Starting your own blog is daunting and overwhelming! There’s no doubt about it. If you’re anything like me, then you’ve probably been procrastinating about starting a blog for months now, if not years; You would’ve spent hours on your laptop googling topics about how to start a blog, how to build a website, do I need to code, etc. And by this point, you’d be completely overwhelmed with all the information and move into the too-hard basket or let’s-do-this-later basket. I’m not going to lie, building a blog/website was (still is) foreign territory for me, but I realise that once I stopped researching and actually start putting what I’ve learned into action, then it became less scary… and it turned out to be quite fun! Here are some of my lessons learnt and mental blocks I had to overcome in order to see the blog live. I hope you find them useful and be inspired to build that beautiful blog of yours!!
My top 5 lessons learnt from building the blog
1. Stop the research and start building
As I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time researching and reading how to’s, forums and checked out other established blogs of design inspirations etc. Unsurprisingly, there are truckload of free information available on the internet. A simple google search will return all sorts of information… some really useful and others not so useful. I spent hours and days going through them all. Often one article will lead you to more new articles as you came across a new term that you have no idea off such as SEO, plug-ins, widgets, sliders etc. However, at some point I just had to say enough is enough and just get on with it. I forced myself put what I learnt into action. And honestly, this was the best decision ever! As seeing, playing and navigating through the templates put all the plug-ins, widgets, SEOs, sliders whatever else into perspective.
2. Set a launch date
So this is what I didn’t do but wish I did! The problem with not setting a date is that you don’t have a ‘goal’ to work towards. We all know what happens when you don’t have an end goal…! Too much time were spent researching and then procrastinating, more researching and then procrastinating. Before I knew it, 4 weeks had passed and I still haven’t got a design. Whilst the research had been useful, but I didn’t need to do ALL the research upfront. Therefore, it is very important to set a launch date and ensure you work towards it.
3. Choose a theme and don’t compare
As I was choosing a design for my blog, I checked out countless established blogs for inspiration. Needless to say, I came across so many beautiful and professional looking ones and every time I settle on a theme, I would be like no, it doesn’t have grids on the homepage like so and so’s blog, it doesn’t have multiple pages like another blog… I wanted my blog to look like everyone else’s but mine. Therefore, I searched and tried our many different WordPress templates with the hope to find one that miraculously would contain all the features I like. Obviously, that one doesn’t exist because all the well established bloggers would’ve got a professional developer to design and build a theme just for them. So just make a list of your must-have and nice-to-have features in the design, find a theme that contains all your must-haves with the aesthetic you like and have strong customisation capabilities. Then you can change and make the design yours.
4. It is ok to settle as it is not forever
I decided to settle for my current design as it allows for a lot of customisation so I can change the design to exactly how I want it. I am so happy with how it has turned out. Of course there will always be more things I want to add to the blog and more themes to play around with. I could continue searching for more templates but at the end of the day, launching the blog and start writing is more important right? I also know that I am not stuck with this design forever and I can always change the look and feel of it in the future when I get bored with this one. So just work with what you’ve got right now. Maybe one day, you can also hire a professional developer to design your blog for you too.
5. Just go for it!
My final point is to just go for it! It is not as scary as it sounds. Once you spend some time working on it, a lot of the technical things will make more sense. Say no to procrastination and just make it happen. These days, you really don’t need to be technical to build a website. There are so many ready to go templates that you can adopt and make it work for you. What’s even better is that most of them are free! So get creative, have fun and remember… “you can be as naughty as you want, just don’t get caught”. 😉
I hope you found these tips helpful. Have you just started a blog yourself? What were your lessons learnt? Please comment below, I would love to hear your thoughts!