You are finally ready to create the blog of your dreams. You are a true creative and have so many great ideas. You can’t wait to get started! But like me, when you do, you quickly realize that you were not as prepared as you may have thought.
The reality of blogging is that as soon as you register your domain, you also hand over a large piece of your life to an internet vampire (YOUR website) that will constantly try to suck all of your time, effort and energy, right on out of you. And if you’ve got a day job, fuggedaboutit. Blogging ain’t easy, but if you’re committed and willing to put in the work, your efforts won’t go unfulfilled.
- Deciding on a name. Choosing a name for your blog may be the most difficult step in the creation process. I spent 4 whole months deciding between “halpydays” and “be halpy”. I wrote each name down a million times and threw both concepts out in conversation with my family and close friends. Regularly saying both options out loud helped make them feel more real. This helped solidify that halpydays was the right fit for me.
- Getting the theme right. If your blog only focuses on Extraterrestrial Life, then you better expect that those who don’t believe in aliens will just x right on out and move on to something more relevant to them. If you want to try to capture the widest audience possible, a lifestyle blog will give you the most leverage. It’s important to stay true to who you are and what you like to spend your time researching and talking about so that the content comes from a genuine place of interest.
- Keeping your creativity in a consistent lane. As a creative individual, this isn’t always easy. What this really means is to avoid discussing topics that don’t align with your big picture. If you have a lifestyle blog, like mine, there is a lot of grey area here. I manage the plethora of content I bring to my site by always driving my bigger point home. I ask myself, “How does this influence my own individual happiness and how has it helped me grow by discussing it?” If I don’t have an answer to that, then chances are it doesn’t get published. Some posts will drive this home on a deeper level than what my favorite mascara is this month, but they still align with my theme of happiness, positive energy and feeling good about who you are.
- Content is crucial. You’re not the only one who has to enjoy your content, so keep that in mind when deciding what to post about next. Keeping a blog is an awesome hobby and creative outlet but if your goal is to gain traffic and build your reader base, then choosing current content that fits in with your overall message is crucial. Make sure you cover all your categories and keep the newness flowing overall.
- Getting the word out. If you think keeping your audience engaged is hard, imagine how hard it is to get them to help you promote your site! Sharing a blog that you like is what will help them gain a greater and more diverse audience. So if you like what a blog has to say, don’t just like it, share it! If you can’t seem to gain enough traction this way, then use all of your social media accounts as free marketing. By editing your Instagram and Twitter to convey the same message as your blog, you’ll create a more cohesive and recognizable brand across multiple platforms.
- Proofreading ain’t easy. On more occasions than I would have liked, I’ve posted content with typos. Yes, I re-read my work for mistakes but editing isn’t as easy as it seems. I find that taking a few hours away from the piece and then coming back to re-read, significantly helps me to make constructive changes. Taking some time away allows you to see your work with fresh eyes. And if you have a confidant, a second pair of eyes for proof-reading is also a great alternative or add-on step.
- Don’t put your life on the backburner. If you aren’t living your life, the content on your lifestyle blog is going to be really dull. So if you do decide to take on a lifestyle blog, make sure that maintaining your site, doesn’t hinder on your ability to keep living the life you’re sharing so proudly. It’s ideal for bloggers to have a day job that coincides with their blog’s theme. Think, Cosmetologist with a beauty blog. Practicing on your blog, what you preach in real life. This set up is ideal because your work-life and passion for blogging will work together and expand on one another. If it doesn’t work like that, and you work in sales like me, just make sure you’re dedicating enough time to master your topics and stay in-tune with your passions. At the end of the day, passion is what will fuel your posts.