Starting a Blog: 8 Things to Consider When Starting Out

Have you ever considered starting a blog? Perhaps you’ve been inspired by what you’ve read here on Tip Junkie and think, Hey! Maybe I could do that.

I’m here to tell you that you can and should start a blog. Not only is it a great way to join a phenomenal network of women who are on-line, but it is also a wonderful way to grow your business, connect with others who may be experiencing something similar to you, and just be heard.

If you’re ready to make the leap into blogland, then there are several recommendations that we have in order to ensure you are successful and stay motivated…

1. Read

Similar to grammar school, before you can be a writer, you first need to be a reader. The same concept applies to blogging. How can you know how to craft a post and engage an audience without first reading blog posts? Last week, we published our top ten posts every blogger should read. You can find it here. It’s a great place to get started!

2. Read some more

If you have big dreams for your blog, but are not really sure where to start, then don’t waste time by learning through trial and error. Blogging has evolved tremendously in the last few years. Get the advice you need from experts in this space. For starters, consider downloading Problogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging eBook. This is a great way to ensure that the early decisions you make regarding your blog, such as the name, host, and content, set you up for success long-term. It’s the step by step guide all bloggers should have.

3. Figure out who you want to be

Who you are in your life outside of the computer may not be who you are inside the computer. Consider these questions: Do you want to use you real name? Do you want to use your children’s real names? How much of the private details of your life are you willing to share? Understanding what your personal boundaries are when it comes to blogging is essential. Remember that once you hit publish on your blog that information creates a permanent record. If you want to keep certain elements of your life off-limits, do so from the very beginning.

4. Get on Blogger

Yes, I said it. As much as every fiber of my being believes in using WordPress as the backbone for your blog, consider starting small and ensuring that you really enjoy your new found hobby. Blogger is a great place to familiarize yourself with HTML and it’s FREE. If you find that you love blogging as much as I hope you will, then start exploring your options to expand and grow your blog on another platform.

5. Resist temptations

Blogging can become very addictive, very fast. Once you start getting comments on your blog and seeing how people respond to what you have to say, you may find yourself wanting more, more, MORE! In order to grow your blog, you might consider jumping on Twitter, Facebook, the BlogFrog, FriendFeed, Squarespace, and a host of other social networks. At this point, stop and take a breath. Blogging is a journey, not a race. Consider adding one social network to your routine and seeing how it works out. Is it effective? Are you enjoying yourself? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then forge ahead! Otherwise, consider another alternative.

6. Say no to guest blogging

For the first few months of blogging, focus on yourself and your own site. Guest blogging is a great way to grow your audience, but it is successful only if the new readers you are reaching have something to click over and read on your blog. Work on getting your design and content to a place that you are very happy with and then think about offering to write for another site.

7. Find your tribe

Every blogger needs a tribe. Why? Because this is the network of people that will read your blog consistently. They will help you learn by answering your questions and providing feedback. They will also make you feel understood and valued. You can create this support network by connecting with other bloggers on community sites and in discussion forums, such as ours on The SITS Girls. Rest assured that there is a group out there for you. You just need to find them.

8. Take a break

Maintaining a life outside of your computer will always be important…if for no other reason than that it provides you with more things to blog about. You must fight the pull to spend every waking hour on your computer. Remember that the computer will always be there, but the precious time that you have with family and friends will not be.

Good luck!

Interested in reading more about blogging? Then check out these posts:

Francesca is 1/3 of the SITS team and thrilled to be here!  She’s a mom to three children, ages 5, 3 and a just a few months old.  Since starting her personal blog, Francesca has received multiple awards, including recognition by Nielsen Online as one of the Top 50 Power Moms. Her interest in marketing prompted her to earn her MBA in the field and launch her own consulting company, Social Girl Media.  In 2010, Francesca joined Tiffany as a partner on both SITS and Bloggy Boot Camp.  Prior to joining the on-line world, Francesca studied Viticulture & Enology at UC Davis, worked at various wineries in both California and Italy, and was employed for many years at the biotech company, Genentech.

5 Comments

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  1. Thank you! I just posted my first post a few minutes ago after taking the plunge. I went to Centsational Girl to read her post and found this article; so glad I did! I look forward to reading your recommended articles and you may very well see some changes coming to mine! I am trying to just go one step at a time and figure that with some good resources out there, which are plentiful, that I can do this too!

  2. Great advice for this newbie blogger.

    I actually read that Problogger book a few weeks ago. Very insightful.

    “Finding your tribe” is something I think about often. It is also one of the most challenging aspects for me. A lot of getting the blog up and running hinged on the subject of the blog: naming the blog, header design, overall feel of the blog, etc.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to have enough content based on the narrow topics of my blog. I guess that is the challenge of blogging. For me anyway.

  3. Excellent pointers.

    Start slow. Start small. Let it all unfold naturally.

    Do what you love and then find pleasure in mastering it. 🙂

  4. Wonderful tips! I know when I started I was a bit scattered and it took time to find a niche. I will say that finding a tribe is VERY important. Before finding a niche…I had one but as I changed my readers changed and now I’m entering into a new tribe. Communication and bloggy love is part of the bloggy world! We all need a tribe. Great thoughts!

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