So you’ve decided that you want to start a blog. That is awesome! I firmly believe that everyone should have a blog, if only for saving their thoughts and memories in something that will last for years. But you’ve run into a problem. You don’t know how to start a blog! There seems like there is so much to do, so much to google, and you’re terrified that you’ll do something wrong.
Never fear! Figuring out how to start a blog is actually really easy, I promise. I’ll walk you through step by step and even hold your hand if you need it. With this guide you’ll easily learn how to start a blog in minutes without pulling out your hair and giving up on the whole thing.
See sometimes I forget how hard it was to get the blog started. It’s only been a year, but I’ve already learned so much that I forget how intimidating it all is. Recently, my best friend has decided to start a blog, so naturally I’ve been helping her, and it’s really opened my eyes to how confusing it all is to start! I figured instead of just answering her questions for her, I’d share my answers here and help all of you lovely readers who want to know how to start a blog but aren’t quite sure where to start.
How to Start a Blog in One Afternoon
First, the wrong way to start a blog
This is how I did it, and it caused a ton of unnecessary headache. Trust me, do as I say and not as I did! I wanted to start a blog to connect with moms who were in a similar season of life. I was in the middle of learning about my son’s special needs, homeschooling Mr. C, trying to start working from home, and living life outnumbered by three boys. I survived by reading blogs from other moms, and I knew how encouraged I was to find some virtual “friends” who seemed to get it. I loved to write, and I wanted to connect, but I didn’t know if I’d stick with it.
See, I had started a few blogs in the past, written a post or two that were basically outlines of what I had done that day, and given up within a few weeks. Looking back, it’s because I hadn’t found something I was passionate about writing enough that I would write about it forever and ever. Writing about my day just wasn’t doing it for me, but now that I’m writing really helpful posts for busy mamas, I’m hooked!
So I started a little blogger blog because it was free. I did all of it under a new email and didn’t connect it with any of my social media because I didn’t want my friends or family to know I started one, just in case I gave up a few weeks later. In fact, I didn’t share my blog on my Facebook for almost six months after I started it! Anyways, my little blogger blog (which was at thisoutnumberedmama.blogspot.com, doesn’t that look professional!) gained traction SLOWLY.
The issue is, it’s hard for people to take your blog seriously if you don’t take it seriously yourself. After a few months of blogging fairly consistently (and spending any spare time I had reading anything I could find about blogging) I decided to take myself and my blog seriously and do it the way I should have from the beginning. My traffic got higher nearly instantly, and I’ve been growing my blog traffic and my income ever since.
How to Start a Blog the Right Way!
Get Your Domain and Hosting
I know it sounds intimidating, but I promise it’s really easy. Plus, it’s much easier than if you do things the wrong way like I did and have to move a ton of posts and links over to a new website. Trust me, you want to do this absolutely first. If you don’t know what domain and hosting mean, here’s my super simple explanation!
Your domain is your address. It tells people where you “live” on the internet. It’s your www. yourblogname .com. It’s the way that people can easily find you. Your hosting is like your plot of land. It is what holds your little home on the internet. You need both to build a website, and they work together closely.
I started on bluehost, which is what comes the most recommended. It is affordable, and most bloggers start here while building up their pageviews. I switched from bluehost to Tech Surgeons when I had a post go viral and Bluehost couldn’t help me keep my site up.
If you want something affordable to start out with, you can click the image below and sign up with bluehost. If you’d rather start with a company that can grow with you? Check out Tech Surgeons!
If you go with bluehost, as part of the process you will select your domain name and make sure that it’s available, and then you will decide on your contract terms with bluehost. The longer the terms, the higher the discount, but this part really depends on your budget. Then, once your account is set up, simply install WordPress with the one click install.
It’s seriously that easy! I told you that you wouldn’t pull out your hair!
Find a Theme That Works For Now
You can spend weeks searching for the perfect theme, or even longer than that trying to figure out how to build your own. Just don’t do it. I’m all for starting things as cheaply as possible, but trying to learn to code before you even start your blog is just going to set you up to fail!
My website uses the Genesis Framework, and I use a theme created by Restored 316 Designs. I love this because it makes it really easy for me to handle myself. I don’t need to learn a ton of code every time I want to change something, usually, the Genesis Framework has a really simple way to make it happen. Plus, with my Restored 316 Designs theme, my website is more custom to what I need, and I can make simple edits and even add a store to my site (coming soon!) without learning a ton of complicated coding.
Going forward with our home explanation, the Genesis Framework is your house. It is the basic structure, the walls and doors, and windows which set up the foundation. Then your theme is the decoration. It controls what paint is on the walls, where the couches go, and making sure there’s no glare on your tv. With me so far?
Now, if you’re not interested in investing this much all at once, I get it. Once I was self-hosted on bluehost it took me a few months to save up for my site’s design. In the mean time, get a simple and clean WordPress theme for free.
Start Writing and Growing Your Blog Traffic
Seriously, it’s as simple as that. Start writing posts and sharing them with friends and family. Join some social media accounts and participate in a few linky parties. Find some blogging groups on Facebook to network with other bloggers. Figure out Pinterest. But most of all, write. Write posts that you’re passionate about. Write posts that you know will help others. Write posts that you wish you had to read when you were struggling. Write. Write. Write.
You’ll find your distinct voice, and you’ll organically get more followers and blog traffic. Be your authentic self, know why you write and get to writing!
So that’s that. Get your domain and hosting, find a theme that is simple and clean, and start writing! You can start a blog (even a blog that will make you money!) in three simple steps that will take you less than an afternoon. The biggest advice that I have for starting a blog is to start now. The earlier you start the more traffic you can build, the more posts you can write, and the more friends you can make. Just start, I promise it’s worth it. Have you ever thought about starting a blog?
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