There are millions of blogs out there but there’s one that is still missing; yours! Yes, there are a lot out there and it can be overwhelming. But think of it like this, there are also a ton of books, clothes shops, shoe stores, social media sites and the lists goes on-you can’t let that stop you! There is an abundance of resources out there for the abundance of people that are out in the world so of course there is a place for you!
My dear friend Ali, from GimmeSomeOven convinced me to start this blog. She said I would be a natural and while I love her as my cheerleader, I wasn’t convinced. Her blog is incredible and she has turned a hobby into her full-time career. But, that’s the first thing you have to understand before getting into this; it takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of time to see that you are making a dent out in the world, it takes a lot of time to gain followers and it will certainly take time to make any money out of it, if that is your goal. It took Ali five years to get where she is, but don’t let that throw you! Patience is a key component in being a blogger. It is difficult to put your heart into something and send it out into the Internet without knowing who is looking at your blog or appreciating it (so please, do leave me a comment!) and it can be discouraging. That’s why if you should begin a blog, you do it because you love your topic and you love to write-not because of the potential income it may bring.
Secondly, you should find your place in the great big wide world of blogging. Are you in the quick and delicious home meal category? Are you mainly into photography? Design? Are you all about fashion or movie reviews? What do you enjoy telling people about? For me, it has always been Europe. I am obsessed. The food, the culture, the fashion, the coffee-I am all about it and I never tire of people asking me about my time there because it was so special to me. Find what you love talking about and let that be your guide. However, just because you have passion and even amazing content, doesn’t mean the world will respond. I started this blog, primarily because I love the topic and also because I couldn’t find much else out there on the subject. It will take time for me to find out if I’m a pioneer or not. You can do some research of course but it should be a risk you are willing to take.
Speaking of having good content though; that is vital. My advice is take 60 minutes and write down as many ideas for topics as you can think of for your blog. If you come up empty, that is a good indicator that you may not have enough to talk about. When I first started, I had one hundred ideas written down that I thought I could use. In the end, I only had enough knowledge for about half. I had to rethink my strategy due to the amount of research I would have to do and the time I would have to put into each post.
Finding the platform you want to use is an important decision and it’s worth taking the time to research which site is best for you. There are many different factors to consider from ease of set-up to price, style, complexity and popularity. Blogger.com is well-known and is the platform of choice for many bloggers. It is easy for beginners to use to get started, but because of this it can also be seen as low-quality. I use WordPress and have been happy with the decision. It is easy to navigate, you can choose themes and most offer customization. Something to keep in mind when making a choice is to think about what your blog will be used for, if you will include ads eventually and what your budget is to grow your blog if you are in it for the long-term. Have a look at the different sites and see how easy it is for you to navigate. It can be overwhelming to begin a new blog while at the same time learning how to build a theme. To narrow it down a bit for you, there are two types of platforms you can choose from; hosted versus self-hosted. You either install the software and do it yourself or you let a site do it for you, for a fee. I have a hosted site via bluehost because in the beginning, and even a bit now, I didn’t know enough to get it off the ground.
Self-hosted platforms may be better to start with for the more tech-savvy blogger. With these, you have full control over your site and theme though the set-up may be more complicated. It also can be more expensive than a hosted platform. Do your research and take the time to figure out which is right for your blog.
Lastly, depending on how serious you are about blogging, you need to keep in mind how much time it will take for you to put up a post. For me, I need to take into account making the dish (buying the ingredients, testing the recipe etc) photographing it, editing it and writing the full post. In the beginning it is often good to focus on more smaller articles to build your content rather than fewer longer posts. A good piece of advice someone once told me is, your post should be as long as it needs to be and no longer! Don’t try to write more than you need and you don’t often need to compress it all that much. Give the information that is necessary and enhances your article and leave the rest out. Most of my posts tend to be short because I prefer to read short posts, but that is my preference. The main thing though, is to be consistent. Keep to a schedule and that will help you during the times when you get stuck. I’ve fallen into the writers block trap, the busy life trap and the I just don’t feel like it trap- What will drive you in the end is your passion for it and nothing else.
In my opinion, blogging is a lot of fun and it’s a fantastic way to be creative and share it with the world. Before jumping in, take time to consider your content, your niche, your platform and how much you want to invest in your blog! If you’ve decided it’s for you, leave a comment or tag your blog on Instagram with #wanderfullifestyle so I can support you as you begin this fun and exciting journey!
Kick 2016 in the ace, friends!