Starting Your Own Blog – A Brief Summary
Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.
As I’m trying to revamp, write more, get together photos, & just basically get my s…tuff together for my blog, I’m reminded of how much work I’ve done up to this point.
Seriously… it has been a HUGE learning process. Fortunately, there are a ton of free resources out there to help everyone new to blogging and building websites. Just check Pinterest if you don’t believe me. I thought I would briefly recount my progress and anything I’ve learned in creating a blog. If you want a more thorough step-by-step or even a series on how to create a blog, let me know in the comments!
So, you want to start a blog? Great! My main advice is to DO IT.
First, here are some questions you may want to answer before diving into a blog.
- What do I want to write about?
- What’s my blog going to be named?
- How much do I want to be able to customize my site?
- Do I want to try and monetize on this? If so, how much?
- What if I need help?
What do I want to write about?
Write about what you’re passionate about. Write about what makes you happy. Write about things you want to teach others.
I’ve been mostly successful on this, maybe. When I began, I thought perhaps a “lifestyle” blog would work for me or maybe a food-centric/recipe blog would be better. But honestly, there is so much I am interested in that I kind of just went my own eccentric way. I always have a DIY project going on, I am constantly trying new recipes or making my own, & I have major wanderlust ALL THE TIME, so you will see a lot of my focus on those three things.
What’s my blog going to be named?
Maybe you already know exactly what you will name it. If not, I found a lot of advice out there that suggests using this formula for a name: “word” + “word”. You’ll see it used a lot, for example, “Boots & Pearls” or “Sorghum + Salt”.
While it totally works, by deciding to go broader in my subjects, it just wasn’t a fit for me. Instead I used one of my favorite words, although it’s weird as hell & nobody knows it, it stands out & it applies to all I do in life.
Read my About Me to get the full story.
How much do I want to be able to customize my site?
What this question basically comes down to is money & it goes both ways. Do you want to try & make money on your site? And are you willing to pay for your site?
You can start a blog for free with different sites out there. But, if you want your own domain name (yoursitename.com), if you want to monetize (ads, affiliates), if you want to have your own design, you will need to NOT use any of those.
I personally use Bluehost to host my own domain name with WordPress as my website builder. *note* There is a difference between .com & .org with WordPress – while both are free, ORG is the one you want when building your own site & domain name. And Bluehost makes it easy to setup a WordPress site.
Do I want to try and monetize on this? If so, how much?
If you go full-on with your own website, I say YES! to monetizing it. I mean, what have you got to lose? Worst case scenario: you make no money. Best case scenario: you make money.
There are a lot of way to monetize a blog & honestly, I’m STILL learning how to do this.
You can put in ads, you can have affiliate links, you can have sponsored posts. And there’s even more out there that I haven’t figured out yet!
My advice for this section: Just remember how it is to be a reader of a website when you start putting in monetization strategies on your own site. There are a lot of times that I visit a site excited to read about something & before I can even finish the first sentence of the post, I’ve had 10 popups on the screen. That’s when I just say “Eff this” and never go back again. Don’t be that person.
Also, when bloggers or any type of ‘influencer’ have a sponsored post promoting a product, my personal belief is that it should be GENUINE & HONEST. No need to sell your authenticity for a few bucks to promote the newest ‘instant-fat-loss-right-now tea’ or whatever. I mean, unless you actually used it & it worked wonders… 🙂
[For complete transparency on the above paragraph of my opinions, see my obsession with 21 Day Fix. I’m no longer a ‘coach’ but that shiz is a great tool to help you learn portion sizes & eating healthy.]
What if I need help?
This is my favorite because there is a wealth of information out there for you! You don’t have to do this alone!
I started with Pinterest looking for website articles. I have saved & read hundreds of posts to get advice. There are also boards you can join to share your own blog posts.
There are Facebook groups dedicated strictly to blogging & how to do it. Others on your same journey are there for advice, how-to’s, counsel, & support.
Lastly, many successful bloggers offer courses on specific topics related to blogging, advertising, social media, etc. In fact, in your research you will probably run into many of these classes being advertised. It is totally up to you on whether or not you purchase them.