Have you thought about starting a blog? The idea can be daunting and overwhelming. I am going to give you my top 5 tips to start a blog today! Get your pen and paper handy, because these tips are going to have you blogging before bedtime.
I was soooooo overwhelmed when I decided to look into starting a blog. I’ve been reading them for years. “How hard could it be?” I thought to myself. Even while you’re reading this you may either be thinking “It doesn’t seem so hard” or you’ve come here in desperation because you’ve broken down and resorted to crying into a carton of Ben & Jerry’s. I, too, thought I could create a site as easy as I created a MySpace back in 2007. MySpace was fun for me because I got to use my imagination and creativity (and the teeny bit of code I taught myself from the internet—that I have absolutely forgotten because my brain resets itself every night when I sleep) to create a space that was all mine.
While I enjoyed reading other people’s life stories and tips, I also had things to say. I wanted to be there for someone to relate to so I could help them through life struggles from getting dumped to travel ideas. Then came the day. The. Day. I was going to do it. I went to my trusty Google search engine and dug in to the advice of many. But what were they saying? –I didn’t understand the lingo– SEO, self-hosting, widgets. This was going to be a task that I would have to completely start over and educate myself. Google University :+)
So let me break it down for you.
1. To have a site that is all yours, you must self-host. This means you have to basically purchase your site name via a hosting site. If you’re reading this, you know mine is GingeredState.com. If you create a blog by a blogging site (Let’s use Blogger.com) and your site name is Blogger.com/AngiesPlace it is not a self-hosted site and you will never be able to make money from it. Also, it just doesn’t look quite as professional as when you have a site with just your company name.
It isn’t expensive. I use BlueHost and it is about $4/month. You can add additional features that will increase the base price, but I believe with all the bells and whistles, It’s around $15/month. Nice and cheap for having a site that is all your own. If you ever want to make money with your site, you have to self- host. This also means making money by using your name/brand as a selling point, not just making money selling physical items. I will include a link here so you can get started. You can cancel at any time if you change your mind.
2. Next, you need to choose a site to create your new, self-hosted page. Some of the more known ones are WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly. After lots and lots and looooottsss of research, I went with WordPress. Although it can be a bit more difficult to work around than say, SquareSpace or Blogger, it has a lot more options when it comes to customizations and truly making it your own. You may need to do some searches and learn a bit about creating a website and code, but when you are done, the space you created is a product of your creativity. I can say I have created a space that reflects me, and my brand.
3. So, you have a brand new website that is all yours! Now what? Now, you have to create how you want it to look and manage for the content you create. I suggest looking up some video tutorials regarding the platform you have chosen. For me, I chose WordPress, so I went to youtube and looked up “WordPress Setup Tutorial.” I found a very helpful one by Tyler Moore and will link it here. Don’t get overwhelmed that this will take a lot of time to get your website set up. This entire adventure of blogging will take time. It’s a process. If you’re looking to starting a blog to make money quick, blogging is not for you.
4. Pick a theme that conveys your brand. You will need to pick a theme that reflects you and the content you are going to publish. You can change it up at any time. If your content subject grows in a different direction, so can the look of your blog. I use a theme by a brand called pipdig. They have an array of lovely stunning themes to give your blog that elegant, professional feel. Readers and companies will come to your website with your pipdig theme and know this isn’t a little kid’s page. This is the site of a strong, serious (or comical lol) writer. It will have them intrigued to hang around and read your posts. Also, the staff have been incredibly helpful with any questions or issues I am facing since I am not a computer genius…or any other kind of genius, for that matter! Get your theme by pipdig here.
Now you have your pretty theme installed and this is where the fun happens! I love playing around with the look of the site and widgets I can manage for things like my Instagram feed or an email subscription section so your readers can stay up to date on your latests posts. Speaking of, please go and subscribe to this blog by adding your email to the subscription box at the bottom of this page. (Shameless plug omg) I swear I will not spam your inbox with tons of emails. Just an update when I post new blog content so you can stay up to date :+)
5. Now you can add your content and publish it for the world to see. This is your site; your baby. This will take time. Keep telling yourself that (as I tell myself that haha) because the readers don’t show up in a day. It may be a month or two before you ever see a ping on your dashboard that someone visited your site. That’s ok. This will give you time to learn the site and get some quality content on your page. Find yourself a room in your home or maybe a coffee shop or library where you feel inspired to write your best content. Aim to publish a few posts per week and you can tweak this number as time goes on. Get out on your social media platforms at let them know you’ve arrived! People will not know you have a blog with this goldmine (cheers to staying positive!) of information.
This is just a start to get you going. The rest will take time and you will need this time build your site and have a wealth of content for your readers to chew on. Get yourself settled in first, and the rest will come organically. I believe in you and I know you will prove to be inspirational!
Comment below with your new website or blog URL or with any thoughts or questions. I would love to see what you’ve created!
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