How to Start Your Own Blog

I feel like this is such a cliché topic to write about but how I created this blog is something I get asked ALL the time. My desire to create a blog started one day while I was attending a class at my college in the South Loop of Chicago. I went to school for journalism and already had a fascination for words and writing but the need to have a blog came when we had a guest speaker come to one of my classes. The speaker, though I am ashamed to admit I don’t remember her name, talked about her blog and how she made it into a successful career. My little college self sitting at my desk thought that, maybe if I worked hard at it, that could be a reality for me too or worst case scenario a nice little portfolio. 

So first things first…I needed a topic and I needed a name. 

My topic popped right into my head without much thinking at all. I wanted to write about long distance military relationships. After some years, it has definitely evolved into more but that is what I focused on first.  If a topic doesn’t pop into your head right away think about what you are truly passionate about. What do you Pinterest at night before you go to bed? What kinds of Instagram accounts do you follow? What kinds of books do you read for enjoyment, etc.?

Okay, cool. I got a topic but now I needed a name. My boyfriend is in the Navy so I did lots of research on Navy topics to see if anything had peaked my interest. On Pinterest, I came across a pillow set where one read “Her Captain” and the other pillow read “His First Mate” and I was sold.

If that plan failed, my second idea was to sit down randomly a few times during a day and just jot different words and phrases that came into my head and see if I couldn’t pick something out of that.

My biggest advice here is to be original. We all have people we look up to but that person already exists. Copying them and their style is going to get you absolutely no where. Have people that you admire and look up to their work but don’t try to attempt to be exactly like them. Stick true to you and your own style. Pick a name and make sure it isn’t already in use. Google your topic and see what has already been done.

I needed to find a site building platform that worked for me. 

If you are one of those people that know how to code and build websites yourself then amazing! I, however, am definitely not one of those people so I needed the help of an outside source. And there are so many amazing different sites with lots of different payment plans, layouts, apps and features. Squarespace and Wix are two I definitely considered but, overall, WordPress won me over.

You may also find it beneficial to have a furry assistant like Doug.

I started on a free site, got a few posts up and made sure I was actually going through with this before signing up for an actual domain name (Whoo!).  Personally, I liked how WordPress was pretty cheap compared to my other options and it is super simple to use and set up. I have stuck with it ever since starting four years ago.

I have an affiliated link here if you are curious about starting:

https://wordpress.com/alp/?aff=31185&cid=3227374

I needed the desire to start and the drive to keep going.

I truly believe that good things don’t just come to those who sit on their couch and wait. If you want your dream job, you have to go apply for it and show up for the interview. If you want to meet the love of your life, you have to get up and go on dates. If you want rock hard pecs and washboard abs, you have to get your ass up and go to the gym.

If you want to be a writer, you have to sit down, brew a good cup of coffee, put on some music that gets you pumped (whether that be Frank Sinatra or Pitbull, it does not matter!) and get things going.

And once you do get things going, keep them going. Treat your writing like a business. Sure, life gets a little rocky and sometimes I will fall off the bandwagon for a bit to tend to other things but I will always come back. I will always be googling and researching ways to make my art better. I am always hungry.

If you have the passion and heart to back your work the rest of these details are going to come easily and the map charts itself. You just need the initial push to put yourself on that map.

 

 

If you have any additional questions or comments, send me an email!

 

 

 

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