You’re ready, you want to know how to start a blog. It can be overwhelming, right? You’ve got this great idea, and so much to share, but ugh, what the heck is hosting? And so on, and so forth with all the tech jargon and many products marketed towards bloggers these days.
Just in case you’re stumbling upon this blog post and my site for the first time, let me introduce myself…Hey! I’m Lindsey 🙂 I’ve been building websites since 2005. I attended Trial and Error University, and enjoyed every minute of breaking things and learning to put them back together. I have over a decade of experience working with WordPress, and in the blogging industry.
How to Start A Blog
Before we get into this, I want to make sure you know that blogging is super fun, but it is A LOT of work. I think people have this picture perfect vision of how easy it looks and might think “that mom just takes pretty pictures and writes blogs during naptime, I want to do that!” Not true. That Mom started planning most of those pictures a while back, and the wheels in her head are always turning towards how she can make ever tiny detail work together. Which is a blast for a lot of people! I enjoy that my brain is always creating and piecing things together, but if that doesn’t sound like fun, blogging might not be a good fit for you. If it does, let’s get this party started!
Here’s an outline of what we’re going to cover in this first post of our blogging 101 series.
1. Pick Your Niche
2. Pick a Name
6. Genesis Framework
7. Pretty Darn Cute Theme
8. THROW A PARTY! (optional, but encouraged!)
Pick Your Niche
When creating a blog, you want to “niche down” as much as possible. Instead of writing a book that appeals to everyone about something, you’d narrow it down to a specific audience right? Same with your blog. When making this decision, don’t overthink it. The obvious answer is usually the best in this case. You know what your strengths are, so just make a list and then pick your top 2, and decide between them. For instance, even a crafting blog could be narrowed down to sewing because that’s your strongest skill. Once you build your audience, you can pepper in your other hobbies, but it’s best to really hone in on your greatest strength at first.
Decide On A Name
This part is so much fun! It can also be overwhelming, however, so remember to keep it as simple as possible. Short and sweet apply to this for sure. Typing in a super long domain name is no fun for anyone, nor is it fun to try and fit on business cards.
You Need A Domain Name
Alrighty, let’s get to it. Once you have your idea, the next step is to get the tech side of things setup. This means you need to decide what your domain name will be.
When choosing a domain name, the shorter the better, and if you can make it exactly your blog title, perfect. Domain names range anywhere from free to tens of thousands of dollars. The better the name, the more you’ll pay. I recommend either GoDaddy or Namecheap for domains.
If your domain is your address, hosting is the lot your house sits on. In actual tech terms, you’re purchasing space on a server to store your information. There are all kinds of hosting options, but I highly recommend a WordPress dedicated host. I cannot stress enough how important hosting is, and that you absolutely get what you pay for in this case. My top 2 are more expensive, but the third is the best low cost hosting I’ve come across. Just ask in our facebook group about the pitfalls of a bad hosting company. We have this discussion there often.
Your domain is your address, your hosting is the lot your house sits on, and WordPress is your foundation, concrete, plumbing, and electric. Technically speaking, WordPress is what we call a CMS (Content Management System) it’s a really flexible organizing system. Without WordPress you’re creating every page of your website one by one. I used to do this back in the day, trust me, WordPress is magic. It spoils you. And, BONUS, I’ve got 23 WordPress tutorial videos waiting in your account area after any purchase – they walk you through how to work every aspect of any WordPress site. These videos are phenomenal and a luxury I provide exclusively for customers, the more you understand how your site works, the more successful you’ll be, and that’s important to me.
The Genesis Framework
Which brings us to Genesis. We’ve got our address, our lot, and the foundation has been poured. Now, Genesis comes in and starts framing your house, and reworking the plumbing and electric to be more user friendly. Technically speaking it does a lot. I won’t bore you with the details, but just know I continue to explore all options and do my research, and have chosen to use Genesis year after year. It makes a lot of WordPress even easier to use, and it’s a one time purchase for lifetime updates.
Pretty Darn Cute Theme Time!
Alright! We’ve got the foundation poured, and the walls have begun to go up, our electric and plumbing are streamlined, now we get to have some fun decorating and remodeling a bit! It’s time to pick the Pretty Darn Cute WordPress Theme of your choice! Things to keep in mind when deciding:
1. Will I be selling products?
2. How much customizing will I be doing?
3. Do I have images to fill those spaces?
Also of note, any of our themes can be used for selling products, some just have a bit of styling for woocommerce (a free ecommerce shopping plugin for WordPress) included. Our newer themes have more customization options, and you can always choose to simply show your latest blog posts instead of those fancy home pages you see on the demo sites.
It feels like a lot, but truthfully, it’s a days worth of work if you just sit down and knock it all out. Pat yourself on the back, you’ve accomplished a ton at this point and it’s worth celebrating every little milestone along your journey! You’ll be blogging in no time!
I hope you found this post helpful! I’m here to hold your hand as you learn how everything works, and get your site setup and lookin’ pretty! Please leave any questions or concerns you have in the comments below, I genuinely enjoy answering them and helping you along.
Join us in our facebook group where there’s a community of fellow bloggers from all stages connecting and helping each other as well: Click Here to Join Our Free Facebook Group!
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In our next post:
Setting up your Domain Email [email protected]