If you've ever wanted to learn how to start a blog now is the time. And, what's great is there are tons of resource out there that can help you do that, but I want to tell you how I started.
My journey in entrepreneurship began in 2012, and back then I thought about blogging. Sad to say that I never actually started blogging as I should have. I wanted to do different things. Create new skills.
But, my skill is writing, or at least I love to write. I also like to share what I learn with others, and I like to help them.
And if you want to get started – this is the place for you!
I started out on WordPress, but I didn't take the time to learn it in 2012 when I launched my first site. Someone else managed everything, and eventually I got so fed up I LEFT WordPress for another platform.
Somehow I ended up tinkering in the backend of my old site one day, and my inner nerd lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. And, even though I was on another platform at the time, I was hired multiple times to set clients up on the WordPress platform.
When I decided to start this blog I jumped at the chance of using WordPress again, and I didn't hesitate to go back to Bluehost for my hosting.
There are so many hosting companies out there, but I don't think many compare to Bluehost because they offer:
- technical support via chat for every problem you could have
- phone support if you ever get stuck
- multiple hosting options (right now I'm using their Cloud Hosting and I am liking it)
- You get WordPress FREE (and can install it in one click!)
- Your domain name is free too when you pay for 12+ months of hosting (saves you $10-20)
- You're covered by their stellar guarantee – if you don't like it you can get out at anytime
- They've always been super friendly to me
How to Start a Blog
Today more than ever women are looking to find a way to work from home whether they have children or not. But, especially if they do. Who dreams about sending their babies to be cared for by someone else at daycare? I know I don't.
Enter blogging, this is an excellent way to share your story, education and help others on a journey similar to yours while possibly making an income (more on that later in this post).
Step 1: Choose a Blogging Platform
There are many others, but I wouldn't suggest them if you are serious about your blogging. If your intention is to turn it into a business, then I would go ahead and hop on a paid platform from the start. It isn't mandatory, or even necessary, but it does help out drastically.
- You'll own your content
- Your domain name will be yours instead of having .blogspot or whatever after your name
I've used both WordPress.org and Squarespace for business and still do in a way. Squarespace I use only for my Virtual Assistant business, but I'm slowly shifting that here (as you can see here if you'd like).
Squarespace is good for someone who may not be very technical and doesn't want to hire out the creation of the site. But, there are some drawbacks as well.
- No real control over SEO (they say it's optimized, but I've never figured out how)
- Poor pagespeed load times
- You can't use plugins
- Doesn't integrate well with most systems
WordPress, on the other hand, is a very robust system and can take a little time to learn. But, it is amazing. It can do anything you want, and probably way more with the right designer/developer.
Step 2: Choose Your Domain and Hosting Server
When you sign up to have your site hosted with a place like Bluehost* (my recommendation), usually your domain is included in their pricing.
When you go to Bluehost's* website, you'll be prompted to ‘get started now'. This process is pretty step-by-step and super easy to navigate.
So you'll want to click that button to get started, and it will take you to a page where you get to choose which level of hosting you're wanting. Their basic package will get you most everything you want to start out, but feel free to opt for a larger package if you feel it's necessary.
After this, you'll be prompted to choose your domain name. Be careful and think about your domain name.
I can tell you from 5+ domain names of experience. Pick one that you'll love and stick with for years. Make sure that it reflects what your blog will be about OR is your name. Either way, choose something you've thought long and hard about using.
Once you've chosen your domain name, you'll be taken to a page where you'll be able to select your package options. What package you decide on will depend on if you're someone who wants to pay ahead or just one year at a time. Personally, I decided to go one year at a time.
I have this thing about being locked into a contract (an old military thing I guess, even though I loved my time in the service).
After everything's complete, you should be taken to your cPanel area.
Hooray! You've taken that first giant step and are on your way to learning how to start a blog!
Step 3: Set Up Your New Blog
Bluehost is so great that they even recorded some videos that will show you exactly how to set your blog up! You can check them out here.
If that still seems scary, when you sign up through my Bluehost link* I'll set your blog up just like they show in the videos for 50% off my normal rates. Don't worry about how to start your blog; I'll get it all set up for you.
Step 4: Install a Theme & Design Your Blog
When you're learning how to start a blog and design it the easiest way to do it is by getting something that is called a child theme. These make it super easy to create your blog and make it look nice.
The company I use and love to death is StudioPress*. They have tons of different options to choose from, and they use the Genisis platform. They make learning how to start a blog a breeze and take the design down to a basic level. To top it all off, they have a way for you to get ALL of their themes (even the third party seller themes) for a really great deal. That's what I ended up going with since I help people new to WordPress get set up with an easy to use theme.
StudioPress* has themes that are created by them and by third-party designers. Some of their themes are also geared towards specific niches as well (food bloggers, wellness bloggers, and fashion to name a few).
Designing your blog can be the most time-consuming step of them all. It can be as quick or as long of a process as you make it. With that said, if you're going for simple it's easy to throw up a theme and be done. But, if you want to tweak and change different things it can be very time-consuming.
If you're like me, you'll play with all of the various gadgets and widgets and tools. I'm a nerd though when it comes to this stuff.
Step 5: Create Content Your Readers Will Love
Start out by figuring out exactly who your audience makes up and do some research. Researching will help you understand what sort of content they're looking for and what would be a good idea for you to start producing.
If you're on Facebook, start joining groups where your ideal audience hangs out. Ask questions in the groups to see what people need help fixing. When you ask the right questions, it will give you HUNDREDS of topics for you to write and publish.
Next, you should join Pinterest, and a few group blogging boards as well. This will help drive traffic to your site.
Do you need help on how to start a blog, or learn how to create content and monetize it fast? Check out Secret Blogger Business for tips on how to start and grow a fruitful and profitable blog.
Stay Tuned! Up Next On the Blog… Learn to Monetize Your Blog Right Away
Things I Recommend:
I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I'm done. In the dashboard you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I'm creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.
I use BoardBooster mostly right now for it's pin looping capabilities. It's amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that's not performing the best. I'll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.
I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I'll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no brainer!
This is my hosting provider and I absolutely love them. They're always super helpful to me and I've never had an issue. I recommend them over all the others besides WP Engine. If you have a shit ton of pageviews per month (like over 100k) I would advise using WP Engine. Their hosting plans are ideal for websites that have tons of views because once you start getting tons of views it can slow your site load time down and that is a big no-no. I'll be upgrading to them as this blog grows.
The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I'll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.
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