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Everyday Brave: Starting a Blog

Written by JENN SCHULTZ of What You Make It

Whenever I tell someone I have a blog, I get a lot of responses. Often, I hear “Oh! I’ve thought about starting a blog, but…but I wouldn’t know where to start…but I don’t know what to write about…but I’m not very tech-savvy.”

That makes me laugh a little because—well, if I can do it, trust me, anyone can.

When I started blogging, it wasn’t a cool, profitable, or even well-known thing to do. I stumbled upon some blogs while searching for DIY projects. It amazed me that there were women out there who were claiming space on the internet to share their thoughts, tips, and ideas. I wanted a voice in that.

Without knowing what I was getting into, I signed up on Blogger, and just started writing. I learned as I went, and everything I didn’t know, I Googled. (Trust me, I still Google half of what pops up in the blogging world.)

Today it seems like everyone has a blog, on any topic. But you don’t need to be intimidated by the numbers, the technology, or where to find the inspiration.

Starting a blog is still pretty simple.

1. Find your purpose.

Everyone has a story to share and something to say. Figure out your personal mission behind your blog, and who you want to reach.

For example, my mission in blogging is to encourage and empower women, particularly millennial moms, to live a purposeful and fulfilling life, right where they are. I share lifestyle tips to help with everyday details, so we can focus a bit more on what really matters.

Having a mission helps you remember who you’re targeting, and what topics to write about. Be as general or as specific as you like. And there is always room to grow and change as you go.

2. Figure out your goals.

Why are you writing a blog? Do you want to simply get your story out there? Do you want to help people? Are you hoping to generate income? Are you blogging for an already established business or community?

Blogs fill all kinds of needs. Think about which ones you are filling. It will likely affect how you run your blog, what you pursue, how you set it up, and what you write about.

3. Choose your platform.

There are a number of free websites to choose from when setting up a blog. Blogger and WordPress are two great choices. Blogger works through Google, and is fairly easy and straightforward to set up; however, it offers less customization.

WordPress allows for a lot of customization options with their many plugins; but it can take more time to understand how to work it if you’re not used to their display. Wix and Squarespace also offer free websites, but those fall outside my experience.

4. Own it.

Here’s the hard part. (Maybe. It was for me.) Own your blog. Tell your friends. Share about it on your social media. Add a picture of you (if you’re comfortable). For a long time, I distanced myself from my blog. I didn’t share my name or face, and I for sure didn’t tell anyone I knew in real life that I had one. But I realized that the more I owned it, the more traction it gained. The more people I reached. The more it grew. Again, your mission and goals for your blog can be very different from anyone else’s. But if you’re putting it out there in the universe, don’t be afraid to share it!

Starting a blog may seem overwhelming. The best advice is to just start. You don’t need to have a degree in coding. You don’t need to wait until a thousand people are following you on Instagram. And you don’t have to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Simply decide to share your story, own it, and figure out the details along the way.

Jenn is a constantly-caffeinated wife, mama, and writer. By day she goes on adventures in Roanoke with her two boys. By nap time she pens whatyoumakeitblog.com, empowering moms to live a beautiful and purposeful life, right where you are. Chat with her on social @whatyoumakeitblog.