Blogging! This series of posts will be about starting my blog. Since I’m going through this for the first time, I thought why not share the steps with you in case you want to create your own blog one day. Starting a blog from scratch is not as simple and easy as I wanted to think it was! There takes a lot of planning and prep work to create content that is pretty to look at, easy to follow / read, and full of knowledge / helpful information for the reader. In this post, I’ll share my first (very important) step in creating my blog, Olive and Gene and a direct link to the online blogging course that has helped me get this off the ground running properly. I highly recommend (the business of blogging) more on that below.
My first step
Why do I want to start this blog? I’ve always had a mini blog for my wedding work. The purpose for that blog is to showcase my floral design work- like a portfolio for future clients to see. I am pretty familiar with how to put together a blog post, well I thought that until I started creating this blog. There are needed steps and research to do for each post. Initially I wanted to start this blog, Olive and Gene, as a way to document my dads gardening practices. Then I learned blogging can absolutely be a business, so that intrigued me and here we are!
Side note: if you want a blog as a hobby, great! If you want it as a business, you have to make money. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not all about money but if I want to say it’s a business- it has to make money. Also there are some expenses that come along with this blog, it’s not free for me to create. More on that later.
Back to why I wanted to do this, to document my dads garden. That was actually the very first thought I had. It was September last year, I was walking around the garden and thought “I want to remember this always” and that’s when I started planning ideas for the non existent blog.
You need to know why, you need to have an idea of sorts (my blog isn’t going to be only about gardening, but it was the initial idea), and you need to make a plan.
For me the plan is now only coming to life. It’s April. Now you can make this happen pretty quickly, don’t think you have to plan for months because you don’t. I have other responsibilities that had to come first and since I was new to this blogging world, I wanted to gather as much information that I could before jumping in.
The plan. Originally I thought about doing a gardening blog with produce and flowers, but then decided to make it more lifestyle. This might be a good or bad thing. Not sure yet!? Since it’s not focusing on one thing which is usually helpful to gain an audience if you focus in on one particular thing. I’ve heard “be an expert in your field and you will go far”. I’m not a gardening expert, but my dad knows a lot so I’m leaning into that as well as sharing more of my lifestyle to have content. Another reason to add in more lifestyle content is because (hopefully) I’ll be able to reach some of my past wedding clients. I can share “life after wedding” since I already do have some following in that area, might as well try to utilize it. You can think about if you are already in a group or have people interested in something you are already doing. I’m not sure yet if this will work, as this is a new blog, but ways to engage with people you already know should be helpful.
What to think about and decide on:
Why do I want to start a blog and what will it be about?
Really think about this and do some research, too. There are a lot of blogs out there and you want to stand out as much as you can. I’ll suggest opening a Google Doc and just start typing. I have pages and pages of brainstorming, which most will not see the light of day, but that’s part of the process.
Back to focusing in on 1-2 topics- helpful with feeling overwhelmed which was where I sat for a long time and kept me from publishing the blog.
Also consistent updating of the blog has been another challenge as I plan content. I’ve been told one post a week is recommended, so that right there overwhelmed me. Again, this isn’t a hobby so I have to treat it like a job. Planning to post consistently is something I’ve struggled with in the past with my wedding blog. I would only post a blog when I had the time and when the photographer sent me the photos. Now I have to switch my mindset because for the wedding business the blog was another part of the business, now this blog (Olive and Gene) is the whole business. Very different!
From all your brainstorming and research, you can pick the best topics and that should help you narrow in your focus. Once you figure out your why, you can start picking a name and making sure that name is available on all platforms you want. For me, I already had my name Olive and Gene Weddings for my wedding work and want to keep the same brand feel so it makes sense to have my blog continue with the name Olive and Gene. I also want my brand to flow from weddings to life after wedding which is why this part has been a little more easy for me since I’ll be keeping a similar feel in this new blog. But picking out a name can be tough, so don’t be hard on yourself and take you time to pick something lasting over trendy.
Going back to posting consistently, I’m going to be publishing a new post on Thursday’s (trying for every Thursday, but every other for sure). Another way I like to keep myself accountable is saying out loud what I’ll be doing, and not just keeping it in my head. So next Thursday be on the lookout for step 2 in my blogging process which will be all about planning your content.
From your why and your ideas, you can start to plan your content. That will be step two! For more on my blogging planning content… (step 2).
Photography by Cami Wade
more about the helpful online course i purchased
When I knew I was getting serious about this blog, I wanted to know the basics of what I should do to get my blog set up properly from the start. I found Julie Blanner because she’s a midwest gal and was in the event planning world just like me. I purchased her course before I started doing anything besides gathering ideas. Her online course includes topics such as streamlining, maximizing ad revenue, affiliate revenue, negotiating contracts, SEO, email, determining ROI and so much more. Plus a Facebook group that I really enjoy! Some of what they talk about is over my head because there are seasoned bloggers in there, but I go through each conversation and take notes. I’m not where they are at right now, but I’m learning and one day hope to be. This is the only blogging course I’ve went through at the moment and highly recommend it. I’ve been able to create all this so far, so definitely worth it! If you have any questions about the course or anything at all please feel free to ask here or via email ([email protected])
Here’s your direct link to the business of blogging with Julie Blanner course .