Jul 14, 2020
It’s easy to think in a world of so many people that starting a blog is old news, but the truth is, it’s far from it. Your voice is unique, and chances are you have something to say that people really want to hear. So, to give you some great tips on starting out, we collaborated with London-based journalist and digital content creator Trishna Goklani, to get her take on launching your own stand-out blog.
I started my blog after multiple nudges from friends and at a time where blogs and social platforms like mine were scarce. These days, everything you need to know is within your digital reach.
Step 1: Find Your Niche
Before thinking about how you’re going to create your blog, it’s important to establish ‘what’ it’s going to be about. Pick topics you’re passionate about and think about how you want to convey these messages. Many people think that they have to be an expert in the field to be able to have an authoritative voice on it but as long as you’ve taken the time to do your research and are well-versed in the subject for a period of time, I personally think that’s valid. However, don’t forget to ensure that you are continually learning as topics are continuously evolving and that nothing stays the same forever.
I’m sure some questions and self-doubt you may have look like, “But what do I have to offer?” And the answer is: everything. To stand out, all you need to have is (besides a load of hard work) to be passionate about your subject matter.
Step 2: Pick Your Platform
There’s no right or wrong answer here, as there are tons of resources online to help you create any sort of website you want. The most important thing is to pick a platform that can help you grow over time.
Before you get down to crafting your website, take some time to browse some of your favourite blogs. As a reader, is there anything else you would do to make their page better? Think about things like colour palettes, font size, image sizes and also navigation. These are key things to ensure that the time people spend on your website will be a smooth one.
Step 3: Creating Your Stories
Having studied journalism at university, I’ve been taught that there are stories everywhere if you look hard enough. My university lecturer once told me, “Once an accident, twice is a coincidence and three times is a trend”. Essentially, once you have an idea, speak to people and most of the time your story will start to take shape.
My content used to be focused on my personal experiences like travel and beauty, which is why I'm used to religiously documenting my trips and daily life. But things evolve and as time goes by there will be demand for new types of content.
I recently received feedback from my following that they’d like to hear more about fashion and sustainability. This could mean sharing resources, helping them discover new brands to support or even sharing my ways of incorporating these practices into my own life. While a topic like this can be daunting, it can also help to bring in experts on these subjects to enhance the post and add credibility.
Step Four: Formatting
Formatting a post for me has always been the most fun yet tedious part. You’ve done the hard work and now it’s time to make sure that translates into your final outcome.
Always ensure that you have a header image that can be customisable to suit different platforms. This means you have to think about images that are high-resolution, but also can be cropped in landscape and portrait formats for social media.
Keep this short and sweet by picking up keywords of your article. Think about ways in which you could attract someone into clicking on your article. For example, “How to create a sustainable wardrobe in 3 steps”.
If you’ve included some noteworthy quotes from people relevant to your discussion, you could also include that here to draw your readers in. For example, “Digital content creator Trishna Goklani shares everything she’s learnt”.
These are all the words you’ve written broken up into different paragraphs. Always add imagery between these paragraphs to give your eyes a break, and don’t forget to always give image credit where it’s due.
Step Five: Sharing You Blog
You’ve hit publish — now what? Unless you have people already subscribed to your posts, cross-sharing on your social media is an effective way of spreading the word. There are many ways you can do this besides a #linkinbio.
Instagram stories, for example, have been proven to be a great way to share snippets of a longer article. Tag your contributors in the posts so that they can re-share it on their space, which will ensure that your presence is reached beyond your following. Keep it short and simple, include your images and pick the best quotes to pique the attention of your readers.
At the end of the day, what you put into your blog will equal what you get out of it. Put in the work and let the rest do its thing. Even though these are just five starting points for you to create your blog, these are not set rules to success. Don’t put yourself down for not being able to write or design your website. The resources to aid you in these ways are all within reach in the digital world. Good luck!