online.
4. Brainstorm your blog ideas
When I decided to start Hair Romance, I got a notebook out and started writing down ideas for blog posts. I knew if I could write down 50 ideas then I would have enough to keep going. 50 ideas sounds like a lot, and it is, but they’re just ideas.
Brainstorm the topics you want to write about and get into the detail on each one. You’ll be surprised how far you can go. There will be times you get stuck but keep pushing through.
Not every idea will be good or make it as a blog post, but you’ll uncover some gems. Plus the list will give you a lot of inspiration for what to write about now and in the future.
5. Start writing!
This is the most important point. What’s a blog without blog posts?
Planning your ideas and working out who you can help with your blog will make writing so much easier.
Everyone has a different technique for writing. Personally, I never considered myself a writer. I came from a photography background so I’m very visual. I like to work on the images first and then the words follow.
For me, my blog is like a conversation so I try to write as I speak (but with less umms and ahhs). Sometimes I record blog posts and type them up later. With practice (over 1000 blog posts and 5 books) I now find writing much easier.
Whatever your style, set aside time just for writing new posts and ignore all other distractions. Refer back to your brainstorm list for post ideas and also listen to your readers. You give me the best ideas for content with your questions.
So tell me, what’s the first thing you did when you set up your blog?
PS. Want to start your blog on the right foot? Come along to the next Little Blog Big workshop!