Do you notice anything different? The Strong Suit is getting a new look! I’m so excited to share the updates that are happening with the blog as I’m making a few changes that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. There are a few things I wish I would’ve known before starting my blog. Which leads me to our topic for today. We’re still going strong with our consistency challenge, and today marks week three! If you’re thinking about starting a blog here are 5 things to consider before you get started!
Pick a Name
I believe that names have power. I’ve always been the type of person who looks into names and what they mean. It’s important to think about how names are interpreted, and the effects that they’ll have on your future audience. Think about popular phrases or words that represent a special time in your life.
For example, I chose The Strong Suit to represent the fact that fashion is my strong suit. Often times, we express how subjects like reading or math aren’t our strong suit rather than focusing on our strengths. I decided to choose a phrase that’s used in a negative connotation and change it to mean something positive. Think of word or words that you like and how you can use them to tell a story.
After you decide on the name of your blog you find a domain name that’s available for your website. Often times when you create a blog through Blogger or WordPress, you can create a free version. I first started my blog on blogger and my website was thestrongsuit.blogspot.com. I eventually bought my domain thestrongsuit.co which gave me complete control over my website name.
Buying a domain is important because it makes your website yours. Check out different hosting platforms like Bluehost, go daddy, and google domains. My domain name is through Google domains. I like this because it connects directly to my Gmail and it helps me keep everything in one place. I do have friends who host their blogs through Bluehost and GoDaddy. Take the time to see which host provider works best for you.
Find Your Niche
When it comes to choosing a niche, get specific. When I first started The Strong Suit it was actually a menswear blog. I documented the outfits of my friends and entrepreneurs in the area and wrote about menswear. I had aspirations to become a menswear designer so that fueled my desire to be knowledgable about that specific industry.
What do you want to discuss on your blog? What would you like to focus on and share with your audience? Don’t be afraid to start small and focus on one specific category. There will always be time for expansion. If you decide to choose a large niche like style and fashion blogging, think about how you can speak to a specific audience (ex. petite fashion, plus-size fashion, etc.)
Identify Your Target Market
Choosing a niche will help you pinpoint your target market. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when you’re trying to identify your target market:
-What does your ideal client look like?
-What happens in their day-to-day life?
-What are some of the problems that they struggle with?
-How can you help?
My ideal client is a millennial on-the-go woman who strives to look and feel her best. She’s a master at balancing the different responsibilities in her life like her 9 to 5 and side hustle. She tries to stay in shape with various activities like yoga and pilates, but still likes to enjoy a cupcake every now and again. My client loves the luxuries of life, but can’t avoid a good sale.
I created this client profile off of my own experiences and the type of women I wanted to attract to my blog. I curate content based on this profile’s life experiences, challenges, and accomplishments. Play around with the thought of what type of audience you want to attract and how you plan to help them.
Research Blogging Platforms
Whenever someone tells me that they want to start a blog I always encourage them to research every platform in depth. As I mentioned earlier I originally started my blog on Blogger. At the time, it was perfect for my small beginnings but I quickly outgrew it once I started to land paid collaborations and needed accurate information from my analytics. I recently just switched to WordPress, and by recently I mean today!
If you notice that the blog looks a little different, that’s because we’re getting a facelift! These are just the bare bones now but stay tuned for more updates later this week. So trust and believe me when I say that you should think carefully about the platform you decide to use for your blog. It took me years to switch to a different platform when I could’ve just went with WordPress from the beginning.
Every platform is different. Look at the various characteristics of each platform and how you can utilize them while operating your blog in order to make sure it’s successful.
Create Content Early
Create a few posts for your readers to visit when you decide to share your blog with the public. Don’t feel like you have to have ten blog posts that are perfectly written before you share your blog with your audience.
Write a few pieces that you think will introduce your brand professionally and will keep your audience coming back for more. Try writing blog posts that explain why you started your blog, how you came up with your name, or what you’d like to accomplish. This will give your audience an idea of what type of content to expect.
This list isn’t exclusive to things you must do before you start your blog but they’re definitely tips to consider while you’re planning your launch. Creating a blog can be stressful but it doesn’t have to be. Let your mission guide you and the rest will follow!
Bloggers, what are some things you wish you would’ve known prior to starting your blog?