Starting a blog is incredibly exciting and rewarding. It can also be intimidating, if not downright terrifying. But guess what?! It doesn’t have to be that way.
In today’s post, I’m not going to cover the techy side of starting a blog. If you happen to also be wondering about that side of things, however, you can find some great information in these posts:
- How to start a blog
- Top 5 SEO Tips for WordPress
- How to Get Started with Elementor
- How to Quickly Customize Your OceanWP Theme
Today is all about the “little” things that really aren’t so little… things that will help you determine exactly who it is you’re trying to reach, what you want to say to them, how you can help them, and so on. Things that I really wish I had considered more carefully the first time I got started with a blog…
Luckily for you, I’ve made all of these mistakes so you don’t have to! Are you ready? Let’s discuss 5 (non-techy) things to consider before starting your blog!
What’s your niche?
Man, oh, man. I can’t talk about this one enough! Let me paint a picture for you: You stumble upon this girl’s website (how you managed to land it, I have no idea!). You see that she’s a web developer… and an Excel consultant… and a copy editor… and a content creator?! And her tagline is, “Web Developer | Excel Nerd | Grammar Queen.” What does that even mean?!
I’m embarrassed to admit it, you guys… but this was from my first blog. Do you know how confused my (incredibly small) audience must have been? Let’s be realistic: the people who were coming to my website for web developer needs probably didn’t have much interest in my nerdy Excel skills, and the people who were there for my nerdy Excel skills didn’t give a hoot about my self-imposed “Grammar Queen” status.
Thankfully, through the help of a great mentor and coach, I slowly but surely realized I was trying to attract WAAAAY too many people. And you know what happened? I wound up attracting basically no one, with the exception of a few friends and family.
What was my next step? I had to figure out a narrower niche, of course!
Sooo… how exactly did I do that? It wasn’t easy, let me tell you! First, I settled on “web developer.” But that was still too broad. Next, I decided on “WordPress developer.” Nope, not narrow enough.
I continued to niche down until I realized that my true niche is teaching new bloggers and entrepreneurs how to create their own customized WordPress site using OceanWP and Elementor–all with no coding required!
That’s a pretty stinkin’ narrowed-down niche, if you ask me! I bet if I tried really hard, I could narrow it down even more… hmmmm…
So? What’ll it be for you? Get to work on fine-tuning your niche. When you think you’ve got it, squeeze it some more! It’s going to hurt–but it will be so worth it in the end!
What’s your style?
We’ve all seen those websites that have a bazillion different colors, 500 different fonts, and 87 different types of images haphazardly strewn about their pages. Don’t do that!
When you have too much going on, it’s going to confuse your readers. When everything on your site is screaming for attention, NOTHING gets attention.
Your style will obviously include your brand colors and fonts. It can also include your logo, stock images, background images, and even your layout.
When it comes to picking your colors, I recommend choosing no more than 5:
- Your main color. This will be the color that really identifies your brand. For my own brand, it’s the turquoise color in my logo. You’ll see this color sprinkled throughout my entire site.
- A dark, neutral color to be used for text.
- An accent color. This is the dark pinkish-red color for my brand. Several of my buttons are this color, since it makes for a good contrast against my turquoise primary color. The accent colors usually either complement (if you’re trying to keep it all within the same range of color) or contrast the main color.
- A lighter, neutral color. For me, this is a light grey that I use as a background for some elements.
- An additional accent color. In my case, this is a dark greenish-turquoise color. It doesn’t show up too often throughout my site, but I use it quite a bit as a minor accent on my Canva graphics.
When it comes to fonts, I recommend choosing 3:
- A nice display/accent font. For some (like me), this may be a script-y type of font. For others, it may be a big, bold font that commands attention.
- A header font.
- Your main text/body font.
Check out Google Fonts for a plethora of free fonts available to use. A bonus of using Google Fonts is that all of their fonts are available for you to use in Elementor! Woohoo!
Stock and Background Images
Search for stock images that not only match your brand’s color scheme, but that also convey the tone and mood that you want to convey.
I love Adobe Stock for finding really great stock images and background images. However, this service does require a subscription. If you’re looking for free images for the time being, there are some great resources out there that I still use. My favorite free sites for stock images are https://unsplash.com/ and https://www.pexels.com/.
What’s your medium?
The key to creating a successful blog is to produce great, relevant content, and to do so CONSISTENTLY. Consistency is crucial!
What will help you produce content on a regular basis? Don’t think that writing is your only option. Yes, most people who start a blog anticipate writing blog posts. But what if you absolutely hate the idea of writing?
Not to worry! You have plenty of options in this day and age. In addition to writing, you could produce videos. Your videos could be tutorials (like many of mine!). Alternatively, if you don’t mind being in front of the camera, your videos could just be you talking directly to your audience. Once you have the video recorded, you can simply download a transcript of the video and publish that for your blog post content (in addition to posting the video itself, as well, of course).
Another option would be to record a podcast, especially if you like talking but don’t enjoy being in front of the camera. The same thing would apply for a podcast: download a transcript of the podcast, and that becomes your blog post content.
So many options other than just writing!
What problem are you solving?
This is another tough one that ties into defining your niche. One of the most important things to remember when it comes to blogging–especially when you’re just getting started–is that your readers won’t come to your page just because you’re writing about how cute your dog Fluffy was this morning, even though you were so mad at him because he dug through the trash.
Let’s be real: ain’t nobody got time for that!
However, people WILL come to your blog if you are providing value, whether that be in the form of tangible advice, what to do or not to do, or even if you are simply sharing what you learned from an experience or challenge you recently faced.
Now, don’t get me wrong: it is super important to sprinkle in your personality and details about your life. You want your audience to get to know you, after all!
The bottom line is that your audience will continue to come back for more if you continue to produce great content that is relevant and helpful to your ideal audience.
What can you do to make money from your blog?
Some of you may be thinking, “Make money from my blog? What?!” Many bloggers don’t start blogging to make money–in fact, I didn’t even consider it when I started my first blog! I only wanted to start a blog as a supplement to my new “Web Developer | Excel Nerd | Grammar Queen” business…
I’ll let you guess how successful that whole thing turned out to be…
Anyway, once I reframed my entire idea for my website, my niche, and my blog, I began to see how it truly is possible to make money from blogging. Here are a few ideas:
- Affiliate marketing
- Online courses
- Live masterminds
- Group or private coaching
The opportunities are nearly endless! It doesn’t matter what your niche is: I’ve seen successful online programs for everything from homeschooling, intermittent fasting, mindset and manifestation, accounting… the sky is the limit!
There you have it!
Now you know 5 (non-techy) things to consider before starting your blog (or maybe to re-vamp your existing blog!). No excuses now. Time for you to get to work on your new blog!