This week my focus in my Facebook group is on setting goals.

One goal that a lot of people mention is that they’d like to start their own business. No matter what your business is, starting a blog is a really important early step. And one you can implement pretty quickly and easily.

It allows you to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak – giving you a platform to demonstrate what knowledge you have, and why you are someone who knows what you are doing.

It also is a great way to create content that is easily shared and drives the interested party back to your website, where they might decide to peruse further.

By putting out consistent, quality material, you naturally build a base of content that can be repurposed later for an eBook or other freebie to grow your list.

If you are just getting started, here are the things you’ve got to have:

A website

If you don’t have a website, you can microblog on Facebook, or on Medium – but I mean, why? You are providing quality content that doesn’t live on a platform that you own. The better option is to have your own website, and repurpose a minified version of that content on the other platforms – always leading back to YOUR website.

A catchy headline

It’s absolutely essential to craft a headline (title) that will make people want to read more. The formula of # of ways to do this thing works well, but quickly wears out. You’ve got to think about what would make people click and be a little controversial if you have to be.

Really good images

You need images that will be shareable on multiple platforms – which means you can’t just post one pic and hope it works. I do one size for my featured image (the one that gets shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and another at the bottom for Pinterest. Usually they are the same image presented in different sizes, but sometimes I mix it up.

You can get totally free images at Pexels.com or Unsplash.com – but if you are a food blogger, you really need to learn how to take actually good pictures of your creations.

Back to those Pinterest images. If you aren’t on Pinterest, you need to be. It’s basically a more visual version of Google, and it can drive some serious traffic to your website.

I haven’t always done pinnable images, and I deeply regret it. I had to spend hours and hours creating images for 78 old blogs that didn’t have them – and another 4 just pinning and scheduling them all in Tailwind. (Tailwind is a great app that automates a lot of stuff for Pinterest).

Copy is key

A good rule of thumb for the copy of your blog posts is minimum 300 words, max 600-900. If it’s too long, no one is going to read it. If it’s too short, Google doesn’t like it. Find that sweet spot and try to stay there.

Also, break up your paragraphs. No one likes to read big blocks of stuff.

You aren’t writing a novel – you are trying to get people to read your short, easily digestible blogs to learn from you.

Use a calendar + scheduling app

You will be more likely to blog if you aren’t scrambling every week to come up with content every week.

It took me 14 years to understand this. What, sometimes I’m slow…

I resisted doing this for months, but finally sat down and made myself a calendar for content (in Trello) through the end of the year. At the beginning of the month, I sit down and write as many for that month as I can.

Once the images are create (I use Canva…I think I didn’t mention that before), I get everything all ready to go, and then I schedule the posts for my chosen day to release them with Later.com. There are tons of apps out there to use, and it doesn’t matter which one you choose. Just pick one and use it!

Trust me when I say, this is a thing you want to start doing right, right from the start.

If you have a blog, what’s one thing you wish you’d done from the start?