If you came to this article, it is that the idea of blogging already crossed your mind, and not only by shaving you (it was easy, but so irresistible). You’ve already given yourself a thousand reasons for crossing the threshold and almost as many for not doing so…
For at least 2 years, the idea of blogging haunted me, without taking action. I think I have changed the project dozens of times, and if I had started everything, it is true that I will have a slew of blogs to manage. I have scoured dozens of articles like this, step-by-step launch ideas, user guides, articles on pitfalls to avoid, how to increase traffic (note that I was watching how to increase traffic of a nonexistent blog), on SEO optimizations, on productivity…
I know there are a lot of them, but I’m going to make my contribution to the issue of blogging and I hope that my experience will be useful to some people. I take this opportunity to fill this post copiously with links to articles that deal with the different themes addressed, links chosen from those that had made me advance in my thinking.
# 1 Clean Up Your Apologies
You love to write and you would love to have a blog. That’s the only thing to remember. For the rest, there is a good chance that it will be a long list of cleverly disguised excuses as “reasons”. To decide, you will have to unmask them. And to drive away the excuses, nothing like giving them answers!
For example, you should consider that you may not have enough time. He’s the star of the apology, and the more you repeat, the less time you have. It’s a state of mind.
Often when I say this to myself, I think of Bruce Dickinson, the leader of Iron Maiden (if you don’t know Iron Maiden, it’s amazing, but not desperate, go here). Bruce’s Wikipedia biography begins with “Paul Bruce Dickinson (August 7, 1958) is a singer, songwriter, airline pilot, fencer, radio host, and former British marketing director, famous for being the vocalist for the heavy metal band Iron Maiden . ” Do you really think this guy said to himself at one point “I can’t do this, I don’t have time” ? And Bruce lives well in the same space-time as we do. His days are therefore 24 hours, like mine, like yours and like those of Beyoncé.
It’s not about having time or not, it is a question of prioritizing your needs according to your constraints. So having your blog takes time, but if that’s what you really want, then you’ll definitely be able to block time slots to take care of it. I sometimes write my articles from my phone, on the train for example!
Ditto for the question of money. Starting a blog will cost you almost nothing: a domain name with hosting and possibly a theme that you will buy yourself, but it is not even mandatory. You will have plenty of time to see it coming and pimp it later if you consider it necessary.
And the idea? You want to write, but you don’t know what ? Rest assured, it was the same for me. I changed my mind 50 times, I even started writing articles that will probably never see the light of day for projects buried far, far in my Google Drive files. Start by really listening to yourself, make lists, read (things totally different from your habits), get informed, be open, talk with as many people as possible and listen to their issues. The idea will eventually come up and surprise you yourself.
On the other hand, if you decide to do nothing and rehash your desire to blog “but it’s stupid, I have no idea”, well, she will probably prefer to work with someone who is more open to welcome and who marked out the way for him (as long as there is to do) Don’t be passive, but don’t make it a disease if you don’t have an idea right away. Do you know this saying which says “Follow me I flee from you, flee me I follow you”? With the idea of your blog, it’s the same. The longer you run after it, the less likely you are to catch it. Ah, and one last piece of advice: NOTE everything that goes through your head !
# 2 Pay close attention to “technical” details
The idea, the time and the money are folded. That’s it, you get started. It’s great, but don’t jump on the first solution you come up with. Personally, I chose WordPress and I know Blogger or Tumblr from afar so I’m not going to recommend a particular tool to you. There are lots of articles that offer you comparisons on the Internet. Make up your own mind.
Remember to watch what the back offices look like. Generally, they all have more or less the same functions, but the feeling goes better with some. And as you are going to spend time there, as much as it is pleasant for you.
Consult the plugins available, the user community, the opinions of the people who opted for these solutions. You also need to ask yourself how useful you want your blog to be. No need to take a weapon of war for leisure use not too foolish. Be more careful if you plan on living or spending a lot of time blogging immediately or later.
I took WordPress because the blog is rather easy to evolve, there are lots of different and free themes, a large community of users and because I knew its back office well. These were criteria that were important to me, but you can have others.
The important thing is that you determine them and that you weigh the pros and cons of each solution to choose the one with which you will be most in tune. Do not rush.
Take a domain name, it’s always more professional. You can buy them for very cheap. Book it in .fr and .com at least, it will save you some disappointments. I caricature, but imagine that you book www.lesptitschats.fr to blog about your passion for cats and that a fur clothing store takes www.lesptitschats.com. You will look smart! If the blog really has a commercial vocation and / or it is a business blog, needless to say that it is better to buy the main extensions at least. In addition, with a dedicated domain name, you will often have the possibility of having an associated mailbox.
The theme is often a big headache. My computer skimmed the hover a number of times. Arm yourself with patience and agree to change everything overnight if you don’t feel it. When you open your browser and come to your blog’s home page, you should be able to say “Wow, this is beautiful”. You should be proud, at least aesthetically, of your blog, which will help you for point 5 of this article.
# 3 Prepare to write. Many.
It’s great: you have your idea, your blog, your domain name! The hard part is done, the adventure has only just begun! You love to write and you will have to go all out! I advise you by the way provide an editorial schedule. Do not see it as a constraint, but rather as a red thread: you are free to make it evolve and / or modify it. The editorial planning also has the advantage of keeping your ideas under control, especially if you plan it far in time.
Then write as much as possible. Make the most of all the opportunities you have to write : in transport, during your lunch breaks, in the evening or in the morning, etc. Write a lot even if you don’t publish your articles right away. This will allow you to always have something to post if you are going through a slump for X or Y reason. It will also make you practice regularly and can only be beneficial to your style.
Impose a minimum publication rate, and I said minimum. You will expand according to your time. So writing a lot doesn’t mean publishing a lot.
To write, you will also need to clear your mind, do something else, or even cut your blog theme for a moment to find inspiration. If you follow me, it is also to ward off this period that you are going to build up your basket of articles while you are still all euphoric. No interruptions, and your readers imagine you are working like crazy while you sip vegan cocktails on a beach in Balì to find your reason for being.
It has already been said about a million times on multiple blogs, but: NOTE YOUR IDEAS ! Otherwise they escape (maybe Balì too) and you are not about to find them.
In the event of a total breakdown and depletion of your supply of items, there are plenty of tips on the web to recover. Here, there and also there. Think in particular of the interviews which allow you to make attractive content in a short time, while making yourself known, which brings us directly to the next point.
# 4 Free up time to promote
It is with this breathtaking transition that I propose to address our 4th point, the nerve of war after writing: promoting your articles and your blog in general. You may have a golden pen and relevant writing, but if you don’t promote it, chances are you are preaching in the wilderness.
To make yourself known, social networks are an interesting entry point. However, do not waste your time unless you really have time, because running an account can quickly become very time-consuming. Indeed, if you imagine that opening a Twitter account and sharing your articles there will be enough, come back down to earth.
Already, don’t share ONLY your articles. Bring added value to your readers by monitoring quality on a specific topic related to your blog. Then, if you use multiple social networks, have a different editorial line on each of them, depending on the types of communities present. It already makes you less want to be on 50 platforms, huh? And it’s not over: spot the influencers and relay them by mentioning them on the content that concerns them or on your own if it is likely to interest them (go sparingly).
Remember the purpose of social media, which is not to advertise shamelessly, but to connect people with each other: IN-TE-RA-GI-SSEZ. Thank, say hello, give your opinion, ask questions … Don’t wait passively for the right contact to retweet you and bring you 150 followers on a set. And finally, do not look for the quantity, but the quality.
To make your promotion, you can also invest in advertising on Adwords or via the advertising agencies of the networks you use. But it must come after a qualitative presence. Talk about your blog around you, it’s not just on the web !
# 5 Build smart partnerships
See your blog as an opportunity to meet people in the same spirit as you and work in synergy with them by identifying what you can bring them complementary.
Building partnerships will require work because you will still have to commit yourself to a minimum, but it can also be an opportunity to optimize your energy by limiting the time you spend promoting yourself in your corner. However, don’t throw yourself around the first partner and do not spam all your contacts to build links. Be selective, identify relevant opportunities, and give yourself time, you don’t have a train to take!
# 6 Take responsibility for your blog!
When I started my blog, I was so thrilled that this thing had been close to my heart for a long time. I had spent some time there, I had pampered it before putting it online. I had to go over my control freak and perfectionist tendencies to release it before 2045. In short, it was a bit of my little event in early 2016!
And paradoxically, I didn’t talk about it much. With hindsight, I even stashed it a bit, like a somewhat embarrassing acquaintance. I did not give him the place he deserved. As we saw in the previous points, even if we blog for leisure, it remains an activity in which we invest. Keeping a blog takes time and if we choose to give it to the detriment of another activity or simply instead of doing nothing, it also means something.
So if like me, you are a little shy with your blog, get out of the woods! (Otherwise you can skip this point and go to the conclusion). Talk about your blog, be proud of it: it’s your baby! Because if you don’t make it visible, no one will do it for you. And if doors slam on your nose, if you have no feedback from people who matter to you, persevere! You are not alone on earth and people have other concerns at one time T. They too have a hectic life. So do not blame them or devalue yourself, but persevere in your efforts. Sooner or later, you will be rewarded.
Say that you are a blogger even if it is part-time, add your blog address in the signature of your email, post it on social networks and YES, even on your LinkedIn or Viadeo profiles. Do not ostrich: you have a blog, assume it !
To conclude, think before you start your blog, but not too much either! Blogging is a great adventure that will open you up to a lot of great experiences and things if you take it to heart (and it must be!). There is also a good chance that you will learn a lot about yourself and that it will open up new personal or professional perspectives for you.
Besides, I invite readers who blog to testify: what have you learned about yourself by blogging ?