Simple Steps to Start a Blog
Starting a blog from scratch can seem daunting, I know. And I will admit that there is a lot to learn. The cool thing about blogging, though, is that you can learn as you go. I suggest that you just jump in with both feet. Just do it.
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So what do you do first?
I will explain the basic steps to get started on your blog. As you get going you may want to invest in a course to really get things rolling, like it did. But first things first. I will assume that you don’t know anything about blogging or website building, so I will explain everything.
What to Write About – Choose a Niche
First, you want to decide what you want to blog about. Do you have a specific niche in mind? Do you want a crafting blog or a blog all about cars, cats, raising kids, grandparenting, relationships, your faith,…? Think about what message you want to share with others.
I recently heard a person suggest to think about how you could help someone else who is two steps behind where you are right now. What do you know that someone else might now know yet?
Choose a Name
Second, you want to choose the name of your blog which is called your “domain name”. I chose my name by brainstorming–just writing down all of the names that came to me. If you have a very defined niche, then try to choose a name that corresponds to that. A blogger I know writes all about floors and her blog is called, “The Flooring Girl”. There is no question as to what her blog is about. If your blog covers different topics such as a lifestyle blog like mine, you may want a name that is more general or even title it with your own personal name. This could be fun to do with a friend or spouse which sometimes help get the creative juices flowing.
From your brainstorming session make a list of names that you really like. Think of alternatives to each just in case they aren’t available looking at if there is a way that you could shorten them or reword them.
Choose a Domain Name
Once you have your list, you can check to see if the domain name is available with this free app. Just type your name in with no spaces. Most websites and bloggers choose a .com address so it’s easier for people to remember. I recommend choosing a .com address. And be careful. If you check the .com and it is not available, you could check with .net for the same name. It might be available, but people also might get confused between the two sites.
Sign up with a Hosting Site
Now you are ready to sign up with a site to host your blog. If you’re serious about blogging, I don’t recommend free sites like Blogger, WordPress.com, or Wix. Once your blog gets rolling and popular, you will get frustrated at the limitations of these sites, and moving your blog to a new hosting site later is a lot of work. (To help with the confusion here, WordPress.com is WordPress’s free hosting site. WordPress.org is what you will use to make your blog on a different hosting site. It is also free.)
Bluehost makes it installing the WordPress blogging platform easy with just the click of one button.
Choose a Theme
A theme is the design of the website–not the theme of what you write about. Thankfully you don’t have to design this yourself as there are lots of free themes to choose from. Go to “Appearance” in the left column of WordPress and select “Theme”. Click “add new” and you will find hundreds of themes to choose from, both free and premium. You can download some and see how they look or check out the screenshots and information for each. I always like to do a web search for the theme name + reviews to see what other people’s experiences are.
Take a Course
If at this point you are starting to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath. I encourage you to pace yourself as if you were taking a class and learn it little by little. In fact, you may like to take a course to get you going. The one I took that got me started was the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course and I highly recommend it. Not only do they walk you through setting up your blog and getting you started with your first posts, but they show you lots of different ways that you can make money on your blog. So if you already have a blog and want to learn how to monetize it, this course is for you. Along with the course, you also get a free WordPress course that will teach you all about the WordPress blogging platform. And they have free Facebook Support group boards where you can ask questions about any difficulties you might encounter. Monthly they offer optional challenges to help you move ahead easier and more quickly and Sharing Facebook groups to get your blog in front of more people. I can’t say enough about how important it is to have a supportive community of bloggers to help you on your blogging journey and you will find it here.
Click the button to read more about the course. They give a full outline of everything you will learn.
In the Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course, you will learn not only how to set up your blog, how to write posts and how to run your blog as a business, but you will learn how to use social media to engage your audience, how to build an email list, how to use SEO (Search Engine Optimization — basically get found on Google), and how to get paid to write posts with sponsored posts, and earn revenue in multiple ways such as running Ads, using Affiliate links, selling digital products and more.
If you’re interested in starting a travel blog, then the Travel Blogging Blastoff Course is for you. Learn how to make money while you travel the world, the country or state. You will also learn how to get much of your expenses paid with comped travel where you are paid to travel. You can read my Travel Blogging Blastoff Course Review here.
Whether you have decided to blog to make extra money, to work from home, to travel the world or to simply share your life experiences or passions, enjoy the journey. Don’t be in a hurry. Take your time setting up your blog and give yourself the grace and space to learn this new thing. Blogging is a fun adventure where you can connect with new people if you want or hide behind the veil of your computer screen, you can make money or simply share your life and thoughts and encourage others on their journeys. Either way, start now!
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