I started my blog during the summer of 2013. I knew that I had so much that I wanted to share with the world and I wasn’t quite sure how to get my ideas out there. After a conversation with a friend who was making waves of her own in the world of health and fitness, I was inspired to start a blog.
She told me, “LaTisha, just start. Don’t worry about the details. They will figure themselves out. Just start sharing what’s inside of you and see where it takes you.”
I can’t believe that was five years ago. My blog (and the life coaching business that was inspired because of it) has taken many twists and turns. When I started out, I blogged under my company’s name, Ocho Brazos. I then focused primarily on yoga and used the moniker, Yogi Tish.
This year I decided to shift the focus of my blog to all things personal development and started writing under my own name. I feel like I have finally found my stride and, at the same time, I still have room for growth.
As I look back on how far I’ve come as a blogger and an entrepreneur, I wish I had started out by asking myself the three questions that I am going to share with you today.
Although I firmly believe that the journey is more important than the destination, I definitely would have benefited from the clarity of this simple yet amazingly effective inquiry.
Here are the three questions I wish I had asked myself before I started my blog:
What do I really want to share with the world?
When I started out, I was all over the place. I wanted to talk about yoga, personal development, fashion, music, and anything that I was personally interested in. I thought more about myself than I did the people who would actually be reading my blog.
I realize now that, in order to create a meaningful experience for my blog readers, I really need to be in tune with them. I am constantly asking myself, “What do I know that I can share with my readers that they will find meaningful?”
While my sphere is personal development, this applies to any subject matter. Even if you want to start a blog about obscure Beyoncé facts (which I would totally read, btw!), there are readers out there who want to know what you know and would greatly benefit from your perspective.
I’d also like to point out is that your blog is about what you want to share. It’s NOT about being the #1 subject matter expert on the topic of your choice.
I started my blog in 2013, but the truth is that I wanted to start way before that. I talked myself out of it because I didn’t have an existing readership and I wasn’t the world’s leading expert.
I now realize how silly this was. Many of my readers have told me that they appreciate my transparency and vulnerability -- I am always very honest about where I am in my own personal development. Don’t discount where you are right now just because you’re not at the top yet.
Who do I want to talk to?
After I started my blog, I realized very quickly that I could not be all things to all people. Let’s keep it real: there are over 7 billion people in the world and I can’t reach all of them. When I started out, I felt very overwhelmed and my unique voice was being watered down trying to reach the masses.
Through trial and error, I finally got really intentional and created an avatar of a person who I thought would most vibe with my blog. I gave her a name and a life story. I thought about her interests and what words she would use to describe her life.
This made it a lot easier when it came time to write because I was no longer trying to send a message out into an expansive universe. I was only talking to my person in her language. I found the words flowed out easier once I knew who I was talking to.
What do I hope to achieve?
Out of all the questions I wish I had asked myself before starting my blog, this is the most important one of all. I didn’t consider what my goals were before I started.
Granted I didn’t know much about measurements like engagement, bounce rate, and acquisition. This came with time and being brave enough to look at my blog’s performance numbers.
I do think it’s helpful to think about some very basic goals: Am I more concerned with how many people will be viewing my blog? Commenting and sharing my blog posts? What numbers will make me feel comfortable as I get started and find my groove?
I never considered any of this. When I started reviewing my blog’s analytics, I found myself disappointed and down on myself. Enough so that I wanted to quit. Had I thought about what I hoped to achieve from the very start, I may not have been so bummed.
I was a beginner with no readership and had I gone through this thought exercise, I would have realized that and not been so hard on myself.
If you find that you don’t have any answers to these three questions at this point in time, that is perfectly okay. Keep them in the back of your mind and address them when the time is right. As you progress, you will find that your blog is ever evolving, just like you.
You may start out in one direction, speaking on a plethora of topics and then hone in on one specific niche. When you are sharing content that is from your heart, you attract the readers who will most benefit from what you have to share.
Also, keep in mind when you’re starting out, you may not have an audience at all. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the comparison trap.
You can’t compare your blog in its beginning stage to someone else’s, especially if they’ve been doing it a lot longer than you have. Instead of beating yourself up, let their success inspire you.
As you grow and improve, so will your blog. Let yourself be a beginner. With clarity around why you started, who you’re talking to, and what you hope to achieve, you, too, can create and maintain a blog that you’re proud of and that truly impacts people.
Now it’s your turn. Are you ready to start your own blog?
Before you begin, ask yourself:
- What do I want to share with the world?
- Who do I want to talk to?
- What do I hope to achieve with my blog?
I’m cheering for you. Like you are about to change the world.
THE AUTHOR: LATISHA COTTO
LaTisha Cotto is a Master Life Coach and Motivational Speaker based out of Waco, Texas. She helps people take center stage in their own lives by reminding them of their innate worthiness and brilliance. People love her straightforward style, sense of humor, and whacky attempts at English colloquialisms. LaTisha's non-traditional career background includes key roles in Latin Music, Career Development, Corporate Finance, and Digital Marketing. She received her MBA from Rice University and her RYT 200 Yoga Certification from YogaOne Studios in Houston, Texas. When she's not life coaching it up, she's hanging with her daughter, Lyric, rocking Adidas Originals.