One question I’ve been getting asked a lot lately is, “How did you start your blog?” The short answer: I just set up a WordPress account one day and started blogging. But it’s a little more to it than that.
So how exactly did I start my blog? And how have I kept it going for the past two years? Well, there’s really five simple rules I follow when it comes to blogging:
- Find your “Why.” Your “why” for starting your blog eventually becomes the theme of your blog. My “why” was learning from various experiences as a Black millennial woman and sharing what I’ve learned (and am still learning) to help others. So to those of you reading this who want to start a blog, what is your “Why”? What is your passion? Is it cooking? Sports? Health? Fashion? Traveling? Whatever your “why” may be, hone in on that and just blog about it. You can start by writing out some different topics you may want to write about and then go from there.
- Go for it. A lot of folk seem to think that everything needs to be picture perfect before they launch their blog. That is wrong. Honestly, the best way to start a blog is to just start writing. Dassit. While having a cool look, logo and layout is important, the first thing that attracts people to your blog is the content, so that should be top priority. When I started this blog two years ago, I honestly wasn’t thinking about a look. I just picked a rinky dink, free template off WordPress, came up with a catchy blog title (it was originally Single Black Female), and got to blogging. And to my surprise, people actually started reading it lol. That’s because folk don’t read blogs based on how they look. While aesthetics do matter, content is everything. So once I eventually got the content down, then I began to focus on a new theme, logo and blog name. Everyone’s process for starting a blog is different, but my whole point is don’t stress yourself over trying to make your blog perfect before you launch it. As long as you have good content, everything will fall into place.
- Be consistent. Many of y’all don’t know this, but this is actually my third blog. Yep, third time’s a charm. And the number one reason my first two blogs failed was because I wasn’t consistent. But once I found my true purpose for blogging — my “why”– being consistent became almost effortless. Consistency really is key. The more you post, the more noticeable your content will become to search engines and future subscribers. Whether you post every day or once a week (like me), find that consistency and stick with it. You’ll eventually see the fruits of your labor.
- Be patient. Patience is a MAJOR key. Gotta be patient, y’all. If your main focus for launching a blog is to gain hella followers, likes and shares overnight, you should honestly reconsider starting a blog lol. Gaining readers, much less subscribers, takes A LOT of time and patience. That’s why having good content and being consistent is sooooo important. While my following has increased significantly since I first started, it’s growing organically at a steady pace. My main focus has always been on putting out real, relatable content that will ultimately help someone. As long as I continue to do that, my following will continue to grow.
- Be authentic. The first post I wrote was about exactly how I was feeling and what I was thinking in that moment. I didn’t hold back or try to pretend I was something I wasn’t. And for the past two years, I’ve never strayed from that. One huge thing I’ve noticed as a blogger is that authenticity attracts. People are drawn to whatever they can relate to. So just be yourself.
I tried to keep this one short and sweet for y’all, so if you have any other questions about starting a blog, just drop a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll make sure to keep posting tips as I continue to get better at this blog thing. Hopefully this helped someone today!