While I’m still relatively new to owning and creating a blog, I do have several tips I’d like to share. I’ve always wanted to start my own blog and I’m so happy that I did! So if you’ve ever been curious, I’d highly recommend. I’ve learned quite a bit along the way and it’s a healthy, creative outlet where I have 100% control over all the decisions.
Select a Blog Niche
When thinking of a blog niche, you want to think about content you’ll be able to consistently publish content around. Something that you’re knowledgeable or passionate about. Something that is going to draw readers in!
By choosing a niche of interest, you’ll be able to grab readers’ attention with your robust interest and unique perspective.
Find a Blog Platform
Have you decided what type of website you’re going to use? There are plenty of options out there, but I quickly learned that WordPress is the best option. WordPress is especially preferred for bloggers and blog-oriented websites.
The majority of websites are on the WordPress platform and therefore there are tons of online, free resources for you to track down quickly. Based on personal experiences, WordPress has attentive customer support and their platform is relatively straightforward.
I’d still recommend doing your research to make sure you’re aware of all your options. Here’s a list of blog websites.
Decide on a Domain Name
Has a catchy blog name crossed your mind yet? No worries! There are resources out there to gather inspiration and ideas. Perhaps you can use a nickname, passion, or something else unique to you. I’ve found that tricks like alliteration or word play can be successful blog names that really stick.
Some other things to consider include what your blog is going to be about, who your audience will be, the tone of your blog, and how the blog name will sound in the URL.
If anything, error on the side of simplicity. Something that is easy to say, spell, and share.
Here’s a cute blog generator I found online.
Pick a Web Hosting Account
Before you proceed, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to put dollars behind your blog. I know it’s not the most fun decision, but if you think about it, all hobbies cost money right?
I’ve invested roughly $110 into my blog, between my WordPress membership and domain name, and I’m very happy. All these costs were upfront and I don’t have to worry about renewal until next year.
In my opinion, you’re going to be much happier purchasing your own URL because you have control over what it looks like (instead of yourblogname.wordpress.com). Owning your blog will provide you with ultimate flexibility and decision-making.
Once you’ve decided (and purchased) your domain, you’ll need to decide on a hosting source. The “host” is the platform that enlists your website online so it’s available to the public. WordPress is among one of the many website hosting sites out there. No matter who you choose to use, they will make it very simple for you.
Still confused? Here’s an article I found explaining website hosting.
Customize Your Website
Yay, finally the fun part! Once your domain and website are up and running, you’ll be able to start crafting and designing your website as you’ve always imagined. You will be able to work with an assortment of templates and pick from templates based on your website’s mission and tone.
I’ve always found it helpful to find another website you like, and mimic the design over to your website.
Here are some tips around blog design and layout.
Publish Content Consistently
Once you’ve settled in with your blog name, URL, and website you can finally focus on building out content! There aren’t any hard rules when it comes to blog post cadence, but I recommend creating a schedule you can stick to. Personally, I aim to post twice a week.
Since I have a full-time job and busy schedule, I feel as though two posts is something realistic that I can stick to and promise my audience.
WordPress also provides you with the option to schedule posts. So if you’re having a super productive evening cranking out posts you can always schedule them down the road for when you know you’re going to be busier.
With all the time and energy you’d put into your blog you’ll want to get the word out there! Create social media accounts for your blog and link them to your website. Share, share, share!
I’ve started uploading my posts on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Medium, and Mix.com.
You’ll want to market and share as much as possible. You can also promote your posts on these platforms as well, but this will likely require some dollars. The way I look at it is, your blog is an investment, just like everything else – a car, college, training, etc. – the only way you can improve is through investment and commitment.
Please comment below your biggest learning curves when it comes to starting your own blog or website.