When I started blogging as a hobby, I went in with very few expectations. However, I knew I craved a creative outlet, and the social worker in me wanted to funnel that creativity to help others. The following steps will help you decide if starting a personal blog is the best creative outlet for you.
This post is not a comprehensive step-by-step guide that you find in an online blogging course. Full courses require a lot of time to complete and cover topics, including brainstorming ideas for a blog, website hosting, securing domains, SEO, and more.
7 Steps to Blogging as a Hobby is meant to serve as a beginner’s guide to dip your feet in the deep waters of blogging. Perhaps swaying you to take the full plunge.
7 Steps to Blogging as a Hobby
1. When starting a personal blog, identify passions and experiences.
What makes you who you are? What information can you pass along to others?
These are questions to mull over when considering how to start a blog. For example, you may be a savvy single female who can budget like no one else. Or, you may know all the local haunts of the big city where you live. Whatever your insider intel is, there is value in sharing it with the world.
Blogs based on hobbies ensure longevity and that you won’t tire of the things you’re producing. Often our self-worth can be diminished by others not seeing all our strengths and what we bring to the table. If you’re struggling with self-love, check out these self-love exercises.
2. Figure out how your blog will help others.
Like any other writing endeavor, readers will not return if there is no benefit. So ask yourself, “How can my personal blog help others?”
Another thing to consider is if you have the experience to help others. What are your credentials? If you don’t have any, that may be OK if the niche doesn’t require it.
The credentials I have in starting a self-care mom blog are:
1. being a mom
2. my over-achieving history of pushing myself beyond human limits
3. quite a bit of graduate-level therapy coursework.**
**I’m not a therapist yet. Throwing that in for liability if you know what I’m saying.
Sometimes it can be challenging to figure out what sets us apart. But everyone has unique experiences that others may want to hear.
Whatever your niche, there should be some value to what you’re putting out into the world that doesn’t equal solely benefiting yourself.
3. Set goals and intentions when starting a blog.
There isn’t one correct way set in stone how to start a blog. There can also be many reasons for creating one. The primary motivating reason can be just because you enjoy it!
For example, some goals I identified for blogging as a hobby included making my resume stand out for field placements in my MSW program and having written work that online publications could go to and see my writing style. Since starting this blog, Motherly picked up one of my articles, a massive milestone for me.
Most others in my online blogging course intend to monetize blogs. However, while blogging for money can reap great rewards, it takes a lot of time and effort that may not be realistic for people working full-time, raising families, attending school, etc.
And a harsh reality is that self-employed women have poorer mental health on average due to isolation and poor work/life balance. While that’s not the reality for all self-employed women, it can come with the territory of putting all your eggs in one basket.
So monetizing a blog never felt like the right fit for me. I’m already a graduate student, mom, and freelance writer. So my schedule is full!
Whatever your purpose and goals for pursuing a personal blog, keep them in mind throughout the process to keep things in perspective.
4. Determine sustainability of your blog.
Narrowly focused blogs can kill creativity. Finding topics you can write about on and on can take considerable effort. At least being able to write about them consistently and long-term.
So part of blogging as a hobby is ensuring that it brings joy to your life and is not a chore. Moms have enough tasks and obligations constantly waiting as it is. So make sure, when considering starting a blog, that you keep your mental health into account.
5. Find an online blogging course.
There are a lot of blogging courses out there; some are better than others. For example, I took Christina Galbato’s class, which had great information.
While some tips and tricks come with running a blog fully, that course was a tremendous foundational base for me and gave me the confidence I needed to put my writing work out into the world. That confidence is why I got published on my first platform, The New Social Worker.
Also, whatever online blogging class you take, remember it is an investment. But it can lead to places you wouldn’t imagine.
6. Take your time when learning how to start blogging.
Blogging as a hobby ensures you can take as much time as possible to allow your creativity to burst to the surface like a rabid, cannibalistic dolphin; with such zeal and commitment in pursuing fellow dolphins, you shock any onlookers.
But in this case, the dolphins are blogging ideas!
For any avid readers of my blog, you know I can’t go very long without making a random joke that would make the creators of Family Guy cutaway scenes jealous.
7. Have fun!
That’s the whole point. Why invest time in something that doesn’t bring you joy? Especially something as enduring as running a blog. There are plenty of other life activities that require drudgery and monotony.
So whatever way your creativity comes out through blogging as a hobby, run with it. There’s no wrong way to find joy through creation.
Even if others may not agree with your viewpoints, they’re still reading it! So while I don’t necessarily agree with the adage that there’s no such thing as bad press, you’ve got people devoting time to reading your blog. That’s a lot more than what other people can say.
So those are 7 Steps to Blogging as a Hobby.
Thank you for tuning back in as I transition to bi-weekly posts! That’s one of the benefits of blogging as a hobby. There is no timetable for putting out content, and I can wait until ideas take root.
What have you considered blogging about? I’d love to know in the comments.