How To Start a Blog

Feb 20, 2018 | Blogging Tips

 

*contained in this article are affiliate links. If you use these links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog.*

Blogging is so in right now and for good reason. Blogging is an amazing way to connect with people, share your story, teach others, make a positive impact in the world, and make money. It’s seriously a package-deal.

I wrote a whole post on what blogging is, why you should have one, and how much blogging has changed my life. You can read the truth about blogging here.

I made this tutorial for anyone who wants to start a blog. I began my blogging journey as a completely broke, overweight, depressed and anxious single mom of a special needs child. Starting a blog gave me personal sense of purpose outside of motherhood that filled me such immeasurable peace it’s hard to even put into words.

I am grateful for everything blogging has done for my life. I’m still a single mom with a special little boy but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life because of blogging. Starting a blog was the self-care I desperately needed. I lost over 40lbs too in the last year of blogging! Crazy!

I want you to have everything I’ve gained from blogging so I made this tutorial to give back. I’m going to be real and share with you everything I learned when starting a blog. Happy blogging, friend! Let’s get started!

 

 

1. Define Your “Why”

You need to be very clear and specific about why you’re starting a blog. If you’re not clear and specific it’ll be hard to stay focused. It’ll also be hard to push through the pesky rainy days you want to throw in the towel.

Write it down.

You’re why should be about you– be selfish with it. Look, I know you want to put your kids through college and that’s super noble of you and all but your kid’s probably going to be sleeping while you try to make a personal deadline. The fire and the drive to go down this journey needs to come from within you, not outside.

My “why” is simple: I want to build something for myself, by myself. 

As a single mom, I had close family members push the notion that my life will get better once I meet a great guy. When I was in nursing school, my mom was hoping I would marry a doctor once I graduated. I hated the idea that I was only of value if I had a significant other.

At the end of the day, building this blog and my other online businesses isn’t about proving them all wrong but about proving to myself that anything is possible with a willingness to learn and a good work ethic. I was right.

2. Pick Your Niche

There are so many niche markets to choose from. Pick a niche that’s true to your talents, gifts, and passions.

Examples of niches could be:

  • travel
  • music
  • lifestyle
  • business
  • bullet journaling
  • dating & relationships
  • parenting
  • Personal development
  • DIY
  • crafting
  • weightlifting
  • Abraham Lincoln

There are infinite possibilities. The more specific you get, the better.

 

 

3. Get Hosting

Getting hosting for your blog will be the difference between your site being a domain.com or a domain.blogspot.com.  You can start a blog for free without hosting. If you’re looking for just a fun little writing hobby. Go for it.

If you’re serious about starting an online business and want to make money then you have to get hosting. I’ve never seen a “[domain].blogspot.com” or a “[domain].wordpress.com” actually become successful. If you have seen one then shoot me an email. I’d love to check it out.

When you host a site, you own it. You can monetize your site. You have the freedom to fully customize your website, and you have access to 24/7 technical support. It’s a no-brainer.

Web Hosting

I recently switched from the hosting giant Bluehost to SiteGround. I am so happy I made this switch.

Bluehost had wonderful customer care and their user interface was great as well.

I started running into some serious problems though. My first website was crashing every single day, no joke. The day I planned to launch my site for the first time, I lost everything. I had to spend hours reloading everything. It was a complete freaking nightmare.

SiteGround, in comparison, has been a dream. They offered a free professional website transfer. I didn’t have to lift a finger to transfer my site at all. I have never had a problem with security or my site being down, ever.

Web Hosting

 Click the SiteGround link above or click here to get started

Choose your plan
I recommend the “GrowBig” for features, and especially the ability to host multiple websites.

Pick a domain name

4. Download WordPress

WordPress is used by over 75 million websites. It has a super user-friendly interface that’s a must. Oh–and it’s free. There’s also a WordPress app that allows you to write, edit, and post blog posts from your phone while you’re on the go.

To install WordPress in SiteGround, go to your account–>Cpanel

  • Click Softaculous
  • Click WordPress
  • Click install
  • Fill out the required information, click install at the bottom of the page, and wait for the install to finish.

After you’ve downloaded WordPress, you’ll be able to reach your site at yourdomain.com/wp-admin

5. Set Up Your Theme

There are plenty of free themes to choose from. When I started blogging nine months ago I started with a free theme. It’s a great way to learn and get your bearings. I eventually paid about $50 for a theme. It was better than the free theme I had been using because I had technical support with issues I didn’t understand like CSS codes and formatting. Then… I discovered Divi.

Divi by Elegant Themes is a game changer.

Instead of making changes and customizations from the back end of my website, Divi allows you to design directly on the page in real time. It’s super easy to use. Divi is the most popular and used theme on the market and it’s easy to see why. Check out this advertisement for Divi. I know it’s super corny, but bear with me. I wish some of the articles I read when I was starting out with my blog had mentioned Divi. I would have saved myself so much time and money if I had just started with this theme. It’s seriously the king of all themes.

Here’s a link to the Elegant Theme Site if you want to check out the Divi theme even more!

Divi WordPress Theme

 

 

6. Website Design Time

Don’t be scared, Google will be there for you. There are also people who offer website design service who can set your site up for you if you don’t want to do it. Let me tell you, I had zero knowledge on how to build a website nine months ago and here I am. My site isn’t perfect, but it’s not bad. I taught myself how to do it (Google taught me, who am I kidding?).

Defining your brand can be a lot of fun. You can pay a freelance artist to design a logo for you or you can use free sites like Canva or PicMonkey.

 

 

7. TIME TO WRITE: Start a blog

Now you’re ready to start writing! Content is key to all of this. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive to get your message across.

Here’s some advice I got AFTER I had already created a bunch of content- plan your content out like it’s the table of contents of a book.

You want your content to flow and to be relevant. Plan your content as if it were chapters of a book. Also, if you do that, you can repurpose your blog content into an eBook that you can sell in the future.

 

 

8. Monetize

Check out my post on 5 Super Easy Ways to Monetize Your Blog. Once you get affiliate links up and working, and/or advertisements, etc., you can just sit back and let the cash money roll in.

Happy blogging!

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Hey, I'm Nicole

Hey, I'm Nicole

I'M A SINGLE MOM OF A LITTLE BOY WITH AUTISM. I SHARE WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT RAISING A SPECIAL CHILD WITH TIPS FOR SELF CARE AND PERSONAL  DEVELOPMENT

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