FITYMI: Starting a blog?
So I think Im going to stick with this "Fake it till you make it" thing and use it for a design/blogging advice column. The name is fitting because anytime I start a new project that I've never done before I feel kinda fake, like an imposter in the wrong lane. For instance, the first time I ever wrote an advice post I knew the information in the post was very valid, but I still felt like I had no business giving advice. It was like... who the hell do I think I am? Oprah? That post became my highest viewed post, and I notice that anytime I blog something informational it gets a good reaction so... why not? I may not be Oprah......yet. But I'm just going to fake it till I make it. Post #1.
So you wanna start a blog? I've blogged off and on the last few years. From different names, platforms, and designs (which I don't recommend). Throughout that time I believe I've seen every "10 steps to start a blog" article you could find, and I was a super blog nerd and even bought the book about it from OG lifestyle blogger, Oh Joy.... Needless to say, while I'm always learning...I'm informed about this blogging stuff. There's a few things I discovered about starting a blog that isn't commonly on the "10 steps to start a blog" list. Before you do the usuals: think of a blog name, make sure your url is available, build a website you need to figure out a few things, number 1:
why are you doing this?
What is your purpose for blogging? There are a ton of common reasons why people start a blog. A few common reasons are to use as an outlet, sell a good/service, to instruct, or inspire. You have to figure out why you're doing something in order to know what type of content you should share. If you notice my sidebar bio is still in a struggle phase. I've had the hardest time writing a bio, so recently I took a step back and asked myself "why am I doing this?". The first thing I wrote is that I want to inspire. At that moment I realized that I should be writing more instructional/informative posts and sharing the things I'm learning, which is why we're all here today. Take a step before you get all logo happy and really ask yourself why... the answer will help you focus in the future. Number 2:
Who are you doing this for?
They ask me what I do and who I do it for? In case you didn't know thats a line from a timeless 2Chainz song, titled Birthday Song. ...Anyway. You have to know who you're talking to. Figuring out who your preferred fan base is can help you figure out your blog plan. From planning out content ideas down to your website design. After determining that one of the reasons for starting the blog was to inspire my second question was "who am I inspiring?". I decided to tackle this two ways. On one end I made a general overview and on other I created a detailed character that represents my ideal blog reader using the "Create your ideal reader worksheet" from ByRegina. I'll be incorporating mine into my bio shortly so I'm going to use pretend scenario.
Lets say you're a beauty blogger and the purpose of your blog is to teach new trends and inspire young women. Your general overview could be "the purpose of my blog is to target the millennial woman, looking for beauty tips on a budget." The wording is cheesy, I know... but stick with me. By knowing small things, like the age range you want to target, or what their potential financial status is can help you make decisions like, how much should your products be? Will it be easy to access? A girl in school may not buy $100 foundation. Who knows. Take it a step further and create an "ideal reader" with a name and all. I highly recommend Regina's worksheet. Figuring out things like "where would my ideal reader shop" can work in your favor. For instance, if your ideal reader would buy cosmetics from Lush, that may mean your target reader is health conscious and into organic products. That information could help you in your product development.
Knowing why you're doing something and who you're doing it for gives you so many answers on how to handle the rest of your blog and business planning. Take time on figuring out your true purpose, it'll help so much in the long run. Enjoy!