How to start a blog from scratch?

Interesting, isn’t it, how clients, prospects and total strangers can always ask surprising questions? Questions you never come up with, yourself? Does that sound familiar? This is why it would never have occurred to me that it might be a good idea to share how you start a new blog, a blog from scratch? Yet, I received this question a number of times recently, so here goes. My view on how to start your journey towards blogging success…

from scratchI will answer the following three questions:

  1. What do you need to start?
  2. What is the best working order?
  3. Which tips will guarantee a flying start?

What do you need to start?

In practical terms all you need is what’s on this checklist:

  • platform
  • blog theme
  • A number of blog posts
  • Readers
  • LinkedIn profile
  • Facebook profile
  • list of clients and prospects (including their e-mail addresses)

You need the platform to publish your blog posts. This may be a separate blogging page on you website, a WordPress blog, a blogger blog or any other platform, such as this one, on LinkedIn. The main issue is that you have one central place where you can publish you blog posts, enabling you to share your articles with your readers.

Your blog theme is the overall topic you wish to blog about. Make sure you have a clear theme and that you have clarity about this within yourself. If you’re a copywriter, your main theme could be “website content”. If you’re a photographer, your main theme could be “portrait photography” When you’re an architect, your main theme could be the design of health care facilities. Just to name a few examples. Make sure you choose something that a) you are passionate about and b) your readers are keen to read about.

You really do need a few blog posts to beef up. Once you’re presenting your blog across social media and to your mailing list and invite people to come and read, you’ll make a much better impression with a few articles on different topics, than when they’ll find just the one blog post…

Readers: you’ll definitely need those. This seems like an obvious message, yet as a blogger you need to be aware how to find and bind your readers. Starting out with a blog, make sure you tell your clients, fans and connections where they can find your blog and that you have published a fresh blog post.

Your LinkedIn profile is a must, too. Here you can connect with all you clients, prospects, joint venture partners and business relations. Any messages presenting your latest blog post cannot only be published as a status update in your timeline, but also be shared in groups where you know your target audience is present and active. It is always wise to be aware that spamming will work against you: use a good strategy for this and don’t share too much, too often.

For very similar reasons you will need a Facebook profile. To share your posts about your latest blog articles, just like on LinkedIn. Facebook also has special interest groups, so you can be present there strategically, too, offering your blogs to relevant group members and your own ‘friends’.

And last, but not least, you do need a list with names and e-mail address of relevant contacts, such as clients, prospects, business relations, business partners etc. That way you can communicate with them about your blog posts.

What is the best order for starting your blog?

I have put together the best order in which to start up your blog in my S.T.A.R.T. method. A simple 5 step method to set up you first or new blog.

S = Start with an overall blog theme

T = Typify your target audience and your ideal readers

A = Assess what your readers wish to read or learn about

R = Record a logical order of the first couple of blog topics

T = Take action and write those blog posts

Here are some tips to get you off to a flying start:

Determine what you wish to achieve – Do this before you start writing. Make sure you know exactly what it is you wish to achieve with your blog. Do you wish to inspire people, spur them on to take action, showcase your expertise? Make sure you are very clear about that and use it to gain and maintain focus for your blog articles. This is sure way to specifically attract your target audience.

Define who you wish to blog for – Who is your primary target audience? Who are the people, whose problem you can solve? The better you can map this out for yourself, the more interesting your blog posts will be for your ideal readers.

Be clear about your blog topics – Choose topics that are related to what your readers want to read about and that showcase your expertise. It is so very tempting to blog about what you like and love… and that’s a trap you must avoid: most probably those topics are not very high on the interest list of your readers. Assess in advance what the topics are that your target audience is really interested in and that you have something valuable to say.

Be selective about blog topics – Listen always to topics your readers, clients and fans tell you they’re interested in. Watch what is keeping them awake at night, what keeps their minds occupied, what others blog about – from a different perspective – and make sure you know the problems your target audience is suffering from. Find out on other blog sites, in forums, on LinkedIn, on Facebook.

Ask your readers what they want to read about – Ask questions regularly and in as many ways as you can think of. Ask them what they want to know, what frustrates them, what they would like to learn, what they would like to start or stop, to do more of or to improve. This always produces interesting new topics, and it also shows that you care. That’s not only nice for your readers, it’s nice for you, too.

I am wishing you lots of fun and success with your blog. Please do let me know how the S.T.A.R.T. method is working out for you. And if you have any questions, let me know and I will answer them here for your!

Let me know what you think of my S.T.A.R.T. method and leave a comment – share your opinion & experiences. To inspire is to be inspired!

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8 thoughts on “How to start a blog from scratch?

  1. Marjolein

    Thank you Saskia! Very helpful, but stil don’t know what’s MY main topic to write about. Terrible little voice in my head: Who the f*** is interested in me and my story?

    Reply
  2. Anneke

    Your A of Assess what your readers wish to read or learn about:

    I often write about what happens in my practice. What my clients tell or ask. Or in general about their issues.
    Sometimes I write about interesting books in my professional area: a recommendation or some clues from the book.

    And sometimes about the actuality. As in this week, the week of work stress:
    7 advices to avoid a burn-out

    Reply
    1. Saskia van de Riet Post author

      Very true, Anneke, it is important to keep the A of Assess alive, regardless of whether you start your blog, or you have been blogging for a long time, like you have. Thank you for sharing this!
      Saskia
      xx

      Reply
    1. Saskia van de Riet Post author

      Hi Marjolein, join the club, you’re not the only one. Thank you for your courage to put it into words, here, online, for everyone to see. The more powerful question is, WHO is waiting…? You are waiting for something… to make it perfect… and it never will be perfect. There will always be people who will benefit from what you blog about. So, go with the main topic you know you can help clients with Go with that topic for now… and fine tune it according to your readers’ feedback… It worked for me, it works for my clients, it will also work for you.
      Saskia
      xx

      Reply
  3. Anna Joostensz

    The list of actions is kind of obvious, but it gives quite a clear focus on whatever should be fine and in which order if one wants to start with blogging.

    Reply
    1. Saskia van de Riet Post author

      You’re so right, Anna, it is obvious. And what is great about obvious, is that it becomes doable… It’s a great checklist down the blogging, road, too, as it is only too easy to become distracted…
      Saskia
      xx

      Reply

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