Questions to ask before starting a blog | How to start a blog | Seamlined Living

Starting a personal blog can be intimidating. Trust me, I know; it’s taken me years to start my own. By trade, I’m a digital marketer and have helped to develop and create successful SEO and blogging strategies for both local and national brands. However, taking the time to create content of my own has been challenging. For starters, it takes a lot of time to do it correctly and, like many others, I’m busy. BUT I’ve decided to make it a priority and I’m already more inspired and creative and am working on projects that bring out my artistic and craftswoman sides, and I hope it will do the same for you!

How to Start a Blog | Hobby & Personal Blogs | Seamlined Living

How to Start a Blog

Deciding to blog is just the first of many steps. Before you can even begin creating content, there are a number of things that you should work on completing. Below are 10 questions I asked myself before I started the concept of my blog. As I went through each of these steps, I created many to-do lists and worked through each of them.

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Blog

  1. What will your blog be about?

    • Are you a baker, fashion blogger, DIYer, budget expert, personal blogger or do you have a very specific niche? Knowing what your focus for your blog will be important. This will help you reach your niche audience and help your writing stay focused.
  2. What is your competition/ people in your niche doing?

    • Knowing this is crucial and a step that many bloggers skip. Do you know what other bloggers in your field are doing? It’s important to know what successful bloggers are doing so you can learn from them. Now, it’s extremely important that you do not copy them and all of your content is original, but you can learn a lot from bloggers that have been blogging a lot longer than you have. A great question to ask yourself as you’re working through this question – what are these bloggers doing that makes them successful? Have they built a large audience on a social media platform? Do they have themed days?
  3. What is your business strategy?

    • Do you have goals for your blog? If not, now is a good time to start. Here are 5 questions to help you define your business strategy:
      • Where do you see your blog going?
      • Are you creating a blog to document important events with your family?
      • A place to share recipes you’ve created?
      • Are you wanting to monetize your blog?
      • Are there companies you’d like to work with?
    • As you’re creating your business strategy, I recommend creating goals and dreaming big. The bigger goals/dreams are great to work towards and can be long term goals. In the short term, you’ll need to create actionable steps for achieving them. For me, I like to create goals in 90 day intervals. I write my goal(s) for where I’d like my blog to be in 90 days and work backwards to create tangible day to day checklists to help me stay focused and achieve them. One important tip I have is to be flexible. Life gets busy, especially if you have a full time job, a family and/or a lot of social activities. If you don’t meet one of your set deadlines, it’s OK to adjust your checklist and work toward continuing to reach your goals.
  4. What will your brand and theme look like?

    • Do you have an idea of what you’d like your brand and website to look like? If you don’t know just yet, that’s OK. Search the web, Creative Market and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration!
  5. Who will build your website and what content management system (CMS) will you use?

    • As you work through this question, you’ll first want to determine what CMS you would like to build your blog on. WordPress is what I use and is one the largest blogging platforms. It is a great blogging tool for new bloggers.Once you determine the CMS Platform, you will need to decide how you will be building your website. Will you be building your website or will you be contracting it out? If you’re not tech-savvy and have a budget, you can contact a local developer or web-design agency to build a website for you. OR you can build a website of your own starting with a theme. I purchased a WordPress theme from Bluchic through Creative Market and the theme was well built and their support portal has been super helpful. Both are good options for personal and hobby bloggers.As you’re looking for a theme for your site, you’ll want to make sure it is responsive (mobile friendly). This is not only important for the user experience of your site, but search engines have added being mobile friendly as a ranking signal.
  6. Do you know what you’d like to write about?

    • It’s important to have a plan in place for blog posts before you launch your blog. I’d recommend having anywhere from 10-20 blog posts ready before your blog goes live. That way you can launch with a number of posts so visitors have content to browse once they’ve landed on your website.
  7. How will you create images for your blog and social?

    • Photos in the age of social media are extremely important and you’ll need them no matter what your niche. Will you need to take your photos, have someone take them for you or can use use stock photos? If you don’t have Photoshop, a great program to use is Canva.
  8. After you’re done writing your blog posts, do you have someone who can proof?

    • Having a 2nd set of eyes will be important. Not only to catch any grammatical errors but it’s also good to have someone check the overall flow of your content.
  9. Do you have a plan in place to launch your blog?

    • AKA – How will your blog go live so anyone can visit it? Who will be hosting your blog? Do you have a secured site? (I host my blog with SiteGround)
  10. What will your strategy be after you launch your new blog?

    • After you launch your blog, what happens next? This is where your answer to question three comes in handy. What are your long term goals? Do you have additional blog posts lined up? How will you promote them? Through email, social, word of mouth? What works best for your target audience?

Best of luck to you as you’re working on your blog strategy! Do you have any questions about launching a blog? Ask in the comments below or contact me!

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How to Start a Blog | What to do before starting a blog | Seamlined Living

 

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