If you’re reading this..well one you’re reading my blog (THANK YOU!!) and two, you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog. I’ve actually gotten this question a couple of times over the past few weeks. So I thought I’d share the basics to starting a blog.
First thing you should identify is what your blog is going to be about. That’s important to know what you’re going to cover. Are you sharing recipes, lifestyle hacks, mommy and me things, travel, etc.
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to focus on (that can change by the way) now you can start the building blocks.
1. Decide on your name for your blog, then go purchase the domain.
This isn’t a hard step but it definitely makes it real. Most of the time I suggest going to GoDaddy and checking to see if it’s available. If it is, BUY IT. Even if you’re not ready, ready, buy it anyway. You can always hold on to it until you’re ready. Domain names run maybe $7-$15 a year, they renew annually. Wanna know a secret?
GoDaddy usually has a promo code where you get the domain for the first year for $.99
Now there are sites that will let you create a site completely free, Wix will, and so will WordPress. But because they are free, your site won’t come up as “blogofmythoughts.com” or whatever you actually end up naming it, it’s going to have that company’s name in it somewhere (www.blogofmythoughts.wix.com doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it?). So upgrading to even the lowest tier of the paid plans is a good idea. At minimum it’ll allow you to connect your own custom domain.
2. Pick a platform to host your blog..it’s gotta live somewhere on the internet
Now this is something that takes some more pondering. I’ll tell you that WordPress is an amazing platform for blogs, for a while it was the go-to for anyone who wanted to start one. This blog you’re reading..hosted on WordPress. But there’s a learning curve that comes with WordPress that everyone doesn’t have time for. Wix has a blogging feature you can add to your sites as well. So let’s say you don’t necessarily start your website with a blog in mind but later on decide you want to add it on, you can do that to any site you have on the Wix platform. Another platform I hadn’t mentioned yet because it’s not free, is Squarespace, which also has a blog component that can be added to any site built on the platform. With Wix and SquareSpace the actual blog post editors aren’t as robust (opinion) as WordPress, because at it’s core that’s what WordPress was and still is for blogging, it’s just grown ALOT.
While were here, WordPress hosted sites don’t have to be done just through WordPress.com but here are a few other sites that offer WordPress hosting:
Those are just a few of the options.
3. Design it
All of the previously mentioned platforms come with the ability to load or use templates, so it’s a matter of finding one you like and tweaking it for your blog style. You can preview themes for WordPress, SquareSpace, and Wix before committing to either, and of course you can hire someone to help with this vision as well! WordPress has more of a learning curve as I mentioned, you’d need to install the template, where as the other platforms you’d just pick one to apply.
I’d like to say this is the easy part but for me it wasn’t, I mean clearly my niche is technology. You have to sit and think about the posts you’re going to write, make them good and make sure they connect with your audience. So that is something that comes with time and finding your writing style. I can’t say that coming up with topics to write about consistently is easy because it isn’t but for some people content calendars and planning out what you’re going to write about is EXTREMELY helpful. It allows you to do research on whatever it is your post is gonna be about. Full transparency, I have the hardest time starting a post, not the content, but the first few sentences will literally have me stuck lol.
5. Make sure you have some type of images on your site or your blog
It doesn’t have to be a gallery of images, but a few to make the site inviting, and when you’re making posts there should at least be a main image at the top of your blog and a featured image (if you’re using WordPress).
Here are a few sites to get free stock photos from:
- Createher Stock (for melanin magic images) They also have a subscription that’s about $7/month
Now clearly this isn’t a start to finish, every little step, post but this is a good starting point. Have more questions, happy to answer! Oh and here’s a freebie quick guide to making posts in the new Gutenberg editor in WordPress!
Do you already have a blog? Thinking about starting one? Hope this helps! Happy Blogging!