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So you want to start your own blog? You’ve come to the right place!
There are so many things you can accomplish with your own blog! The best part about blogging? It can be for virtually ANYTHING. There are a few things I highly recommend you do BEFORE you actually buy the hosting though!
I’m going to break it down for you little by little so we can easily set up your first blog!
What are you going to blog about?
- Define your niche– You want to make a blog, but what exactly will it be about? Do you travel? Are you an attorney? Maybe you’re a wicked awesome couponer! Basically, what I’m saying, is that you need to identify what it is you can talk about forever, but also something you are a genius at; your niche. For example, I personally have a parenting blog. I chose to have a parenting blog because that is my life! I can literally write something every single day if I want to on parenting. You don’t want to write about something that has a very short range of literature behind it. Like if I made a blog about Magnolia Trees. I could make a few posts, like what they are, how to grow them, where they grow, etc. That’s it though. It is way to specific. Now if I made a blog about just trees in general, I could come up with an infinite amount of things to say!
Try this activity if you are having trouble:
Take a piece of paper, and in 1 minute, just free write. Write about everything you are passionate about. (Mine was something like; parenting, breastfeeding, being a nurse, animals, the environment.)
After a minute, take a good look at your list. With each thing you wrote down in mind, what things do you know a lot about? I know a good deal about everything on my list, so how does that even help? If I take “the environment” into consideration…I may know a good deal about it, but I’m not going to be able to come up with something every single day if I have to. It’s something that is important to me, but I would get bored or have difficulty writing about it constantly. Then I look at parenting; I am a mother of two small boys. I can definitely roll with that!
Don’t worry if you want to do something that’s popular! That was one thing I nit picked at for days before I decided. There are so many parenting blogs, but the one thing other blogs with a parenting niche don’t have, is me.
What is your domain name going to be?
This part is going to stick with you for a little while, so think good and hard! I’m sure there are ways you can purchase a new one of you do end up really hating it for some reason, but I haven’t had to worry about that.
If you are just starting out and you’re a little unsure of your niche, but you have ideas, make it about something really generalized.
As I discussed, my niche is parenting. That in itself, is general enough to me, but I wanted to tweak it just a smidge so that I wasn’t so ordinary. I created a name that makes it generalized, but unique to myself; Jordan and Arlo Have an Adventure. This could be anything in that parenting niche for myself since Jordan & Arlo are my kids!
Need help with your domain name? Come up with a list, of at least 10 names you would like to call your website, and sleep on it. It will make a world of difference if you don’t rush this. Before you go to sleep, you will definitely have your favorites in mind and by morning you’ll have a fresh mind so you know exactly what you want!
Now that you know your niche and domain name, you are ready to set up your first blog!
There are free blogging services out there for you, but if you ask any expert blogger that has been doing this for a long time, (like the big ballers that make 40K+ A MONTH!) it won’t get you very far if you plan on monetizing your blog, unfortunately. When it comes to business, you have to spend a few, to make a million.
In other words, you definitely want to self-host if you want to make some money! If you don’t own your website, somebody else does. This means, you can work hard on your blog for years, but they can decide to shut you down at any moment, and there’s NOTHING you can do about it.
SEO (search engine optimization) can take a huge toll on you as well if you don’t self-host. Some free blogging services have ways to block you from reaching the google search engines.
Not to mention, when you self-help, you can make your blog look way more professional. If it doesn’t look professional, you won’t get as much traffic. Most people won’t look past a poorly done site to even give your content a chance.
If you are serious about blogging to build your own business from your own home (or the beach even) I recommend buying your own wordpress web hosting through Bluehost.
Bluehost is just $3.95 a month! It includes one free domain name, and it is super easy to set up! If you are just starting out, the basic $3.95 a month plan is just fine for you! When you click on my Bluehost link that will redirect you to the site to make your purchase, it walks you through the entire process of setting up your web hosting, and downloading wordpress. Not only that, but I know first hand the customer service is phenomenal!
I went to their online chat before because I had an error on my site that I couldn’t figure out (that ended up being my own fault) and they fixed it immediately. I have not had an issue happen since.
If for whatever reason you decide you hate Bluehost, or blogging all together (which you won’t!) they will refund you according to how long you used the service. That was a real sense of security for me when I first started out, so I know it will be for you.
Getting to know WordPress
After you set up your own wordpress site through Bluehost and you’ve downloaded wordpress, it’s time for the games to begin! You can now begin building your very own site! I started out playing with the themes. They have a ton of free themes and that’s still what I use! You can customize them until the cows come home. If you can’t add something within the theme, there’s always a plugin for it!
I would just click through everything and get to know how wordpress works, what it is, and what it has to offer for you and your blog!
It can be frustrating at first because there is just SO much to learn, but if you want to make some money, you have to be willing to work for it!
Do not spend a ton of time on this step when you first start out. I spent so much time doing this when really I should have focused more on making my content!
In order to monitize your blog, you must get readers. If you do not write, you can’t get readers! This is something I stalled because I wanted my site to look perfect. Meanwhile, once I finished making it “perfect” it was pointless since I had no content!
You do want your site to look professional, but that will come with time. Trust me on this, focus on your content.
When do I launch?!
As a general rule of thumb, most professionals recommend you should have at least 10-20 posts wrote up before you hit that launch button! I personally didn’t listen and launched as soon as I made my first post, which I was fine with. I didn’t have a ton of traffic, obviously, but it helped ease me into the blogger world.
Now that you have your own WordPress blog, you can begin building your own business! This is just the beginning of my blogging series! I will have new content next week that tells you things you can do in order to build traffic to your site!
Until then, happy blogging!! If you have ANY questions at all, do feel free to contact me!