Want to start a blog but have no idea where to begin? It’s not as hard as you think and can be a lot of fun and even a good source of income.
Blogs are everywhere now. They are a great place to learn about others, get tips and tricks from real people, and connect with others that share your interests.
I started blogging in 2008, it’s hard to believe it was that long ago. At that point, people basically only blogged for friends and family. Very few had big followings and making money blogging was something few could even dream about.
Over the years I read more blogs and started blogging more for a general audience. I also started to learn from other bloggers about making money blogging. It was so cool to me that I could make some money doing something I loved doing. This still amazes me.
I took a break for awhile a few years ago to help my family start a business but when I came back I had a more focused idea for my blog. I wanted to share my passion for homemaking. I love to cook and create things, and while I don’t love cleaning I have learned some tricks for making it easier. Having this blog means I can share these things and learn from others as well.
People are often very interested when they ask what I do and I say I’m a blogger. I often get asked how to start a blog and since I’ve been doing this for a long time I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve learned.
How to Start a Blog
Find Your Niche
When I started my blog there was no real direction. I just posted whatever I felt like, which was fine but looking back it’s a mess. For a while, I wrote mostly about green living but it was still a bit all over the place. When I came back after a break, knowing I wanted to focus more on my blog, I decided it would be about homemaking.
There are a few things you ask yourself when you are deciding what you want your blog to be about.
What is that thing that you really love sharing with your friends? What are you looking at on Pinterest late at night? What type of Facebook pages and groups do you enjoy? Is it something you can teach others about?
Setting Up Your Blog
The most overwhelming part for many is figuring out how to set up your blog. There are a lot of things to consider, including how much you are willing to spend.
You can blog for free on sites like WordPress.com or Blogger.com but if you want to make an income from your blog I highly recommend going with what is called a self-hosted blog.
A self-hosted blog is a blog on a site that you buy hosting and a domain for. It allows you more freedom with your blog and more opportunities for growth. These are the steps you want to take when setting up a self-hosted blog.
- Pick your web host. I’ve used GreenGeeks since 2012. I like the company because they have great customer service and use renewable energy credits for the energy your site uses. It’s also pretty affordable.
- Pick your domain name. You want your domain name to be fairly short and something people can remember. You may need to try a few before you find one that is available. Take your time with this step because it’s a pain to change it later. Also, consider Googling the name you come up with to make sure someone isn’t using it and check to make sure it’s available on social media sites. Next, you just need to buy the domain. With GreenGreeks you get a free domain name. If you are using a host that doesn’t give you a domain name for free, I recommend Google Domains.
- Install WordPress. While there are many platforms you can blog on, I highly recommend WordPress.org. It’s free and the industry standard. Most web hosting companies will give you instructions on installing it. It’s very simple to do in your cPanel (basically your dashboard) on GreenGeeks, if you choose that host. You can also download it from WordPress.org to install it on your site.
- Pick your theme. With WordPress, you use something called a theme. This is the basic layout and design of your blog. While there are free options built into WordPress, I prefer to buy one that comes with good support. I purchased mine from StudioPress. It’s a great company that a lot of bloggers use.
- Customize and design your blog. I customized and designed my blog myself. I already had web design experience so I was able to do that. If you don’t have experience with web design or you just don’t want to bother I recommend checking out Eighteen 36 Designs. Take your time with this step so your blog looks professional and fits with your niche.
Next Steps for Starting a Money Making Blog
Now that you have your blog set up you want to start brainstorming ideas and learning more about blogging. There are so many great resources out there it can be hard to know where to start. These are some of my favorite resources that are perfect for new bloggers, they are also affordable.
- Launch Your Blog
- The Blogger’s Guide to Working With Brands
- Make Money Blogging at Any Level
- 5 Days to a Successful Blog Launch
- Blog Start-Up 101
- Content Creation 101
Sale Alert: Right now you can get several great blogging products, including a couple of the ones above, in the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit for 98% off! It’s only availible through 5/15 so don’t wait.
To connect with other bloggers be sure to join the Growing on Blogs Together Facebook group. It’s a great place to learn more and ask questions.
Don’t forget to check out my full list of blogging resources for even more information on how to start a blog.