Blogs can be an important way to get your brand out into the world. This week’s guest post, written by Jensen Van Horn of The Yellow Haired Warrior Blog, tells you how to get started writing your own blog.
WRItten by Jensen Van Horn
Regardless of your niche, business, or interests, starting a blog is a great way to “put yourself out there”. The art of blogging is dynamic because you truly have the freedom to make your blog whatever you want it to be.
There are endless reasons to start your own blog. Maybe you want to blog as a marketing tool to connect with members of your audience on an authentic level. Maybe you want to showcase your storytelling abilities. Or maybe you want to build a community around a niche you belong to. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to start a blog. And the first step to launching your own blog is to simply make the decision and start now.
Because blogging is so versatile, it can be daunting to figure out where to start. The truth is, there are hundreds of different places to start. No matter your goals, there are a few basic warnings to heed and tips to understand before diving in headfirst into your blogging journey.
- Blogging looks different for everyone.
There is an abundance of websites with tips and tricks for starting your own blog. A lot of these are published by already successful blogs that make money full time from their efforts through selling products, engaging in brand collaborations, or providing some sort of online service. Keep in mind that blogging looks different for everyone. You don’t have to follow in the footsteps of the most popular blogs just because they managed to find their own version of success.
Back when I was in the early days of my blogging journey, I remember looking through example blogs that appeared high on my Pinterest search results. These blogs were carefully curated with fancy layouts, an abundance of products and services provided by the creator, and new posts almost every day of the week. It was intense. I thought to myself, “Is this what real blogging is?”
And the answer is no! Blogging is different for everyone and you define your blog’s success on your own terms. If your end goal is to turn your blog into a full-throttle business, power to you! But your blog can be whatever you want it to be. Don’t be intimidated by other models that fit a specific mold.
- It will be overwhelming at first
Starting a blog is more than simply setting up your website. There’s planning, execution, creating content, scheduling the content, and promoting your blog on external platforms. It will be overwhelming at first, but as you keep working, you will develop your own personal strategy that works for you.
Push through times where you feel lost in the process because working through these challenges is what will help you learn the most. This brings me to my next point…
- You’ll learn the most by doing
As I mentioned before, there are hundreds of resources online that detail step-by-step how to run your blog. These provide valuable insights that may steer you in the right direction in times of uncertainty.
However, you’ll learn most about managing your blog by simply managing your blog. Do the work! You can have as many insider tips and tricks under your belt as you’d like, but it means nothing if you don’t take action yourself.
- Valuable content is more important than perfect content
When you’re in the beginning stages of your blog and are starting to create content, it might be hard to determine exactly how you’ll structure each piece. There are a lot of elements that go into a comprehensive blog post: tone, length, links, images, quotes, spacing, etc.
It’s a good idea to launch your blog with at least three live pieces, but don’t stress about making them perfect. “Perfect” is a subjective adjective that means something different to you than it does for the next blogger. Focus on creating content with value over content you labor over for hours trying to make fit some specific format. As you continue writing pieces, you’ll naturally find a flow that works best for you and establish your own unique way of creating content.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
This is very cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason. Making mistakes is inevitable as you start your blogging journey. But it’s also one of the best ways to learn important lessons for making your blog work best for you and your goals.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but when you’re starting out blogging, chances are no one is reading your content yet. And that means there’s no better time to make mistakes! The early days of your blogging journey are the only time you’ll have the freedom to truly experiment with your execution. Once you have more followers and readers, the pressure goes up! Take this time to freely make mistakes and embrace the lessons that come with open arms.
The beauty of blogging is in its versatility. I always recommend blogging to those who seek an outlet to express themselves, find a community, or connect with a community. Each blog you encounter is an expression of someone’s passion in one way or another. There’s no “right” way to blog, and what works for some may not be the best method for you. Starting your blogging journey is an exciting first step towards reaching your goals, whatever they may be.
Now, that’s enough reading. Get out there and do it!
Jensen Van Horn is a twenty-something from Los Angeles, California, who is unfortunately stuck living in Virginia for the meantime. She works in neurology research by day, and runs a marketing and design blog for recent graduates by evening. The Yellow Haired Warrior blog started out as a manifestation of her love for learning and desire to break into her true passion, the digital marketing field. It has since developed into an online resource and community for ambitious college graduates in marketing and design looking to advance their skills and find their place in the career-oriented world. In her spare time, she works as a digital marketing intern for a sustainably-minded agency based out of Newport Beach, and loves to go on long walks accompanied by a motivational podcast.