How to Start a Blog for Beginners (in 2021)
You’ve decided you want to start a blog, now what? There are a few things you must consider before diving in that we’ll go through step-by-step. I also want to address a common misconception about starting a blog: it’s never too late to start one! A lot of people may tell you that if you didn’t start blogging in 2014, then you won’t do well or make money, this is totally wrong! As with everything, blogging takes consistency, time and a lot of learning as you go. Some people may also tell you that nobody reads blogs anymore, this is also not true! Having a blog makes you unique and gives you your own little space on the internet that you can call yours. Your social media (Instagram, Facebook, etc.) is also great to have but the social network owns all the accounts on the platform, so it’s not truly all yours. That’s why I believe having a blog is still very important. Now, let’s dive into how to actually get started.
Pick Your Niche
Your niche is basically your umbrella topic of what you write about on your blog. It’s important to put thought into this. What do you enjoy talking about/doing? What topics are you passionate about sharing? These questions are key to being able to pick your niche. The good thing is… your niche can change! I’ve changed my niche three times since I’ve started blogging! I started blogging when I was 14 years old and my blog was called “Not Your Average Teenager” and the niche surrounded everything teenager-lifestyle. When I was 18 years old, I changed it to “The Babe Abroad” which was a specific travel and fashion niche. Then lastly, I rebranded last month (21 years old now) and I now am “Lifestyle by Alexis.” I personally found that having a broad niche of “lifestyle” allowed me to talk about everything I am passionate about and I felt the other two niches I was in were too restrictive for me. But, everyone is different! Some people can pick a niche and never grow out of it and can blog about it for years and years and years. So, it’s important to be aware that your niche can be specific or broad depending on what your goals and passions are!
Some examples of different blogging niches are:
- Health & Wellness
- Home Decor
The great thing about niches is that you can definitely have more than one that is central to what you write about on your blog, you’re not restricted to only one. Once you have your niche, now it’s important to pick a name for your blog that relates somehow to your niche.
Pick a Blogging Platform
This step can be a bit overwhelming for some beginner bloggers, but I’m going to simplify it for you and tell you about my experiences with a couple different platforms. When I first started blogging, I used Wix to design and run my blog. I personally loved wix because it is so easy to create your own website, so that you don’t need to spend the money to hire a website designer/builder. So if you’re looking for something more user friendly to start your blog, this is definitely a great platform to begin on. Another great thing about wix is that it’s free to build your website! You will get a generic domain (yourname.wixsite.com/blogname) and there will be wix ads on the site until you buy a package. You can also buy and connect a custom domain (youblogname.com) through wix as well. My old blog (The Babe Abroad) and my mom’s blog (Cupcakes and Life) are built on wix, so you can check those out if you’re looking for examples of what some different sites can look like on there! There are many templates you can pick from to start designing your website, or you can start from scratch, but overall, it’s a great beginner platform to start on and is relatively inexpensive.
About a month ago, I switched from Wix to a platform called Webflow. I hired a company called Black Peak to design/build a custom website when I rebranded from The Babe Abroad to Lifestyle by Alexis. The reason behind me switching from Wix was because my blog started gaining more traffic and I wanted a more unique and professional look. Since my blog now makes me money, I had the resources to pay a designer to do this for me. I don’t personally know a lot about Webflow, but I do know that it’s a new and upcoming platform that slowly overtaking wordpress, so I’d definitely check it out if you’re on the fence of building a wordpress website! There are many other platforms where you can build out your blog, but these are the definitely the ones I recommend based on personal experience.
After you’ve designed an eye-catching website, it’s time to start writing blog posts! It’s very exciting once you’ve finished your website, but before you launch it on social media, you need to have content on the blog first. I would recommend having at least 5 blog posts up on your website before launching. This also helps with something called SEO (search engine optimization), so that your website can be found on Google better. It’s also important to write blog posts that are authentic and unique to you and your niche. If you want to grow your blog, you need to stay consistent with writing posts. When you’re first starting out, you should aim to put out 2-3 blog posts per week at least! This consistency will help you build trust with your growing audience.
Get on Social Media
How do you plan on bringing traffic to your blog? The best way to do this is to start building your social media following. You should be getting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest. You build a following on these platforms by creating content and posting it consistently! The most important platform for driving blog traffic is Pinterest (80% of my traffic to my blog is directly from my Pinterest page) and it's very easy right now to start building an audience on it, so I'd recommend starting with Pinterest is blog traffic is important to you! TikTok is also great because it's pretty easy to get a video to go viral, and this can easily help get traffic to your website or linked social accounts (Instagram and Youtube) as well. Within all of these platforms, utilize the "link in bio" with your new blog posts that come out and try to post a photo with the launch of new blog posts as well.
If you're still on the fence about what you exactly want to blog about, getting a head start on social media is a great decision to figure out what you enjoy posting and reposting about.
Monetize Your Blog
This is the fun part! There are many ways to make money from your blog, but it's important to note that it doesn't happen overnight. You need to have an audience viewing your website in order for it to have value. Successful bloggers make money from their blog through affiliate links, advertising, sponsored posts, and selling products. Affiliate links are special personalized links that can be linked within blog posts so that when someone buys something through that link, the blogger makes a commission. This whole process can be done through RewardStyle and LikeToKnow.it, so definitely check that out! You can get advertising on your site through a third party, but you need to have at least 10k unique views each month to qualify for this. Making money through sponsored posts is very common and this is when a brand or company pays you to write a blog post about their product. Lastly, you can also sell a product on your website and if you have a large audience, you'll have a great chance in selling something directly to them! As I said earlier, making money from your blog takes a ton of time, effort, and consistency. I didn't start making money from my blog until 2.5 years after I started. If you can stay consistent with writing blog posts and staying present on social media, you will feel the many benefits blogging has. I've gotten the chance to be apart of amazing experiences and be able to make money from my blog from anywhere in the world. The hard work is definitely worth it!
Starting a blog definitely takes commitment, but starting to blog was one of the best decisions I've ever made. It opened me up to some amazing opportunities and experiences and it turned into something that actually made me money! Blogging has also become an outlet and a hobby for me that makes me very happy and is something that I've grown from nothing, so I'm very proud of it. Even though it may be very daunting to start your blog, it's important remember that every single blogger or influencer out there started at zero... zero followers, zero photos, zero viewers, and zero experience. So don't be too hard on yourself when you're starting out, it's a learning experience and it's suppose to be fun as well! So have fun with it and if you have any follow up questions for me, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send me a DM on Instagram! I wish you all the best of luck in your future blogging endeavours!