How To Start A Rockin’ Blog!
So you want to start a blog but are clueless of where to begin? No worries….I was in your shoes not too long ago. Blogging or running your own website is an amazing way to make a passive income. There are millions of bloggers out there but only a few that are actually dedicated to make this their business and work as a blogger full-time. Could this be you? Let me start by giving you my back story and see if you can relate. I am a mother of 3 girls, I have worked part-time from home which is a blessing for many years. I have done freelance writing for even more years and work as a social media consultant. My husband’s work schedule made my work schedule difficult! I needed something that was secure that I could pick up and do whenever my kids napped or gave me 5 min alone! Something I could do on my own time which to be honest, I have very little time to myself. I started my own breastfeeding blog years ago but never monetized it. Finally, I realized all this hard work I did would’ve paid off if I put all of my articles on a self-hosted site! I would see articles on Pinterest over and over about blogging and how much a person can make and it finally hit me! Why aren’t I doing this? I love to write and have writing for other people for years! This is my passion! I need to start this ASAP! So…….I finally did and I will give you the step by step process of how I created my own rockin’ blog and how quickly you can too!
Before we begin the steps, I just want to let you know a few things about blogging so you know what’s in store for you and see if it’s right for you.
- Blogging can easily become a full-time gig, meaning you can & will spend tons of hours working on your blog if you are truly dedicated to it and set goals.
- You CAN make money from your blog but you need to have two things, patience, and dedication.
- Know what your niche is before you begin
- Take on one social media platform at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed
- Understand that in the beginning, blogging is more about promotion than anything else!
- Have at least 10-15 good articles written before you launch your site.
- Remember this one important thing, if it was that easy….EVERYONE would be doing it and everyone isn’t! (Yes, there are TONS of bloggers but not all are successful or are doing it as a full-time business)
What is your niche?
What is a niche you might ask? Well, it could be your love of food, cars, making money online, travel, or maybe all things motherhood? Whatever it is, research it and read what other bloggers have to say and see if you’re a good fit. Have a bunch of articles ready for your blog and your niche. There is so much more involved that you will have to learn so you want these articles already written and done. That way, once you set things up you are ready to go!
Come up with a name for your Rockin’ blog-
Think of this one long and hard. Ask friends or close family, ask other bloggers on Facebook groups if you can’t decide. Whatever it is, make sure you love it because changing it is way harder than you think! It could easily be your name which is fine, but sometimes coming up with a cool name helps people remember your blog better and makes it unique. Believe me, in a world with tons of bloggers, you want to stand out as much as you can.
You NEED a good hosting site-
I didn’t understand any of this at first. What the heck was the difference between wordpress.org and .com? I didn’t even realize there was a difference?!!! I had two old blogs, one on Blogger and one on wordpress.com. Both of these were just platforms to put some of my work on and to add to my resume. Nothing that I monetized and I honestly didn’t know the difference. I will tell you the difference YOU CANNOT use wordpress.com if you choose to make this your business and monetize your blog. Basically, in a nut shell, you DO NOT own your own blog if it isn’t self-hosted. You MUST use wordpress.org for this! With wordpress.com you don’t need it to be self-hosted, with .org you do. So, this is where you will begin! In order to use wordpress.org, you need to get self-hosted first! I went with Bluehost to self-host site because….let’s be honest here, they had the best rate and every top blogger was using Bluehost so I didn’t want to go wrong. This is where you will have to invest in your blog, but it won’t cost you much, however, it IS necessary if you want to monetize your blog and be on wordpress.org. Bluehost has been terrific for me so far and I had one minor hiccup on my blog and they helped me right away and it turned out being something on my computer anyway. Right now Bluehost is running a summer special price for my readers for $3.95 for 36 months! Bluehost comes with a free domain name and is the easiest and most affordable hosting site to use available today! This is an amazing deal and if you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog, this is 60% off their original price so take advantage of this deal now! ***BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL $2.95 a month!!!!
Just so you are aware, Bluehost (and most hosting companies) will charge you for annually. This is important because you don’t want anything to happen to your site a few months down the road. This will ensure your domain name. I just want you to be aware because no one mentioned this to me and I thought it was a monthly thing. It is the best price and web hosting site available so it’s worth it. It will also give you piece of mind that yo won’t have to worry about how your site is doing for a whole year. Definitely a good investment
Choose a plan with Bluehost–
Once you decide to go with Bluehost, you will first have to choose a plan. If you are just starting out and are on a budget, going with the summer flash sale of $3.95 a month is fine! You can always upgrade down the road if you need to. The screen will look like this…..
Choose Your Domain name-
Remember that blog name you came up with? Well here is where you put it and also find out if someone already has that name! You may have to come up with a new one if it’s taken. That’s why it’s important to think this process over beforehand if you can. Bluehost allows you to sign up even if you don’t have a domain name yet which is awesome too! You can set up the entire site and get everything ready, then come up with a name before actually launching it! Another added bonus about Bluehost! 😉
Once you installed Bluehost and chose your plan, this is where the fun begins! Then you will install WordPress. Easy peasy!
Take time to understand wordpress-
WordPress will walk you through the steps to set up your site. If you are a complete newbie to all this then take time to look over wordpress, google as much as possible and really understand the wordpress site. Some of it was much like WordPress.com and Blogger and some was different. If you are taking this seriously, you really want to know what is needed, take the proper security measures, add the right plugins and so on and so forth. This will take time. You don’t have to learn it all right away to launch your site, but learn as much as you can before you do so it makes the whole process easier.
Choose a theme-
On your dashboard, go down to Appearances and then click themes. This is where you will build & choose the theme that’s right for you! I loved shopping for themes! I’m a pretty artistic person naturally, so this part was fun for me! You can choose any free theme you want. There are SO many to choose from and a lot of great free themes out there. I started my blog with a free theme for the first few weeks which was fine. Some people keep the free theme the entire time. I am pretty picky and knew I wanted my blog to be my business and really wanted other brands to take me seriously. I needed a more professional feel to my theme so I bought one from Bluchic. I researched high and low the different types of themes available and I fell in love with all of Bluchic’s feminine themes. You can check them out here! I choose the Adelle Pro theme because I loved the slider look and just felt it fit my taste perfectly. Bluchic has so many others to choose from! Again, you don’t have to pay for a theme at all, and most beginners start with a free theme and eventually move on to a paid theme. A paid theme is easier if you don’t know much about coding because you can get the look that you want and not spend hours trying to figure out how to do it! I did design my own logo and added that to my paid theme and tweaked it here and there. If you are great at coding, then I suggest stick with a free theme and play around for a while until you know what you want for sure.
That’s It! Your Rockin’ Blog Is Started!
Okay…there’s way more to do before you actually launch your site, but these are the first few steps to start a blog. These few steps only take you about 15-20min so you can have it that quickly! You will then have to install plugins, design your theme and logo the way you want, learn the basics of wordpress.org, and of course (most importantly) add your posts! Once you launch your site, then promote, promote, promote! If you are brand new to blogging, I would get on some Facebook blogging Groups first. These groups are full of wonderful people and will answer any questions you may need and offer you lots of advice! Then set up your social media accounts one at a time. My best advice to you would be to set them up as business accounts and separate from your personal Facebook and other social media accounts. It will confuse you to have them all together and you will most likely will want to keep some of your personal stuff….ya know, personal! Once you have these accounts set up, be sure to join some Pinterest Group Boards to add your pins to! If you are a Mom Blogger, then you’ll be interested in joining my board here!
Good luck and remember, you CAN make money from a blog! You just need to be dedicated and learn as much as possible. If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of free resources to help you learn all the basics. Once you have some money set aside, I would seriously consider investing in blogging courses and whatever else you can to help make your blog successful! Hopefully these tips will help you start your rockin’ blog of your dreams!
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