Learning how to start a blog – the mechanics of it – is the easiest part of blogging. The barriers to entry on launching a blog are low and relatively inexpensive yet so many people dream of sharing their creations online and don’t. Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned on How to Start a Blog that is successful and built to bring you purpose AND profit.
Over the course of my blogging and influencer career, the mindset shifts I have had to consciously make and lessons I have learned along the way have been plentiful. Even to get my first blog off the ground and simply share it with my friends and family, mindset shifts had to be made or I would have never started / you wouldn’t be reading this right now. My podcast, @cathclaire, and The Crystal Press would never have existed.
Had these digital creations of mine not come into existence, I feel certain that I would have spent much more time thinking about starting them over the course of the past 8 years than I have spent working on creating and sharing my work with the world. That is an interesting paradox isn’t it? Especially because I have put a LOT of time and magical energy into these creations!
Which brings me to my first mindset shift necessary fo starting a blog:
You have to be ready to start.
This is the most common myth that is debunked for business dreams in general but for the sake of this post, I can’t not include it. No one starts when they are “ready.” Start before you are ready. Write before you have something to say. Force yourself to start showing up consistently (even if it’s hard) and before you know it, you will think & write more clearly about your interests and have built a brand around things you love that simultaneously serves the global citizens of the world. OH YEAH and don’t forget about beginners luck. You can only experience this phenomenon if you *start* your blog! (I use WordPress & Bluehost, full blogpost breakdown here)
You have to be an expert.
The nice thing about blogging is that it is virtually a permission-less career. But that means that you need to stop waiting for permission from someone or some circumstance and have the gumption to give yourself the permission to start your blog. For a lot of people, this requires reminding that you do not have to be an expert. We can explore this myth aka excuse that holds many people back from starting their online career further by adding that beginners can be better at helping people understand subjects more so than the most intelligent person in the room. Thought leaders of the world stress the importance of thinking like a child and the value of the beginners mind. Take pride in your beginning (especially because the majority of people are terrified to even start!) and share your progress to becoming more well-versed in your favorite subjects with the online world.
You need a following on social media.
Focusing on vanity metrics (followers, likes, views) is a trap I fell into for a bit but what I can tell you is that what is on the other side of this slippery slope is much more peaceful and value driven. Instant gratification rarely breeds anything worth having and while the metrics of social media can inform some aspects of online life, it is not a worthy end goal IMO.
Do I post on social media? Yes. Is there money to be made here? Yes. Can you build an amazing community on social media? Yes.
BUT should social media vanity metrics be your end goal? Not in my opinion.
If you can train yourself to keep your focus on creating digital content consistently with what truly interests you and service valued at the center – even while no one is clapping – you will not only get better at it but the people who need you will be able to find you. When I started posting about what truly interested me beyond fashion , what my first blog was originally about, and started diving deeper into sharing content on manifesting, I lost followers on social media.
Initially, this effect felt like I needed to steer away from creating content about what truly interested me in the name of vanity metrics instead of what it really meant: I am not for everyone. Do you know how freeing that is? I have full faith that the people that need the voice and the work of @cathclaire (that’s me!) will find me and I am going to choose to post & create with that mindset.
*****Fast forward a couple of years and now the manifesting content I shared that truly interested me the most and didn’t receive much feedback at the time is bringing almost 400k impressions to my blog. Had I stopped creating this kind of content because of the initial response (Especially on social media), I would never have seen the numbers I am seeing today or launched a podcast on the very subject of Manifesting! (My podcast is called Manifest with Cathclaire, listen here)
You won’t be able to have a successful blog until you go viral.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of virality over value but one question I like to ask people (including myself) is – what reward is at the core of going viral for you ? Recognition? Exposure? Money?
This question is something I urge you to contemplate because once you shine a light on this desire that you could blindly become a slave to, you free yourself from the shackles of social media algorithm and fleeting trends. If you prioritize going viral over staying true to yourself, you will put in all the work chasing trends. But when you do go viral with this strategy, not much will happen because the people who finally see your work won’t know what to do with it or worse, won’t know if they should stay around to find out. Focus on building your content around what you want to share so that when you do go viral, what you’ve built will comfortably host your growing online community.
Someone is already blogging about that so I should change what I blog about.
As the number of blogs and influencers rise by the minute, it is easy to get caught in the thought trap of the market being too saturated or that someone is already blogging about what you want to blog about. Here is a different perspective: If someone is blogging about what you want to blog about, see this as a good thing because that means there is a market for you. There is a trail blazed for you. Shift your focus to gratitude that their are blogs like your future one and realize that no one will do things the way you will…and that is your super power!
I hope these common misconceptions about how to start a blog and the lessons I’ve learned on my 10 year blogging journey have brought you some clarity for your own blog launch.
Don’t wait. People who start and stick to blogging always wish they believed in themselves enough to start sooner. I know I do.
Don’t wait, you have what it takes. If you would like to learn more from me about how to launch a profitable blog, check out The Crystal Press Uni – my blogging school that will mentor you every step of the way!
I’ll leave you with a quote that I saw via Lauryn Bosstick of The Skinny Confidential that really struck of chord in me for various reasons. For the projects I wish I would’ve started sooner in my own life and for the people I talk to in my online community who are dragging their feet on their dreams. Pin it for later if this Warren Buffet strikes a chord for you, too. I even have it written on a post-it on my fridge.