Today is the day you are going to start a blog. It is true. You can do this. The blogging world is a marvelous and scary place. There’s always more to know and the way tech changes, you go to sleep with something and wake up with a totally new way of things. But this is what keeps it so exciting, besides being your own boss and managing time the way you want to. That’s why I am always keen to find new information on this subject and whilst you’re here, I am sure you do as well. Starting a blog can be very overwhelming, but there are plenty of tips out there to help you get you. I have 6 simple steps you need to do to get your blog up and started.
Step 1: Find your Niche
What is a Niche? You niche is what you are going to talk about.
What are you interests? You could do Fashion, Travel, Food, Mommy Blog, Parenting, Lifestyle, etc. You can even niche down even further and do an aspect of one of the topics listed above. If you want to write about your personal experiences, you can use your name. For food-related blogs, find a representing word for it or two and play with them until you get a catchy group of words. ex: Pinch of Yum
Don't worry about if the niche is too saturated or not. You have your own voice, style, and interests. You will attract followers who like you.
Step 2: Lets Do this!
It is time to get your Domain or URL. This is your .com. This is where people are going to find you. Before we can do that we have to know what the name of your business is.
When picking a name, it’s important to make sure it represents what you want your blog to be about while it also needs to be catchy and easy to remember. Don't get too specific though. Make your domain simple, easy, and general enough that it can grow with you. You might want to change niches. Having a more general domain will help.
So before going further with creating your blog, ask yourself the next questions:
– Is it short enough? Don’t go overboard with the words. Maximum of three words is more than enough, as long as they are catchy. No one will remember your blog if the title is an entire proposition. They might remember a few words of it, but most of the time they’ll just forget and move on.
– Who do you write for? You could write for the people that are similar to you, going through life experiencing the same things you do. Find your target and create a name from there.
– What’s your plan with it? Are you intending to build a brand from it or keep it a blog? If you want to blog about your life or give some advice here and there, you have a little bit more freedom. But if your 5-year plan is to build a brand, you must put more thought into your domain.
Even if you're not ready to start designing your blog, get your domain. I'd hate for you to come up with this awesome creative name only to find out it is already taken. So grab it while it is still available.
Step 3: Deciding on Your Web Hosting
Web hosting is a service that allows individuals to post a website or web page onto the Internet. A web host, or web hosting service provider, is a business that provides the technologies and services needed for the website or webpage to be viewed in the Internet.
A step that is exceptionally important in the evolution and success of any small business, being self-hosted weights heavy. When you decide to go for a free hosting platform, not only are you limiting yourself, but you might miss out on great monetizing opportunities. If your goal is to build a real business, and go for the big fish in the tank, then the self-hosting is the only option.
Here is why you should go for a self-hosted version:
- Your clients and potential collaborators will only take you seriously if you're proving yourself to be professional. Think about it this way: what person won't pay a few dollars per year for their business if they take it seriously? And the answer is no one. It is okay if you've been on a free platform in your first months or year of blogging. It's necessarily a mistake to start there. But it is a mistake to continue to stay there even after deciding to take your business seriously.
- You risk losing your blog at any time if you go with the free blogging platform. It's nasty, I know. But being self-hosted is the only way to raise your chances of having 100% control over your content. There are many plugins and companies that can store your content, along with WordPress.org (my no.1 self-hosting option) and even your theme of choice.
- With a self-hosted blogging platform, you have way more freedom in customization. Anyone who has ever been on both WordPress.com and WordPress.org knows what I am talking about. The difference is so substantial that just seeing them both side by side would be enough for someone to transition from a free to a paid platform.
Now, if you decide to go for a self-hosted platform, Bluehost is my no.1 recommendation for web hosting. I've been the customer of a few others throughout the years, but I've faced some issues which made me transition to Bluehost. Not only they have great customer support, but they also make the installation of WordPress.org so much easier. I remember my astonishment when all it took was the press of a button. My blog runs smoothly, and I've never had any issues with it. Only thinking about the problems I used to face with other web hosting companies gives me shivers. One last thing I should mention is that Bluehost comes with WordPress, so there no need on your part to also pay for it separately. Just pick your package and follow the steps. If you need more help in starting a blog, I have a step by step tutorial here that will take you from step one to finish in less than 10 minutes.
For registering click here for Bluehost and click the "Get Started" button
Step 1: - You will land on a page offering you three options for your plan. As a beginner blogger, the basic plan will be enough. You can upgrade later as your blog becomes bigger so don't worry. With the simple plan, you will get 1 website, 50GB space (more than enough), a free domain, and an SSL CERTIFICATE for free. (the SSL CERTIFICATE has become important lately in the blogging world as Google and your visitors will trust your blog more if you have one).
Step 2: After writing your domain (!make sure you wrote the right one!), you will be taken to a page where you must fill your details and pay. If you're feeling nervous about the extras, know that you can uncheck all of them and your blog will still be just fine. In the beginning, there's no need for too much fuss. Baby steps. You can always buy those later from your Bluehost account.
Step 3: I still remember the first time I had to install WordPress. Now looking back I know it wasn’t THAT hard but as a beginner, it was quite a pain. The best part about Bluehost is that you can install it with a single click. Takes away some worries, doesn’t it? On your Bluehost account homepage, you will find a ”Login to WordPress” button. Press it and voila, you now have a WordPress website.
Step 4: Start Designing your Blog
Now that you have site, lets get to designing. Just know that this part might be a bit overwhelming. If it gets that way, take a step back and work on it another day. I love the designing part. You can pick a theme, colors, etc. Basically the style and vibe of your brand.
Also get your logo designed. Your logo will also help you pick out the correct colors for you blog. Find a few close friends who will give you their honest opinion to help you finalize your logo.
Step 5: Create the "About Me" page
Why is setting this up so important? Because your followers want to know about you. You are the reason why they are listening and reading what you have to say. I also feel like this helps you know what direction you want to go and get your creative juices going.
Step 6: Starting an Email List
This is a big one. This is one thing most bloggers wish they would have started from day 1. You need an email list to update your readers about what is going on in the blog. Plus if you found an amazing item that you love, wouldn't you think they would like to know as well? Once you have established a great relationship with your email list, then you can start selling to them with your affiliate links, services, etc.
You can do this. Being successful in blogging is all about what you put into it. Just remember to not get discouraged at the beginning when the visits are low and seems like nobody is reading your work. It takes time. The best time to start a blog is now, so don't wait anymore. If you were looking for a sign, this it. Start Now!
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