How to start a blog
When I first began, I had no idea where to start. I searched Pinterest and Google and finally figured out some of the basics. I also signed up for a few classes and followed other bloggers. From there, I learned one thing at a time until it all came together.
Name your blog
The first thing you need to do is to think about what your blog will be about and decide what you will name your blog. Use this URL Search tool to see if the domain name you want is available. It’s also a good idea to do internet searches to see what is pulled up when you put in your blog name.
Where will you host your blog?
Next, you need to decide where your blog will live. I use and recommend Siteground. When I first started blogging, it seemed like everyone was using Blue Host and so I decided to use Bluehost. My site was constantly going down, but I was new at blogging and thought it was normal. Now that I’ve been using Siteground (without it going down once), I realize that is not normal and I’m SO happy I switched.
The best part is that Siteground is very affordable. You can choose the cheapest plan, which is only $3.95/month.
Once you set up hosting, you can find WordPress.org through the Siteground dashboard and set that up. Follow-this simple WordPress install tutorial and you can set it up quickly. Now you are ready to set up your blog.
Choose a Theme
A theme provides the front end look of your blog. It is the style, colors, font and look that people see when they visit your page. You may want to start out with a free theme until you figure out what you want. I started out with a theme from Restored 316. They have beautiful themes and I was also able to join their private FB group after purchasing the theme that was very helpful whenever I had questions.
Design your site
If you don’t have experience in design, or don’t know exactly what you want, you will probably change your site several times until you figure out what you like. That is completely OK. Most bloggers do this at first.
You should at least start with a simple logo. You can create your own through PicMonkey or Canva. There is a free version available of Canva, but PicMonkey does charge.
Eventually, you may even want to hire a designer. Laura @Pixelmedesigns designed my site and I absolutely loved working with her. Although, she usually does have a waiting list.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is just as important (if not more) as the design. SEO is what helps you get traffic to your site through search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you learn how to properly set up your site in the beginning, you’ll be much better off and save yourself many headaches. You can learn how to do this through courses online, searching SEO, or you can easily hire someone to help set things up for you or lead you in the right direction. One business that I recommend is Black Lotus Web Development. My only regret is not figuring this out sooner.
Do your research. Think about the audience you want to target and the needs of that audience. Write your posts to your target audience. Most of your posts should help your audience with their main needs.
More information here on How to blog when you know nothing about photography.
I mainly use Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop to edit images online.Get Lightroom as part of the Creative Cloud Photography plan for only US$9.99/mo
PicMonkey Is another option to edit images online. There is a free version available, or you can purchase an upgraded version for more options.
Find the courage to push “Publish”
Actually publishing what your write can lead you to feel very vulnerable. Be patient with yourself, but don’t allow yourself to be so afraid that you don’t get anything done. You have a voice that other’s want to hear. People are always looking for others whom they can relate to.
Blogging Programs/courses I’ve Used:
I started out using Abby’s Framework- Framework III- Boost Blog Traffic Guide. It was great resource that will walk you through setting up a blog and a few basics. I would definitely recommend it.
Elite Blog Academy (EBA): I am currently a participant in EBA. It has completely taken my blog to another level. You can only register one time each year. If you are thinking about it at all, join the waiting list. I also love the fact that if you’re not quite ready to commit to such a big program, you can download this free ebook: The Blog Structure Blueprint. You can read my full post on Elite Blog Academy for more information.
You may also be interested in reading Why Start a Blog as a Single Parent
Congratulations for being active about looking into your desire to blog. I would love to help you through your journey. I hope this information has helped you set up your blog. I’m still learning the technical side, but if you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. If I don’t know the answer, I will definitely try to lead you in the right direction.