First 5 Steps to Starting a Blog

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When people find out I’ve solely supported my family, with my blog, since April of 2018, they always ask me tons of questions, including “How do I start a blog?” First things first… I want you to ask yourself one very important question. Do you have time to dedicate to your blog? I’m not talking about a few minutes every three weeks or when it’s convenient to you. I’m talking about time every day to research, write, take pictures, share on social media and engage with your followers and other bloggers. If your answer is no, you are probably not ready. But if your answer is yes, I’m providing the first 5 steps you need to take to start making money.

Step 1: Decide on a Name

If you don’t already have a name in mind, sit down with your family or friends and brainstorm some ideas. Think about your name, things that you love, the area where you live, the audience you want to speak to etc. Think about what you search for when you’re looking for things online and try to incorporate what you love into a name that is not too long, easy to remember and is catchy (if possible).

Once you’ve come up with 3 favorites, search to make sure they are available as domain names (.com) and on all social media channels (instagram, facebook, twitter, pinterest, youtube, etc.). You want your name to be the same in all places so that people can easily find you. If it’s available on all but one, consider trying another option. Claim those social channels asap! We’ll come back to them in step 5.

Step 2: Starting a Blog

When I first created my blog, I had no idea that there were two different WordPress sites.  While they both offer free templates and are very much the same in the backend,  I learned that WordPress.org is preferred by most agencies and brand influencer platforms (those are the folks that will be paying you for sponsored posts).

WordPress.org will give you the best experience since you are just downloading the WordPress software vs. using only what WordPress has to offer. This allows you to use your own custom .com name and requires that you set up hosting with an outside company. You can also upload plug-ins and customize code, database and files easily. You can also purchase any theme and don’t have to settle for only the WordPress options.

Step 3: Sign Up for Hosting

Over the last two years, I’ve learned something very important. Just because a hosting company is big, doesn’t mean it’s good. I was with a larger hosting company and was pleased with the service for the most part. Then BAM… they increased my annual rate by 2x!

I posted in one of the blogger groups, asking for recommendations for hosting companies and was told to contact David at New Blog Hosting. It was followed by person after person agreeing and swearing that switching to New Blog Hosting was the best decision they ever made. I sent an email through the website and within 30 minutes, David personally responded.  He made the transition so easy and has fixed any issues quickly. He speaks to his customers with respect and explains things in a way that non-tech people can understand. His rates are reasonable and affordable. Now, like all the other bloggers, I highly recommend David at New Blog Hosting to everyone who needs a new hosting company.

Step 4: Find and Install a Theme

While WordPress does offer templates, I found a ton of amazing templates on Envato. Templates will run you around $49.  You can view their live demos and see what your site will look like.  I recommend scrolling through them, open the ones that catch your eye and then choose your favorite.

Installing can be a bit tricky but most offer installation for an additional charge. You can also hire a designer (I do that on the side, wink) to put together your entire website for you, but of course that would be a bit more pricey as you are paying for their time.

If you’re up for the challenge, you can do it yourself, but keep in mind that it’s super time consuming and a process to learn. If you want to save yourself time and aggravation, consider paying someone to do it for you.

Step 5: Set Up Your Social Media Accounts

Now that your blog is set up, you’ll need to set up your accounts on all of the major social media channels. This is where you are going to share your blog posts, once you start writing. You’ll find that each channel has a different audience, so it’s important to keep up with them all and post consistently. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll want your social channel username to be the same throughout, so hopefully you secured the names already in step 1.

Set up your profile and cover images in a similar fashion. You want people to recognize you, based on your style, colors, etc. That’s your branding. Every channel (as well as your blog), should look similar.

Start by sharing one post, once a day. Get to know your audience. Share things about you, ask about them, engage with your target audience. Let them know you’re there and what you’ll be providing them on your blog and social channels. Give them a reason to follow you.

Since people found out I've supported my family with my blog, since April of 2018, they want to know how! Here are the first 5 steps if you want to start a blog.

You’re Officially on your Way to Becoming a Blogger

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. These are some solid tips! You’ve gotta have the basics down before you can get onto bigger things!

    Thanks,

    Wayne Walls

  2. I did so much “winging it” when I started my blog. It’s so helpful to have a guide to walk you through the process.

  3. WordPress is definitely the way to go when starting a blog, it works for any type of website. I know many are now securing social media profiles at the same time as their domain so they match.

  4. These are all great tips. To be successful in blogging, you have to plan carefully and do lots of research. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It entails lots of hard work! Your tips are spot on and these will definitely help the newbies!

  5. These are all great tips for a new blogger! Just getting started can be the biggest hurdle sometimes. Thinking up the name is the most fun part. 🙂

  6. This is a nice tutorial to all those who are thinking of starting a blog. I wish someone had told me this when I was starting.

  7. All of the steps are good except for the find and install a theme. I thought I could just do that when I first started to blog but then it failed and I got frustrated sometimes its better to hire a professional to do it for you.

  8. This is really a great blog and will give a big help for those aspiring bloggers. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  9. These are practical tips for starting a blog indeed. I think most people don’t realize how much time & work goes into maintaining a blog long term.

  10. Such great tips for those who want to start a blog. Blogging can be time-consuming but it sure can be fun too.

  11. This is a great guide for potential bloggers. I always don’t forget setting up the social media as it is vital to the blog’s growth!

  12. These steps help to the people who are starting from zero. It takes the dedication to go thru the blogging process.

  13. There is a lot of work that goes into having a successful blog. I am not sure I realized how much time it could take up before I started.

  14. I couldn’t agree more with your points! Starting a blog is not hard and is so much fun! I find that deciding on a name is the hardest task of all haha!

  15. If you just want a quick blog this is perfect, but once you get started you realize that it takes a lot more than just words & pretty pictures. Security, user-friendliness & SEO are so important these days.

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  16. This can be helpful for newbies for sure. That is the most common thing people ask me is how to start a blog and I try to tell them it is easier than it sounds. I will have to refer them to this post!

  17. Wup wup! I love this….it so much reminds me of 2016 when I was starting out with blogging.

  18. These are great tips for new bloggers. I have been blogging so long that i love seeing some of these beginner series, as it helps remind me how far I have come and how far I still want to go!

  19. This is really helpful! I have some friends asking how to start a blog. I’ll definitely share this post to them.

  20. These are great tips for newbies thinking of starting a blog. You give all the info to start right here.

  21. These are awesome tips to those people wants to start their blog. I found it so useful, thanks for sharing!

  22. I don’t think it’s easy to start and consistently work on a blog. I think one key is knowing the market you’d target. Cheers to all bloggers.

  23. I remember doing the first steps some years ago. It’s so great to have all this info when you are at the beginning!

  24. I was so overwhelmed when I decided to start a blog and would have benefitted from a post like this. I was lucky to have a friend who was a website designer. She helped me a ton in figuring out those first steps as a new blogger.

  25. This is a great overview for starting a blog. I get asked a lot about how to start a blog, so this is a great resource to direct people to.

  26. This is great! I am seriously sending people to this when they ask me how to start a blog- I get that question a lot!

  27. Thanks for sharing thhese blogging tips. I have been blogging for two years now and I still need to set up some of my social media accounts. They are truly a great way to engage with my audience and other bloggers.

  28. Excellent! Setting up a blog is easy peasy but keeping it going takes determination and perseverance.

  29. I love this post! There’s people out there who want to start a blog, but don’t know where to go for references. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  30. I was lucky when I started my blog, as my wife had already started hers. I learned a lot from her. This is a great resource for those who may not have what I had when I began.

  31. I haven’t heard of this host before. I will have to compare them to my current hosting before deciding on a possible change.

  32. I wish this post was published prior to me starting my blog. These tips are really helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  33. I think the FIRST thing anyone should do when starting a blog is come up with the niche because all too often I hear people saying I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT and that’s because their blogs are just too broad. I have a very NARROW niche and I never struggle with what I am going to write/record next! Niche is KEY! 🙂

  34. I think deciding on a name is hard for a lot of people. So many things are already taken, but that is a great starting point.

  35. It took me months to come up with my name. It is so important to find something that will represent everything you want to say with your brand. This is a great list!

  36. i love how easy and straight forward this is- cant wait to share with a few friends who are interested in starting their own blog!

  37. This is incredibly helpful! I’ll pass this onto some friends who have been wanting to start a blog. I did hire someone to put mine together!