I have always LOVED to write. You could even say it’s my passion. But when my husband asked me what I would like to do when my kids are off to school, writing wasn’t my first thought.
I imagined how many years it would take to get my name out there, and how much education and training and bottom-of-the-totem-pole jobs I would need to go through to make anywhere close to enough money to be able to help support my family financially.
It always seemed like an out of reach dream. I figured I would work a 9-5 job, so I could be home with my kids.
Well, my kids aren’t off to school yet (years away) so finding a job isn’t top priority right now, but I thought starting a blog would be something fun I could do in my spare time. Little did I know it would blow up into an every day thing for me. And I absolutely LOVE it.
I love the social aspect of sharing my voice, and having people reach out. I love being able to reach out to other bloggers, share ideas, and collaborate with them on our blogs.
I would be lying if I told you blogging for a living, or a hobby was easy. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of hours. But it’s so much fun. And potentially, a very stable career!
Starting a blog wasn’t easy for me. But that’s only because I had to learn everything the hard way. I want to save you from the mistakes I did, so you can get on the path to blogging quickly and smoothly.
My first piece of advice would be to SKIP using a free web hosting site.
I made the mistake of using a free web hosting site and quickly learned I would never make any money off of that, and everything I post would be super hard to find. I would google a post and it wouldn’t even show up in google. Waste of my time. So I switched and made my own domain.
Now you’re thinking, “How do I do that?” and “Which web hosting site should I use?”.
I highly recommend Bluehost. Their site is very user friendly and extremely versatile. And if you sign up below, you can get your own domain for $3.95/mo. Which is pennies compared to how much potential income you could make using your own domain. Just saying.
Once you create your domain, go to your Blue Host page. Click on your “cpanel”, scroll down to the email box and click “install WordPress”. WordPress is what I use for my blog and it’s very easy to use. You don’t need extensive knowledge in HTML and CSS to run it, and that was definitely a plus for me.
Next choose your THEME
Now you want to make sure your theme is going to work well with desktop, tablet and smart phones so choose carefully. It needs to express how you want your readers to feel when they first visit your page. It will take a little jumping around to get used to customizing your site, but soon it will become second nature.
Next you want to instal some plug-ins.
These are what makes your site run smoothly. There are plug-ins for literally everything. I have one for my subscriptions, one for my recipes, you get the idea.
I would recommend these to start with; they are free, and pretty much mandatory for a successful blog; OptinMonster“>OptinMonster, Comments – wpDiscuz, infolinks, Jetpack, Ultimate Social Media PLUS, WP Scheduled Posts, Yoast SEO.
After you have your website set up (but not published)
Start writing. I recommend having at least 10 posts before going public. I didn’t follow this and I think my blog suffered because of it. When you have your blogs written, publish them.
Finally; market your blog
Make a twitter and facebook page for sure. If instagram would benefit you, make an instagram. And for HEAVENS SAKE create a pinterest account!! There are programs like Tailwind and Buffer to help you schedule your pins and social media posts.
Okay, I lied (GASP)
THIS is my final piece of advice; batch write and post every day. I used to write my blogs while my girls were napping and post them then. As well as market on social media, answer emails, etc. Too. Much. Work. Especially when my time was limited and I had no idea, 1. If my twins would nap and 2. How long they would nap for. This way I could write in batches, schedule them to post throughout the week. Schedule Tailwind for my Pinterest, Buffer for everything else, and hit GO.
WHEW! That was a mouth full of information. Golden advice above. Read it, follow it, live it, share it. If you decide to start a blog, contact me, I’m sure I would love to work with you.
Oh, yes. That’s one other thing, reach out. Contact other bloggers, companies, products etc. and ask to work with them. We are all out to help and support you. At least the ones I have come across are.
Anyway. Before I get carpal tunnel, I better close my laptop. I sincerely hope this helps any future bloggers.
Come by next week when I explain affiliate marketing and how to make money with your blog!
Bye for now!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links.