So there you are scrolling through the good ole instagram and it seems as if everyone now a days is starting to blog, and you find yourself thinking "Okay, this is kinda cool. I want to start one but have no idea where or how to start."
Don't worry, you are not alone! Within the past couple of months I have had a lot of girls reach out to me wanting to start a blog but have absolutely no idea where to start, how to start, or how any of this craziness even works.
I found myself flashing back to May of last year when I made the decision to crack down, get serious, and begin building this website and let me tell you, I had no idea what the hell I was doing. So I decided to go ahead and make this post and break everything down as simple as possible for anyone out there wanting to begin a blog! I am also going to take you on the journey of how Beauty & The Kairos was created so I can fill you in on things that worked for me, as well as things I wish I didn't do.
TIP 1) DECIDE WHAT CONTENT YOU WANT TO FEATURE ON YOUR BLOG.
May 2016. I was newly married and going through major life changes, and really missing the beauty industry. I knew I had a platform I was passionate about, stories to share, and time to create a website I was proud of.
Your blog needs to be something that you would enjoy not just writing about but also reading about. There's a big difference between writing a blog and doing YouTube. Anyone can find themselves easily entertained watching a YouTube video, but keeping someones attention while reading something is a whole different story. Your followers will be able to feel whether you are passionate or not about what you are sharing with them. When I started this blog I planned on it being mainly beauty related with a few funny posts about my hilarious husband and our marriage thrown in there every once in a while. 2 weeks after my blog finally went live we found out I was pregnant, and boom just like that my entire passion for what I was going to write about changed. I went from focusing on makeup reviews to secretly writing pregnancy posts and having them sit unpublished until we announced our pregnancy a couple months later.
You may start your blog wanting to share one thing and then a few months in be way more into another thing. That is perfectly okay. Part of blogging is sharing your journey with your followers.
Go where your passion leads you!
TIP 2) DETERMINE HOW MUCH TIME AND MONEY YOU ARE WILLING TO INVEST.
When I first began designing this website I really had no idea how much time or money I was about to spend on this, and thank god I was nannying my siblings at the time because I don't know how I would've gotten anything done otherwise. I spent 3 months doing every tiny detail you see on this website by myself.
Every code, every graphic, every link, every picture, every logo, every-freakin'-thing. It was easily one of the hardest things I have ever done and I cannot tell you how many tears were shed in the process. I found myself overwhelmed and wanting to quit, but a stubborn husband who was not about to let all the money we spent go down the drain or let me give up on something he knew I was so passionate about.
I had crazy standards for myself with blogging so I did not desire to put out a blog that looked like everybody else or was just some copy and paste layout code. I wanted something that screamed "Katelyn" and was personalized specifically to me that no one else had. So because I had those set standards ahead of time, I was more than willing to spend whatever money to make my dream website possible.
What you need to determine is how much time you're willing to invest into designing and maintaining, what your financial investment is, and also whether you want your blog up and running in 10 minutes or need everything pre-set and looking like a full blown website before going live. I cannot stress enough how important this is. I personally went the over-dramatic, overly difficult, spent way too much money route, but I promise you there are way easier, stress free, cost free ways to do this ( that I would recommend a million times versus how the route I took) and we will get more into that later!
TIP 3) PICK AND PURCHASE A DOMAIN NAME.
I spent about 2 weeks tossing blog name ideas around with my husband and the moment he said "Beauty & The Kairos" it was set in stone. Kairos has been my favorite word for a long time. I even have it tattooed on my sternum in a fancy little painful design. It means "a perfect, delicate, crucial moment; the fleeting of rightness of a time and place that creates the opportune atmosphere for action".
Uh hello, can we talk about how that couldn't be any more perfect?!
You will need to pick a name that speaks to you and one that you are also proud of. Plain and simple. It may take a while to come to you or it may pop in your head quickly, either way once you decide on your blog name, I fully recommend purchasing the domain name instead of having one through your hosted website.
What that means is whoever you decide to host your website through (we will get more into hosting next) will provide you a domain name with their hosting site attached to it.
For example, blahblahblahblah.blogger.com or blahblahblahblah.wordpress.com. If you are on the fence on whether blogging is something you really want to do, stick with that for a very short time but at some point switch over to real domain name and I'll briefly explain why that is so important.
Purchasing a domain name looks way more professional than having a domain name with the host attached to it. Even if you are doing your blog for fun, it sets off a "I take this serious" vibe. This may sound kind of harsh and I do not mean to offend anyone, but if I see a blog with a hosted URL, I very very rarely will actually look at it. A personalized URL is that small extra detail that has your blog stand out from of the rest of the millions of blogs out there. Plus it's a small one time yearly fee to register your own domain!
It's the tiny details that count. Aside from it looking way cooler, it gives your website a sense of being a real website and not a good ole Xanga page from back in the day. Bet Xanga isn't a word that has cross your mind in years huh?
TIP 4) CHOOSE A WEBSITE TO HOST THROUGH.
This is where everything I said earlier comes into play. Whoever you chose to host through will also determine how much the blog will cost, how it will be designed, and how much time you will be required to maintain it. I will list below the top blogging websites, their benefits, and how much they cost.
TIP 5) PICK A LAYOUT THAT ASSOCIATES WITH YOUR BRAND.
The layout is one of the most fun parts of building your website! It's the time where everything on your website is going to come together and you will be able to begin writing content! Based on the chart I posted above, once you have picked your host you will be provided with your layout options.
One major factor in determining a layout is deciding whether mobile view is important to you or not.
I personally am not a fan of mobile view with blogging. Now that may be because I have yet to find a pre-made layout that has a set mobile view that I like, which had a lot to do with why I used a blank Squarespace layout and designed everything myself. So far with most mobile view blogs I have seen, I feel it takes away from the entire brand (that brand being you) that you are trying to promote. When you begin a blog, you want your personality to shine through onto your website. Most times no matter who you host through and what layout you pick, a mobile view layout will severely dumb down and simplify the over all look of the website, which takes away from your personality. However, If the brand you are are going for a sleek clean look, then that may be perfect for you!
Once you make that decision, now the fun begins! Your hosting site will have tutorials to walk you through how you want your page design to look. Another great tip is to look at fellow bloggers, see what they did, and think about what you do like and do not like about their blog, and design your own around that. Someone may look at my blog and think it looks like a pink unicorn threw up on it and hate it, while others may be just a glammy as me and love it! What's important is that you design it to what you like!