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Blogging

An In-Depth Guide: How To Start A Blog.

*This post contains affiliate links. Don’t worry, I don’t recommend anything I don’t use and love!

If you search blogging, there are a bazillion posts promising a quick and easy way to start a blog and start making a gazillion dollars a month!

This isn’t one of those guides.

I was once sucked into one of those guides and ended up spending quite a chunk of changing and then have no idea what to do with it.

So here is a real guide to starting a blog with all of the nitty-gritty.

Step One: Pick A Name And A Niche

I would take a bit of time on this one before jumping in.

Your name is important and once you set it in stone you’re pretty well stuck with it.

I recommend picking a name that leaves you with some options.

You might start a blog with one intention in mind but find that you end up blogging about something else as your writing style develops.

For instance, I started TheComplexMom.com with intentions of blogging about my medically complex child.  I thank my lucky stars that he has outgrown most of his complexities so now I just blog about my complex life as a mom, I love that my name was able to grow with me.

Google the names you’re thinking about, make sure they are available, check them on Pinterest and Facebook and make sure it’s a name you will be able to stick with as you grow your audience.

Step Two: Set Up Hosting

Once you’ve made the hard decisions you’re ready to set up your hosting.

I prefer Siteground.

I would recommend their start-up plan for $3.95 per month.  As a beginning blogger, it should cover all of your needs and as your site grows it is easy to upgrade.

I’m going to be real with you.  For a years worth of your site, your domain name, and the extra services such as site scanner and domain privacy which I highly recommend. (I currently have 10 blocked malicious login attempts).  This blogging thing is going to cost you $95.

This is where you decide whether you’re ready to get serious or not.  It’s a big investment.  It’s a big gamble.  But the thing is, you’re gambling on yourself, so I think it’s a good bet.

If I can do this, so can you!

My first blog putting minimal effort into it, only writing about 20 posts total, I was able to break even in about four months.  Had I really put my heart into it, I’m positive it would have been a lot faster.

Once you’ve paid you will have access to Siteground.

They have tutorials on getting started and setting up WordPress in the resource tab.

Watch these

From there you want to set up WordPress.  Go to the accounts tab, and click on cpanel.

Once you’re in your cpanel, the second section down is the auto installer.

Selecting WordPress will do all of the work for you.

Click install and customize your settings.

Make sure to choose a different username and password and write them down!

Once you’re done it will give you your administrative URL.

Copy that bad boy and save it to your desktop.

That is where you will build your site and create content.

Step Three: Customize WordPress

This part can be pretty time-consuming.

It’s much more than just writing posts and hitting publish.  You will have to set up your site.

First thing first, you’ll want to set up your theme.

On the left-hand side under appearances, you’ll find free themes.

Click add new, and select your favorite.

Once you really dig into this there are a ton of beautiful paid for themes you can choose from but if you’re like me you are trying to do this as cheap as possible at first.

Once you’ve got your theme you may want to create a graphic for your header.

You can take your own or my personal favorite site for free stock images is Unsplash.com.

You’ll want to spend some time digging through the appearances and plugins until you are happy with the way things look.

Don’t get disheartened if it’s not perfect.  This is something I’m constantly tweaking and messing with trying to get it just right.

Step Four: Write Content

This is what you’ve been waiting for!

I would get at least five posts written up before you set your site to live.

Write great content, make some awesome graphics.

I suggest using PicMonkey

Write up your about me, set up a contact me tab, and just start filling your site with content your audience will want to read and share.

Five Must Have Tools For A New Blog 

Step Five: Grow Your Audience

When I wasn’t writing content I was setting up my Pinterest.

I truly think Pinterest is the number one thing new bloggers should focus on.

Join group boards, pin a whole bunch of content, follow other bloggers, and gain your own following.

That way when you are ready to start sharing your new content you’ll have an audience waiting to receive it.

 

Once you get going you’ll want to start signing up for affiliates such as Amazon and share a sale.

You’ll want to invest in blogging tools such as PicMonkey and Tailwind.

Blogging takes time.  It’s honestly a lot of hard work.

It can be frustrating at times, but when you finally see progress it’s such a rewarding experience!

Set aside a few hours a couple times a week and in no time you’ll be blogging with the pros!

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