I’ve been blogging seriously since 2015. In the past five years, I’ve learned so much and recently started to share tips and tricks that help me along the way. I noticed during my July content consistently challenge, that I had plenty of advice for people who already started their blogs, but hardly any for those on how to start a blog. Today I decided to start a quick blog series for my audience who want to start a blog or build a brand.
You might notice a few points are reiterated from my “5 Things to do Before Starting Your Blog” blog post. Going over the basics again never hurts, right? For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, no worries, let’s get started. Here are four things that will help you start your blog!
Knowing Your Why
Why do you want to start your blog? Why do you think your content topic is important? A lot of people know what they want to do, but they don’t understand why they want to do it—knowing your why is one of the most important things to identify when you’re starting as an influencer. My why has kept me grounded during collaboration negotiations and serves as the compass to my content creation journey. Your why is the heart of your mission statement. It’s generally a quick phrase that gives your friends and followers insight into what type of content you’ll create. Here’s my why:
I want women to feel great at all stages of their lives. One of my favorite quotes states, “Go confidently in the directions of your dreams.” I want the content I create to inspired women to do just that.
Writing a Mission Statement
So now that you know your why, let’s get it down on paper. If someone was to ask you what your why was, how else could you describe it to your followers? This is how your mission statement comes into play.
Also known as your elevator pitch, your mission statement dives deeper into your why. It’s the quick intro that you’ll use when pitching brands. It can also be found in your social media bios when followers first discover your page. Here’s my mission statement:
I created The Strong Suit to curate content that helps women look and feel their best.
That’s it! Super simple right? Don’t think that your mission statement has to be a long paragraph. It can be, but there’s nothing wrong with a simple sentence because the fantastic content you’ll create will make it profound.
Identifying Your Target Audience
I covered some of this in my blog post “5 Things to Do Before Starting Your Blog.” For those of you who haven’t read that blog post yet, we can go over it again! Now you have your why and mission statement under your belt, let’s focus on who you want to reach.
Back in fashion school, every single one of our projects started with market research. Back then, it was beyond annoying to start a creative project from a logical standpoint, but I always ended my assignments as an expert on my target market. As a blogger, you need to be an expert on your ideal reader. We’re talking about age, background, interests, hobbies, shopping habits, etc.
Ask yourself questions like:
Where do they hang out?
Where do they shop?
What products are they trying right now?
What trends are they attracted to?
If you’re having a hard time coming up with answers, think about a day in your ideal client’s life:
Do they have a commute?
What’s their occupation?
What are their aspirations or goals?
How do they manage activities in their day-to-day life?
What problems do they face?
How will your content help them with said problems?
At this point, you’re probably feeling like we’re playing 20 questions, but it all has a purpose, I promise! Take a moment to think about the answers to these questions and create a client profile. Here’s what mine looks like:
My ideal follower is a young professional or a seasoned student. She loves classic pieces but uses current trends to spice up her wardrobe. She can’t turn down a good bargain but loves to splurge now and again. This young lady loves to vacation and experience life to the fullest, but when she’s in her city, dinner dates and local attractions are her go-to’s. She’s artsy and finds creative ways to take on challenges at work. She doesn’t mind the structure of corporate life but aspires to own her own business one day.
This paints a pretty good picture of who I’m targeting, right? If you’re like me, then you probably visualized someone you know that fits this description. From my profile, you know that my girl is:
-She loves vacations, dinner dates, and art,
-Her wardrobe is full of classics with pops of trends and colors
-She tends to spend money wisely except for the occasional splurge
Try it out with who you’d like your ideal follower to be!
Choosing a Niche
If you’ve read other blog posts about starting a blog, then I’m sure that you’ve heard people talk about choosing a niche. For some reason, my mind always goes back to my first-year biology class. When we covered ecology, we learned that a niche describes how an animal responds to its surroundings, uses its resources, and outsmarts its competitors.
When it comes to blogging, choosing a niche is no different than a high school biology class. Okay, a little different, but you get where I’m going with this. Your blog’s niche is the specialized market you will be targeting, a.k.where your ideal client “lives.” A niche can be broad or particular, even though I suggest making your niche as distinct as possible to help you stand out. Here’s an example:
A broad niche: Fashion
A specific niche: Petite/Plus-Size Fashion
Think about the niche that you’re interested in and how you can create content that will allow you to dominate in your area of expertise.
While this may seem tedious to starting up your blog or brand, when you know who you are and who you create for, you’ll be able to service your audience’s needs in all aspect of your influencer journey. You’ll find yourself confident that the content you’re creating is helpful to them in their time of need. Will you need direction? Of course! When those times come, check-in with your audience and other bloggers that can serve as a sounding board for content ideas. I ask my followers what they’d like to see from The Strong Suit all the time; they love sharing their input!
HOORAY! You made it to the end of this post! Now the only thing that you have to do is just start. My husband has a brand named G.U.D.S, which stands for “Get Up and Do Something.” It’s a phrase that’s said in our household a lot, and I encourage you to adapt it to your life as well. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Get started today.
Before you talk yourself out of it, remember there’s only an audience that you can reach. Yes, the marketing industry is heavily saturated, but some people are waiting on your gift and the inspiration you have to offer! Don’t let your doubts stop you; there’s a whole following out there that needs you, they just don’t know it yet.
What’s preventing you from starting your blog? How can I help?