#BlogLife: How to Start a Blog

Welcome to my first ever series where I blog about blogging! If you are new to blogging or you want to start, this is the place for you!

Killer Harmony | #BlogLife: How to Start a Blog | Learn how to start a blog with the first entry in a series of posts for new and aspiring bloggers! Learn all about how to start a blog off on the right foot, how to pick a topic, choose the right platform for you, and more!

Starting a blog is really not that hard. The hardest part is getting everything set, including choosing your topic, figuring out your target audience, and deciding which blogging platform to use. In this first post, I will talk about what you should do before you write your first post. I will cover writing blogs in the next part of this series, which will hopefully help you start your awesome journey! P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop, because at the end of February, you will find a special surprise!

1. Pick Your Topic
This is also sometimes called, at least in the blogging world, your niche. You want to write about something you have an interest in. Why would I write about cars when I don’t care one bit about them? You should also have some knowledge of your niche. I am a college music major, and I am experiencing my trip through life, so it only ┬ámakes sense that I blog about my life as a college musician. My blog nice covers a few aspects: college, music, and lifestyle, but they are things that I am passionate about and things that I have quite a lot to write about.
2. Find Your Target Audience
Before you start blogging, think about who you see reading your blog. Male, female, or a mix of the two? How old are they? What are their interests? What is their background? As an example, my blog targets mostly females, but a good percentage of males, aged 15-28, who have, are, or will be pursuing music at the collegiate level. Of course, you don’t have to fit those qualities to read my blog, but that is a profile of who I think of as being a reader of this blog.
3. Choose the Best Blogging Platform for You
The two biggest platforms are Blogger (owned by Google) and WordPress. If you have a top level domain, you would use WordPress.org or for subdomains, WordPress.com. I have used Blogger and WordPress.com, both with subdomains of the respective websites. I recently switched to WordPress.com, and I love it. I will say that if you want to explore blogging at a very basic level, just get started and see if you like it, Blogger is a good choice. Most people probably have a Google account, so that includes a Blogger account which makes it super quick to get started blogging. Once you have decided that you want to continue and grow your blog, it is a good idea to switch to WordPress. I wish I made the switch sooner. Just note that if you switch platforms and don’t upgrade to a top level domain, you will lose all of your traffic statistics, but it is not difficult to make your Blogger blog redirect to your WordPress.com blog if you are a broke college kid like me. I will be doing a more in depth comparison of the two big platforms later in this series.
The post will be linked here when it goes live.
If you are just blogging for yourself, your friends, and family, you can feel free to stop here. If you even think that you might want to grow your blog someday, keep reading.
4. Find a Posting Schedule That Works for You
In my opinion, two seems about perfect when you are starting out or you have other responsibilities like school, family, or work. I can’t manage more than that most weeks, unless I am on a school break. Even then, I pre write a lot of my content, sometimes more than a month before it will go up. Whatever you do, pick the right number for you, and pick days that you will stick to for posting days. I post on Mondays and Thursdays, except for special occasion, so returning readers know when to expect a new post, even if they don’t follow my social media, which you totally should! I will be doing a post all about scheduling posts, the pre writing process, the editing process, and how to schedule a post to be published at a later time.
A link to that will be here when that post is up.
Don’t forget that with anything, but especially blogging, quality is much more important than quantity!
5. Set Up the Proper Social Media Accounts
You can either use the same account as your personal one and just change your username to reflect your blog, or you can create a separate account on all of the various social media platforms. I, personally, use the same accounts for both personal and blog, because I feel like my blog is an extension of myself, and I want my social media postings to show that. I do have a separate Facebook page for my blog, but I also post about my blog on my personal account. More about social media marketing later, so don’t forget to subscribe to my email list of follow me on social media so that you don’t miss out!
More details on social media will be linked here when they are live.
6. Draft Your First Post
Now you are ready to start writing your blog! Congratulations, and I hope you enjoy it. If you need ideas for a good first post, peek around some other blogs in niches similar to yours and see what they did for their first post, or figure out what type of post is super popular and run with that! Here you can find my first post, I cringe just thinking about it!
Next up in the #BlogLife series, Writing a Blog Post!
I hope these tips were helpful and that you are even more excited to start your new blog than you were before you started reading this post. This series is a little bit out of my niche, but I have come to love blogging, and it is part of my life now, so it fits in the lifestyle category of my blog.
Thanks for reading!

Why You Need a Blog (or Website)

Why do you need a blog? What is so cool about blogging that makes it something that everyone should do or have? Well my friends, you need a blog. It doesn’t have to be your main squeeze or even to make you any money at all. But you need one. Why? Because it is your online presence. It is how people will see you when they put your name into Google. It can be a resume, a portfolio, a way to get your name out there. It is a place to send people when you are looking for jobs.

Killer Harmony | Why You Need a Blog (or Website) | There are many benefits to having your own online space. It can be a way to connect with people: friends, family, perspective employers. Your website is an online hub about you. Read my other recent post about keeping a clean online presence. Blogs and websites are powerful tools to develop yourself personally or professionally. This blog for me grew out of wanting to create an online portfolio. Whatever your reason for starting a blog, do it.

I’m telling you this as a friend. You don’t need to have all of the bells and whistles attached, but you need some sort of online presence aside from your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profile. A blog gives you more of a voice than that. You can’t say much in a 140 character tweet, but you sure can say something in a blog post. Your blog shows that you are a good project manager, and for any job, that is a good thing.
Sure, the need for a blog is more apparent for some careers namely: writer, graphic designer, photographer, web developer, and so on. But your site doesn’t have to be a blog. It can be a static (unchanging) website where the homepage has your bio and then you have another page with your portfolio or services. If your dream is to be a musician or a film director, you can embed YouTube videos in your blog or just cut to the chase with a YouTube channel. If you want to be a teacher, you can publish example lesson plans or even a video of your teaching.
It is for that simple reason (to give myself a platform to launch my career) that I started a blog in the first place (little did I know that it would become as big a passion as music). Starting this coming Monday (1/25), I will be launching a series of posts on starting your own blog. I will not be covering topics such as how to monetize it, because I am still figuring it out. What I will cover is how to start your blog, my process on crafting a blog post, choosing the platform for you, scheduling posts, and the social media side of blogging. I will then be releasing an eBook for sale on my Etsy Shop by the end of February. The eBook will be covering the topics I put on the blog in more detail as well as a couple of extra topics!
Thanks for reading!

Your Online Self: Keep it Clean (+ How I Do It)

I love it when I see people be themselves. It can be quite refreshing, shocking even, to see people who are confident enough to be real. I love that. But there comes a point where you can take it too far. I don’t think that you should be fake on the internet, but you have to remember that what you post online will be there forever. Even if you delete something, people have ways to access that information.

Your Online Self: Keep it Clean (+ How I Do It) | It's great to be yourself, but somethings are okay to be kept secret. You want your profile to be clear of anything that might negatively affect you in the future. People use Google. They will find that picture of you chugging a beer. Don't do it. You don't have to post anything and everything.

I try my hardest to keep the not so great things off of the web. I’m not being fake. I’m putting my best foot forward. Companies, schools, and individuals have access to the internet. Most people know how to work a search engine. If you apply for a job and the HR director for a company looks at your Facebook or Twitter profile and finds something that looks bad, bye bye job opportunity. Keep your social media clean. Don’t be negative towards a specific person or company. Don’t post pictures of yourself chugging a beer (especially if you’re under 21). Post the good things in life, like accomplishments or something good about your day. Keep it looking nice, because the internet is a one stop shop for first impressions. You don’t want to leave a bad one for the world to see and save.

How do I keep my online presence clean? Well, first, I avoid posting tons and tons of pictures. The ones that do make it online are ones that I would be proud to show my grandparents. I also don’t post my location. Not that that in and of itself is a bad thing to post, but depending on that location, it can give a bad impression.
The third thing that I do to keep a good profile is I avoid using foul language. Don’t get me wrong, I do cuss in real life. But I only do it in front of people who, with absolute certainty, I know will not be offended. Again, it’s the things that I would be uncomfortable saying or doing around my grandparents that you will not find online.
Lastly, I avoid gossip and drama as best as I can. It is not always easy, but it is something that I definitely don’t want being logged forever. I usually have responses, but I will keep them to myself or find some more positive way to articulate what I mean.

The point of this is not to make anyone feel bad if they post any of the things that I don’t. I wanted to explain why I don’t post certain things, and if you don’t feel the same way, that’s totally cool. Just remember that the internet is a very powerful place, not only for you, but for everyone else with access to the internet.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to leave a comment about how you keep your social media clean!