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 your own 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. A few general rules 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 are only two companies I would recommend.
I host with A Small Orange. I use their Shared Hosting plan and 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. 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.
BlueHost is another common choice for hosting your self-hosted blog. They work seamlessly with WordPress.org and are popular among other bloggers. Their plans start at $3.49 / month and increase to $13.50 / month depending on your specific needs. You can check out BlueHost here.
Design Your Blog
There are a lot of free themes to get you started but I recommend the themes from either from Restored 316 Designs or StudioPress. My first theme was Delightful Pro from Restored 316 Designs and I customized it to suit my preferences. My current theme is from StudioPress and built on the Genesis Framework.
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. Set up a Facebook page, add your blog to BlogLovin’ and connect your Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to your blog.
I use CoSchedule and HootSuite to help manage all of my accounts and schedule posts and MailChimp for my newsletters. If you want a lot of flexibility and extra features I recommend Aweber for your newsletter because they allow flexibility in design, content and have other features like auto-responder emails and confirmation pages.
Then just 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.
Ready to get started?
Now…go get started and contact me if you have any questions.