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People ask me all the time how they can start a blog. Chances are if you’re reading this, you were one of those people. When I first started, it used to bug me when bloggers were super selfish with info and didn’t want to share. I never want to be that person. So here I am, finally writing this post. Albeit vague, I hope it is helpful to some of you future bloggers out there!
Define Your Why
First things first, you have to design your “why”. Why do you want to start blogging and what do you want to write about? It really is going to help you in the long run if you answer these questions early and refer back to them in the future! My why is to encourage people (mostly women around my age) to live their best lives. My what is food, fitness and travel. Those are the three things that make me happy, they are the three things I know the most about, and they are the three things I enjoy sharing with others.
Purchase Your Domain
Honestly, domains (the url – www.THEDOMAIN.com) are the trickiest part in some cases. I’ve had 3 different ones since I fist started writing a few years ago. Eventually, I decided to just use my name so that, in the future, if my interests change, I don’t have to rebrand all over again.
Where do I purchase a domain at?
My favorite place to purchase a domain is at Siteground. They are cheap, helpful and really straight forward with everything. Plus they have amazing customer service. I love them so much, you’ll see me recommend them a couple of other times in this blog post. If I’d known about them when I created my first site, I would have used them and never switched. Which brings me to my next point….who NOT to purchase a domain from.
Another good option is go purchase a domain from Google. Personally, I don’t like to put all of my eggs in one basket in case crap hits the fan, but I’ve heard no bad things about buying your domain through them.
Is there any place I should avoid?
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Bluehost. Their customer service takes a long time to get to you, whereas Siteground only takes a minute or two typically. Plus, it seems like every little thing with them costs more money.
I remember I once told them my site kept crashing and they told me the only way to fix it was to buy a long list of things. I’ve never been so frustrated. It’s like if you were to go buy a brand new iPhone and you get a call but can’t hear the person – then when you take your phone back to the store after purchasing it, they tell you they can fix it for the small fee of a full-priced new phone. What?! I’m not one to cuss at people (HA) but this definitely tempts me.
Find A Good Platform
I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet, because there’s a clear winner in my opinion. I’ve tried Tumblr, Wix, WordPress.com, then WordPress.org. While each of them are great in their own right, I’m going to highly suggest you skip the others and go right for WordPress.org. It’s a super powerful system with tons of apps (called widgets) that you can add and modify to fit your blog’s needs!
In addition, I would recommend downloading Jetpack. It will help make it easier to design your site, grow your audience, and keep your site secure. I noticed after switching to WordPress.org and downloading Jetpack that my page views skyrocketed! While on other platforms, I struggled to get 1000 page views, now I average much much more than that.
Find The Perfect Theme
Of all the pieces of your blog, this one may be the most costly – but its definitely worth it. When people visit your site, you want them to feel a certain way, and take your blog seriously! There’s nothing worst than following someone who has an AMAZING Instagram page, only to see their blog is lacking creative design or structure.
The place I recommend getting your theme is Theme Forest! They have tons of customizable themes that are different than your standard, run of the mill, blog. Its definitely going to be the most cost-efficient option when compared to having someone design a site for you from the ground up, too!
Those are some of the main things you’ll need starting out. I’m not a pro, but these are the things that have worked for me with this blog. While I tried to hit all of the main points, I’m sure you’ll have more questions. PLEASE feel free to leave them in the comments below, or email me at email@example.com
I will also be co-hosting another Comp Camp workshop soon with Shasha! We’ll be announcing those dates soon, so be sure to follow us on Instagram!