Welcome to the first full week of October! Recently Rohrl, my two year old, has become afraid of the dark so I’ve had to lay in his room with him until he falls asleep; which some nights can be almost two hours. While it does cut in to my me time and time with my hubby, it also gives me lots of time to reflect and think about things. One night I was thinking about what goals I had or wanted to set. I am a huge believer in setting goals. If you don’t have an end result in mind you’ll have a hard time getting there. When I got to thinking about Tastefully Frugal I started thinking about what I wanted to do with it. My whole goal is to help people. Whether it is giving you motivation to create meal plans, (which I really need to get better at posting), helping you discover new meals or just giving you some fun stuff to read; if I make your day better I feel like I am achieving my goal. One thing I haven’t done yet is help with blogging related questions.
I’m really amazed at how many people I talk to about my blog that say “I’ve always wanted to have a blog I just don’t know where to start.” Or they ask how I got started, or why. That’s how the idea of Blogging 101 came about. My hope is that I can answer some of these questions for you. I’ll go over things from the hows and whys to the more technical stuff like how to actually get your blog up and running. I’m going to try to answer as many questions as I can, but if there is something I miss or don’t cover please feel free to email me any time; I would love to help (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Have you ever heard of the Five W’s? Who? What? When? Where? Why? In school we used the Five W’s to answer questions about things we had read. They can also help when you are setting goals. Especially with blogging.
We aren’t going to go in order of the Five W’s, we’ll go with the most logical questions first; and for blogging the first question you need to as yourself is why? Why do you want to start a blog? Is it a way to keep track of your recipes? Is it a way to keep connected with family? Do you want to make money? Or make new friends? Whatever the answer is, it is ok; but you need to start your road to blog-dom with an idea of what you want. It’s like going to the store without a list. You end up buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need and forget some of the important stuff. Same thing with blogging, If you lose track of your goal (or don’t have one to start with) you may get sucked into just blogging about everything which can be overwhelming and you’ll probably get burnt out quickly. (Quick fact: Most bloggers give up after about 6 months. I don’t know the exact number but you don’t want to be in this group.)
Now that you have an idea of why you want to blog let’s talk about what you want to blog about? What are you passionate about? Is it cooking? Fashion? Parenting? What do you know a lot about? Is there something that you do really well that people come to you for advice on? That’s what you want to write about. Think about it this way; a blog is a long term relationship, time investment. You wouldn’t marry someone (or start a long term relationship) you didn’t like so why should you write about something for years, potentially, that you don’t like either. And it doesn’t have to be just one thing. If you are an amazing seamstress, fantastic cook and have a crafty mind that could rival Martha Stewart (I am totally jealous of you) you have that many more things you can write about.
Next is who. Who is going to contribute to your blog? Are you going to do it mostly on your own? Do you have a bestie you would love to collaborate with? Or even a group of friends you would like to start a blog with? Again, there is no right or wrong answer. I have met several successful blogs that fit in to every category. Recently I met a group of ladies (13 in all) that all blog at the same site.
This leads us into our fourth W, when. How often do you want to post. This will be different for everyone, and will change for everyone as life happens. But it is best to sit down and evaluate how much time you have to blog. Though it may only take you 5-20 minutes to read a post it takes five to ten times that long to write it. From writing, to proofreading, photo editing, posting to social media etc. You need to have a good idea of how much time you are able to devote on a weekly basis. If it’s only a few hours a week than 1-2 posts a week is what you want to start with. Maybe all the kids have moved out and you have more time on your hands than you know what to do with. If so 3-5 posts a week is much more doable for you. This ties a lot in with the who. If you do blog with more than just yourself, you (sometimes) don’t have to devote as much time as when you do it solo.
Lastly we have where. Where are you going to blog at? It’s always good to have a dedicated spot that you can sit down and work on things. It doesn’t have to be a formal office, or even a dedicated room (currently my dedicated spot is the comfort of my couch). What you do need to have is somewhere comfortable to sit for long periods of time and have access to a few simple things (pen, paper, outlet to plug your laptop in). I’m big on habit and routine so this one is huge for me.If for some reason my couch is unavailable (think hubby napping or mounds of clothes that need to be folded) I can’t get in the groove.
So now that you have an outline of how to start the blog I want to give you one more AMAZING tool. One of the very first blogs I started following was Just A Girl And Her Blog. Abby is so creative (I’m totally in love with her Feminine Home Office Makeover) and seriously one of the nicest people I have ever “met” (I have never met her in person, but she is always quick to reply to questions via email and is always willing to help where she can). Recently she wrote an e-book all about what she learned her first year of blogging, Building A Framework. It has been my blogging bible, so to speak. She covers everything from how she got started, all the technical parts of setting up a blog, to social media strategies and how to make money blogging. Almost every question I had when I started I found an answer to in this book. What I really love is that she writes it in a way that I can understand. When I read it (and I’ve read it at least 5 times) I feel like I’m talking to Abby.
Recently I won a second copy of this amazing book from Abby and when chatting with her about things I had mentioned my idea of starting this series and she was awesome enough to give me a copy to giveaway. Isn’t she the best?! We’re also including a set of her Blogger Binder Printables. These are so helpful whether you’ve been blogging for 10 days or 10 years. Included is an editorial calendar, stats trackers, goal sheets and so much more. All you have to do is enter through the Rafflectopter below. I hope you win!
If you can’t wait to read the book you can go here to buy your own copy. It’s listed for $24 but because Abby is so awesome, until this Friday, October 10th, if you can’t justify spending $24 you can buy it for any amount you choose (at least $1). But seriously this book is so valuable $24 is a steal!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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