10 Easy Tips to Start a Blog (& THRIVE)

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Written By

Lauryn

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

 

 

So you’re thinking about starting a blog…

 

Or perhaps you ‘have a blog’—at least you have a website for a blog—but when it comes to actually writing on that website…different story.

 

But where do you even really start?!

 

The short answer?

 

Right where you are at!

 

Blogging is not an art of perfection, and quite honestly, if you have a thought, a message, an inspiration, a lesson you want to share, there’s no time like the present to just get it out there.

 

 

My blogging journey has been ever evolving, but it was originally conceived a little over four years ago, when I was in an intensive in-patient treatment center, recovering from that stupid ol’ eating disorder.

 

Blogging quickly became my outlet—a reconnection with a HUGE passion of mine (writing). Writing was something that I had lost touch with over the 14 years I battled that eating disorder, and it quickly became a means of ‘getting through’ treatment, and finding myself—and my VOICE—again as I began to be made new.

 

The platform I launched that first blog on was called Living for Today 365—with a message very similar to that of THRIVE… “Stop settling and start living.”

 

And thus began my very RAW and REAL exposure of what life was like day in and day out in eating disorder treatment, and the insights and lessons I was learning as I began to HEAL my relationship with my body, fitness, and food, and discover WHO I WAS WITHOUT ED in my life.

 

 

Ever since that chapter in my life, blogging has been a means of educating, entertaining, reflecting and sharing (insights) to others looking for information around health, wellness, lifestyle, inspiration and recovery.

 

I often am asked:

 

Where do you find inspiration about what to write about?

 

What if it’s not good?

 

What if I don’t feel confident in putting it all out there?

 

And, once more, Where do I even start?!

 

Here are 10 Basic Blog Writing Tips to get you going…

 

1. Get Inspired. What blogs do you currently read? Or what websites and businesses/people do you connect with? Make a list…what about these people or their platforms is attractive to you? What can you learn from them? The purpose of this is not to have to be JUST LIKE THEM…but rather to take different bits of inspiration from these various blogs and sites to begin to craft and refine your own (or be inspired to NOT write or conduct your blog in that same way if it’s NOT inspiring).

 

2. Define your blog’s purpose and YOUR voice. What is your blog about? Educating? Story telling? Sharing? Relating? Chronicling? Journaling? YOU get to decide. Find your platform and why behind your blog, and begin to build your blog post ideas around that main theme.

 

3. Define your audience. Who is your ideal audience member or clientele? Write your posts with them in mind. Are you trying to connect with women? Reach teens? Educate other practitioners? Anyone who has lungs and will read? It could be a mix of several audiences, but the more you can narrow it down and define your top audiences, the easier it will be to write topics that matter and reach who it is you want to reach. Put a ‘name’ and ‘face’ to a handful of ‘avatars’, and think as if you are writing your blogs to ‘Sarah’ or ‘Andy’ or ‘Heather.’

4. Write Like You Speak. Throw your 6th or 7th grade grammar class out the window (well not completely)…you don’t have to be PERFECTLY grammatical. In fact, if you can learn to write just like you speak…you will find the words are going to flow beautifully! Pretend like you are having a conversation, and just write it out! Feel free to include modifiers, emotions and expressions (like “Siggggh”, or “Uggggh”, or “Phew!”). Have fun with it.

 

5. Make & Keep an Ongoing Blog List of Ideas. This is great for those moments you sit down your computer staring at a blank screen. Keep sticky notes in your car, purse, by your bed, etc. at all times for those moments when inspiration or a blog idea comes to your mind! (See my extensive list below for inspiration)

 

6. Pencil It In. What days, times and how frequently SHOULD you post?! This is completely up to you, but the primary aim is that no matter what you decide, you stay consistent! Mark it on your calendar (when you are going to write, when you are going to post). Isn’t it the worst when you find a blog with the last entry dated 2 years ago? If you are going to keep your blog…pick a day, or two, or five, or seven, to post your posts-and have fun with it! If you are first starting out, I recommend once a week, to once a month (if your blog is not as prominent to your business or aim). As far as best days and times to post? PLAY AROUND WITH IT! I find that the mid-morning hours, 9 a.m.-noon Monday-Friday, and evening hours (7 p.m.-10 p.m.) Monday-Thursday get the most traffic. But that’s just MY experience…you have creative liberty to experiment. Saturdays and Sundays are pretty dead (except for maybe Sunday evenings). Think about when YOU read blogs, or are more apt to be on social media/looking at your newsfeed…your audience potentially thinks accordingly.

 

7. Stop Writing Sucky Headlines. Remember the most important part of your content is NOT your content. Headlines captivate. Here are a few points of performance:

  • Make it descriptive and accurate
  • Creative
  • Reference a number list (“Six extraordinary lessons”)
  • Offer something helpful in headline (a tip, an insight, etc.)
  • Include one keyword (main search-term or the primary subject of the article)
  • Make it tweetable (8 words or less)
  • Don’t let the headline be an after thought

 

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Long. How long should your blog post be? As long as it takes to get your point or message across. You don’t have to go on and on for the sake of being lengthier, but have no fear in meeting or not meeting a certain word quota either. In fact, in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization-i.e. how often your blog pops up in a Google search or other internet search), the longer content (3K-10K wods) actually gets more shares. The New York Times says 90% of their most emailed articles are 3000 words long. To help with the READ-ABILITY of your posts, write short easy to read paragraphs, use subheadings, bolded text, stand-alone quotes and bullet points.

 

9. STOP:

  • Only talking about yourself
  • ASKING for likes
  • Publishing content no one can understand (write in layman’s terms)
  • Being too edgy, offensive or controversial
  • Forcing people to give you their email address in exchange for your free blog

 

10. DO:

  • FOCUS—(don’t talk about too many things at once)
  • Post regularly and frequently
  • Be entertaining, funny and inspiring
  • GIVE benefits, offers, discounts or contests that can benefit a wide audience
  • Tap into pulse points
  • Incorporate shareable buttons in your posts
  • Use LISTS & Infographics
  • Revive old content
  • Use Hootsuite or Buffer; determine best sharing times (trial and error: Health-Tues/Fridays; general business-Tuesday; food-Mondays; mornings/midmornings or midevenings*)
  • Re-post again
  • Encourage comments-ask questions
  • Mention influencers/leaders in you posts to share with
  • HAVE FUN WITH IT

 

Phew! That’s enough to chew on for now, right?

 

Below, check out my list of Blog Post Ideas to get the ball rolling!

And, if you have any questions or desire some coaching around your own blog and brand development journey, as a journalist of 15 years, I work with others often to develop their own voice—and connect their own personal passions and missions to their writing and message.

 

You can shoot me an email at [email protected] to explore what this could look like for you or your business.

 

 

Keep a List: THRIVE’s Blog Post Ideas
Ever feel stuck in ‘what to write about’? Or need some inspiration to get going? Here is an easy go-to list of several prompts and ideas to get the ball rolling…

 

  • Tell a personal story
  • Describe a historical event (in your own life; something that happened in the past that educates/informs us now; is relatable)
  • Comment on something in the news
  • Report on an interesting conversation ou had
  • Review a book, movie, computer program/App, service, experience
  • Comment on a powerful quote
  • Let a photograph inspire you
  • Step-by-step guide or explanation
  • Provide a list of resources (‘Eating Paleo in Austin’, or ‘My favorite inspirational book list’)
  • Answer your readers’ questions
  • Make an overwhelming task simple
  • Explain rationale behind a decision you’ve had to make (inform; guide)
  • Write a guide to something popular
  • Teach a simple lesson
  • Tell an inspirational story
  • Interview someone
  • Share a recent experience (travel, event, speaker, meeting)
  • Write out a conversation file
  • Write a poem or song
  • Create a list in general (‘The top 10…’)
  • Make a case study
  • Start a 3-5 part series (Gut health 101, Workouts at home, etc.)
  • Share your favorites list
  • Tell a joke or re-post a funny pic/video
  • Post a TED talk, and reflection
  • Post about a success or a failure
  • Educate about a little known fact
  • Make a list of hacks; make something ‘hard’ easy (step-by-step)
  • Tell readers what they should do to succeed
  • Research/analyze a topic in your industry
  • Share a recipe
  • Pros/Cons list
  • Guide readers in goal-setting
  • Dare readers to do something
  • Celebrate a birthday (launching your biz, or your first big break, the start of your blog, freedom from an addiction, etc.)
  • Showcase/compile a list of stats in your niche
  • Showcase a reader
  • Before/After makeover post (haircut, house remodel, organization, etc.)
  • Offer a giveaway
  • Develop a quiz.
  • Write a letter to your younger self…ideal client…a celebrity…
  • Behind the scenes post
  • FAQs post
  • Diary entry post
  • Announcements/Updates
  • Blogs, websites or people to follow/helpful Apps
  • Common problem solves
  • The 10 Commandments of…
  • The Dumbest Guidance/Advice You’ve Ever Heard
  • The _____ Survival Guide

 

 

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