So you’ve been chewing on this idea of starting up a blog for some time but you’re sitting on the sidelines of doubt, apathy and procrastination. You’re thinking, “Everybody and their mom has a blog. Seriously who in this world would care to read another one, let alone mine.” Plus, who really has time to write…except those who make time. That’s what this is really all about. You make time for the things you’re passionate about and you do it with your unique make-up and calling. Just for a moment, let me help you unwind your doubts, insecurities and dare I say possible laziness surrounding this.
If you’ve been seriously considering venturing into writing or blogging; and I mean seriously getting some self-discipline and crossing the line between wishing and doing, here are my top 10 tips for you:
Find your focus.
First things first, why are you blogging? What is your main purpose for starting this site and what mission are you trying to accomplish? One thing I don’t believe in is doing things just to do them or because it will bring some clout to your name. Invest in your passion, be genuinely led or don’t do it all. So what is your heart’s mission?
Is it to become a hub for women to find stylish and modest fashion for less?
Is it to educate and inspire dreamers on how to tactfully start their own business?
Is it to help college students keep the faith and provide success tips for the journey?
For example, mine is to encourage healthy, biblical everyday living- spiritual and mental wellness as an extension of my psychology major. I’m passionate about seeing people break free from the bondage that is killing their fullest potential- mostly because I’ve been there and it’s a part of my story.
Figuring this out first will not only give your website overall direction, but it will bring clarity to your readers. People want to know the mission that they’re following and what they’re getting into before committing themselves. This is the foundation that should be established for anyone launching anything; whether that be a business, organization or a blog. Be clear and passionate about why you are doing what you’re doing.
Write something you would want to read.
It really is that simple. If your pieces are too long, don’t stay on topic, a novel of traveling thoughts, unrelatable and impersonal, would you want to read it? It may all make sense and seem important to you but will it resonate clearly with those on the other side of that screen?
Think about the types of articles and titles you’re captured by. The ones that draw you to click, read more and actually hold your interest. I’m never suggesting to be unoriginal, but writing is still a form of communication. It’s a two-way street, and you need to be able to connect with your reader. Write the type of article you would want to read if you were on the other side.
No matter if 2 or 2 million people are reading your blog, be consistent. Most great things don’t happen overnight anyway. I’ve been blogging for at least four years, and things only really started kicking into motion engagement-wise maybe a year from now. A lot of that had to do with my own falling away. Rule of thumb is that if you’re not serious chances are others won’t take you seriously either. Not only that but you’re still proving yourself as a writer and building a foundation of content that will show your site has a wealth of resource to provide. It will take some perseverance as anything that you’d want to be serious in life about does. You can’t be lazy and be great. You get out what you put in. Be consistent if you want to be taken seriously.
So everyone and their mom might have a blog- but they’re not you. They don’t have your exact thoughts, your perspective, your voice, your experience. When you genuinely offer yourself, you offer something unique to the conversation. Be human. Let your personality and quirks shine through. Be you.
Outline your thoughts first.
I can attest to this many days when it comes to writing- first it’s impossible, then it’s difficult, then it’s done (James Hudson Taylor). You want to write a really great piece and then, dear Lord, there’s so much to write about. Wait, I need to research this a little more. Oh, and it’s not complete unless I cover all these other 20 angles too. I’m mentally drained just thinking about it. Nope, not even in the mood to write anymore. Goes and scrolls social media. Nothing ever gets written.
Look, just stop, think and list the main points or ideas you want to cover on that topic. Start with a list of your main ideas. Then go in, discuss and fill in what you have to say about each. Not only will these keep your post organized but it will make a big idea a little easier to grasp piece by piece. You just need to get your main ideas down, organized and then filled in.
Big, clean, beautiful photos will take your blog a long way. We are visual creatures. We like to look at pretty things. Adding nice featured images or graphic quotes to your posts will bring the page to life. Check out Canva for really easy and beautiful graphic design templates anyone can start creating with.
Your social media and your website are one entity.
If you have decided to coincide your social media platforms with your website (which you should because you’re a serious blogger now), then your website and your socials should be giving off the same message. It all goes back to finding your focus like we were talking about earlier.
If your website is completely dedicated to helping restore women from abusive and toxic relationships but your socials are filled with random thoughts and photos about knitting baby footsies, that’s confusing. And God is not a God of confusion. Amen? Stay central to your mission. Be about what you talk about. Nothing is wrong with venturing into other passions, ideas or life encounters but if you’re going to be serious overall, then it would be most ideal to be on one accord.
Done is better than perfect.
This is where most writers get trapped- perfectionism. It’s completely understandable as to why. Your work represents you. You’re putting yourself out there. You’re telling people to trust what you’re saying. Your name is all over this, so you want to make sure it’s right. However, at the end of the day it’s better to have something great and helpful out there, than something scrutinized and shelved that never helps anyone. You should know that most people don’t even grasp the imperfections you’re shaming yourself over because you have an ideal, they’re just following the path you’re paving.
The great thing about writing is that it’s not like live speaking in the sense that you can edit it. You can go back and rephrase or correct as needed and it won’t be the end of the world. Give yourself some grace. Have some confidence. The message you’ve been given will shine through and reach someone somewhere.
Plan titles in advance.
This is a quick tip to help with your consistency. By planning a list of titles and topics in advance, you’re less likely to get stuck in the “I don’t know what to write about” hump. On days that you have set aside to write for your blog, pull a title from your list, outline your thoughts and go to town!
Many serious writers also use editorial calendars. This is a schedule of when articles will be written and/or published.
Just do it.
This is literally thee best advice I have and have been given. If you wait until you feel like writing, you’ll never write anything. If you don’t make time to sit down and do it, it wont get done. If you overthink what has to be written, you’ll back out from pre-meditated exhaustion. Don’t overthink it. Stop checking social media. Don’t make excuses. Sit down. Position yourself. Open that blank document and just do it. Be in control of your own attitude and don’t let it control you. Chances are you’ll find your flow soon after you get started.
So let’s recap real quick:
- Find your focus.
- Write something you would want to read.
- Be consistent.
- Be you.
- Outline your thoughts first.
- Use visuals.
- Your social media and your website are one entity.
- Done is better than perfect.
- Plan titles in advance.
- Just do it.
I truly hope this encouraged you to get your dream off the ground! If you have any questions or tips you’d like to add to this list, let’s chat in the comments below!