A lot of my readers have reached out to me asking about how to start a blog, running a blog and if all of the work that goes into it is really worth it. The answer to the last question is a resounding YES! but the first two are a little bit more complex. Once you decide to start a blog, and you decide on your niche (the topic(s) you want to blog about) you’re all set to get started!
Before you start a blog there are a few very important things that you have to do.
Buy your Domain Name and Choose a Web Host
Your domain name is critical and it’s really important that you think it through before committing to a name. In the beginning stages of my blog I changed my name at least 3 times so let’s do our best to avoid that same mistake with you, ok?
A few general rules about a domain name are:
- Keep it short and simple
- Make it easy to spell
- Relate to your blogging niche
- Allow flexibility to grow
You can buy your domain name when you set up your hosting plan and there is currently only one company that I recommend. I’ve had major issues with companies in the past but I have never had an issue with A Small Orange.
A Small Orange is my web host and I use their Shared Hosting plan. It’s only $5 a month. I totally see why it’s their “most-loved plan” and they offer 24/7 E-Mail and Live Chat Support which is incredible for people like me who work on their blogs at 2am. I’ve never waited longer than a couple of minutes for support and they’ve always addressed my concerns during the first contact attempt which makes me crazy happy.
You can check out A Small Orange here and they make it really easy to install WordPress by clicking on the WordPress icon from your cPanel.
Design Your Blog
There are a lot of free WordPress themes you can use to get started on design when you first start a blog but I recommend spending the money and investing in a theme from a WordPress designer from the beginning. The free WordPress themes are limited and it’s frustrating to spend so much time tweaking your theme only to change it to something “prettier” later on and have to repeat the process.
While I’m currently (2017) using a theme from Hello You Designs I’ve used themes from a ton of different designers including Restored 316 Designs, StudioPress, and Pretty Darn Cute Design in the past all without complaint. They all have amazing setup instructions and support for their clients so you won’t feel left out in the dark and unsure of where to go or how to get your blog looking the way you want it to.
- See Also: How to Install the Genesis Framework on Your WordPress Blog + 5 Reasons to Use Pretty Darn Cute Design for Your Blog Theme
Setup Your Social Media and Newsletter
If you don’t already have them make sure you set-up social media accounts immediately. I know bloggers who waited until they had a following but if you do that you are missing out on the people who connect with you at the beginning of your journey. From the very beginning, set up a Facebook page, add your blog to BlogLovin’ and connect your Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to your blog.
I’ve used just about a billion different tools to schedule my social media posts so it’s active even when I can’t be live. In the past I’ve used CoSchedule, HootSuite, Buffer, and MeetEdgar to manage my accounts and schedule posts but I recently switched over to using Tailwind and ViralTag.
- See Also: The Tailwind Feature that Doubled my Blog Traffic (It’s NOT Tailwind Tribes) + 6 Tailwind Tribes That Helped Me Grow my Blog + How to Use ViralTag to Schedule Social Media
I use MailChimp for my newsletters although I have used ConvertKit in the past. If you want a lot of flexibility, extra features, and you focus on sales then I recommend ConvertKit. I neither need nor want all of the features that ConvertKit has so I switched back to MailChimp but you can’t really go wrong with either one.
Now, start writing and connecting with your fellow bloggers. There are millions of people out there just waiting to welcome you into the community and help you be successful.
Download your free workbook to break how to start a blog down even farther as we get into defining your niche, naming your blog, and creating content! Also, visit my Blogging Resources page for more recommendations, tips, and blog posts.
Now…go get started and contact me if you have any questions.