When it comes to building yourself an online career you really need to have your shit together. My first ever blog was a disorganised explosion of word vomit and half ideas because I didn’t think it through before I started and definitely wasn’t organised enough. But I’ve learnt my lesson since then and want to share some of the things I learnt along the way with you all.
So if you’re thinking about dipping your toe into the online world then here’s some tips on getting started on the right foot.
1. Setup a new user on computer
Yup, I know it sounds weird, why do you need a whooooole new user account, why not just do everything from your main account?
Think of it like a real job, if you went into an office you’d be using a computer there instead of your personal computer, and that computers going to only have your work stuff - all the applications and documents you need. It’s not all going to be lurking around in between your random holiday snaps, or all those downloaded healthy eating pdfs.
A separate user account is going to allow you to stay focused on working on your blog and nothing else (hopefully).
2. Setup email accounts
For similar reasons to step one, you want at least one dedicated blog email. If you’re planning on starting a blog then I’d advise having multiple email accounts to help filter the emails. My personal email account is so full of spam newsletters (to get those damn healthy eating pdfs), groupon emails, facebook emails, personal emails…all kinds of junk.
If you use your personal email as your work email address there’s a chance that some important emails might slip through the cracks. Maybe they’ll end up in the spam folder, maybe you’ll spot them but assume their spam and delete them, maybe you just won’t spot them in a timely manner and miss out on an opportunity.
I’m speaking from experience, I used my personal email as my work email for about a year and it was a total nightmare.
It’s better to do this from the start so you don’t have to go try and switch anyone over to using your new work email address for work related things.
I use my beloved spreadsheets to keep track of my finances. Starting out you’ll probably (almost definitely) only have outgoings so it’s pretty simple to keep track of everything with a basic spreadsheet.
It’s so important to keep track of all your finances so that you can get a really good view of what it’s costing you to run your blog or youtube. If you buy anything where they give you physical receipts (how old school!), make sure you keep a hold of those, I just tuck mine in a folder, as well as logging them in my spreadsheet.
4. Setup google
There’s a whole tonne of reasons why you’ll want to have a separate google account, my absolute favourites being bookmarks and youtube. You can setup bookmarks related to your work for quick easy access, and the same on youtube, you can subscribe to channels related to your work. Yup, a spreadsheet AND a bookmark lover right here!
BTW, most people scoff when I mention watching youtube videos being part of my job, so if you’re wondering, yes, yes it is, it’s awesome. No, seriously though, if you write a blog, and/or make youtube videos, a percentage of your day is going to be checking out the odd youtube video to research something, learn how to do something, to check out statistics, or to stay up to date with what’s going on in the industry.
5. Equipment check
Hopefully, you’ve already got any equipment you need. I’d avoid going out and buying anything expensive when you start out because it’s better to kind of test the waters and see how you like blogging before investing in it. You want to be seeing at least some income before you start spending money on cameras, or new laptops, or top of the range software. In a perfect world I’d say it’s best to wait until you at least break even with what you’ve already invested before investing more, but of course there are exceptions to that rule where it DOES pay off to invest more before you’ve broken even.
As for other expenses like office staples, pens, paperclips, hole punches, motivational posters for above the desk, all that malarky, I’d honestly say try and keep your costs down when you’re starting out. Just get what you really need.
6. Setting up a space
You’re going to want a spot to work in so get setting up! I know that for some of you, you don’t have any room for a dedicated work space. I’m in the same boat guys, my current work spot is the coffee table in my living room. Every morning I set it up as my little desk, and every evening I put everything away again. It’s super frustrating and probably super bad for my posture, and I daydream about having a proper desk and it looking all pretty and instagram worthy, but nope, just me and my coffee table. Even if it’s something small having a dedicated space can really help.
I don’t know about you guys, but I like to have a spot, it helps me feel like I’m in work mode and I get more done.
So that’s it guys, that’s how I got organised for launching this blog, it doesn’t take long to do any of these steps, and I’d say the setting up those work only accounts is my favourite tip, if you do nothing else, do that one, oh wait, no, you should probably do the finances ones too, I mean finances are important as well.
What other things do you guys do to get organised before you take on a big project like a blog? Let us know in the comments.