So You Wanna Start a Blog . . .

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The most common conversation I have with people, outside of the “what was that one curling iron you did the video about and recommended on Facebook a couple years ago?” (it was the Beachwaver, by the way, go get yourself one ASAP!) is “I want to start a blog but I don’t really have a theme.”

If you clicked on this blog link, it’s likely because you want to start a blog.  And if you’re like most of the people I talk to, you’re kind of stuck.  Let me address some of the things that are probably running through your mind so that you can feel set free and can start blogging your little heart away.

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You don’t have a theme:  You are stuck because you think you need a theme, or niche, or “thing” that is just yours.  You think you need the perfect branding and to become “the girl who blogs about (insert some super specific topic).”  If you have a niche — perfect!  Run with it!  But if you don’t, it literally does not matter.  If one day you write about financial tips, and the next week you write about your favorite make-up, and the next day you write about your feelings on current events  . . . just write!  Once you get enough posts under your belt, you’ll see not only what you like writing about, but you’ll see what your readers respond to most, and this will guide you in the direction of an overall theme.  No blogger with a ton of followers came out of the gate with the perfect packaged “brand.”  That’s why they’re constantly doing rebranding campaigns or re-launching their sites with new formats and tag lines.  Additionally, no one is really going to your overall website and analyzing how cohesive all the content is side-by-side.  Realistically, you share a link to a specific blog post which may get some traction — but no one is comparing it to the last thing you wrote or the next thing you’ll write.  It’s a fleeting moment of them enjoying that one piece of content/story.

You’re scared of what people will think:  You’re WAY overestimating how many people will be thinking about and critiquing your blog!  The good news with social media is the fact that it’s optional.  If someone doesn’t enjoy reading your posts or disagrees with your point of view, they have the option to unfollow you or no longer click your links.  And fortunately, that is none of your business or concern.  When I publish any sort of content, whether on Facebook, Instagram, my blog, etc. I use the filter of “even if someone disagrees or doesn’t love this, would I be embarrassed if my family, coworkers, or friends read this?” and if the answer is “no” . . . then I post it!  You don’t have to cater to everyone’s preferences, but you do have to publish content that you would stand behind or wouldn’t be embarrassed if it was projected on a large screen at a work meeting or family reunion.

You don’t know how to create a blog:  Spend 30 minutes per night watching YouTube videos on “how to start a blog” and I promise you can get a site up and running in no time.

You don’t have a domain name:  You can’t decide which www. name to go with.  Just go with your name if you can’t decide otherwise, and when you think of a more clever site name,  purchase that too and have them both direct to your blog site.  If you were to click on www.brookeignethocker.com it takes you here . . . or if you click on www.brookenichole.com it also takes you here.  I debated which to use because my two last names can be complicated — so, I just went with both.  Secret news:  I had been wanting to brand this whole thing as “babbling Brooke” but apparently that domain name was used and some days it feels like an immature name/theme.  If you have a domain name in mind but want to see if it’s taken already, type it in the search field on GoDaddy.com

You don’t have good photos:  There are a lot of websites out there that allow you to use their photos for free without credits or copyright implications.  I personally use Pixabay and feel it has plenty of options that allow for more beautiful photos than I can take on my phone.  Plus, it just makes your overall posts look and feel more professional.

You don’t have time:  One of my biggest pet peeves is if a blogger posts some sort of apology in their post because they haven’t posted in awhile.  It’s not annoying because they haven’t posted, it’s annoying because they’re saying it like everyone was expecting them to and they owe us an apology.  Life happens.  If you want to blog every week and can’t hit that personal goal and you have a three-week lull, you don’t have to start your next post with “sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.”  You don’t owe it to us (your audience) to post every day, or every week, or even every month.  If you want to use your blog as a marketing tool for other business ventures, or build readers because you’re going to release a book, or something to this nature — then I would advise coming up with a feasible schedule that you can keep up with, but if you’re blogging for fun and enjoyment and to share the occasional thing you love or thought/opinion you have, stop apologizing.  No one is tracking how often you do/don’t post.

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Now, get to bloggin’ . . .