Start your own Blog • Cat Morley

You probably read them everyday and know all the things you love and dislike about each one, but have you ever thought about starting your own blog? It's as simple as a few mouse-clicks to set-up and a successful blog can change your life, so why wouldn't you give it a go? Here are my tips for finding your focus and starting your very own blog.

Few people know this but I started my first blog thirteen years ago when I was 13. It was hosted on DeadJournal (I was going through a goth phase), before eventually maturing to LiveJournal, WordPress and then my own craft blog which would eventually become Cut Out + Keep. Blogging is the thing that has changed my life. It inspires me, encourages me to learn new things and motivates me to go out and have adventures. That's before I even mention the opportunities and doors it has opened. I've had the chance to interview my heroes, attended amazing events and sent some pretty awesome products - all thanks to my blog. And the greatest thing of all? Anyone can do it. You don't need any special equipment, money or knowledge and you can start today! But before you do, here are my tips for finding your focus and making your blog a success.

1. Find your focus

There are a lot of blogs out there so the key to making yours a success is to find your focus. This is what makes your blog unique and helps it stand out in the crowd. It should be something that you're either an expert on or just really passionate about. It can even be focused around a project or goal that you'd like to get better at - so you can learn as you write, like I'm doing with my organising. Here are some questions to help you find your focus:

  • What are your passions?
  • What are your interests?
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you do everyday?
  • What's unique about you?
  • What would you like to learn?

If you write about the things you love, you'll be able to keep up the motivation to update it day after day. However, if you pick a more unique angle, you'll be filling a bigger hole in the blogging market and give your blog a bigger chance at success. Try to find a nice balance between these two and you'll be on to a winner. Don't be afraid to combine two completely different passions, as it's sure to make your blog even more unique. For example, a baker who loves motor sports sounds like an awesome concept for a blog! It's not about blogging equally about each of your interests at the same time but using your passion from one area to bring a unique perspective to the other.

2. Choose your topics

Once you've found your focus, you can break it down in to the topics you'd like to write about. These are general areas you'd like to cover such as fashion, music, crafting etc. Create folders on your computer, or sections in a notebook for each topic and quickly brainstorm article ideas for each. Create a text file, or take a page in your notebook for every article idea that comes to mind. Just add a title to start with and you can flesh out the rest of the idea later. Try to add as many article ideas as you can, as this will give you a clear idea of which areas are your strongest. Start with just a few that you have lots of article ideas about as you can always add more later.

3. Pick your features

As well as articles and diary entries, you might want to commit to some regular features. These bring consistency to your blog and give readers an idea of what to look forward to. Examples include interviews, link round-ups, giveaways and reviews. Make a list of all the features you'd like for your blog and note how often you'd like to have them. You can have a mix of weekly, fortnightly and monthly features. Pick an easy going schedule that you're sure you can keep up with. You can always add more features or increase the frequency as you get the hang of things.

4. Start writing

Now that you've got an idea of your features along with a folder filled with article ideas, it's time to start writing. It's really tempting to write and publish an article as soon as you think it up, but if you work on it for a few days, or even weeks, it'll lead to a stronger article. A filmmaker friend told me that when he gets a new idea, he lets it stew in his brain for weeks and weeks, letting it flesh itself out before starting on it. I find that when I'm writing one article, ideas for another will pop in to my mind - so I often have multiple posts open at once. It may take a while to find your voice but just start writing straight away and you'll gain experience and confidence as you go. When one of the ideas starts to come together, you can then begin fleshing it out in to a finished article, ready to publish to your readers. I suggest building up a collection of posts before launching your blog, so that you can keep the momentum up in the first few weeks.

5. Stick with it

It can take a long time to build up a readership, so don't get discouraged if you don't get many, if any, comments in the early days. It's also very difficult to make money from a blog, so you have to enjoy working on it for fun rather than as a business. Don't worry though, rewards will come in other forms, from reader feedback to a positive change in your attitude. Some days I don't feel in the mood to do anything, but force myself to go out just so that I'll have something to write about. This has lead to the greatest unexpected adventures and I'm so thankful for it. The most important thing for success is that you start to love your blog and stay committed to updating it.


I hope this has given you some encouragement and ideas for creating your own blog. Good luck getting started. I'll be sharing more articles and tips about blogging and writing over the next few months, so check back and leave any questions you have below!