Hey guys! I’ve received so many questions about how I started blogging, how you can start a blog, how I keep up with blogging, life and school, etc. I’m going to be answering many of those questions throughout this post, as well as giving you my best tips & tricks to start blogging as a high-schooler/teen/college student!
This is going to be a pretty LOOONG post, so you may just want to skim read through some of the topics, then save the rest for later, by bookmarking or pinning to Pinterest.
Choose one niche to focus on. I know it’s easy to just start a blog and start posting about whatever. I mean technically yes, it is your blog and you can post about whatever you want, but I mean really, who wants to read about any random thing that comes to your mind at any given moment? Let me tell you: Not a lot of people.
The thing is, you need to pick one topic to focus on. Remember, if you’re writing for everybody, you’re writing for nobody. This is simply because not everyone has the same interests.
Choosing a topic should be fun! Find something that you enjoy, something that you’re passionate about and something you love sharing with others.
You should also choose a niche where there are a lot of things to be written about. For example, creating a blog about a certain movie may not be a great idea, since there is only so much you can say about one movie. Whereas, creating a blog that reviews movies would be much more profitable, since there are endless movies you can review.
Some popular niche’s are:
- Health & Nutrition
- Lifestyle Tips
- DIY crafts
- Restaurant Reviews
- Food photography
- Cooking/baking fails
Pick an easy-to-remember domain. Ugh, this is a hard one. You want to be creative and pick a memorable name, but at the same time, it’s easy to make it too long.
This is especially tricky when you are using the free WordPress.com plan, because your url looks like, mysitetitle.wordpress.com.
(Honestly, it’s SO WORTH upgrading to a .com name!)
I’d recommend choosing something short and sweet that describes what you’ll be posting about. You could also use your name.
I chose thestripedplaid.com, because it’s unique and it’s memorable. It’s also creative and a good fit (at least in my opinion) for a lifestyle blog.
I was actually considering using my name, but, it just wasn’t super catchy. XD (hannahelizabeth.com vs. thestripedplaid.com, what would you choose?)
Keep your site design simple and easy to navigate. My first tip for this would be to choose a white background. It instantly cleans everything up and eliminates clutter.
I like to think of my website as if I were designing a room. For example, I want my website to feel cute, cozy, trendy, modern, classic and minimalist.
So I filter my graphics, photos and tone through those things, just as if I were designing a room.
Get some blog posts up. Your content is the MOST important part of your blog. Consistently creating amazing content in your niche is what will make your blog successful.
I’d suggest starting with an introductory post (introducing yourself, your blog, etc), then get some posts up about popular topics in your niche. Doing this will help you gain exposure, and experience posting.
Start researching popular search terms for your niche. Once you’ve written some blog posts, and are in “the swing” of writing posts, you can start focusing on your SEO and gaining some readers/followers.
If you’re just blogging for fun/don’t want to do this, that’s totally fine. Your blog is yours. You can take it as far as you want. It’s awesome because you get to define your own version of success for you.
But if you are looking to spend some time focusing on SEO (which, btw. is search engine optimization 😉), then here are some tips:
- If you are using WordPress, use the “tags” section to put in keywords that you have researched on Google. (to research keywords on Google, type in keywords related to your post, and enter the popular keywords that relate to your post in the tags section)
- Enter your own name/blog name into the tags section as well as researched keywords. (this is in case someone types in your name, then your blog will pop up)
- Use long tail keywords. (long tail keywords are often LESS popular, but more niche specific, making it more likely for you to get found by someone who is actually looking to read what you’re writing. Long tail keyword example: how to earn money as a teen in 2020. Non, long tail keyword example: how to earn money.)
- Never under any circumstance tag your post (or anything!!) with something that isn’t relevant to your post. All search engines hate that.
- Don’t worry if this seems super confusing. There is literally an entire science to marketing your website. This is about getting started and gaining some traction, not being a marketing scientist. Remember, your first priority is to create AMAZING content, 2nd priority is to share your AMAZING content with others. (marketing & SEO)
I plan on eventually making a post about blog SEO and marketing, so this is just a basic overview.
Think of new ways you can grow your blog. Maybe it’s starting an Etsy shop, maybe it’s starting a podcast, you have to figure it out! But eventually, you can grow beyond just your blog and start developing a brand. Or you can just stick to your blog, and focus on solely growing it. It’s all up to you!
How do you keep up with blogging, life, friends & school? I’ll be honest, this can be really tricky. You definitely have to use your time wisely and be productive. And with anything in life, sometimes you have to choose. You can’t do everything.
A tricky thing though is that when you are a blogger (or pretty much any entrepreneur), your work is never done. There is always more you could do, and so sometimes you just have to decide that you’re done for the day. It’s not like homework, where you finish what you have to do for the day, and are done.
I really have to focus on being intentional, and doing other things I value other than just blogging. I usually make a daily to-do list for myself, and once I’m done, I’m done.
Why did you start blogging? I actually started blogging for school. I think it was 6th grade where we had to start a WordPress.com blog for school. I just enjoyed blogging so much that I continued doing it. 🙂
How do you collaborate with small businesses? I won’t go into much detail here, since I’m planning an entire detailed post on this soon, but the basics of it are to do some research on the shop you plan on contacting, then write a short email with a few ideas of how you guys could work together. Remember, only contact companies/accept collaboration requests that fit into your niche.
What would you recommend focusing on as a new blogger? I’d honestly recommend trying to get your design together and trying to focus on creating some content. The more content you have created, the more people will trust you. I’d definitely recommend getting some content up, before focusing on marketing your blog.
Do you use WordPress.com? If so, you ever plan on switching to self hosted WordPress? I do currently use WordPress.com, and I’m mostly happy with how the setup is and how it’s pretty easy to create a professional looking blog.
I do plan on switching to self-hosted WordPress eventually and was actually planning on doing that, rather than upgrading. However, I realized that many of my views/follows were coming from the WordPress.com Reader, so once my SEO improves and I start ranking better and getting followers from people who’ve found me on a search engine, then I do plan on switching.
Those are just several questions, because this post is getting pretty long, but if you have a specific question, please feel free to email me, and I’ll get back to you! 🙂
I hope these tips are helpful for you guys and if you have any other questions, I’d be happy to (try) to answer them! 🙂
Also, if you enjoyed this post, make sure to share it with your friends on Pinterest & Instagram! Thanks guys!