Blogging · Career Development · Writing

Starting a Blog in 25 Easy Steps

Hello! As this is my first post, let me be the first to welcome you to Journey to Napa and thank you kindly for checking it out. Feel free to learn more about me and the blog here.

Now that the formalities are out-of-the-way, I have to be honest that getting here took some time. And because several blogs were helpful in providing me tips and encouragement, I thought I would return the favor and share my steps for starting a blog.

Step 1: Find yourself thinking about writing. A lot.

Step 2: Say out loud that you wish you had studied writing in college.

Step 3: Remember that you actually possess a hard-earned journalism degree, even if you never worked as a journalist. Decide to start a blog to reconnect with your love of writing.

Step 4: Buy a mix of “serious writer” and “cute design” journals to maintain all of your ideas and inspiration.

Step 5: Put every idea in the Notes app on your phone.

{Have not written a single word yet}

Step 6: Get down to business. What is your blog going to be about? Will it be all-encompassing or a specific niche?

Step 7: Links, links, and more links. Read everything in the name of research. No less than 25 browser windows open on your laptop at any time.

Step 8: If you have other obligations such as work and family, you will need to sharpen your time management skills. There are plenty of articles to help you with that (see Step 7).

Step 9: Start to worry that since you haven’t backed up your phone in almost a year, you could lose all of your ideas on the Notes app. Download Evernote for inspiration-catching. Watch tutorials on how to use Evernote. Create a couple of notes outlining your Great Plan.

{Still no actual writing has happened}

Step 10: Blog name chosen. Decide to start out general and see where the wind takes you.

Step 11: Choose your WordPress theme. Clear your calendar for the next three weeks as you demo every option.

Step 12: Use “Forgot Password” link to reset log-in information on Evernote. Watch tutorials for refresher on Evernote. Re-read your notes. Create a couple of more notes about your Great Plan.

blog picture

Step 13: Look for pictures you can use for free without attribution or legal action. Find a great site. Review how other blogs you follow use pictures. Find one for your first post (despite not being a man or having ever owned a Mac). But there is that little journal you used once!

{Pictures chosen for unwritten blogs}

Step 14: Take an online writing class to help put all of the ideas in your journal/phone/Evernote into action. (This may have been a six-week stall tactic, but it was an extremely helpful reminder of writing basics, as well as an exercise in self-reflection and focusing my writing goals. More on it in a future post.)

Step 15: Read more articles about time management, following your dreams and taking action.

{Writing completed: 0}

Step 16: Despite having not written one single post for your own blog, obtain advice and information about submitting guest posts to other sites and publications on the Beyond Your Blog podcasts. While it’s a little premature, the opportunities that exist for writers — even new ones — are exciting and motivating.

Step 17: Write an About Me page. Show it to your spouse/significant other/anyone. Let them tell you it’s marvelous. Bask in that feeling of accomplishment for a week before thinking about what’s next.

Step 18: Wonder if your partner was just saying that and it’s really horrible.

Step 19: Review your former blog and reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and why it faded away.

Step 20: Lament that everything has already been written by people who can say it much better than you.

Step 21: Who says?

Step 22: Repeat the saying that the only way to fail at writing is to stop writing.

Step 23: Admit it. This is your dream. Stop reading. WRITE.

Step 24: Hit publish.

Step 25: Keep going.

I plan to keep going, and I hope you will come along with me. If you have just chosen to pursue your own writing aspirations, perhaps we can connect and encourage one another when the going gets tough and the writing (or the author) gets lazy or uninspired. Thanks for reading!

How did you move from just thinking about a new pursuit to putting it into action? What keeps you motivated along the way?

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3 thoughts on “Starting a Blog in 25 Easy Steps

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