So You Want to Start a Blog? | The Content

I’m going to start this off by telling you the opposite of everything else you will read: you do NOT need to choose a niche. Take a look around my blog, it’s been four years and I’ve yet to pick. Don’t worry about it.

What do you like?

The most important thing about blogging is you need to write about things you like. It doesn’t matter if it’s not popular (trust me, you aren’t the only person who likes something), it doesn’t matter if you don’t know everything about it (learn). What matters is that you enjoy what you’re talking about. It shows when bloggers are writing about what’s popular, what they think will sell, it’s not what they care about, they’re doing it for the views.

Find Your Folks

This is the only place you’re going to have trouble when you don’t have a niche- but it’s doable. My folks are for the most part other twenty-somethings generally at the same stage in their life as I am. Each person and I have something different in common, all of my folks are from different “tribes” (a term for another post) if you will.

Finding Your Voice

I don’t like to be professional on my personal blog, these are my thoughts and opinions, and I want to write in a very familiar tone. I want people to know they’re reading Mary’s Average Adventures by a line. I don’t want to be authoritative, I don’t want to lecture, I just want to be, so I use my own voice. A lot of my writing is exactly how I talk– run on sentences and scattered ideas. I’m very scatter-brained- the kind way of saying a mess, but that’s me and that’s what I want my blog to show. My voice is not me showing my best self (did I get tipsy and write the other night, yes), it’s me showing me.

That’s not to say that’s the only way of doing things. If I was talking about business that wouldn’t be okay, but I’m not. You have to figure out what voice fits your blog.

This is you.

A blog isn’t meant to encapsulate anyone but you. It’s meant to house your thoughts or information you think the world should have. It’s you. Don’t worry about what’s popular- it’s easy to fall into the trap of what will get views but at the end of the day it needs to be what’s best for you. Don’t burn out over a blog, that’s silly.

Thoughts? New blogs I should be looking at?

 

Advertisements

So You Want To Start a Blog? | Where to Start.

Blogging is the single greatest thing I have ever done in my life and I think I will feel that way until I have children. I encourage everyone to start one, but how do you do that? How do you pick a niche? How do you know what you want it to look like? Where do you look for pictures that won’t get you sued? And most importantly how do you consistently come up with content. Well, welcome to my new series where we will explore all of that.

Today we’re going to start at the beginning: how do you start a blog? Well, my friends, my advice would be to pick a host site you’re comfortable with. I chose WordPress because I liked that it was really easy to follow other bloggers, something I could never figure out on Blogger, however that is a very popular platform that I’m sure has its benefits. I am extremely partial to WordPress so I would say go for that, but if you’re more comfortable somewhere else, by all means, do that too.

Then you have to pick a domain. It can be related to what you want to blog about, but not necessarily. Some people go for a username for titles, other a general theme, find something that speaks to you, anything that speaks to you. My good friend from high school called her 9to5 which I really like. It can be as simple or complex as you want within the character limit. After you have your name for your site, you need to decide whether or not you want to register it. Personally, I registered mine after I was one-hundred percent certain blogging was something I was sticking with. Some people do it right off the bat, the only thing with that is you pay for the year– so if you forget about it, you lost some money.

If you decide to take the leap first thing, I would highly recommend paying the yearly $99 for the all access WordPress site. It allows you to have complete control of your content but also the benefits of WordPress hosting. This means your followers will still get updates when you post, you have a really good support team to help you with any problems, and your phone number and address can’t be found through your web address. You can purchase cheaper WordPress plans but honestly, I think the money is worth it.

Once you figure out all of that it’s time for a layout! Back in the early days of my blog, I was constantly changing the layout because it’s really fun. However, not always the best idea for consistency purposes. Find one you like, and what I like to do is make it so it’s something I would want to read. If you aren’t having an easy time reading it no one will.

Now your blog is all set up and it’s time to move on to picking your niche (or maybe not!)

My Blogging “Brand” or Niche

The first thing you may notice is I’ve redone my blog and you may or may not know that this will either lasts for months or days depending on how I’m feeling. Right now I like it. I’ve also changed the title of my blog. Obviously it’s always been Mary’s Average Adventures like for the domain and my email but the title was Mary’s Completely Average Adventures which is not only lengthy but the completely was just seemingly unnecessary. These are changes that I’ve been trying to make, I’m not sure why I didn’t sooner but it was one of those things where the way things were was working and I didn’t want to mess that up.

As I was changing the title I noticed the tagline and I was like ehhh I could change this, but what do I change it to? I did and I like it but it made me think about what is my blogging brand or niche? I’m not sure. When I was blogging everyday there were a lot of days when I had no idea what to write but I made a promise to myself to blog everyday, and I had to do it. I mean I don’t know why it was so hard for me to skip a day, but it was and it made me really anxious so I didn’t. Yet, I had no ideas for weeks. There was a times where I would just start to get mad because I hated what I was writing because it didn’t make sense and it wasn’t quality and I don’t think it helped that I didn’t have a focus.

Whenever I would research blog topics it was “What kind of blog are you?” was often a question that would come up and I never had an answer. My blog doesn’t fit any traditional category, at least that I can see. I essentially write what I think and for some reason people decide to read it. However, I have never really liked to put myself or limit myself by labeling who I was who I hung out with or even what I did with my time, I always thought it was important to be well rounded and I suppose that’s probably why my blog has tended to fall that way too. It was started with the full intention to be a travel blog even though my first post doesn’t even reflect that original idea. It’s turned into the adventure of life which is also kind of why I picked that title because it can really encompass everything.

I’m kind of glad that I don’t have a necessary category that I belong it. I like that I can fit in wherever I want and see a variety of different people because that’s who I end up interacting with. I mostly talk to college and university students because I think a lot of us are in the same boat and those are two things I always tag but then there are also some others that have found me and they’re really cool as well.

What’s your blogging niche?

signature