So, you’re thinking about starting a blog, huh? What made you want to do it?
For me, this started out as a hobby. I wanted to use my blog as an outlet and never told anyone about it. I wanted to be a secret blogger, ya know? Then my friend happened to google my name because of a joke in a group message, and she found my blog. After that, I shrugged it off and began to share my posts.
Blogging has always been my outlet.
When I’m happy, mad, sad, want to inform… I’ve always turned to my blog and you can, too.
Let’s talk about starting this blog. Do you want to blog to inform and share or are you in it because you see the perks of everyone else’s blogger life? If it’s the latter, step back and reevaluate. You don’t need to be in it for the idea of free gifts, that’s not what it is about. It’s about having a voice and using it. You get to do your thing and if someone notices, go you. Go about blogging with a good mindset, so you don’t set yourself up.
This is your guide. I’m here to help, and together we’re going to talk about making a blog and what you need to do.
This post contains affiliate links that I can earn commission from. Regardless, I only review products that I use and can give an honest opinion on.
First, what do you want to blog about?
Find your niche
To be honest, you don’t have to mold yourself into one niche, but you should figure out what you want to talk about whether it’s one thing or multiple things. Talk about the things you know and the things you have learned. Share your expertise about a topic and be the expert at that moment. What is my niche? I narrowed it down to life + style, but I focus on lifestyle and just talking about life. Lifestyle is pretty broad, but you can start off in that area and narrow it down if you want.
Let’s be real; there are so many things you can blog about and don’t be discouraged because someone else is covering that topic. So, what? Everyone tells a different story and shares things in a variety of ways. Just figure out what you want to write about and write it. You have a story to tell, tell it.
Next, where ya hosting your new baby?
Free Host versus Self-Hosted
Time to be honest with you all — for two years I refused to invest in self-hosting. I thought it was too much and that I could monetize on the free hosting website that I had used for years. I was wrong, very wrong. Now, I’m not saying this to sway you or make you pay for something you aren’t sure about. I’m just saying that the idea of owning my site and not having to worry about it disappearing one day comforts me. What do I mean? Well, I used to blog through Blogger and then I found out that they technically owned my content and could shut my site down if they chose to. All that hard work gone? No, thank you.
What’s the difference? I should have started off with that. Free hosting is going through a website like Wix or Blogger or WordPress.com and not purchasing your actual domain. Not only aren’t you purchasing your domain but you aren’t hosting it.
I went through SiteGround for my hosting because they answered all my questions before I had purchased service. You don’t necessarily have to go through SiteGround. It’s your choice on who you choose for hosting; I just went for the service that went out of their way to help me before I had invested a dollar in them. To me, that speaks volume. My advice to you is to self-host. Own your content.
Setting Up WordPress
WordPress is not as easy as the Blogger platform is. Coming from my experience, I did not have an easy time with it, but then again I was jumping the gun and trying to figure it all out on my own. Utilize YouTube; I promise they have an answer to almost anything. For my site, I had it set-up for me. It all depends on what you want to invest in your blog. If it’s a side project or something you don’t think you’ll keep up with, you probably don’t want to keep investing dollars into the site. If you want to monetize, invest — it’ll be worth it in the end.
For all my WordPress needs, I went through Pipdiq who set up my entire site for me. They transferred all my blog posts from Blogger to WordPress and installed my theme. It took the stress and hard work away from my hands. All I had to do is continue writing my blog posts and just wait for the site to go live. Once it was put together, I just had to learn and Pinterest different articles to help me out.
So if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Don’t be afraid to invest in something that you know will come to life and be successful.
First things first, posting. Posting on WordPress is pretty similar to posting on other blog platforms. There’s nothing complicated about it. You have your typical set-up. You should look into using the headers and paragraph settings because those can help you out when it comes to setting up your post. I think my favorite thing about the posting is being able to tag my category rather than typing it in and finding it as I used to on Blogger. It’s very user-friendly.
Plug-Ins are important, trust me. These are what will enhance your site and help you out along the way. You get to customize even more with what you want to use. You want to get Yoast SEO and Askimet. These are needed. Yoast SEO will help you utilize the best keywords and run your title to make sure that your SEO is up to par. Askimet is a blessing because it is going to allow you to filter through your comments and see what spam is and what is not. It has been super helpful for me. The plug-ins are endless. There are plug-ins for email list collection and pop-ups. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably in the search for plug-ins.
How’s it lookin?
Appearance? Sleek and modern, in my opinion. The look and feel of your blog represent you and your brand. You can either code and design it yourself or find a theme via Etsy. One thing that I love about the WordPress internal appearance is how easy it is to access everything. Externally, I love having the option of being able to go to my site and edit it from the landing page. There’s no extra steps and customizing the appearance is pretty easy.
When I started out, I went with the free themes before really investing. For me, that was how I knew if I would commit or not. I know you can buy a theme anywhere, but my Blogger themes never turned out the way I wanted them to. Nothing against the designers because they made my site look better than anything I could have done. The themes for WordPress are easier to come by. I feel like that is what designers are turning to. Not only is the appearance sleek and pretty good looking but it’s easy to customize! I’ll take anything easy and user-friendly, any day of the week. Remember, your blog is a representation of you, and you want it to appeal to your target.
Create your blog. Write a post. Create an email list. It’s your choice. You get to decide what’s next because it is your choice on what you do. Are you going to blog? If you’re going to blog, do you have any idea on what you want to write about? Start making a list; I promise it’ll help you out. Remember to stick to a topic that you know and not something you think will appeal to people.
Starting your blog is just the start. There is so much you can gain from blogging like skills you can add to your resume or lessons you can learn through blogging. Maybe you need some insight on tools that you need for blogging.
From starting your blog to making money on your blog, it can happen. You just have to start and dedicate the time you know that will be needed. One step at a time, though — okay? Don’t rush the process.