The number one question I’m asked about is about how to start a blog. I thought that I’d try to lay it out here for anyone interested and that way I can just refer people to it when I’m asked because there truly is a steep (and potentially costly) learning curve to starting and running a blog. I wish that I’d have found a simple step-by-step guide when I started. I ended up paying for a lot of things that I didn’t need in the beginning and spent a TON of time on the technical end of blogging. I hope that this might save you from some of those same mistakes.
My tips are all from trial and error. These are the basics to get you up and running on a blog that you intend to monetize. If you do NOT have any intention EVER of trying to make money with your blog then just head over to wordpress.com or blogger.com. They set up really fast, but remember, you’ll be restricted on how you can monetize on these sights and your flexibility and options are limited.
This blog uses affiliate links, which means that at no cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you purchase something from them.
I currently run sites on Square Space, Shopify and WordPress.ORG (not.com). Of the three, I highly recommend wordpress.org. I find the overall functionality of the site to be the best. While Square Space is very beginner-friendly, with WordPress.org, it’s open-source so you’ll always have 100% ownership, control and flexibility of your web site. And just because Square Space is super beginner friendly, definitely doesn’t mean WordPress is hard. It really isn’t at all.
1.Sign Up With WordPress.org
Sign up and download WordPress.org .
2. Choose a Web Host and Domain Name
Blue Host is fast and easy to get going and they constantly have an introductory offers. They’ve gotten some bad rap in the past, but I honestly never had any issues with them. You can sign up here: Get Blue Host
As my site grew, I eventually switched over to Site Ground. Their customer service and reliability are consistently ranked #1. This is who I use now and they are amazing. ANY time I’ve ever had a question, I can just start a chat online and my questions are always answered quickly and politely. I’ve never encountered a site issue with them at all. Site Ground just works. Its a set and forget it kind of web host……which is my favorite kind! you can sign up here: Get Site Ground.
Don’t be afraid of this step. It isn’t complicated. With both of these, you’ll also be asked to choose your domain name. They are both very user-friendly and you’ll be up and running quickly with a simple one-click install. You can start either of them for $3.95 per month, but I do prefer Site ground.
You have a web site! You will see a very basic looking site that is all your own!
3. Choose a Theme
Next, you choose a “theme”, which is what will set your site apart and give it individuality. Choosing is the hardest part! I was stuck trying to decide on this for WEEKS.
WordPress provides a lot of free themes and after playing around with those and not liking the user-friendliness or the look of them, I finally went with Pipdig and I’ve never looked back. Excellent customer service and pricing. Love them! Check out Pipdig Here.
Elegant Themes is also widely used, loved and recommended by WordPress users, so check out Elegant Themes here.
Now, you’re up and running with a beautiful, slick new blog and ready to start adding content.
4. Add Some Content
I suggest that your very first piece of content be your “About Me” page, because people like to know who they’re talking to. 🙂 And then just start writing!
5. My Recommendations
As I said, I’m more of a set it and forget it kinda girl, so here are the next things that I recommend you add to your new blog asap:
- I recommend starting an email list right away using Convert Kit. Even if you don’t plan on sending out any newsletters right now, start collecting emails. Think of people who will sign up for your email list as your fans. They WANT to hear from you and you just might have something that you’d really like to share with them. I did try Mail Chimp for this service first and almost lost my mind trying to figure it out. Eventually, after trying and failing with Constant Contact, I finally arrived at Convert Kit. This is by far the easiest to use and I’m very happy with it. You can start for free HERE to see if it’s right for you.
- Pinterest is THE game changer for bloggers. A whopping 80% of the traffic to my site comes from Pinterest, I highly recommend getting your Pinterest game going with Tailwind. (Get a free month here.) Using Tailwind is what currently drives 20+K readers to my site per month. Sign up here. There are LOADS of Pinterest courses out there. Some good- some not-so-much. The one that I took was Pinfinite Growth by Melissa Griffin. It is specifically written with bloggers in mind. I got it on a special sale and it was worth the $$ for me.
- To get started with affiliate links and earn a few dollars with all that traffic you’re getting (or will be getting) from Pinterest, you can sign up with shareasale.com. They are reliable, straight forward and transparent.
I hope that this was informative and useful information. If you’ve been wanting to start a site, just dive right in. These are my very best tips on how to start a blog. I tried SO many things and made a lot of mistakes when I started, so hopefully, this will help you not to make the same mistakes!
If you found this helpful please Pin for later or share on facebook.