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3 Steps to Starting Your Own Website (It’s About Time!)

By Jamé Jackson

These days, it seems like everyone’s got their own blog, so it can be tough to distinguish your site from the pack. But fret not, young whippersnappers—I learned a few things while launching my own website, TheBlondeMisfit, and I’m here to share that knowledge with you.

Decide your target audience and niche.
When I started TheBlondeMisfit, I had to learn early on who I wanted to service and what content I wanted to provide. This might seem obvious, but I often come across bloggers who are not really aiming at anything or anyone in particular. I call this “shooting in the dark.” They’re just writing about whatever’s currently happening, what’s trending, and what’s already out there. This doesn’t make them look like a leading authority in their industry. Your brand will be so much more meaningful if you refine the audience that you’re servicing, rather than trying to cater to everyone. Unfortunately, this means you may not be able to write about every single topic that you love. Pick one or two that you truly enjoy and perfect your coverage in those areas.

Utilize your SEO.
SEO (which stands for “search engine optimization,”) is what helps your content pop up on Google. Without strong SEO, search engines can’t find your site or your content, and so they can’t connect you with people who are searching for what you’re giving out. To avoid this problem, you need to understand the importance of keywords. Figure out which words are the most important in your piece, and make sure that your image name, your metadata, and the alt text for social media all include them. (I know SEO can be confusing, so here’s a quick and semi-easy guide to get you started.) The more eyes that are on your content, the more people will be inclined to share it—and that’ll help search engines find you too.

Create individuality online.
How can you tell a narrative differently from other people? While there are probably thousands of people aiming for the same jobs, titles, and accolades as you, the special secret is that nobody can do you better than you can. As I’ve continued to build my site, I’ve defined my voice that makes me unique to competitors and provides content with my spin on it, not a simple regurgitation of what’s out there. Remember: there’s already a TheBlondeMisfit and an Ed2010 and a Vogue and an Essence. Use your experiences and abilities to create content that hasn’t been done before and your readers will return to your site again and again.

Jamé Jackson is a freelance fashion and beauty journalist based in NYC. She’s the founder of Theblondemisfit.com, a lifestyle site geared toward women of color in the fashion industry. To follow her random antidotes, #Blackgirlmagic, and blonde endeavors, follow her on IG: @theblondemisfit.

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