It may seem strange to ask ‘should I start a history blog?‘ on a site about history blogging, but before deciding on anything you need to know whether a) blogging and b) blogging about history are the right fit for you.
To help you I have set out 10 questions for you to answer below. And, if after answering the questions you feel ready click here to find out how I can help you set up a gorgeous history blog from scratch.
10 questions to ask before you start a history blog
Is blogging right for me?
If you can believe it, some people start a blog but they don’t actually enjoy writing. Yep, seriously. Considering your average blog post is 800-1500 words and should be something you do consistently, actually liking to write is kinda important.
Now, the first thing to do is, to be honest about where your happy place is? What gets you excited? What would you look forward to doing and where do you want to grow your skills? If it’s making videos more than writing, try YouTube. If it’s speaking over writing, try a podcast. Nothing stops you from adding video or audio to a blog, but the foundation of starting a blog should not feel like work or be something you avoid.
Is history the right topic for me?
This question isn’t about choosing a history niche (although I highly recommend it), it’s one step above that. Often, creatives like you and me are multi-passionate. For example, I love true crime, Star Wars, travel and jewellery as well as history,
Perhaps you can list quite a few things too? Your blog could be about any one of your passions, so make sure history is the right one and will sustain your interest.
Starting a history blog means ‘working’ in public. Am I comfortable with this?
If you look across social media and on Smart History Blogging you will know what I look like, my name, that I live in Yorkshire, England, that I’m from Suffolk, that I have a son and much more. You can choose how much you share but blogging is about stories, learning, experiences and opinions. Are you OK with all that?
Do I enjoy working virtually?
I know that zooming in your pyjamas from your office/spare room has become quite normal now, but blogging is mostly done online and on your own.
By starting a blog you could just be adding yet another thing you do, on your own, in your spare room, and at a computer. If this sounds like heaven, then crack on…. if it doesn’t maybe consider something more engaging or approaching your new blog with a “how can I write and engage with people too?’ mindset. Examples could be interviewing people, and holding live Q&As.
Am I going to engage with the history blogging community?
The internet and social media have their faults, but one of the best things about being a history blogger is connecting with the worldwide, likeminded souls you’ll find in the history lovin’ and history blogging community,
In years of doing this, I have found them to be the most supportive, positive bunch of people. So ask yourself, are you willing, without agenda, to contribute and be part of everyone’s success – taking the time to like, share, comment and subscribe?
Do I have enough time to start a history blog?
Right now, it may be that you’re in a situation where you’ve got expected or unexpected time on your hands. But, more than likely building, researching, writing and maintaining your new blog is going to mean fitting it into your current schedule.
This means you may have to move things around? Perhaps you may have to stop doing things? It may also if you pick something you truly love, become what you spend your leisure time on? If you can not see that time or are not able to be flexible (ho hiding in ‘busyness’ though) then perhaps a blog is not going to work for you.
Am I a self-starter?
Having a blog, especially if you’ve always been dictated to as a student or employee, is freeing. You’re the boss. You can brand it how you like, call it what you want and write about topics you choose when you want to.
There is no one watching you, monitoring you or clocking you in and out. But, the flip-side to that is there’s no one watching you, monitoring you or clocking you in and out! The responsibility for building, posting and growing your blog is entirely on you.
Do I enjoy research?
This is a little like asking yourself – do you enjoy writing? Because writing blog posts about history will require research. We’re not talking about dissertation levels of deep-dive analysis, but you may have to scour the internet for a public domain image, find an original source, or look up some dates to be accurate. Sound good?
Am I a creative person (or willing to learn)?
You don’t have to be Bansky for original concepts or a graphic designer but (unless you’re willing to pay someone) you will need to embrace branding and design. as it’s an integral part of creating an attractive, engaging blog.
Don’t let this put you off. You just need to be willing to embrace something new and climb up that learning curve however steep it might be. There are lots of free platforms like Canva where you can create logos, social media posts and newsletter templates. But, are you willing to do it?
Do I have some technical ability (or a willingness to learn)?
Similar to being willing to be creative, you need to embrace the tech!
I know there is nothing more soul-destroying than WordPress updates and compressing photos so they’ll actually upload, but again it’s part of being a blogger!
Blogging is using a computer, or phone-based apps and editing video on your own. But, like tools to help with design, the tech has become much friendlier and you just need to be prepared to climb a different learning curve. Plus, if you’re a genuine, active member of the history blogging community, someone is always prepared to help.
Ready? Let me help you start a well-thought-out, sustainable, beautiful history blog
Starting a blog is an exciting and rewarding adventure, but I truly believe blogging should never feel like work. Yes, there will be parts of blogging you might not enjoy – researching SEO keywords anyone! But, the foundation, the topic, and the feeling of clicking ‘post’ should never be something you have to do, it should be something you want to do.
If you’re ready to take the next step, my mini-course will help you decide how to choose a topic that will sustain you, how to make your history blog discoverable from the start and how to prepare your blog (and you) for launch. It’s all presented in easy-to-digest actionable videos and worksheets.