I’ve been writing blogs for over 11 years now, and sometimes I still have a hard time getting started and think to myself, “I suck at this!” Ok, maybe I’m a little hard on myself…
However, I’m a firm believer in positive thinking, so I quickly throw the negative self-talk in the virtual trash bin and start blogging immediately! In my many years of consulting and helping others write blogs, I have come across numerous people who have good intentions to begin blogging but don’t know where to start. They feel intimidated because they believe they have to be an expert writer. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Whether an experienced writer or novice, if you write what you know and your blog is focused on something you are passionate about, you can most certainly write a blog and be good at it too! From yoga poses and meal prep hacks to business advice and finance tips, here are six ways to start blogging about your favorite topics now; even if you suck at writing!
- Find a Blogging Platform
If this is your first blog and you are just starting out, there is no need to get fancy and spend a lot of money on web design for all of the bells and whistles right out of the gate. Don’t make it too complicated for yourself as it can get overwhelming and may discourage you. Start simple. Once you get the hang of how blogging works, then you can add on as you go or hire a web designer to help you with the aesthetics. There are plenty of free blogging sites that you can use to get started, such as Blogger, Tumblr or Squarespace. Do some research online to find the best platform that fits your needs and overall goals. If you already have some experience with blogging, I recommend using the WordPress platform. Get the feel of how blogging works, develop your voice and writing style. As you get more experienced and learn the intricacies, you can play with the different features such as hyperlinks to other blog articles, adding stock photos as well as uploading video content and managing comments. If you run a business and you already have an existing website, ask your web designer to add a blog section to your site, and you can start posting articles there. If your goal is to boost search engine rankings through blogging, you should consult with a web designer or SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist. Having someone who is knowledgeable about SEO can help ensure your blog content is optimized for search engines.
- Don’t Worry About What Others Will Think
Not worrying about the opinions of others is probably one the most critical steps in getting started. I’ve learned over the years that you have to get out of your own way and just start writing. If you constantly worry about what other people will think of you and your blog, you will procrastinate, find excuses, and lose sight of getting started. Don’t pay attention to the voices in your head telling you that you’re not good enough. You are the expert! Just start blogging now about what about you know and you will be surprised at how well it will come to fruition once you “get in the zone” and are prepared to deliver your best content! I recommend to start writing in “stream of consciousness” format. Just get your thoughts written down without overthinking. Write as if you are speaking to a friend or a client and don’t get too technical. Just let it flow naturally. Once you get your thoughts written out, you can always go back and edit later. Don’t rush to get your blog posted right away. I like to write out my blog posts and make all the edits on the first day. I then go back to it a day later for a new and fresh look at it one more time before I publish it live.
- Keep Your Grammar Tidy!
I can’t stress enough the importance of using grammar tools when you start blogging. Using grammar tools will ensure that your articles are published error-free. I initially write my blog posts in a word document and then run it through the standard grammar and spell check feature. However, one tool that I can’t live without is Grammarly. Grammarly is a web-based grammar and spell check tool that goes above and beyond. For example, not only does it tell you that you have used a preposition at the end of a sentence, but it also shows you how to correct it. It even has an extension that you can add to both your browser and your word documents so you can quickly enable it at any time you wish. There is a free version and an inexpensive paid version. I use the paid version for one user that is $11.99/ month, and it’s well worth it. If the paid version doesn’t fit into your budget, the free version still has great features too. Just a tip: even though you use spell check and grammar tools, always re-read your work after the corrections are made as you still may have some tweaking to do. While these tools are a great help, they aren’t always 100% accurate.
- Choose an Eye-catching Stock Photo
Photos are a great feature to add to your blog articles. It’s especially helpful if you can get them for free when you first start blogging. There are quite a few royalty-free sites out there that offer beautiful stock photos at no cost. These professional photos can really make your blog posts pop! For this article, I found the graphic on Unsplash. Other sites such as Pexels, Picjumbo, and NegetiveSpace have really great photos to choose from as well. Keep in mind that it’s very important to ensure that you have the rights to use the images that you publish on your blog. Taking photos from another website and using it without permission is never a good idea. You could end up having to shell out some serious bucks if you get sued for copyright infringement.
- Get Social!
Once your blog is published, get it out there on social media! It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 1 million followers on your social media channels. Just post your blog and let people know that you have valuable and helpful information to share. When sharing your blog on social media, use a catchy headline to entice your followers to read your blog. Incorporate appropriate hashtags so more people can find your blog and articles. Refrain from using headlines such as, “Check out the latest blog post” or “New post is up on our blog.” Give your followers a teaser so they are intrigued to find out more. For example, if your blog is about yoga poses for beginners, use a headline like, “New to yoga? 5 Beginner poses that will get you twisted in a good way.” Play around with the words and have fun with it! A good headline will give you better odds in sending more readers to your blog.
- Don’t Get Discouraged
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are blogs. You have to be patient. Just keep writing about what you know and love and don’t give up. The more you add valuable and engaging content, the more you will build readership. Whether you are blogging for the purpose of creating brand awareness, showcasing a hobby or to drive traffic to your website to gain more customers, blogs take time, thought, and a bit of work; so be prepared. If you are consistent and post content regularly, you will see tremendous growth. Each time you write a new post, you will get better and better at writing each time!
I hope I just inspired you to start blogging now and that my tips in this post were helpful! For more information about using social media and blogging whether business or personal, contact me or leave a comment below. I’m always happy to help!