Welcome to Part 2 of The Problems with Starting a Blog. If you haven't seen The Problems with Starting a Blog - Part 1, make sure to check it out! In Part 1 we covered the initial issues you might be faced with when thinking about starting your own blog.
- Never the right time
- Not enough time
- Straight up fear
In this post, I will cover some of the 'problems' you may find yourself up against once you have decided to go for it. And as always, I will give you some ideas on how you can overcome!
6. Lack of knowledge
One of the first things I faced was just a pure lack of knowledge. I had no idea where to start. I had no clue what hosting was. I had never built a WordPress site. I was not sure what plugins I needed, let alone which ones to use. I did not know how to monetize a blog. The list was long and I had absolutely no clue what to tackle first.
After the initial feeling of excitement and complete overwhelm, I decided to dive right in to research. Luckily for all of us bloggers at heart, there are tons of resources out there so we can educate ourselves.
Here's what to do:
Just go to Pinterest and type in the search bar: Start a Blog
You will have more than enough information at your fingertips to answer every question you have. If you want to narrow it down a bit, add the year to your search term for the newest posts since the blog industry is always changing and evolving.
7. Stuck in research mode
The wealth of knowledge out there coupled with my passion for learning led to spending far too much time researching and not enough time acting. If you hate to research, this may not be an issue, but for me I was literally stuck in research mode for months. And months. For some reason I felt like I needed to be a blogging expert before I could ever take the first step to starting my actual blog.
Honestly, the more research I did, the longer my "Things to Research and Learn" list got. I finally came to the realization that all the knowledge I was accumulating was never going to amount to anything if I didn't start putting it to work. Not to mention that past a certain point, I wasn't moving toward my goal anymore. I was just prolonging achieving it.
Here's what to do:
- Sign up and get my free Quick Guide to Starting a Blog, then print it out
- Set a time limit for how long you are going to allow yourself to research
- Use whatever tools you need to log what you have learned
- a journal, Pinterest, Evernote, OneNote...
- Get busy on your first step to making it happen...learn
- go down the checklist and start marking them off as you make it happen
- Hold yourself accountable, or even better have an accountability partner
- this could be anyone who believes in your vision, and wants to help you achieve it
- check out Facebook groups for bloggers, there are a ton of really great ones that are filled with women with like interests
- I strongly suggest you join some of these. Aside from accountability, you will learn a ton and make some amazing new friends along the way.
8. So. Much. To. Do.
- Find hosting
- Decide on a platform
- Decide on a niche
- Decide how to monetize
- Make sure you're legal
- Write content
- Set up social media accounts
- Actually build the site
I know the list can seem endless, and I also know you already know there is a massive list of to dos. So let's get to what to do....
Here's what to do:
First things first, if you want to start a blog and you are ready to start moving toward making it a reality, check out my printable (and FREE) How to Start a Blog Checklist. It is the actual checklist I created when I was finally ready to launch Mermaid in a Mason Jar. All prettied up and without the chicken scratch of course. It will give you a comprehensive list without the headache of recreating the wheel.
Next, check out this amazing blogging business plan from byregina.com. She is absolutely amazing and a wealth of knowledge. I strongly recommend taking the time to do this business plan and also looking through her site. You will end up with some crazy insight and clarity as to what your blog is going to be. I promise you will not regret it.
On just about every post you will find about starting a blog there will be mention of picking a niche. I was all over the place when I thought about what niche I wanted my blog to be in. I have so many interests! Gardening, crochet, home school, early childhood education, marriage, personal development. The list goes on and on. The good news is there is a niche for every type of personality, hobby, or interest you can imagine. However, it can by dizzying to think about all the things you could blog about. Then try to narrow it down to something cohesive and manageable.
Here's what to do:
Start by thinking about things you love and love to do. What interests you? What are you passionate about? Write them all down. Not take a look at your list and ask yourself...
- Which topics are relatable?
- Are they things that you can continue to write about?
- Will you enjoy writing or teaching about these topics?
- Are they topics that are going to have fresh new things to write about?
- Do any of the topics mesh well together?
Avoid trying to be too specific. If you start too broad you can always niche down. Especially as you see what your readers are really interested in hearing about.
If you are starting a blog to make money, it makes sense to think about if and how you could monetize.
- Is there a large market for the topics you are interested in? In other words are they things that lots of other people are interested in?
- Can you use affiliate marketing?
- Are there products you can think of to create?
*Note: If you do the business plan I mentioned above, you can get some major clarity on monetizing.
If you still aren't sure where to start finding the perfect niche for you, check out some articles on Pinterest to get you moving in the right direction. You could even Google "most profitable niches in 20__". That will give you a good idea of what different interests blog readers spend their money on.
You can do it! You can start a blog!
Every problem or fear that I have faced has been surmountable. All you have to do is get the ball rolling. Every step you take is one step closer to doing something you will love and that will potentially change your life! Don't be like me and two years from now look back wishing you had started sooner. If you have already let any of these reasons keep you from pulling the trigger, I hope this post was just the encouragement you needed to get you going. Like any big hairy goal, it all starts with the first step. Then you just have to take the next step. Good luck and happy blogging!
If you haven't already, make sure to sign up for the newsletter. You will get notifications when I post something new, and you get access to the MMJ Member Library where you will find all my super cute, helpful, and inspiring printables. Including the 'How to Start a Blog Checklist'! All for free of course!
Also head over to the Mermaid in a Mason Jar social media pages. There are tons of inspiring ideas, and amazing people to connect with!