Blogging 101: First Steps

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Are you thinking about starting a blog? I had two friends ask me in the past week about how to start a blog!  Sounds like a good subject for a post!

Here are the first steps I would recommend that you take if you are considering starting your own blog.

Small aside:  I have to warn you, I’m a very logical, step-by-step person.  I laugh about how Sean and I have brains that are wired completely differently.  If I have a problem, I think this way:  Step A, Step B, Step C, Step D = Goal E.  Sean thinks this way:  A, C, E, A, B, C, E, D, A Done! We’re at E.  My brain is like stepping stones across a creek, Sean’s is like a cloud.  They both work, sometimes his way is faster and better, sometimes mine.

1.  Dream.

Picture your blog in your head.

What is it going to look like?

What is it going to be about?

What is your passion?

What do you like to write about?

Blogging has to be fun or it’s not going to work.  If you like what you are doing, blogging is going to be easy and fun.  If you don’t, or if it’s not “true”, it’s going to be very difficult, forced, and likely not to succeed.  For example, I’ll use my friends that asked this week about blogging.  They are raw, vegans and are going to have a blog about healthy living.  It is their passion, they love telling other people about it.  They believe and live it.  My opinion – it’s going to work for them!  They can see the blog in their heads and it’s alive and fun.

2.  Figure out why you want to blog – what are your ultimate goals.

Do you want to blog as a hobby?

Do you love writing and interacting with people in social media?

Do you want to blog to make money and support your family with it?  Do you want free stuff?  Do you want to help other people?

By figuring this out, you will be able to direct the answers to many of the questions that arise when you are setting up and maintaining your blog. For example, if you are blogging as a hobby and you want to help other people, when it’s time to decide between blogger and WordPress, you will most likely want to use the free platform, Blogger.  If you are blogging to make money and support your family, you may want to invest in professional hosting, design, and a WordPress blog.

3.  Develop your brand.

When you blog, it’s not just about the blog.  It’s about social media – interacting with others using a range of methods.  You won’t just be blogging, you will be facebooking, tweeting, blogfrogging, etc. You will be creating an identity.  It’s important that identity be consistent.  You don’t want to be Kelly’s Lucky You on your blog, but Rosie’s Mom on twitter, and Kelly Carpenter on Facebook.  You want your readers to be able to find you, wherever they are.  The very first steps you take should be deciding on a name and checking to make sure it’s available everywhere – domain, twitter, facebook, stumble, blogfrog etc.  Google “developing a brand” and research how to do this – it’s a science in and of itself.

4.  Love your readers.

It’s so important to love people, if you are going to blog.  It’s not about you, it’s about your reader.  I kinda joke that my blog is “Lucky You” not “Lucky Me”, but it truly is a defining element of my blog.  It’s the rock bottom foundation.  It’s not about me, it’s about you, the reader.  What am I doing to give something to someone else?  That’s what I need to think about with every post.  Well, maybe not every post… the picture of the snowman did not have a noble purpose, hehehe.  Like the old falling tree in the forest thing…. if there’s no one there to hear it, is there sound?  If there’s no one there to read it, your posts have no sound.

I hope this helps someone who is thinking about starting their own blog.  Does anyone want to know more?  If you’d like to see more about starting a blog, please let me know in the comments.  Love ya!


  1. 1

    Thanks for the great info! I’d like to know more about making money with your blog. I’m currently unemployed and could sure use some extra income.

  2. 2

    I would love to learn more about making money with a blog/website. I have Google Adsense, but have been unable to access my account and I can’t seem to find a way to contact Google Adsense. It has not been very user-friendly.


    • 3

      I haven’t had much luck with Google either. I’ve moved on to affiliate network sites like Escalate Media and LinkShare. Not every company in those networks accepts my blog as an affiliate, BUT there are plenty that do. I have more than enough companies in my “arsenal” to choose ads for my blog, but I do have to post them myself.

  3. 4

    These are excellent points, Kelly.

    Sometimes it is also a good idea for people to get their feet wet before actually having their site designed. Once you get started you may realize your brand, vision and ideas are going in a direction different from what you first envisioned. Give yourself a little time to find your voice.

    Be patient. The readers will come. It does take a little time. Spend some time each day promoting your blog by commenting on other sites. Find memes/link-ups to get involved with.

    Also, I always suggest when you’re visiting other sites, write down the things you like about that site. What makes it easy to navigate? What design ideas from each site do you like? Obviously, do not steal anyones brand or copy cat them, but look for ideas that work.

    Good job Kelly!

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