So you want to start a blog? Great!
This is just a short list of how to get started, a few of the resources that I used to learn about how to start a blog and what I've learned along the way.
Also, I wanted to bring this to you now because there is a flash sale going on with the company that I use to host my blog, Bluehost.com--and it is only for a limited time, like 24 hours on August 17th, 2016! But before I tell you all about their amazing hosting sale, let me share with you my story.
My Blogging Story So Far
I am a mother of four, ages 12, 9, 5, and 15 months. I started blogging back in November of 2015 with the hopes of encouraging other moms out there to breastfeed their babies, share funny stories, have an outlet for myself other than showering (LOL), and possibly make a supplemental income to help carry the burden of providing for our family.
So, far I have had an interesting journey and I have learned a lot about myself along the way. I started out blogging strong and with a weekly posting schedule and super gung-ho about every blog post that I wrote. I would stay up for hours and hours, making pictures pin-able and trying to figure out SEO. I held a Potterybarn gift card giveaway to launch my blog right in time for the holidays and things were going well. I felt a lot of joy that first month and I felt like I got a pretty good amount of traffic for the first month.
We had the holidays and it was a bit more difficult to keep up with the blogging schedule that I had devised for myself. We also were in the middle of moving--I knew that when I started my blog in November that we were going to be moving in January or February, but I just really wanted to get it going and I thought that the distraction of blogging would be a good one for me during the move. I was definitely wrong about that! Blogging was all I wanted to do! I did not want to pack and I did not really want to move, but I had to. So, I decided to slow my blogging down so that I could focus on packing and moving. Well, to make a long story short, I slowed my blogging down to basically nothing for about six months! This basically stopped all traffic to my blog--I mean I was getting maybe 1 view a day. Geez! Well, anyway--I gave myself grace because I knew that as a new blogger I was basically blogging into a chasm that was full of echos, except for the lovely comments by my faithful readers (thanks, Mom and Dad!).
Now I am basically settled in my new house (I honestly don't think I will ever be fully unpacked!) and we are about to start our first homeschooling adventure! If you want to hear about why we are homeschooling, stay tuned--I will be writing about that soon.
Enough about me! Here's a few simple steps to starting a blog:
Pick a Topic to Blog About
First things first, what do you want to blog about? This one was really hard for me. I decided to brainstorm a list of ideas and it was really long. Ultimately, I decided on mom life, with a focus on breastfeeding. Now, naturally, my focus is going to change to homeschooling. We'll see how it goes.
So, brainstorm and come up with some topics that you love and figure out which one(s) you'd like to blog about. I used, Mom Blogging For Dummies, by Wendy Piersall to help get me started with everything "blog" and it really helped me narrow down my topic.
Pick a Host and Domain Name
O.k., so this part gets a little confusing, so just bare with me...
If you want to make money blogging, then keep reading. If you want to just blog away and don't care about monetizing your blog, look for a blogging platform, like blogger.com, where you can blog for days, but you are not allowed to monetize your blog. I am going to talk about setting up a blog that you can monetize.
Alright, so if you stuck around, here goes:
You need to pick a hosting company to host your blog, this is going to be like the mansion that your blog lives in, because we are shooting for the top, right? Great. There are a number of web hosting companies out there, like Bluehost and HostGator. I personally use Bluehost, and so does Crystal Paine from Moneysavingmom.com. I like to go where the top bloggers are blogging, so I chose to follow Crystal.
You also need a domain name. Your domain name is your blogs address online, like www.mozeyswhim.com, and Bluehost also provides domain names. You can get both your domain name and your web hosting through the same company, like Bluehost.com. Currently, I use GoDaddy! for my domain name and Bluehost for my web hosting. I think I did it that way because GoDaddy! was having a 99 cent sale on domain names that I could not pass up at the time.
Right now, Bluehost.com is having an awesome sale for $2.95/month web hosting for the first 12 months if you start your hosting on August 17th, 2016 (that's what I wanted to tell you all about!!!). This is a great deal. Be sure to snatch it up, here! If you click on any of the links I have in this post to Bluehost, I will get a small affiliate commission. It will not cost you anything additional to use my link, but it will help to support my blog and my family and so, I thank you in advance!
Click here to go to Bluehost and get started blogging!
(Remember this deal is only for a limited time and if you sign up after that, they will still have a great deal, but it might be different than what I stated above.)
Next you need to download wordpress. If you are using Bluehost, I can tell you that it is really easy to download through their site and they walk you through it every step of the way. If you are using another hosting company you may have to go to WordPress.com and download it from there and then upload it to your web host. But, basically you just need to download wordpress and then you can go on to your next step.
Pick a Theme
Once you have wordpress downloaded then you can pick a theme for your blog. WordPress has many cool free themes or you can buy a premium theme. I bought a premium theme for about $40. I feel like it was worth the money to make my site look a bit more put together, but there are many great free themes also.
Once you have your theme and you have customized it to your liking, it is time to start adding content! Yeah! Just start blogging away! But, just so you know--your site will not be "live" until you make it live. For a couple of months before I went "live", I made as many posts as I could. Once your blog is "live", everyone can see it. So, just make sure that it looks the way you want and you have some blog posts for people to read before you make it available for the world to see. That way, when people go to your site they have something to do and read. Ya know, what I'm sayin'?
In a Nutshell:
Pick a domain name.
Get web hosting. I use Bluehost. It's easy and affordable.
Choose a theme. There are a bunch of free themes on WordPress, or you can purchase a theme.
Customize your theme.
Resources I Used To Get Started
It's that easy to start a blog! For me the hardest part was, and is, choosing a topic to write about since there are so many possibilities. Just get started and have fun!
Here are a list of awesome books and articles that I found helpful for getting started (if it is a book, it is an Amazon affiliate link, fyi):
An awesome article on how to make money blogging in 8 easy steps!
Another great article from Crystal Paine about how to be successful blogging:
You Tube Videos
I also watched a bunch of you tube videos about how to start a blog and how to make my website. Here are links to a couple that I kept referring back to time and time again:
I hope those articles help and you have a great journey starting your blog! Don't forget to get in on the sale at Bluehost! August 17th, 2016!
Here's some questions for you: Have you ever wanted to start a blog? What have been the reasons that you have or have not started a blog? Leave your comments below!
Photo credit: This awesome photo of my oldest son was taken by Dennis McNeel at the Northern California Renaissance Fair about 6 years ago!
Just FYI: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy. Thanks for supporting my blog and family!