Setting out to create a personal blog is like an exciting journey in uncharted waters. Although you are well aware that there are billions of personal blog sites out there, you are making something that is close to your heart—and this transforms it into a one-of-a-kind experience.
You have big dreams. You want your site to be ranked as one of the best personal blogs ever made. You are full of ideas. This makes you want to start right away and display your creation among other personal blogs in the search engine.
Whatever your intention for your blog is, you will definitely get there—but only when you head to that direction strategically.
Well, we got your back. As you read further, we will teach you how to start a personal blog and provide you with personal blog examples that you can draw inspiration from.
Let’s get started with these sure-fire ways to make your personal blog stand out.
- Know your Niche
Regardless of whether you are a novice blogger or a writer, the first step you need to take to begin your personal blog adventure is to identify what type of content you are going to create. In other words, you need to know your blog niche.
Whether you want to promote yourself, your product, your cause, or your passion, keep it in mind. It will serve as your compass as you enter waters of content creation!
But if you haven’t decided what content you want to showcase yet, here are the top 10 blogging niches we found that popular personal blogs usually use:
- DIY sites
- Wellness and Health
- Fitness and Sports blogs
- Gardening and Urban gardening
- Finance blogs
- Personal Growth
- Choose Your Blogging Platform
As soon as you find your niche, we know you will be itching to start your first personal blog post. But before you can do this, you need to choose a blogging platform that will host your content.
There are a lot of options to choose from, but one that’s proven and tested is Strikingly. This website builder will help make your life easier as it allows its users—even those with little to no development experience—to create optimized websites for personal blogs within minutes. It even provides you with gorgeous website templates that you can choose from and will surely attract viewers or readers at first glance.
All you’ll have to think about is the content of your personal blog and how it’s presented.
If you’re having even the slightest doubts, well, here are some interesting personal blogs you can find on the internet that are powered by Strikingly:
Quinnton Harris’s Story
Image taken from Quinnton Harris’s website
This personal blog site is focused on presenting Quinnton Harris’s life that is “a beautiful mosaic of lived-experience and culture.” It outlines his experiences alongside picturesque images that paint how colorful his life is.
John Fang - Work Hard, Play Harder
Image taken from John Fang’s website
John Fang is a well-rounded manager, an adventurous marathoner, a curious muralist, a hardcore backpacker… and more. His jam-packed website showcases his whole professional career plus all other major life experiences. Despite the abundance of items in the site, the layout does well to lead viewers where to look depending on their interest. Each of John’s major facets are grouped by page and all can be accessed by way of simple scrolling.
Image taken from Amy Chambers’s website
Steph Harding Photo
Image taken from Steph Harding’s website
Steph Harding’s photography website is dedicated to capturing the world of people & passions. This personal blog was created to display her work and her passion in photography.
Image taken from Michael Seibel’s website
Michael Seibel’s website is one that opens opportunities for people who want to enter the startup ecosystem through the Y Combinator (YC). Michael, a Group Partner and Managing Director of YC early stage, dedicates his website to providing essays and video advice for interested entrepreneurs.
Drawing on Experience
Image taken from Drawing on Experience’s website
Mike Sheehan is a sample blogger who displays on location landscape sketches on his site, Drawing on Experience. He made the website so he would have a place to post his educational info along with his sketchbooks, design, and illustration work. He also intends to link events and tutorials on this site.
George Clark III
Image taken from George Clark III’s website
George Clark III is focused on helping businesses increase their value and develop their brand. created the site as he considers himself a “bridge builder” that connects the dots for companies.
Image taken from George Clark III’s website
Bryan/Fusco presents an always-evolving reel that features cinematography and editing projects that the creator worked on in the past. All shooting, editing, grading, and effects in this website are entirely original.
Image taken from Inksome Tiny’s website
Inksome Tiny was made by a copywriter guilty of ink-decency, who is based in Singapore with a penchant for obscure things. This website is dedicated to her artworks.
- Make Your Content Visible
You now have a niche, a blogging platform, and maybe some content ready for your first blog post. Next thing you need to think about is how you present your content so that it stands out.
Take note: it’s not enough to solely post noteworthy content on your website. It is also necessary to make your content visible in the right places to get discovered.
Many bloggers or writers have Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts for this matter. Others also use LinkedIn, Medium, Reddit, Pinterest, and other similar platforms.
Here are the 3 Cs you need to take note of to make your blog stand out:
- Choose the Right Design
When it comes to choosing a background for your personal blog, it is best that you choose a white background for it is the best color to use to make your content stand out. It’s also noted to work well on mobile devices, which is commonly used by viewers today.
- Create Original Content
Aside from thinking about a catchy blog topic, make sure your content is genuine and original. No good-looking site will flourish if its content is unoriginal and generic. That is why it’s important that you take time in generating authentic creation that will make your personal blog unlike any other.
- Captivate Audience with Visuals
Personal blogs, especially those that are heavy on texts, need visuals. And there is a good reason for this: a lot of people today are image oriented.
Images can help you break your blog’s text and keep readers engaged. It can also help writers or bloggers like you to add context to your write-up and bring your ideas to life, in the way you imagined them.
Certainly, a photo of what you are writing about is going to captivate more people to check out what you have to offer in your personal blog.
- Start Your SEO Research
Believe it or not, good search engine optimization (SEO) works hand-in-hand with exceptional content—most especially if you want to increase your clout and your followers online.
This is why it’s important that you start researching about SEO and figure out the best SEO strategy for your content.
In this guide, we will only cover the most basic ones you need to know about:
- Pick the Right Keywords
The first thing you need to know about SEO is that it requires you to choose the right keywords. Keywords are basically the words or phrases that people type into search engines when looking for your blog, product, or service.
It is a lot easier to do this if you have a keyword finder tool on your side.
But of course, you need to make sure that you don’t oversaturate your content with keywords. That way you don’t get penalized by Google and you ensure the quality of your blog.
- Make Your Blog Site Mobile-Friendly
Search engines like Google have recently adopted a mobile-first indexing strategy, meaning a mobile-friendly website is likely to rank higher in search results when you look for them.
It is important that you test your blog on your own phone to be sure. See to it that the overall loading time and look of your website do not discourage your viewers and keep them from checking out your content.
Aside from that, you also need to make sure that the buttons on your site are large enough for people to click with their fingers. Yes, just as simple as that.
- Try Internal and External Linking
In your content, it is helpful for you to practice external and internal linking.
External linking is when you include links to other sources, blogs, or journals, while internal linking happens when you link your blog to your own past blog posts.
This will help you rank in the search engine higher, making your blog post more discoverable.
- Generate a Content Calendar
When you write your first blog, you’ll probably be full of energy and have lots of time to keep creating your content. But no matter how fired up you are now, it’s not going to last forever. Every blogger or writer experience will fall into downtimes at some point.
Worry not, this will not end your adventure. You can create a content and posting schedule to help you keep your commitment to consistently post for your audience at least three times a week.
Take some time out of each month to come up with a blog topic list. This way, you’ll always be prepared when your motivation runs low.
It’s also great if you prepare your content ahead of time. The further ahead you are able to get on your posting schedule, the more consistent you will be when it comes to posting content.
The Final Piece
After checking off all these basics to building your personal blog site, you can then look into ways to kick it up a notch (say for example, by monetizing it!).
We highly suggest checking out Strikingly’s Paid Membership feature. Creating members-only content will create a demand for what you put out, steadily increasing revenue as more and more people are intrigued enough to pay for premium features. Of course, it’ll only work if you produce quality content so make sure to keep getting better. Doesn’t matter how slow, just as long as it’s sure!
While these tips and design inspirations were definitely helpful, it can never hurt to ask when there’s something you’re unsure about. The experts at Strikingly are always ready to lend an ear—virtually!