Getting started can be stressful as F*@%! And that’s the truth. There were so many times I wanted to just move on but there was something in me that was like “Kash?” (eyebrow raise)
Here are some tips that can help you get going…
1st, Check out my “Blogaversary” post.
Choosing a niche before you start is not necessary. Just start. I don’t have one topic in specific because I didn’t want to talk about just one specific thing. Maybe if I were a mom, a tech head or a die hard fashionista I probably would…
“My topic is Life, and all the things adding to it. I write about Relationships, Money, Travel, Food, Inspiration… Life- I didn’t and don’t want to box myself.“
The 1st most important thing is choosing the name for your piece of virtual real estate. Think of the things you want to talk about; your purpose. Names are important. Make sure it feels good to you. It took me over a month to come up with KashaKollective. When it hit me, I didn’t think about any other options because I knew this was the one. I also chose to step away from the dot com and dared to be different because I wanted something new. I was to be a lifestyle blogger that wrote about life topics so my extension to my domain was to be “life”. I’ve even received feedback from other bloggers who suggested I go with a dot com because it’s more “common”. (i’ll leave it at that)
Just scribble random words down that fit you and the things you like to talk about and do; yes, even if it doesn’t make sense. Remember no one will see this but you. Just know that ideas come from ideas. Once you narrow it down and organize your thoughts, say them out loud and jot down what topics come to mind when your here it. Does it flow off the tongue in your favor? Is that your brand? Is it you?
Lock in your domain! There are many domain companies available to choose from. I promise, once you hit that button to finalize payment and you see that confirmation page you will smile. S/N: I was advised by a n experienced blogger not to host use the domain and host of the same company in the event something crazy happens with their systems. Not sure how accurate that is but I took note. I purchased a domain from one company and hosting from the other.
TIP: Be sure to register for more than one year of hosting. Usually, the renewal is much more than the initial “new” rate. Same suggestion applies for your hosting. (Purchasing in advance saves you money in the end.)
Write a mission.vision statement for your blog. Not every blogger has the same goals. Some business and some personal. Just like with the purpose of a Vision Board, writing your blog goals can keep you in line. KKL was in my Vision Book along with Video. It;s starting slow but I did it. Get inspired by other bloggers you follow. You don’t have to copy them. You don’t want to! Just make note of the things that attract(ed) you to their brand. Once your site and blog is official the branding begins. This is why choosing the right name is important. You don’t want to be switching names in the midst of readers getting familiar with you. Choose colors that feel good to you (colors can be changed at any time). I didn’t even choose my favorite color for my branding colors. My color scheme comes from something I love that gives me feel good and eye candy. Create a mood board if you have to. In my visits to a hardware store I have collected a few paint card samples of various shades and paired combinations from my inspiration. Get organized. It’s not hard, but it’s not easy; And it is work. You-have-to-put-in-the-work. As mush as I’d like to think I’m an organized person something challenges me and as of lately it’s been KKL. I’m putting this girl in a choke hold and getting her together. There’s work behind the work. Before I started I wrote a few posts to have ready when my site launched. Don’t launch with a blank page. Always be camera ready. Stock photos are great,especially in the beginning; however, taking your own photos makes it more personal. They do not have to look editorial. I do, however, use a mixture of both. Decide on a hosting company. Same deal as choosing a domain- There are many companies to choose from. Research and find the right fit for you. The plans are always cheap for 1st time buyers but that renewal will slap you in the face and with a smile. If it is affordable to you, sign on for more than just the 1st year to save money. If you can only afford the 1st year plan, make sure to save for the renewal. I have had a renewal as much as $300! That, was a cancel!. Blog platforms are important. Website builders are great for those who need a “click and drag” situation, like myself. It’s much more user friendly. WordPress kicked my ass plenty of times before I decided to merge. I started with a builder, then tried WP, then back to a builder for the 1st year and then made the final decision to migrate to WordPress after reviewing my goals. She’s definitely a challenge. When I tell you, WordPress had me real emotional most days… (I also suggest starting with a free them if using WP) Create a Business Plan. Bloggers don’t think about this when launching a blog but unless you are in it for fun there needs to be a plan in action. This should be in connection with your vision board.
Domains– Some sites have sales as low as .99 for the 1st year. For example: You can add on 2 more years for a total of $21.00 or so. Or you can roll with the .99 for the 1st year and pay $18.00 for the 2nd year and even more for the 3rd year. See that math?! You can also add on the other necessities like:
- Security for your site
- Personal information protection
- Professional email address; and other features as you see fit
Hosting– Same as domains, companies have sales on hosting plans. For example: You can host 1 year for about $4.00 a month which equals $48.00. If you renew after your 1st year your renewal can will be charged at $12.00 a month which equals $144.00 for just one year. OR you can sign on the the whole 3 years in advance for $4.00 a month and pay that same $144.00. See that math?!
The Work Behind the Work
You have to get noticed right? Somebody needs to read your content.
Social MediaYou have to advertise so people know you exist. It’s time consuming but necessary. I do struggle with this but it’s work in progress. There are Social Media Managers that exist that you can hire. Research their stats, look at their work and contract them if you decide to hire them. AdvertiseTell everyone and encourage them to share! Sadly, people will do so only if there’s something in it for them. Host a giveaway that requires people to share or comment or like or double tap or tweet; However you want them to participate. Link UpWith fellow Bloggers. They can be the most supportive because you have the same struggles. You can find lots of resources with your kind. Find a blog conference to attend, learn and network.