Why I Started Blogging & How to Start One For Yourself
Updated: Feb 25, 2020
I started keeping a journal when I was 8 years old, before that they were diaries with words or pictures that I'm sure no one, not even me, could comprehend now. My mind is and always has been a constant reel with thousands of thoughts. An enigma. We have approximately 50,000 thoughts a day, crazy I know (National Science Foundation). There's so much we take in each day, each minute, thousands of thoughts some ruminating in our minds, others maybe silently passing through on our way to work. My next thought from all of this information however was, how can I turn this into something that can better myself? Even more - how can I train my mind to use my thoughts toward purpose. Because ultimately, we are meant to grow, to change, to learn, and become the best version of ourselves.
We all have the same goals when it comes down to that basic concept, you may have another word for it but I like to call this success. Success is becoming the best version of yourself.
For me, that meant understanding myself on every level, not just the superficial.
While in my teen years, I wrote angsty journal notes about being misunderstood or feeling uncomfortable with my body changes, and in college I wrote about falling in love, and finding lifelong friends. No matter what, at the end of the day I could write about all of it, and find a sense of comfort in putting my pen to paper. My thoughts were formed on paper and there was a sense of solace in that. A kind of validation.
Blogging was a concept I wasn't sure I liked right away though, and I definitely thought about it for weeks if not months before making the big decision to talk to you readers on such a personal level. Sometimes I feel I might as well be on stage with a microphone because thats how personal it gets. The truth when it comes to blogging is it is very personal and can be scary to be so raw with yourself and others. To talk about issues that might be relatable, to open yourself to judgment, to be really and truly, you. It's not an easy feat but what ultimately drew me toward the blogger life is being able to give others something to relate to, but also giving people an idea that you are capable of doing anything you choose to set your sights on. Because I know what its like to think otherwise, and to feel like you're stuck, unsuccessful, perhaps even at rock bottom. There's more that you're capable of, if you needed a sign this is it.
How to Start One for Yourself
1. Know what you want to talk about - Travel? Lifestyle? Fashion? Food? You name it, theres a niche for it, what are you interested in and what drives your passion the most? Don't make it something that seems cool that you don't really have any knowledge in, because that burns out. If you don't have the drive behind it, its not going to be something you care about, its not going to be an outlet. And if its something you really do want to try, make sure it's something you'll stick with before putting it out there.
2. Name your blog - Fun fact, it took me 3 days to come up with Backpacking Bee, I was mulling it over in my mind for days trying to come up with something that I could relate to but that others would be able to remember. I looked at over 20 sites I'm sure, generating random names. It was frustrating and at one point I thought it was stupid I was even trying but I think writing things out and giving it some time does help the process. For me, making it personal is also something I really cared about, Bee is a nickname I've always loved, and its something that I am happy to promote (Bees are awesome insects am I right?) so therefore, I love doing what I do.
Make it something you love hearing. Otherwise, I mean, what's the point of even doing it?
3. Buy your domain - It's worth the money, plus your name is your brand, so make sure you secure it. ALWAYS KEEP IT SIMPLE. Best advice I can give you is to think about what people will remember and want to type in. When I tell people my site is Backpackingbee.com they instantly say "Wow, thats easy, I'll look that up right now!" Stick to .com (if you can), stick to simple. Trust me on that one.
And use your domain to your advantage - create social media accounts on everything with your new name.Get it before someone snatches it and sells it for over $1,000.
*Sidenote: if you don't have SEO or website design experience try sites like Weebly, Wix or Wordpress, its a great starter kit for you, with lots of tips and tricks.
4. Keep your personality on all of it. Crucial guys. Don't become someone your not to appeal to a certain crowd, your niche is your niche, and if someone doesn't like it, that doesn't have to bother you. What should bother you is if you don't like it. It's your outlet, remember. In designing your blog, and social accounts, stick to what you love. If you really love neutral colors and natural things use that, get creative with it, but use what makes you happy. For me, it was yellow and lots of positive vibes. Do I care if its not someone else's aesthetic?
Nope, cause its mine and I'm happy with it. Be authentic and appreciate yourself for all you are.
5. Come up with goals and a basic plan - The fun stuff. But basically it goes back to the we all need to grow and change and succeed thing. You will be changing and growing as a person, how do you want your blog to grow and change too? I came up with a short term plan and a long term (about 5 years) plan when I first started. I put in what I want my blog to talk about, how I want to affect others with my voice and whether I wanted to create a business from it. Did I eventually want to be able to go full time from it? How would my niche like to see my blog? Would I want to eventually add videos in as well? Write it all out, map it, journal it, whatever works for you. Just get it in writing, cause that's when the magic happens.
6. Write your first post, and go from there - Ultimately, you won't know until you try right? So go for it, let your creativity flow in a way that works for you. A girl I know loved blogging but wanted to do artwork rather than writing about things, so she used her talents and she's now opening her own gallery. It's crazy what can happen when you start to believe in yourself.
7. Time - I'm going to leave it with this one, because I think many people don't see just how many hours I put into this blog. It's my baby, and there's a lot that goes into it believe me, I spend some time every day usually to plan, blog, write, edit, compile, organize. It is a lot. So if you aren't going to put in the time, you won't get the results you want, just like any other job or any other passion. Make time for it.