Don’t start a blog yet, do this first

A lot of people see successful blogs and think it will be an easy process but that is a bad assumption.
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What you should do before you start a blog is research.. research.. research So, don’t start a blog yet unless you do this first.

If I had to start all over again I would do things a lot differently than I did. 

I thought I was ready when I wasn’t but at the same time, I had been sitting on the idea for almost a year. 

My first blog was on Wix and before that, I didn’t know I could be a blogger. I told myself only successful businesses have blogs and personal blogs weren’t interesting. 

So when I was in my digital marketing program and they told us starting a blog would be our project I was intrigued. But at the same time doubtful. Because who was going to read it? What would I write about?

They said to write about something we were interested in, It wasn’t meant to be something serious. Just a project that would help us learn and build the skills we needed for the profession we were getting into. 

It wasn’t until I realized how much I liked designing my website and writing posts that I decided to take it seriously. 

So then I started my new blog with WordPress last year and quickly became discouraged with the amount of work I felt like I was putting in with nothing to show for it. 

I wasn’t aware of how blogging worked and now that I am, I believe these tips would help every beginner become accustomed to blogging. 

Interested in Blogging?

So you’re interested in Blogging and unsure how to go about it. This is how I would start my blog if I had to start over. These tips can apply to anyone interested in blogging but specifically those who want to make blogging a full-time job.

A lot of bloggers fail within their 3rd month because they realize how overwhelming it is to have a specific niche and how to structure your blog posts, etc  

Get all the free knowledge available to you

I don’t think I need to tell you that youtube is your best friend. 

If you are serious about becoming a full-time blogger then naturally it’s easy to assume that you want to be a successful blogger at that. 

And to do that you would need to get all the free knowledge you can on blogging platforms and which sounds the best to you. There are YouTubers like Adam Enfroy, income blogging school, and much more where you can learn from and even check out some bloggers online. 

Sure you can learn as you go, which I think is the best form of knowledge. But there is room for you to make mistakes along the way. Doing as much research as possible will help minimize that to some degree. 

Make a new Gmail account with your blogging name. 

This is completely optional. 

If you already have an idea of what you want to name your blog, creating a separate email address will help in making it feel more official. 

Give yourself a trial period

Give yourself a trial period. Do 15 days or a month of blogging to see if it is for you. Because sometimes people like the idea of having a blog and when they realize all the work they need to put it, that “like” feeling goes away. 

It would be a shame to pay for hosting, a theme, and a domain when you’re not even sure you will commit. 

Giving yourself a trial period will not only help with getting comfortable with blogging but also with developing your writing voice. 

The more you write the more you will get a feel for what kind of content you want to create. 

The Platforms 

There are a lot of free platforms to start on. Some maybe most would make it difficult for you to migrate your website. But this is where your Gmail account comes in handy because you can write all your articles in your docs before posting. 

That way you don’t lose anything you wrote if you think it’s a good piece to keep.  

Platforms include 

Wix

WordPress.org

Blogger

Weebly 

I’m sure there are others but those are the most popular ones. 

If you’re wondering what the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org- check out this forbes article

With the free platforms, there are downsides like your domain name would have .wordpress or .wixsite at the end of it. But seeing as this would be a trial period It shouldn’t be much of a problem. 

WordPress.com and WordPress.org

I would say to start with wordpress.com because even though It is limited, It is the most similar to wordpress.org. 

I chose WordPress because it is the most common self-hosted platform, it allows you to monetize your blog and Google will recognize it more than the other platforms.  

Also, it would be easier to migrate your site from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. 

I’m not sure about the others but I know for Wix the process of migrating is super difficult. 

So make sure this is what you want before you go all in and invest everything you have into blogging. Because it could just end up being something you don’t really want to do. 

Start a newsletter

I know what you’re thinking. “ I don’t have any readers yet, why would I start a newsletter”

It’s probably unlikely to get readers when you first start blogging especially when you don’t own your domain. but it’s not impossible.

 So for the sake that it could be possible, you should at least have a newsletter to be able to keep the readers you acquired.

Having a newsletter allows you to update them on where your new web home is. And it is completely free. You can start with Mailchimp or convertkit. 

If you also decide to make social media accounts then you could promote your newsletter on there. Telling readers what to expect on your blog before it’s out. 

Schedule 

So you did some research on blogging 

You made your WordPress account

You might not have a niche yet but you have some idea of what you want to write about. 

Now you should set a schedule for yourself on when you plan to write out your posts and publish them to your practice site. 

The reason why this is important is because it gets you into the process of posting consistently. Which is why some bloggers fail. I should know- I wasn’t consistent in my first blog for a full year. I would post every 3 months or so and I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t doing as well. 

So getting yourself in the mindset to post every week or every other day will help you when you start blogging seriously.

After your “trial period” of blogging you should by now know if this is something you could see yourself doing and 

If after this you feel like it’s too much work to keep up with, then you will have your answer.

 But if you feel the opposite then you’re ready to invest in your hosting. 

I wish I had started with a three-year plan but I didn’t. When you first invest in hosting it is super affordable for the first year. 

At least compared to Squarespace and Wix.

One year with Squarespace or Wix would be equivalent to 3 years with WordPress.org. 

Now you don’t necessarily need to invest in a 3-year plan if you can’t at the moment. For my first year, I paid $35 for hosting. 

Once you have gotten a feel for writing and structuring your posts for SEO, you should be able to determine your niche and the audience you intend to write for.

Conclusion 

A lot of people would say WordPress has a learning curve and For someone who has no coding experience at all, That scared me. 

I was so hesitant with starting on the wordpress platform because I didn’t have money to outsource if something went wrong and I needed someone to fix it. 

At least with Wix when I had a problem, There was the option of contacting customer support by phone. They have a similar process to Apple’s customer support. 

They will share send you a link asking for screen-sharing permission and that way they can see everything you can. Which helps a lot with figuring out the problem. 

Having that was like a comfort blanket. It made me feel like I wasn’t alone. So starting with WordPress was a huge risk for me and I can understand if you have the same sentiment. 

Siteground is amazing at helping you figure out any problems in the backend. I contacted them almost every little thing and they were able to help me every time. 

Also, you have to update your plugins often and do backups but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier.

Set an “Admin” day to focus on your backend. Which includes updating plugins, maybe fixing your theme, and checking comments/emails. Things like that. 

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Xora's Library

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