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Blog Tips

5 Things You Need When Starting A New Blog

By Jul 21, 2014 89 Comments

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So you are starting a blog?!!

Do you know what you will need when starting a blog? Maybe you have heard about blogging from a friend or family member. Or maybe you have stumbled about blogging from a Google search. But do you have any clue what starting a new blog entails?

Trust me, when I first started a few years ago, I was totally 100% CLUELESS!

I had no idea how to even begin, let alone how much time and commitment goes into one once you do begin to blog.

The word itself was complete and utter Greek to me, and yet now I am considered an authority by many (I truly hope that doesn’t sound full of myself, believe me I am the furthest from this).

But still I am here to clear some things up, and help anyone who may very well be looking at starting a blog.

It is a process, but once you do start up your blog you may very well become so immersed in it that you will barely remember or recall a time before starting a blog ever existed.

What are some tips for Starting a Blog?

starting a blog

5 Things You Need to Know When Starting A Blog

1) Writing/Design Skills, Plus Where to Host When Starting A Blog

When I first began starting a blog for myself over at Confessions of A Mommyaholic, I truly had no idea about design, let alone the different platforms that existed out there. I certainly didn’t understand that if I were to use free platforms, such as Blogger (Blogspot) or WordPress.com that I essentially didn’t own my own content and may even be limited if I wanted to make money off of ads and such.

You may not be doing this to make money and that is totally fine, but if you have any thoughts about making money, then the thought of Self-Hosting on WordPress (WordPress.org, which is totally different from WordPress.com) is something you may want to look into. But this doesn’t come without the worries of design and setup. That is where someone like myself or another designer comes into play.

However, if you are blogging purely for leisure or fun, you may then totally want to stick to free and not worry about incurring any costs or fees to run your own blog.

As for writing skills, I have read many blogs that the person has probably never practiced the craft of writing or has trouble with grammar, spelling, and other language issues. I am here to say that if you are blogging, try to remember that writing is indeed a skill. You should try to, at the very least, proofread or have some else proofread for you, if you can’t. Trust me, mistakes and errors will happen (no one is perfect), but you should try your best to keep them to a minimum.

2) Support from Family and Friends for Starting a Blog

Now that you are contemplating starting a blog, think of how those closest to you will respond. Many may be skeptical, but those closest to you need to be supportive of your endeavors.

Here is the thing, blogging takes time out of your daily or even weekly life. Believe me, when I say you may think I will just do this in my spare time, but take it from someone who has been there, done that. Blogging is time consuming. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a lot of fun and you will most likely meet lots of others out there like yourself (I will discuss more about this in a bit), but make no mistake, it isn’t just about writing the best blog post or article, you will need to include images that make your blog article and post stand out or at least get noticed.

Whether you use your photos, which can take time getting just the right image with quite possibly a fairly good quality camera (DSLR or at least a very good quality Point and Shoot Digital camera), then you may need to search for free photos or give proper credit to ones that aren’t free or even look through and purchase descent quality stock photos. You will also need to know or learn how to use Photoshop, PickMonkey, Pixlr, or a good photo editing program to help with editing your blog images.

Believe me when I say, I can now write an article pretty quickly, but it is editing and making sure my images fit the article that take me the most amount of time.

The point to all of this is, the time you take to work on your blog, be it writing/editing or articles and images, can take away from your daily life (including family and friends). Take for example this article you are reading, I wrote it on a Sunday morning, while my husband was doing work at home and my girls were watching a DVD and playing dress up. I am blessed with a very good support system for all I do with blogging and online work. So it boils down to this: you will need a wonderful support system around you that doesn’t mock or put down you and your blogging goals or even come in the way of you getting your blogging done.

Which lead me to the next tip of indeed having blogging goals.

3) Have Blogging Goals for Starting a Blog

Again you are starting a blog, therefore you must have a reason why you are starting and where you want to go with it or growth potential.

Along these lines, it would help if you could come up with topics you want to blog about, as well as the niche you may find yourself fitting into.

When I first started my blog, I wanted to simply write and share about my family. It was such a crazy time in my life with being a stay home mom to two little girls under the age of 3. I clearly was overwhelmed, but I also told myself that I didn’t want to forget this time in our lives and have something substantial to look back on.

Clearly, my topic of choice was my young family, and I fit into more of a Mommy Blog niche. There are many niches out there, including recipes, technical, and more. You just have to decide what works for you.

Again, that was my initial goal for starting to blog. However, as time went by, I readjusted my goals. I made the decision to monetize and to branch out, but still that took time to develop. I am not saying you will have it all figured out in the beginning, but still you should have an idea as to why you are starting a blog and as you continue should be able to amend and update these goals, too.

4) Time Management (Set Up a Schedule) for Starting a Blog

Understand blogging takes time and cannot be built overnight. In the beginning, you may blog whenever you have free time. But you will slowly see that blogging may take up more then free time, especially if you start to get comments and even you indeed get to know new people through navigating the new wild world of blogging.

So, a big hint and suggestion for you from me is to set a schedule for when you post and so on. Trust me, you will thank me for this one.

My weekly (yes I take weekends off to spend time with my family) schedule now is to read other blogs (yes in order to be a blogger you need to read, comment and share for others – more on this in a bit) in the morning. Mid afternoon, after my girls and my dog are settled, I usually will try to write or do design work. And then, usually later in the day, I catch up on anything I may have missed.

Mind you this is my summer schedule and you can amend your schedule for different times of the year. But the key is to have a schedule set that will work for you.

5) People/Networking Skills & Social Media When Starting A Blog

Now, that you have started your blog and have a support system, blogging goals, as well as a schedule, you now will want to put yourself out there and get to know others that blog alongside of you through networking.

Blogging is not an introvert’s palace and you will definitely want to become more extroverted and communicate with others in the blogging world through commenting and social media, too.

I, myself, belong to all forms of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+ and Instagram.

This may sound overwhelming, and trust me it can be, but my suggestion is do a little bit at a time with each one as you get acclimated and feel your way around.

Also, set some time limits here, as well, because just like blogging, you need to schedule time for this and not let it consume you.

Also, you may find that one of these social networks is a better fit for you and that you gravitate towards one or two more then the others. For me personally, I love Instagram and Twitter probably the best and the others I use as I see fit and have time.

But still the take away on this is that you should be out there networking with others in the blogging community as much as you can and time permits, to help further you as blogger.

You may also want to join affiliations and groups to connect with others in the blogging world, such as SITS. Trust me these affiliations really do help you get to know others and also help to further your advances as a blogger.

Bottom Line for Starting A Blog

Blogging is totally what you make of it, and if you are indeed contemplating starting a blog, my tips above will definitely help you, and hopefully you will succeed with blogging.

Happy Blogging!

Keep Reading

Looking for more information on starting a blog? Here are a few posts you’ll find helpful:

About Janine Huldie

Janine is a published author of the books, The Mother of All Meltdowns and Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee. She has been featured on The Huffington Post, Mamapedia, Today Parenting Team and SheKnows. She also writes at Confessions of A Mommyaholic, as well as running her own graphic design company at J9 Designs. She's busy with two beautiful, zany, energetic daughters and a husband, but still trying (key word) to keep it all in perspective by attempting to make the days and nights a little bit brighter. Find Janine, also, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

89 Comments

  • Hey very cool blog!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
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  • Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my facebook group?

    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your
    content. Please let me know. Cheers

  • Fantastic tips, Janine. I really need to work on the time management one! I would love to learn to code too but that just seems like such a huge undertaking at the moment.

  • […] 5 Things You Need When Starting A Blog via The SITS Girls. I love how this post focuses on mindset and intentions rather than technical stuff. […]

  • Laurie Ward says:

    I am just starting out in the blogging world and I am finding your posts extremely helpful. Can’t wait until your forum is back up. So much to do!!

  • Great tips, especially blogging gets you what you put in! It’s great to have goals for blogging as well, gives you direction. Happy SITS day, friend!

  • Gary Kerr says:

    Great post on how starting a blog.This is very informative article. I would request to everyone who wants to attract more readers must follow these tips and you need to establish your credibility.Thanking you so much for this post.

  • […] Here’s a great post talking about what you need to know before starting a blog. […]

  • Stacey C. says:

    I really wished I would’ve stumbled upon this post before starting my new Blog called Working From Home With Stacey. Word Press. com. Blogging has always been a long term goal of mines, but never really gotten around to considering on doing it until now. I am new to Blogging, but not a stranger when it comes to creative writing and designing. Although, one of my main reasons for starting a Blog was merely based on a experience I had on Facebook regarding one of my Business pages. After my most recent experience I just came to a place where since I already spend time on Social Media while promoting each of my Businesses and I love writing-it just made perfect sense to start one in sharing what I love doing from home with others. I hope everyone can check it out sometime feel free to comment or let me know what you think. : )

  • So glad you added the bit about time management, because we both know what a time eating beast it will become unless you set some boundaries. Ain’t it crazy how far we’ve come in such a short time??? Congrats one your very well deserved SITS Day!

    • Thanks Melissa and I know the time management is a real killer for bloggers, I truly think and I do know you totally get it. And again thank you always for being a wonderful and supportive friend!! 🙂

  • When I started, I was completely clueless! I wish I had read something like this before. 🙂 I was not prepared for the time commitment and I’m still trying to figure that out. Also had no idea that I would make so may friends through blogging!

    • Lisa, I totally agree and really didn’t know much nor the friendship factor at all. Just so very happy for that though and getting to you and so many other wonderful bloggers my friends, as well 🙂

  • Natasha says:

    Thanks for the tips. I’m a few weeks in and am on track with most of the above, but the biggest challenge is time management. I just really enjoy working on blog stuff, but it takes soooo much time!

    • Natasha, I know exactly what you mean and even recently I had an idea for a blog article and what I thought would take me an hour or so ended up taking me over 5 hours from start to finish to not only write the article, but flesh it out and even down to finding and editing the right images. So, time is indeed and always will be a big part of blogging here, too.

  • Rea says:

    You wrote this from first hand experience and I can feel the sincerity of wanting to help and share. You gave really practical tips Janine! Blogging is really time consuming even for me who’s doing it for passion.. at least for now. So I really like that you are very honest and true about this. 🙂

    • Aww, thank so much Rea and when I was asked to share my thoughts for tips in starting a blog, I jotted down the ones that came to mind for me and then I tried my best to relate it as much as possible to my experiences int he last few years with blogging. So, can’t say enough that you are so right that this really is a list grown out of my experiences and my passion (too) for blogging 🙂

  • Great information, I wish I would have received a little more straight talk when I started my blog. It would have saved me a ton of heartache. Thanks for the information. I will be sure to pass it along when I can.
    Blessings,
    Shari

    • Thanks so much Shari and I know the feeling believe me and like I have said here before hoping this can indeed help many others just starting out 🙂

  • Linda says:

    You sure use “trust me” a lot in this article!! I don’t plan to start a blog, but do enjoy reading some.

  • Laina Turner says:

    This is good to hear even when you’ve been blogging awhile

  • April says:

    Watching you is inspiring. Even though I wasn’t there for your beginning, I’ve seen a lot of growth and I know your tips work! Happy SITS Day! Definitely saving this for others!

    • Thanks so much April and love you have indeed known me pretty much from the beginning, as well as happy that you can save and pass on to others who may be in need now 🙂

  • Tori says:

    Great advice! I just started working on my blog about a week ago and although I had written online before, I honestly felt a little lost on the first few days. I think it’s SO important to read other bloggers’ experiences so that you have some guidance. I have found that to be extremely helpful for me. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

    • Tori, so glad my article and experiences shared here could indeed help you that you just recently starting back up I writing online. And please feel free to visit my design blog: http://j9designs.net for any further help that I could be services and just tips that I may have shared on my blog, too 🙂

  • Jhanis says:

    I wish you wrote this when I was starting out! Great great tips! I think it’s never too late for one to learn so I will be using them!

  • Tamara says:

    I like to think back to when I started a blog, and realize how CLUELESS I was. I could have sped things up so much faster but I was clueless.
    If I had had this wonderful resource and this wonderful post, well, it would have helped.
    Happy to be here now! And with the best designer EVER.

    • Aww, Tamara I love you so much and seriously thank you for saying this here. I can honestly say I feel blessed to know you and call you a friend, too 🙂

  • These are all great tips, Janine. I’ve seen many people start a blog, write a post or two and then just get completely overwhelmed. I think goals and time management are so key to success. And the networking just takes you to the next level!

    • Jennifer, you put it perfectly and I too have seen many come and go in the blogging world and just hoping this can help others who are just starting out to not get overwhelmed going step by step now.

  • Thanks a ton for the tips. We checked off most of these, so we feel we’re headed in the right direction. The schedule and network we’re still working on, but it’s coming with time:)

    • Thanks so much Sondra and seriously so glad you have checked most of these off and sure the schedule and networking with fall into place for you, too 🙂

  • Great tips for beginners or those who want to fix a bad start.

  • I honestly didn’t have a clue the time and the skill it took to run a successful blog! I totally wish I had a goal when I started. Perfect tips Janine!

  • Krista Wiltbank says:

    Thank you!! This is a TREMENDOUSLY helpful post as I dive into blogging, trying to “do it right” from the beginning. Going in with eyes wide open will be key in terms of setting expectations for myself and my family once I’m ready to launch the blogs.

    The networking part is going to be key, I know that… but, fortunately for us introverts, networking online is not nearly as hard as networking in person (which, I know, will have to be done eventually). 🙂

    • Thank you so much tonight Krista and truly so happy to know this will help you from the beginning now and very much made me smiling indeed knowing this 😉

  • Kim says:

    I was so clueless when I started my blog – I had no idea how much time it would take and how much support I would need from my family.
    Great tips!!!

    • Thanks so much Kim and I know I really had no idea how much I would need my family backing me too when I first started to blog. I am so thankful for them 😉

  • Thanks for these wonderful tips. I just started my blogging journey a few months ago and sometimes it amazes me how long it takes me to get one post completed. I have to schedule time to take photos during the daylight hours; seems like I am always ready to take photos after dark since that is when the house is settled.

    I have also been amazed at how friendly most bloggers are…when I first started I think I was afraid that people would think I was stomping on their turf, but the community as a whole has been very welcoming and helpful.

    • Thank you and I know I truly love the blogging community and am so very proud to be a part of such a wonderful and support group of people (women and men alike).

  • Excellent tips. Being consistent with my blogging, and patient with myself are something I’ve been trying to balance over the years. Now that my kids are grown or nearly there, I want to dedicate more time to my blog, but mastering all that goes into it certainly doesn’t happen over night. 🙂

    • Thank Michelle and you are so right a blog definitely does not grow or happen overnight and wish you tons of success and love growing your blog even more now 🙂

  • Debbie says:

    I just started a blog last week and this is very helpful! My biggest challenge will be sticking to the schedule I set, as well as work and be a mom. Thank you!

  • Rosey says:

    I started with zilch, nothing, nada, nooooo idea of what I was doing. I asked two people for advice, one person was very giving and kind (like you are with this post) and the other person was very not kind. 😉 I haven’t asked anyone since, but I do see she (the non-sharer) was not the norm. The blogging community is just wonderful for the most part, and I’m glad I continued on (though it would have been nicer to do it with some idea of what was going on at first 🙂 ).

    • I am so sorry that someone was not so nice to you, but you are right that is definitely not the norm for bloggers, because for the most part I have never encountered another blogger that has been unkind or unhelpful along the way. Just glad you stuck it out and you know if you ever do need anything, you can always ask me 🙂

  • These are definitely some great tips, and I will make sure to pass them along to others who may want to start a blog.

  • Janine,
    I totally understand what you mean about not knowing all that blogging entails when we start it! I had no clue! But I wouldn’t give up blogging for anything and have met some great friends (like you!). Great post here at SITS!!

  • Scarlett says:

    Great tips! I wish I knew these when I began my blog!
    xo, Scarlett
    The Trendy Chick

  • Great article. I might also add you should try to set aside a little bit of money to play around with for your blog. Whether that’s $50 or $100, it will give you some room to try premium plug-ins, themes, etc. It IS possible to do it free, but it’s more fun and less frustrating if you’re able to budget a small amount to play with.

    • Thanks Lisa and you are right and totally could add budgeting to this. As of right now, I am used to having been making money and have money to play with when I do need certain things, but in the beginning I did have to take money out of my savings to pay for hosting and my domain name, too at the very least.

  • Time management and support are huge! Thanks for these tips 🙂

  • MaDonna says:

    Time management is a big one! For sure!

  • Janine this is fabulous! For me the biggest has been support from family and friends. It really takes a lot of time to run a blog and without the support of my family and friends it would be terrible. P.S. You are the best and ARE definitely an authority on blogging for sure, no apologies needed!

    • Jen, seriously made me blush on that last line and huge thank you for saying that. I completely agree with you on support from family and friends. I never dreamed when I first started this venture that it would take this much time to run a successful blog, but now that I do indeed know, I had to share it here for those who are indeed looking to start themselves. Thank you again 🙂

  • Echo says:

    These are AWESOME tips, Janine! I think these will really help people! I wish I had this when I first started blogging! BRAVO!

  • Diane Roark says:

    Janine,

    I had no idea what I was getting into when I started my blog. I spent many days and nights crying because I had no idea how to do things. It is not as easy as people think. You have so many roles to play.

    I really pray many new bloggers will find this post.

    Sharing, tweeting, stumbling!
    Blessings,
    Diane Roark

    • Thank you tremendously for sharing here today with me Diane and I know I seriously had no clue as to what I was in for and will say I am truly glad I did make the leap, but still wish I would have known more as to what I was getting myself into and happy to be able to help and share for others starting out 🙂

  • Bill says:

    Great suggestions, Janine, a must-read for anyone considering a blog. I know you have been a huge help and inspiration for me, so thank you. Happy Monday my friend.

    • Thank you Bill and hope you know you, too, have been a huge inspiration for me for so much, especially for my writing in general. Happy Monday again my friend and so happy to see you here today 🙂

  • Cynthia says:

    Awesome advice. Totally concur – it is VERY time consuming. And when grad school totally took over my life it killed me not being able to blog as much because I love it so. 🙂 Eh, no matter. I’m SO GLAD I did the wordpress.org thing.

    • Cyndi, I think we both can agree and commiserate so much on this. And I know how much it killed you, but so glad you are back and yeah to WordPress.org (definitely a huge fan here, too!). 🙂

  • Anna says:

    This is great! I just recently started blogging and this article will be very helpful for me. Thank you!

  • […] today.  But let me know about your experiences in starting up your own blog in the comments on SITS Girls!  Hope to see you […]

  • Thank you for sharing these tips. I started blindly blogging about 6 months ago and THEN realized there was this huge world behind blogging. I LOVE it and am now a complete addict. But I (for good or bad) didn’t do my research when I started to just write. My biggest issue that I contemplate now and need further understanding on is what platform I should have setup on. I’m on blogger but as I grow I am not sure if it should be moved over to WordPress, if I can handle wordpress and if it’s completely necessary. ? So even 6 months in I still have tons of questions. Lol. But thanks for the tips. It’s really helpful.

    • Truly happy to give tips here today and will say I was the same way when I first started and definitely entered quite blindly. If you do have any questions about transferring to WordPress, I actually do this as a service for other bloggers and be more then happy to help or answer any questions if and when you are indeed ready. Please feel free to contact me at http://j9designs.net 🙂

  • Seana Turner says:

    I had no idea what I was getting into, but it has been such a wonderful activity for me!! I will admit that my family doesn’t understand, especially the “social” aspect of blogging, and why taking the time to interact with other bloggers is so important. This will be so helpful for those considering diving in!!

    • Thanks Seana and I know hose who don’t blog just don’t always seem to get how much time it may take to blog and how social media is at the forefront of all when indeed blogging.

  • Elizabeth says:

    These are so true. When I started, I thought I could do it alone, without help and without networking. I don’t think others understand how much work blogging is, but it is so worth it. Thanks for a great post!

    • Thank you Elizabeth for sharing with me here today and I will say I thought the same thing myself. I learned quickly that I truly can’t do it all by myself and try my best now to ask for help and network as much as possible now, too.