Have you ever considered being a blogger?
I have been blogging for well over 5 years now on various websites.
I think I enjoy it even more today than I did when I first started!
Starting a blog is fairly simple. It does not require a lot of overhead, especially when you first start out.
It's easy to start a blog, but if you want to blog for the long haul, you should put a bit of thought into it first.
Here are some quick tips on how to start a blog:
Figure out what you want to blog about
Hopefully you will blog about something you are passionate about. Ideally, whatever you decide to blog about will be that thing that you can ramble on and on about for hours and hours and hours. That wonderful hobby you have that you want to share with others. Your beautiful family. That cause that is so near and dear to your heart.
Choose carefully. There is no law that states that you cannot change direction in the future, but if you are going to write about something on a regular basis for months and hopefully years to come...you better have a lot to say about it.
Choose a domain name
Put some serious thought into your domain name. Your blog name should be unique, it should be niche appropriate and it should be easy to remember. Length is another important consideration. My site Family Friendly Frugality has a LONG name. I love that site, but if I do have one regret...it is the length of the name. It can be quite a mouthful when people ask me about my site in public!
Once you choose a domain, you'll need to purchase it! I purchase all of my domains from GoDaddy.com. (I do NOT host my blogs there). Hold on just a second though before you purchase your domain.
At this point...you need to make a very very important decision. This will lead into our next step...
Self hosted or Free?
Am I speaking Greek? Yes, you can choose a "free" blogging platform like blogspot, weebly, tumblr, etc. In some cases, you can upgrade to "own" your domain name on those sites as well (this takes the .blogspot or .weebly out of your url).
The free service handles your hosting and you are at the mercy of their service whether your site is up or down. While you do own your words/pictures/etc on a free blogging platform...it's all hosted on someone else's dime. Which means they can keep your site up...and they can also take your site down. Sometimes with no recourse and without any means of retrieving your content. Scary, right?
I recommend self hosted WordPress blogs to everyone. You pay for your domain, your hosting and you have all the control.
If you decide you want the control that a self hosted wordpress blog offers, head on over to GoDaddy.com to buy your domain.
Pay by month or by year. You'll save a bit more if you pay by year. Remember, if you intend to make money from your site, this is an expense that can be deducted from your overall profit. Since blogging is a rather low overhead endeavor, you will enjoy these deductions where you can get them!
Set up social media accounts
I'm assuming you don't want to blog in a vacuum! Most bloggers blog for the purpose of sharing with others. You will want to set up accounts on the popular social sharing sites right now (I'll link mine below so you can see what blog versions of these profiles might look like):
Design your blog
You want your blog to stand out. To be special. Visually appealing!
You can make your own graphics, use pre-made themes, buy small packages from reputable designers...whatever you want!
This is where you can really make your blog shine and resemble you personally.
I personally use Pixel Me Designs for all my design needs. She is ridiculously amazing, talented and affordable.
Get started! Write amazing content. You'll want to set up your site's structure from the start for success.
Go ahead and get those pillar articles written and paired with beautiful eye catching images. Work on your About Me, your How To's. Think about your niche and picture yourself as a reader. What articles do you think a blog on this topic SHOULD have? A recipe site should probably have a post about pantry staples. A sewing site should have a post about sewing machines. A family blog should have a "getting to know us" post.
These will likely be the posts that define your blog categories later on.
Write and write and write. If you don't like to write...you probably shouldn't have started a blog 😉
Now for the fun (and sometimes maddening) part! Share! Use those beautiful new social media accounts and SHARE! Email your friends and family (ONCE) and let them know! Pin your content on pinterest. Set up an email subscriber list.
Share your content with enthusiasm and you are sure to attract like minded fans.
That's it! You've set up your blog and you are ready to roll! I'll be posting more on the topic of blogging in the future. It is something I love to do and I love to help others do it too!
Comment below with any tips or questions you might have related to starting a new blog!