First 5 Steps in Starting a Blog

January 11, 2019

I’ve gotten tons of questions lately about starting a blog. Many people who are new to this do not even know where to start.  At first glance, a blog sounds like a great idea, anyone can write, right? But usually once someone starts looking into it, they get scared away very easily. I almost did – and have strayed away a few times after hitting a road block.

I’m not going to lie – it can be challenging at times BUT if you love to write and are serious about using an outlet to share your passion, talents, or your life, then a blog is a GREAT way to do it. It can also be an avenue to additional income. If you are looking to create a business of some sort – a blog is a great avenue to create new leads,  bring people to your store, website, YouTube Channel, etc.

I will create another blog post at a later time that will discuss different ways to make money off your blog – so stay tuned.  For now, I want to stick to the beginning and help walk you through the stepping stones to get you started.  

Domain Name:

Domain name is your official website/link. You will need to search and see what is available via a domain name search. For example, jenntarver.com is available but jennifertarver.com is not available to purchase.

  • You will want to know what your business or blog name is at this time.
  • Best Practice is  to purchase your domain with the same company as your web hosting (see below).
  • You can buy multiple domain names at once if you want to protect your name or keep multiple options open.
  • Social Media: check different social media platforms to make sure no one else is using your name. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. (More on this below).

 

Website Hosting:

When starting your own website or blog, you first need to think about your long term goals.  If you are serious about this, you will want to invest in a good web host like GoDaddy, BlueHost, SiteGround, etc.  If this is just a fun hobby, then use a free version like Wix, WordPress.org, or Blogger.  

  • The paid versions are very affordable and provide a huge amount of value to you if you are looking to run your website as a business.
  • If you choose free now and decide to switch to a paid version in the future, the process can be daunting so just keep that in mind.
  • For blogging, go ahead and do the WordPress Hosting option, they will take care of installing wordpress and getting a basic level started – huge lifesaver.
  • If you are considering selling goods/merchandise, think about using a commerce hosting option or platform.

 

Website Theme:

So, this all will depend on which route you took in the web hosting option. Again, I highly recommend the paid WordPress Hosting option. You can pick from a huge variety that is provided in wordpress. You can search for different types there.

Also, there are themes that you can purchase online via Etsy, Creative Market, or other online resources.  You can also pay a Marketing company to design your website theme for you. Again this all depends on your overall goals for your blog. Good News- You can change your theme at any time and it’s usually pretty doable yourself.

Plug Ins:

Plug-ins can absolutely save your life. 🙂 By using Managed WordPress, you can easily search and install plugins for free.  I use Plugins for social media icons, ads, Google Analytics, Photo resizing, contact forms, email subscriptions, SEO, website security, etc. If you purchase a theme, most likely it will come with a set of plug-ins already – so look for those. I will list my exact Plug-ins below.

List:

Google Analytics
JQuery Pin it Buttons
Mail chimp for
Yoast SEO*
Smush
WP Top 5 Social Share
Wordfence security
Instagram feed

Social Media:

Ok, the next very important step is to start grabbing your social media accounts. As mentioned in the first section, you will want to double check this in the very beginning when picking your domain name. You don’t want to have your website one thing and your social media accounts something different – it will make it harder for your followers to find you. Start setting up your social media accounts with your username and branding.

Social media is very important to blogging and building a business. You can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your blog through social media. Social media is also how you connect with your followers. You can show them in real life who you are, how you run your business, or how you are relatable in your every day life. Instagram Stories and Snapchat has taken connecting to a whole new level.

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • SnapChat

Alright, so this is just the First 5 Steps in Starting Your Blog. I hope this was VERY helpful and has given you the confidence to take a leap of faith and start your very own blog. As I mentioned earlier, this is the first guide to many in helping others achieve their goals.

Please leave a comment below or reach me via Social Media to connect!

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