I have been asked many times how to start a blog. I went to school for web design and development so I started out as a website designer for others, and decided, “Hey, I want to blog”. Just like anything else, you learn and grow along the way and it can be scary jumping into, but it is so much fun and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It sounds overwhelming, but it is really easy to set up and get going and you will be a pro in no time.
What to think about before you get started
Before you start setting up your site, you want to really sit down and think about what you want to write about. Do you want to focus on travel, recipes, crafts, kids, family, pets, entertainment or a wide variety of other topics?
I have narrowed my focus down to mostly travel, food and family. Remember, being successful as a blogger means you are writing about what people are interested in reading. Along with engaging content, you need to have a good site layout/design, hi-quality images, and a good menu (links) set up so people can navigate your site. I am going to be covering all of these in more detail over the next few weeks, so be sure to sign up for our free weekly newsletter so you can learn more.
The benefits of paid hosting over a free site
There are options to set up a free website like blogger, but I highly discourage this option. There are many reasons, but the biggest ones are that you will eventually have to transfer over to WordPress and it can be messy and expensive. Advertisers and PR companies don’t like to deal with Blogspot/blogger so you won’t get as many opportunities for sponsored posts/content.
If you host on a free server like Blogger, you really don’t “own” your site. It is at their discretion whether they shut it down, and I have known bloggers who have lost their site because of this. Having your own blog hosting and a self-hosted WordPress site means you own your content and everything you do.
With a self-hosted site, the only way you would lose it is if you stop paying for hosting, or you don’t have your site security setup up very good and you get hacked. That is why I strongly recommend backing up your site at least once a week (depending on how often you post, I back up daily) and downloading at least one backup to your computer a month. I will talk more about this in another post.
Be sure to sign up for our WEEKLY BLOGGING NEWSLETTER for tips, information, and insider help.
Choosing your Niche
I have been a blogger since 2009 when I started my blog called Utah Coupon Deals. “Deal blogging” was a huge thing back then and I loved finding deals and sharing them with everyone. It eventually became too much for me, and I just wanted to start writing and sharing everyday things, so in January of 2014, I rebranded to Lovebugs and Postcards – a travel, family, food, entertainment, crafts, a lifestyle blog that has been the best decision of my business career. I didn’t have a guidebook or someone to tell me how to start a blog. I just stumbled along, learning as I went. That is why I want to help you.
Choosing a different niche allowed me to expand what I was able to write about, a different name and website address let everyone know what I was writing about. With Utah Coupon Deals – I was limited to Utah, Coupons, and Deals. With Lovebugs and Postcards, I am open to being able to write on just about everything. You can always rebrand as I did, but it is a bit of a pain, so I recommend putting a lot of thought into this before you start.
One thing that may help is making a list of different things you can write about and see what you fall under. If it’s mostly recipes, then do a food blog. If it’s mostly beauty and fashion, do a blog that covers that.
Benefits of Blogging and being a social media influencer
I can set my own schedule, and bring in a good income to help support my family. The income part didn’t happen overnight, and it can take anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years to really get a good income rolling in. It all depends on how much time you put into and how engaging your content is. I will be sharing a list of influencer networks you can join to get paid jobs, as well as other ways to earn money (like having ads – like Mediavine or Adsense).
Everyone has a voice, and blogging is a great way to share that voice with others. Sharing what you love most, your opinions, ideas, and thoughts. It is a great place to connect with others and share your creative talents. You will make a lot of great connections, get a lot of amazing opportunities and be able to share your amazing self with everyone. You may be able to even help your friends learn how to start a blog of their own.
Ready? Here is how to start a blog:
If you are ready, here is how to start a blog in 5 easy steps:
- Decide what you want to blog about
- Select your domain name (you will get a free one with your hosting, so click on “buy now” and you can check to see if it is available)
- Set up your web hosting for only $5/month and Install WordPress
- Start adding your amazing unique content
- Share across multiple social media channels and a newsletter
Don’t Give Up
It takes time to build your site, but just keep adding great useful content and you will take off in no time. Be sure to create social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, YouTube, and a newsletter. Then whenever you post something on your site, share it across all of your social media networks, tell your friends, family and everyone else and really get the word out.
If you have done all of these steps and are ready to take it to the next level I will be sharing more tips on how to Start a Blog with how to MAKE MONEY AS A BLOGGER and HOW TO TAKE YOUR WORDPRESS SITE TO THE NEXT LEVEL as well as other helpful information.
We will also be starting a blogging class that will give you one-on-one support, help with design and layout on your site, insider tips and more! Sign up for the newsletter now so you don’t miss out.
Feel free to ask questions and I will answer them the best I can!