Blogging tips: How to Start a Blog (Part 1)

Welcome to the very first post in my new series all about blogging tips. If you missed the introductory post on what this is all about, then read here. In this first post I am going to chat about all the things you need to consider before you start a blog.

Before you start a blog, you need to find your niche, do research and plan ahead. What I mean by this is, you can’t just one day think “hmmm, I’m going to start a blog” and 5 minutes later you have a blog in front of you and have nothing to blog about. You also don’t want to start a blog and a few months later change the whole thing because you don’t love what you’re blogging about.

That’s what happened with me, and because these blogging tips are based on my blogging journey, I will share these mistakes with you. I started a beauty blog where I planned on blogging just about beauty. I then started running out of beauty products to blog about and realised I love all things travel more. So I then blogged more about travel, especially through beautiful South Africa, and less about beauty. I now have a travel, food and lifestyle blog which I didn’t even think of years ago when I first started my blog.

Having said the above, here are 5 things to consider before you start a blog:

1. FIND YOUR PASSION

Before you start a blog you want to find a topic you love to constantly write about. Blogging is a lot of fun but also a lot of work and you don’t want to blog on a topic just for the sake of having a blog. There are so many topics you can blog about, but just make sure you’re passionate about it and it comes to you naturally. If the topic isn’t your passion, it will show in your writing, and then what’s the point?

I started a beauty blog but found I was running out of content, ideas and inspiration. I like beauty but not enough to have carried on just being a beauty blogger. What I do love though and have always loved since I can remember is food, travelling and living in beautiful South Africa – and this is what Minkys is all about now!

If you want to find what you’re passionate about, write down your hobbies, what you love reading about, or what you find yourself searching on Google all the time.

2. BE UNIQUE

There are thousands, if not millions, of blogs out there, so what will make yours unique and different from the rest? Your content, whether it be your images, graphics, or your writing style, needs to be a representation of you. This is also how your audience will get to know you and love you!

What makes my blog totally unique (well at least I like to think so) is that I like to tell MY story of what I ate, where I explored and what I love about South Africa. This also means that I only ever use MY photos in a blog post. It is MY photos that tell MY story. I’m sure you get the point, but to make it more clear, you will never find a copy and paste article or photos from another source. You will find genuine stories/articles/posts written by ME and only ME!

So if your strength is photography or funny writing skills, use this to your advantage and this is what will make your blog unique!

3. CONSISTENCY

Once you have figured out what you are passionate about, stick with that. This means you can’t be all over the place. If you’re not completely sure about your blogs overall theme, then you can be sure your readers wont either.

For me, I wanted to keep my blog a food, travel and lifestyle blog. This means that because I cover a diverse range of topics I am able to still do a beauty review or a fashion post here and there because this fits under lifestyle. But if you’re going to blog just on food or just on travel, be careful when you do that fashion post, because your readers may think WTF!

4. PLAN YOUR CONTENT AHEAD

Blogging is a lot of work, I will admit. It also takes a lot of time to put a post together. From taking the photos, to doing research, then writing your story and putting everything together into one concise blog post. This means that you have to prepare ahead by planning out the content you are going to create.

I like to think of my blog as a magazine. I am the editor, the photographer, the copywriter and everything in between because it is MY magazine. That means that as a blogger, I’m an all rounder and need to obviously prepare and plan like a magazine editor would of a magazine … (Am I making sense here?)

Let’s not forget social media, but we’ll cover all of this in another post.

5. RESEARCH

Before you start a blog, do all the necessary research. Find blogs you love and admire and ask yourself what is it that you love? Is it the photography or the writing style? For example, before I started my blog, I was always reading food and travel magazines. The articles that I loved most was about new restaurants on the block, where to eat, where to travel etc – and this is what I now tend to cover on my blog, but from my point of view. I used to also always read international food and travel blogs and this is what clearly made me fall in love with blogs and want to start one of my own.

So sit down and take a moment to figure out what you love!

There you have it – 5 things to consider before you start a blog so you can figure out what you’re passionate about and find a blogging niche!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below ♥

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