March 11, 2018 8:00 am
You want to start a blog but have no idea where to start and you have a sinking feeling that you’re probably a bit too late to the party… I get it. Something I get asked all the time… ‘Is it too late to start blogging?’, ‘Have I missed the boat?’ or an audience favourite ‘Is the blogging world totally saturated?’.
Honestly? Would it have been ideal to start blogging back in 2010? Yes, probably – consistency is everything in blogging and the sooner you start, the more opportunity to build consistency – obviously. However, when you first hit publish has no bearing on the actual content you’re publishing. Whether you started in 2005, last year or whether you’re still umming and ahhing over taking the plunge. If you have a good idea and you work hard to execute it well and then you continue to show up, week after week, your online space will flourish. Trust me.
Sure, blogging has been around for a while and whilst the landscape is changing, the demand for digital content is higher than ever before and honestly I think that demand will just keep on growing.
Is the blogging world saturated? Yep, it kinda is. Everyone and their dog has a blog these days but and this is a big BUT… As I mentioned above, if you have a great idea, there’s more than enough room for you and your dog! Just FYI there’s always, always room for dogs. The more the merrier. Bring on the puppies!
Awesome, good choice! Here are a few things that you should bear in mind when carving out a little digital corner for yourself;
No one is you and that is your superpower. So, when you’re writing and creating your content make sure it sounds like you and looks like you. It’s fine to be inspired by any one of the amazing powerhouse bloggers out there, you’d be mad to not learn from them and jumpstart your own blogging career but remember that the thing that makes each one of those bloggers successful… aside from their hard work, is their individuality. They’re being themselves on and off camera and that’s why people relate to them so much. Any lack of authenticity will soon enough shine through and people will quickly lose interest.
Start small. By small I mean, don’t overwhelm yourself with wanting the fanciest blog going (spoiler alert, that will cost you hundreds and hundreds of pounds). You can sign up for a free WordPress account here, although I would highly recommend spending a little extra to have your own domain and a self-hosted site. The point is, whatever your financial situation, there’s an option for you. Once you’ve done that, create a simple (when I say simple, there are actually some incredible blog templates out there, loads free or under £50!) blog using a pre-made template and then get started, let your content speak for itself! You can always tweak the blog as you go and then fork out for all the bells and whistles later on when you know you’ll get a return on your investment.
Be SEO savvy. If you can start a blog and begin your journey with some healthy SEO habits, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and effort down the road, plus your blog analytics will definitely thank you. Hit this link for a bit more info and to help you get started.
You decide how much you want to share. Being a blogger doesn’t mean you have to be a completely open book, some parts of your life can and probably should remain private. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be you but just be aware that once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back. The internet never forgets (sadly).
Collaborate. I bang on about this constantly both here on Break The Loop (see this post) and over on my other baby, Get To KNOW. Collaboration is key and not only for success but also for our sanity. Blogging can be a lonely little pursuit so collaborating means you get to team up with others just like you, cue incredible content being created and lifelong friendships being made. It really is the best way to grow your audience organically, just understand the fact that it’s a two-way street and no one ever wants to end up feeling used.
Use social media. This one is a no-brainer but I’m putting it up anyway, it’s free marketing, people! It provides you with another (totally free) channel to share your voice and connect with your audience. Don’t worry about doing them all, pick the channels that you think best suit you and your audience, then focus on those. If you hate creating videos, you probably shouldn’t bother with YouTube. Love creating short, quippy little bits of text? Twitter’s the one for you.
Start now. You can write drafts till the cows come home but at some point, if you truly want to start a blog, you’ve just got to hit publish and get on with it. Don’t worry about it being perfect because it never will be and the whole point is that you want to get better and better, you can’t do that without starting and adapting and learning on the go. You change and so your blog will change but there’s no time like the present and a year from now, you’ll wish you started today.
(On that note, if you do take the plunge and start a blog, let me know in the comments and I’ll read your posts!)
I’ll summarise what’s getting quite wordy by saying it’s never too late to start something you’re passionate about, whether that’s a blog, a YouTube channel, that book proposal… Whatever it is, you’re never really going to be more prepared than you are today.