Want to start a blog, podcast, or email list? Here are my top tech takeaways for beginners so you can keep it simple and continue to find, develop, and trust your voice.
When we started this healthythankyoumoreplease journey, I told you I wanted to share about the blogging process as I learned more about it.
To be honest, I’ve been putting it on the back burner. Although there has been a lot of on the job training and an incredible amount of learning, I still have imposter syndrome when it comes to feeling like I “know enough” to share.
I mean, there are people out there with (literally) a million more followers, more “successful” email lists, more hits on their posts or visits to their sites who are chock-full of helpful tips and tricks. Why listen to me?
Well, my goal is to be extremely transparent and share my stumbles, falls, triumphs, and learnings no matter what.
I want to create the content I needed six months ago when I first started healthythankyoumoreplease. I would have wanted to read something along the lines of “here are the really simple things you need to know about these three platforms – also, it’s okay if you have no clue what you’re doing... I still feel like that 99% of the time.”
So, if you’re trying to find your voice and there is even the SMALLEST little spark of passion that goes off in your brain and heart when you think about starting a blog, a podcast, an email list, here are a few of the biggest tech takeaways I’ve had in the almost SIX months since getting started.
Website Hosting & Creation
I began hosting healthythankyoumoreplease with Weebly and decided to switch to Showit after about four months. I could NOT be happier about the decision.
Although the process of literally copying and pasting 50+ posts and pictures from one to the other was a PAIN in the butt it was totally, totally worth it. This isn’t something I would have had to do manually if I had chosen basically any other hosting site besides Weebly to get going.
So my biggest piece of advice here if you’re feeling overwhelmed is to start as simple as possible.
AND, make sure that you also have a long-term plan. Consider hosting sites that give more opportunities for growth or at the very least, a site that can be easily transferred to other sites if necessary. Wix and Squarespace are great drag-and-drop sites that require little-to-no coding.
Then, when you’re ready, take the plunge and step it up. Showit and WordPress are a bit more complicated but give you more room to play and personalize. But, if you’re someone who gets overwhelmed by tech (like I used to!) make the website building process as easy and simple as possible so you can focus on what really matters: creating content people connect with.
The healthythankyoumoreplease BLOGcast is a few months old and if you had told me when I started a blog that I would start a podcast as well, I wouldn’t have believed you.
But, after being a guest on my friend’s podcast, I realized I LOVED it and decided to read my HTYMP posts so you can take them on the go if you don’t want (or have time) to read them.
There are a few steps needed to create podcasts if you want to get it out to popular listening platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher etc…
- Somewhere to record – If you’re just getting started, I recommend the recording software preloaded on your computer. Garage Band is a perfect option for both Macs and PCs!
You’ll also need a teeny bit of equipment but it doesn’t have to be fancy or massively pricy. You can use your everyday headphones (I just use my good ol’ Apple headphones… yep, still the ones with the CORD!) and a microphone like THIS ONE!
- Somewhere to host – This was the in-between step that I didn’t consider when I first started but it is massively important. If you want to submit your podcast to a listening platform (like iTunes), you need to submit an RSS feed. To get an RSS feed, you need a hosting site.
(RSS sounds scarier than it is – this is basically a bigggggg long link that allows a site like iTunes to access updates to your show regularly so you don’t have to go update it yourself.)
I started hosting with SoundCloud but after 180 free minutes of audio upload, they require you to start paying. So, I switched to Sounder – a podcast hosting site that launched in 2019 – and I LOVE it. First off, their hosting is free but because they’re smaller and brand new, they care. After I switched, they visited my site and listened to a few episodes and reached out to let me know how much they loved it! SO COOL!
From there, you can submit your RSS feed, some cover artwork, and a little description and you’re good to go!
Have you noticed that I had to learn what platforms didn’t work for me before finding one that did? Well, I definitely learned a TON in the process and the pattern does not end here.
I started sending emails from MailChimp and after discovering Flodesk, I had to make the switch. I learned about Flodesk through Jenna Kutcher (one of my FAV resources for all-things Girl Boss) and although it is pricer (aka – not free) than MailChimp it is much more user friendly and has a much cleaner look.
Plus, anyone who uses Flodesk can share their personalized link to give others 50% off FOR LIFE. So, I used Jenna’s (pretending for a hot second that we’re on a first-name basis) and you can use mine (or hers, or anyone’s!).
Even if you don’t have a website, podcast, or product you can still have an email list. If you have a voice and a message, a weekly (bi-weekly or monthly) email could be a fun way to keep people informed as to what you’re up to and what you want to share.
If you do have a website, podcast or product you may be wondering “why do I need an email list?” Here is my question for you: if Facebook, Instagram or your social media platform of choice disappeared tomorrow, how would you get in contact with the people who “follow” (aka – rely on) you?
You can’t control social media algorithms or if the people who follow you see everything you post. But, you own your email list. People literally signed up to be there and hear from you. You can be 100% sure that your email ends up in their inbox and present information in the exact order you want it to appear!
If you’re new to this whole thing focus on content creation and have fun with it. This is a reminder I give myself ON THE REG!
At the end of the day, creating content that people connect with is really what matters. Remind yourself of this when you’re feeling like there are a million bridges to cross or things need to be perfect to push “publish”.
No matter what, remember that you don’t need to be perfect to get started. Work with what you’ve got and remember why you started.
If you’re putting off doing the work of writing/creating content until your site, podcast or email outline is perfect let’s be honest… you’ll never start.
If you never start, you’ll miss the beautiful mess of growing pains, tweaks, and triumphs that come from sharing your voice with the world.