If you have a story to tell or experiences to share, congratulations! You’ve met the qualifications to starting your own blog.
Think I’m kidding? I had the same reaction when I first heard that. But I’m serious! Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom (like muah!) or a Nobel Prize Winner, people need to hear your story. And blogging is the perfect avenue to tell it and reach your audience.
Today, there are more than 600 million bloggers in the world. In the U.S. there are 31 million posting at least once per month. That’s not meant to discourage but rather motivate the HECK out of ya! Because like a fingerprint, no one blog is the same.
Your stories are unique to you and therefore your blog will be too.
That should make you excited…and give you hope.
Why I Started a Blog…
Truth is, I never had goals of becoming a blogger. My dream was to work in the editorial department of Conde Nast Publishing (VOGUE, Glamour, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair).
Real The Devil Wears Prada type dreams.
But once I realized this was what I wanted, I was about to graduate college and needed a real paying job. Editorial interns started fresh out of high school (!) and were willing to earn nothing simply for the glamorous NYC exposure.
Right away, I knew I was beat.
Frustrating and heartbreaking, sure. But I still got my swing at working for some amazing media relations and event marketing companies, which allowed me to do what I loved – write.
Now almost 20 years later, my love for writing hasn’t changed but just about everything else in my life has! I’m a wife of ten years. I’m a mom to three munchkins. And currently, I’m an American expat. As a family, we live abroad in Barcelona for my husband’s job. And it’s awesome!
It was here in Spain that my blog was born. Not instantly. It was more of a process I had to go through and a series of vital questions I had to ask myself.
The 4 Questions New Bloggers Must Ask Themselves
When it came time for me to reflect on whether or not starting a blog was the right move, I asked myself these four questions. And if you’re considering starting a blog, you should probably do the same…
1.What area of life am I passionate about, good at or at least can share some knowledge in?
The amazing thing about blogging is, YOU get to decide what to write about. Love gardening? Expert web developer? DIY maven? The possibilities are limitless. But you MUST be passionate about this topic. Otherwise, it will reflect poorly in your writing. And any blogger knows, poor writing leads to poor readership.
My advice? Choose your topic (or niche) and make a list of all the possible blog articles you could write. If your list contains 10 or more article ideas, you could be onto something! When I first did this exercise, I came up with 20 – and that’s when things got exciting.
2.What value could my stories bring to my readers?
Something I’ve learned writing this blog is that the information I publish needs to be of value to my readers. What have they learned from me? Are they better educated on a particular topic after having read one of my pieces? Try to avoid your blog turning into your personal memoir or a diary entry (unless that is your goal of course).
Keep the reader’s goal in mind and attempt to write from their perspective. If you achieve this, they’ll be sure to visit your blog again.
3.What experiences compliment my passion that I could write about?
Going back to my earlier point about adding value, a passion without any life experience is not blog material. (Sorry if that one stung a little.) What do I mean by that?
If you are someone who loves interior design, but has never actually dabbled in interior design yourself, you might be better off starting an Instagram page and following your favorite designers first. A blog is probably not the right outlet for you (yet!) to express your passion.
How can you add value to a reader’s life without any experience in the niche?
4.How much time am I willing to put into this?
Once again, you’re the boss here! But before grasping the time commitment, first figure out your goals.
A. If you’re someone looking to start a hobby, learn some basic web design and share your knowledge of (insert name of passion here!) in a fun way, then you surely can. Your blog will be a new adventure and fun little project for you. But please note, the monetary possibilities here are fairly limited.
B. If you’re someone looking to take your love for writing and (insert name of passion here!) to the next level, make an impact in the digital and social media world, earn a handsome income and maybe even replace your current salary-paying job – you surely can!
Personally, I like option number two better and I have to guess if you’ve read this far into the article, you do too!
Of course the time commitment will be much (and I mean MUCH) greater. Your blog will need to be treated like a business – and not a hobby. But rest assured, with the right research, personal discipline and strong writing style (yes, I said ‘strong’ not necessarily ‘professional’ or ‘published’) the income potential is oh-so exciting!
So…have I got you thinking? Did you start creating your list of potential niches and article ideas midway through reading this? I HOPE so! If I hadn’t asked myself the above questions and gave them honest answers, I would never have started this awesome adventure!
Love to hear your thoughts or feedback below on starting YOUR blog. Want to bounce your niche ideas past me? Concerned about the cost or web design part of it? Happy to help answer any questions…