Did You Actually Start a Blog?
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Because starting a blog is not the same thing as just having one!
I know what you’re thinking…there are a TON of how-to guides on this topic out there right now.
So what’s so great about this one and why should I read it? Because many of them are great at telling you how to have a blog. How to pick a name and a host and slap a domain into the worldwide web.
Great! You have a blog!
Now let me tell you why that doesn’t mean you started a blog and what you need to do to actually start one.
You Want To Know How To Start A Blog
I mean how to really start a blog. Right?
I mean, that’s what prompted you to furiously dive into Google and Pinterest, soaking up all those articles and blogs and success stories about how everyone started a blog and quit their day job and are all living happily ever after.
That’s what I did.
Article after article, post after post…so many promises that starting a blog can take less than thirty minutes and minimal overhead cost.
Just do it! Empower yourself! You got this!
I did. And I failed. Many times. Over many years. On many platforms.
Sure, part of it was a commitment on my part, but last year I took a really hard look at myself and where I am in life. I know this is what I want to do damn it and I am going to make it happen.
So back to the drawing board I went.
Deep in the throes of Pinterest, I searched for that one guide or how-to that would finally teach me everything I
wanted needed to know.
Months later I am here to tell you, I still haven’t found it. I have stumbled my way through this process and now I am here to tell you why so many people fail to start a blog using most of the how-to guides out there.
The Basic Steps to Having a Blog
As I began my journey to start a blog a few years ago, I took to the web to research and found a plethora of resources. I did my best to glean as much as I could and find my way in the world of freelance writing.
I have tried and failed many times and continue to search for best practices. Why reinvent the wheel right?
The most common steps I see go a little something like this:
- Find your niche
- Pick a domain name
- Find a host
- Register both and make them talk
- Choose a site hosting service
- Some walkthrough of setting up said site
- General theme install instructions
- Voila! You have a blog!
Of course, I am being very general here and there is always a sprinkling of SEO here and a smattering of email marketing there, but seriously, no one tells you the nitty-gritty, down and dirty, ugly truth about how hard it is and how many other steps there are to ACTUALLY START a blog. Before I go any further, I must point out that there are some FANTASTIC blogs out there with no kidding start to finish without missing a step tutorials, Blogging Wizard has a great one you can spend hours perusing through HERE. But so many of them are just not this in depth.
Every one thing you do makes you slap your head and realize, crap I need to do this in order to do that and before you know it you’ve gone down a rabbit hole and have 20 tabs open and have no idea where to start. Ya feel me!?
But by golly, you have a blog!
Having a Blog vs Starting a Blog
Listen, the truth is, you can absolutely have a blog.
Grab a domain name, get a web hosting service and kick that baby off. (Let’s not forget you still have to build that whole site out, but we’ll talk about that later)
But then what?
Most seasoned bloggers agree that in order to successfully start a blog you really need to have a hefty lineup of posts ready to go. Otherwise, you just have a blank blog.
Because ideally, once you start a blog the goal is to drive traffic to it right? But sadly you have no content which = no return readers.
Ok Ashlie, but I could start a blog and put up a beautiful Coming Soon page, right?
But there’s a couple of factors at play here (reference the rabbit hole comment earlier…)
If you’re going to have a Coming Soon page you’re going to need two other things:
1) a way to collect emails of those who hit up your site interested to come back when it launches and (hello email marketing)
2) generate interest for people to land on your site to begin with for you to start collecting emails (time to learn social media marketing)
Are you starting to feel the ping pong effect here? 🤪Don’t get me wrong, all these things are totally doable, but were these all these considerations part of your plan?
So at this point, you have several things on your plate:
- You have a blog that currently isn’t ready for traffic that you need to spend time building
- You need to build content that’s ready to go in order to start the blog
- If you want to start driving traffic before the site is ready to launch you’ll need
- Coming Soon page
- Email marketing set-up
- Social media marketing set-up and maintenance
Wait? Do you even have social media accounts set up yet? What about branding and a logo? (Feeling like Alice, anyone?)
Ready to throw your hands up yet? No? Just me?
See, there is a big difference between having a blog and actually starting a blog. And it’s imperative that you know the difference before deciding on your gameplan.
Having a blog is stupid simple easy. Anyone can have a domain name that is hosted, park it on the web and call it a blog.
Starting a blog is a much, much more complex and lengthy process that takes time, dedication, and many a sleepless night. It takes sacrifice and research and commitment.
It’s going to take a little bit of cash and a lot of frustration and being pushed out of some of your comfort zones.
So why the hell would anyone want to start a blog then? Hey! No one said it was going to be easy! Well, that’s not entirely true. Lots of people will tell you it’s easy.
My advice is if anyone tells you it’s going to be easy…run…run as fast as you can.
They’re blowing smoke up your ass.
If you want to run a successful money-making blog, it’s not going to happen overnight, and it’s not going to be easy.
But you CAN do it.
And believe me, I am not trying to discourage you from starting a blog. I just want to set realistic expectations.
But if this is your passion and this is what you really want to do, then, by all means, buckle up Sally let’s do this thing!
Let me help save you from the dreaded rabbit hole and death by open Chrome tabs.
The Ultimate Starting a Blog Workflow
Y’all, if I had this before I started my blog it would have made my life so much easier.
You need a plan. You need to know how you want to start and you have several options.
Contrary to popular guidance, you don’t HAVE to start with a website. In fact, unless you plan on setting up email and social marketing to drive traffic to your site while you work on building launch content there’s really no point. 🤷♀️
So depending on which direction you want to go will dictate what you need to do first.
This free workflow will walk you through the steps so you don’t have to keep asking yourself
“What should I do first?” and then “What should I do next?”
Go ahead, get your free copy. I promise it’s going to save you sooooo much time and heartache.
So, do you just have a blog, or have you actually started one?
Stay tuned and much love!