How to start a blog!

Hey, my name is Jamey Shirah, and this is my first blog post ever. I am creating this blog to shed light on why I do things, why other people don’t and the steps I take to get those things done. As the name implies, I am certainly not a professional at most of the subject matter, and I don’t get it right all the time, but that won’t keep me from trying!

This blog won’t be your typical, easy-reading, pretty pictured blog about how everything is fantastic and life is easy. No, this will be a journal-esque style blog (is that a thing?) on the sometimes crappy, hard truths of life and work, the balance of struggle and successes associated and the daily grind that goes along with it. I’ll add as much context, support, examples and direction as I can to help you in your life! Fittingly, starting a blog is no easy task, and so the first post will be about how I started this blog! How am I doing so far (I have no idea what I’m doing)? LET’S GO!

Bloggin’ 101:

There are a ton of people out there who have something to say, but the thought of starting a blog can seem quite daunting to say the last. Which editor do I use? What do I write about? How often do I post? Do I have to know how to code? Do I use video? Do I use photos? What’s a plugin? And the list goes on and on and on.

Fortunately, I just went through all of this same questions and about 1,000 more (you will see that I have quite a curious mind) and will shed light below on what I did, and why.

Step 1) FIND YOUR VOICE. Figure out what you want to say: Are there questions that people ask you all the time? Blog about them. Do you always have an urge to discuss something? Blog about it. Are you planning an epic experience like running your first marathon? Blog about it.

If you have an interest for something, someone else does too. And hearing the lessons, positive and negative, associated with that interest is what people want to hear- BLOG ABOUT IT! Let’s take the marathon example a little further. You can blog about your training regimen, dieting, the changes in your body, the gear you use, recovery routines, the mental fortitude and most importantly, your race experience.

When I did my first sprint triathlon, I scoured the internet (a theme you will see often) for “what to expect on race day” articles, and they were legitimate ALL THE SAME- show up, get your bib, complete the three-phases or swim, bike, run and go home. They were cookie cutter approaches to a race that is very personal. Finally, I found a blog (HERE) that explained some of the general fears I had (I’d never really swum [swam?] in open water). This is the type of stuff your readers will LOVE!

Step 2) Find your Host. Figure out where you will host your blog. I researched some of the top examples such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, etc. and settled on WordPress because of two main components: ease of use and scalability. As you will see, all of these are capable of hosting your blog, but I would suggest choosing something that appeals to you personally.

With WordPress, create a login, find a domain that fits, find the theme that you like, and post by scrolling to and clicking “add blog”. It really is that easy. I would suggest posting quite a few times before settling on the theme that you use because without content, you really wont be able to see the difference in them.

Step 3) Write and write often. Many of the great minds had detailed daily journals very precisely, and I believe that putting pen to paper is one of the best exercises for getting things done. Putting pen to paper creates some mental fortitude that can significantly increase your odds of getting it done. There are TONS of studies out there regarding how writing helps memory, mental clarity, creativity and to relieve stress.

Aside- I currently have 4 different Moleskin (my fav) notebooks for several different topics: daily tasks, personal development (journal, learnings and daily gratitude), business work and BJJ notes (it’s the black one because of my goal to be a black belt in 8 more years [le sigh].

Back to writing…I am taking the daily journals (and the 10-20K thoughts I have a day) and turning them into my blog posts. Daily, I journal/write about gratitude, business Ideas, recapping what I’ve read, the day before and the day ahead, WIN (what’s important now) and various other subjects.

Step 4) Post your blog. Post and nervously await if anyone will even read it. But seriously, does it matter if anyone else reads it? Not really. At least not for me. I am doing this simply to try and give all my knowledge and experiences to other people so that hopefully they don’t make the same mistakes I have. Hopefully, this will save you a few bumps in your goal to start a blog!

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