Personal Growth

HOW A CHECKLIST OF BLOGGING TOPICS HELPED ME START MY BLOG

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Are you prowling Google for blogging tips on how to start a blog? If you’re like me, you’re probably overwhelmed with all the free stuff online to help new bloggers. 

Should you start a blog?

Absolutely but first you need to forget all those Pinterest pins that say that you can start a money-making blog in no time at all. 

 

Blogging takes the proverbial blood, sweat and tears with no keyboard and booksguarantee of success but once the spark has been lit, it’s impossible to extinguish.

I started my blog when I was forced to quit my job. The odds were 100 to 1 against me as I was clueless about blogging topics for beginners to even get started.

But I decided to stop playing it safe like I had done my whole life. 

I gambled and started FamilyGrowthLife.com.   

How to start a blog

To start my blog, I used awesome free resources available online. But I found myself in a freebie avalanche as I had no map to plot my course. 

I’ve created a simple checklist of blogging topics to help you avoid the dreaded new blogger overwhelm. Click the graphic to sign up for your step by step study plan:

 

sign up form

 

It’s my personal account of how I started my blog.

Ready? Let’s jump in.

1. Conquer your negative mindset

Have you seen incredible Pinterest pins like: 

How I made $2000 with my 1-month-old blog!

and

My August Income Report – $5000BLOGGER COFUSION - TOO MUCH INFO

My reaction –  TERROR …..

A little voice urged me to QUIT! It screamed at me….. you can’t do this ……. you don’t know anything about how to start a blog ……  on and on it went … 

But a story of triumph in a Facebook post by Prerna Malik of Content Bistro inspired me to quit skulking behind my doubting demons and start my blog.

So, the first thing you need to do is to recode your brain from CAN’T to CAN DO and MUST DO.

The flood of free online blogging tips for beginners confuses the new blogger. 

Tombs of step by step blogging information put me into permanent study mode.

I’m sure you’re in the same boat, aren’t you? A cycle of research …. notes….  research … and still, more research about blogging topics pattern your days.

When all you want to do is get to the fun part of writing blog posts.

2. The Birth of the No-Fail Checklist to Blog Smart

I wanted to blog not spend hours on end finding out what this or that tech term meant.

So, I created a blogging curriculum inspired by this post to track my progress. 

It was my life vest when I was drowning in a sea of baffling blogging how to’s and to do’s.

The experienced blogger will probably scoff at my simple checklist of blogging topics but it helped me to stop researching and start blogging.

RELATED:7 PROVEN KEYS TO NEW BLOGGER SUCCESS

3. How to start a blog with sucky tech skills

Studying about starting a blog is one thing. Actually working on the backend of a WordPress site is like taking a swim in a thunderstorm.

Was I now ready to launch my site and start blogging?

No, not by a long shot.

But this blog post by Elna Cain slayed my doubts at once. It was a ‘Starting a Blog’ GPS for me.  The whole process was dead easy to follow as it had step by step screencasts.

I chose Siteground to host my blog because they had Tech Support via Live Chat.

I now had my own, self-hosted site! Yaaay! If you are still doubtful about starting your own blog, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN.

4.  Getting to know WordPress

Have you ever been separated from your kids in a store or a mall?

You know the sheer panic you feel?

Well, that was WordPress for me. It proved to be my biggest blogging NIGHTMARE.

The itty bitty nitty-gritty details in the actual blog set up were as much fun as snuggling up to a cactus.

Oh, the relief when I discovered WP Beginner videos.

Short videos about everything from title tags, slug, meta tags, permalinks, Image attributes.

The best and quickest way to get to know Word Press is WP Beginner. Click To Tweet

I got to know the WP dashboard with Nick Foy TV – WordPress Tutorial for Beginners – The Ultimate Guide (2017).

I overdosed on other YouTube WordPress videos (too many to credit) as I grappled with WP.

Suzy Whitford’s Blog by Numbers e-course was another lifeline for me. This course, with easy to follow modules, illustrated all the stuff I had to do to customize my blog. 

Suzi’s step by step method of video teaching helped me to:

 •  understand the difference between pages and posts 

 •  structure my menu with categories

 •  set up social media buttons

 •  organize the about me section of the sidebars on my site

Wow, after all that I felt like I had just come out of a dark tunnel.

I now had a functioning site. Ready for the next step?

5. Creating content 

Finding, researching and writing content for my blog went on in jerks and jolts.

Lack of experience in writing online copy shrieked and screeched at all my efforts. I wrote, edited, rewrote, edited and went on in this loser circle.

Stressed new blogger

GIPHY.COM

Exhausted by my lack of progress, I prowled Google. It did not fail me. Read on to see the gems I found ……

Here are the resources I used to start posting content on my blog.

5.1 How to write Oustanding Blog Posts that Google and your Readers will Love by Meera Kothand.

This post is a must-read for new bloggers. She gives a zillion tried and tested blogging tips and tricks that a newbie would be insane to ignore.

Meera’s Blog Writing Template is a winner. Like slicing a pie into quarters, the outline helps organize fragmented ideas into bite-sized chunks. Super easy to work from.

5.2  99 Strong Verbs to Make your Content Pop, Fizz and Sparkle was a game-changer for me.

Google also led me to stumble upon Henneke Duistermaaat’s blog. She proved to be my saviour in shaping my writing skills.

Cutting useless adjectives and adverbs results in writing that is laser focused. Click To Tweet

Out went frilly adjectives and useless adverbs. In came Thesaurus, my new BFF.

My go-to rule became VERBS – to make my words ‘ dazzle and dance ’ as Henneke states in this post.

5.3 How to Write Spellbinding Introductions by Shamelessly Copying the Pros by Shane Arthur introduced me to Jon Morrow’s introductions.

How to write great introductions is a vital skill for newbies to acquire. Who better to learn from than Jon Morrow? 

The skills below I gleaned by foraging the blogs of successful bloggers:

•   topic choice

•   crafting headlines

•   creating outlines

•   formatting tips

•   research tricks

•   SEO strategies

You know what? After all that intense study, I still found it hard to focus on the writing.

6. Writing faster

As a new blogger, writing is torment and torture rather than ecstasy. Click To Tweet

I found myself stuck in the perfection hamster wheel.

The result – taking ages to complete a single blog post.

HOW TO WRITE FASTER: 12 TIPS FOR FREELANCE WRITERSby JOHN SOARES rescued me from this panic and chaos treadmill.

I used his 12 point guide to increase my productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique ( Write for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break. Do 4 such sets before taking a 15 – 20-minute break) worked wonders for me.

Taking a quick walk in the garden after each set also boosted my writing output.

To boost my focus further, I forced myself to remember Done is Better than Perfect!

7. Promoting your blog on Social Media 

This is a big-time stress for the new blogger.

But, blog posts need readers.

One way to get eyes on your blog posts is to promote them on social media.

But you need to have a structured plan for social media promotion for it to work for you.

I chose to be active only on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

FACEBOOK

I joined a few facebook groups run by my favourite bloggers.

The help and support given in these groups are immeasurable.

Behind the scenes blogging tips and skills available in these groups is an education in itself.

I used each group’s special promo days to promote my blog and blog posts.

Golden Bloggerz: Online Blogging Community, Mom to Mompreneur and Blogging Like We mean It Facebook groups were awesome.

Their support and encouragement helped me to ‘ just get it out ‘ there and to adopt the motto Done is better than perfect.

TWITTER

Twitter turned out to be a blogging treasure trove.

I found the WP plugin BetterClick Tweet a great way to encourage readers to share my blog posts.  

Tonia Kendrick’s How to Rock Twitter with Free Tools showed me the importance of a Twitter strategy.

Points to consider – what content to tweet and how often to tweet to get readers to your blog.

I loved her video on how to design colourful tweet graphics.

PINTEREST

Pinterest is a must-do to promote your blog. Traffic to your blog can zoom overnight if used properly.

I found Pinterest most demanding. As usual, I turned to my best buddy, Google.

The Blogging Like We Mean it Facebook group formed by Carly Campbell proved to be a strong Pinterest backbone for me.

  • Any and everything related to Pinterest from Pin Design to Pinning Strategy is discussed.

It was through this group that I bought Carly’s invaluable book Pinteresting Strategiesand started implementing it right away.

Your turn

The journey to starting my blog was an uphill climb.  Let’s recap. The obstacles were:

1.  Negative Mindset

2..Creating a Checklist of Beginner Blogging Topics 

3.  The Handicap of Poor Tech Skills

4.  Setting up a WordPress site

5.  Content Creation

6.  Productivity

7.  Social Media Marketing

I’m nowhere near the summit. The learning curve is still sharp and steep. But I now have a functioning blog. 

You can too.

Start by trying out a few of my beginner blogging tips.

Perhaps, you’ve already started your own blog or website? Have you any tips to inspire new bloggers?

Let me know in the comments below.

Please don’t forget to share this post on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

Use a checklist of blogging topics to start your blog especially if you have poor tech skills. 

 

 

 


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A former English teacher turned lifestyle blogger. Content creator for blogs and websites. Book lover, scrabble addict and crime show obsessor.

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Poovanesh PatherLiton BiswasDenise GardinerBryanAna Recent comment authors

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Liton Biswas
Guest

Hi POOVANESH,

A blog is a personal online space. It seems that everyone will have a blog in the coming years.

There are many benefits of starting a blog, other than earning money. Most bloggers quit blogging in the first year. Because they don’t see any quick return. But blogging isn’t a quick money making machine. You have to constantly put in work to build a successful blogging business.
However, thanks for sharing this helpful post.

Denise Gardiner
Guest

A very informative post! I have been a blogger for about 4 months and understand your initial fears. I took a free course from Pete and Heather Reese, which gave you step-by-step instructions on how to set up a new blog. Their course was the best! This was all foreign to me too but was something I thought of doing for years. I found some very supportive bloggers along the way who helped me through the learning stages! I am now in the process of creating a mini-course on nutrition. Thank you for sharing!

Bryan
Guest

Excellent tips! Starting a new blog can be overwhelming to many and the initial confusion and uncertainty can cause many to give up quickly. Your useful tips help point the way and show that a new, successful blog is truly within your reach.

Ana
Guest

Congratulations on working through your challenges! I’m fairly new to blogging and it’s a fun, creative outlet with some technical difficulties thrown in the mix. Thanks for the good info.

Stephanie
Guest

As a new blogger, this was so helpful!! Thank You!

Lara
Guest

Such an useful article. I was so fearful before starting my blog

Kimberlie
Guest
Kimberlie

You are absolutely correct that mindset change is essential to success not only as a blogger, but with everything. I’m amazed at the wealth of knowledge you have as a “newbie.” Thanks for sharing.

James McAllister
Guest

Hi Poovanesh! What a fantastic collection of advice here! So many people are daunted by the idea of starting a blog because it can seem so overwhelming -from the outside, it can look like there’s just so much that goes into it. Fortunately today, from a technical standpoint it’s easier than ever and as you share here there are so many incredible resources that help guide you towards things that work, and away from things that don’t. I’ve been blogging for around 8 years now and things have changed so much in that time, I feel so fortunate that so… Read more »

Sophia
Guest

Thank you for sharing this! It is so absolutely true! 🙂

The Newo
Guest

Thank you for all this info! Super helpful!