Day 1: Let’s Do This!
Congratulations! You're going to start a blog!
Starting a blog was life changing for me. I hope it is for you too! So let me walk you through the steps to starting a blog.
If you need more time to work on anything, you don't have to do it all in 7 days. It's not a race. Feel free to take your time where you need to. Just bookmark this page to remind you.
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How I Got Started
Toot was a little over a year old when I decided I wanted to do something creative, productive, and hopefully earn a little extra money. I found out you can actually make money from a blog! I know, right? Who would've thought that all of those recipes you found on Pinterest are actually making money for those bloggers? But they are!
So I set up my blog and within a week, I was up and running.
It gives me a creative outlet and allows me to be the writer I always wanted to be. I get paid to write. It isn't exactly how I imagined when I was 12 and planning how my Oprah's Book Club interview would go. But I still get paid to write, and I love that.
Step 1: Pick a Topic
So in order to start a blog, you need to know what you're going to write about. Don't panic. You don't have to choose just one thing.
There are two kinds of bloggers: General bloggers and niche bloggers.
General bloggers write about everything that interests them. Parenting, recipes, tv shows, life, graphic design, college life, budgeting, anything.
Niche bloggers write about specific topics. Usually just a couple. For example, I'm a parenting and mom lifestyle blogger.
Common Niche Blog Topic Ideas:
- Healthy Living
You can choose a few or just start writing as a general blogger. Once you've been blogging for a while, you can figure out which topics you like to write about more or which ones your audience resonates with.
Get this Blog Structure Blueprint for free to help you sort it all out.
Step 2: Choose a domain name
Ok! On to the next step! This is exciting isn't it? You'll need to choose a name and a domain name for your blog. They should match and be memorable so people will come back!
What's a domain? It's the main URL of your website. Mine is tootsmomistired.com and my blog's name is Toot's Mom is Tired. See? They match!
Your readers should be able to at least kind of guess what your website is about based on your blog name and domain. You can tell my blog is about parenting from its name. You can be broad if you want or just use your name if you're not sure what you're writing about.
Try to avoid:
- Purposely Misspelled words
- .org .net .blog or .anything that isn't .com
I mean, you can use those things if you want. But it'll be easier for people to find you and remember how to get back to you if you avoid them.
Next, you'll need to see if it's already taken. Try typing it in and see if anything comes up. Search Instagram, Twitter, and other social media to see if you can get that as your username.
Don't worry, you can always change it later down the line if you need to. It's not a fun process, but it's doable.
Step 3: Sign up for hosting
Hosting is basically where you put your website on the internet. You have to pay for the internet land your website sits on. Don't panic! It's not expensive. You get get a whole year of hosting for less than $60.
You have a couple of options when it comes to hosting. I've used two different ones so far and they're both good to start off with. So you can decide which one works better for you. Sometimes one has a sale and the other doesn't so one might be cheaper.
Option 1: Bluehost
Bluehost is easy to set up and it's where I started my blog. Their usual price is $3.95 a month, but you check to see if they're offering a lower price right now. To view the set up tutorial first click here and then click here. It will automatically install WordPress for you.
Option 2: Siteground
Siteground is what I'm on now. I moved to it after about a year. They were having a sale and I wanted to upgrade to the bigger package to accommodate for more traffic. They have excellent customer service so if you need help with anything, you can chat with them or call them. Their usual price is about $3.95 per month too. They have a WordPress tutorial as well. After you create your account, let the setup wizard install WordPress for you.
What packages and options do you need?
You will just want the smallest package and you don't need any of the extra options when you're just starting out. You can think about getting those next year if you need to.
Step 4: Login to your website and start writing your first blog post!
Congratulations! You have a blog now! Go to your domain .com/wp-admin to login. It will be your WordPress login not your hosting login.
You can start writing your first post by clicking on "Posts" in the sidebar of your dashboard.
No one will be able to see your site until you launch it from your dashboard. Right now it's under a curtain. When you hit the launch button, it lifts the curtain for everyone to see! You can wait to launch it until after you've got a few blog posts ready or if you want to go ahead and launch it now, that's fine too! It's all up to you!
So today you should:
- Pick a topic.
- Choose a name for your blog and domain name
- Sign up for hosting at either Bluehost or Siteground
- Login to your website, poke around, and write a blog post.
If you're confused by any of the terms I'm using check out my Basic Blogging Terms for Beginners Guide.