Blogging can be a fun way to express yourself and of course, make money. But, if you have never done anything like this before the entire process can be somewhat overwhelming. It doesn’t need to be.
When you sit down to start a blog, you may know you need a name and what it is you will blog about. But, beyond that, the process can be very overwhelming. Not only is there a lot to do, but you also may not even realize things you have to take care of. I call this “not knowing what you don’t know.”
You can’t search for something you don’t even realize you need to know. Let’s simplify the process for you. You’ll find all of the steps you need to follow when starting out blogging.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO TO START A BLOG
One of the most frustrating parts of blogging is that no one tells you everything you need to do. Most articles say “click here and sign up with this host.” They leave you hanging as they don’t tell you everything you need to know. Follow this easy guide to know everything you need to do get started – right up through writing your very first post!
SELECT A NICHE
When you hear the word niche, it means your topic. What is it you will blog about? It is essential that you know the subject well so you can write about it again and again. It also needs to be something that you are passionate about. Sure, you may see money writing about financial services, but if that is not what you know, you will struggle day in and day out.
Take the time to dig deep and decide what you love most. When you know a topic or niche well, it makes writing easy. It also helps you through the low times of blogging (and trust me – you will have them).
PICK A BLOG NAME
Your name matters. It needs to let people know what they will learn. It also needs to be something that is not like anyone else’s. It should be original. You certainly do not want to use the form of someone else’s name. That is in poor taste.
Do not rush this step. Why? Because your name is very important.
You need to consider several things when finalizing your name. If you are struggling with this, review the second lesson in the free Profitable Blogging Roadmap course (it truly is free). It will guide you through the process, so you know the name you select makes sense.
BUY YOUR DOMAIN AND GET HOSTING
When talking to new bloggers, this is where it gets confusing. What is the difference between host and domain? How do these things work together? Let’s use an analogy to explain this.
You have a house. When it was built, it started with a foundation and a frame. Then the walls were added. Walls were painted, and trim was added. The last step was putting the address on the house so people could find it. Look at your blog in the same way:
- Hosting – your frame. Without having a place to hold your site name and details, you have nothing.
- WordPress – these are the walls. This is how people navigate your site and find what they need (like they walk through your home into various rooms).
- Theme – is your paint and décor. It is how things look when people visit.
- Domain name – is your address. This is how people can find where you live.
Understanding how these all work together really makes it easier to understand, doesn’t it? Now that you get that, the next step is to get your domain and your hosting.
There are countless services and hosts out there that you can use. I recommend Siteground as they are affordable and have fantastic customer service. They have helped countless bloggers set up their site. The platform is very easy to use and understand – even for the novice blogger.
Buying your domain and setting up your hosting is not as scary as it may seem. You can check out this easy step-by-step guide to help you get started.
SET UP YOUR WEBSITE
Once you purchase your domain, the next steps are getting everything set up. There is a LOT you will learn and do here. Don’t rust this though as you want to make sure you don’t miss anything that could affect you in the future.
Some of the essential things you need to make sure you do include:
- Make sure your site name is correct.
- Set the timezone for where you live.
- Determine your permalink (which is the website address for your article).
- Add the necessary plugins (add ons to your site to add functions).
- Find the theme & configure your colors images (how your site looks).
There is a lot you need to do here, and you certainly do not want to leave it to chance. Take the time to learn and understand how to update all of these settings. If you are in helpful blogging Facebook groups you can reach out and ask questions should you find yourself stumped.
CONNECT YOUR SITE TO GOOGLE
One mistake a lot of bloggers make is that they don’t connect their site to Google. Why do you need to do this? To see how many visitors you get to your site and how those people found you. You also need to do this so you can see how your content ranks in Google search.
SET UP YOUR SOCIAL ACCOUNTS
Once your site is set up, the next thing you want to do is get your social accounts set up. This includes Pinterest, Facebook (page and/or group), Instagram and Twitter. You certainly do not need to do all of these.
Pinterest can be successful for all niches, so definitely set up a Pinterest business account for your site (or convert your personal account to a business account). You then need to determine where your audience hangs out when it comes to the other platforms. It is good to go ahead and create a Facebook page no matter what. But, when it comes to Twitter and Instagram, you may or may not want to use these on your site.
WRITE A BLOG POST
Now that you’ve done the setup, you can start writing! Don’t worry about making money right now or adding an email list. You need to write. There is a basic structure you will follow when writing a blog post. This makes it easy for the user and can make Google happy at the same time (and we like to make Google happy so you can rank higher in search).
First, decide what you want to write about. Then, come up with some sections that you can talk about. For example, I wrote a post about How to Get Free Gift cards (on my other site). When you look at the post, you will see How to Get Free Gift Cards without Completing Offers. That is my H2 tag. It brings attention to the post and reminds people what they will read and is a larger font than the rest of the content.
Then, I decided which sites I would promote. Those turned into the sections on the post – and they are the H3 tag. These too are a bit larger than the other content on the article, so they stay out. They are easy to see and signal to the user what they can learn in that section.
You will also want to make sure your content has length. Don’t write a 250-word article. Instead, aim for at least 1,000 words when you write (you can see the word count in your dashboard as you type).
You should also add images to your article. They help pull the reader in and make a connection to the article. They are important so don’t overlook them. And, since each platform has different sized images, you will need to make sure you create the right one for each.
The final step before you hit the publish button to show the world your article is to review it for grammatical errors. If you struggle with this, I recommend using a service such as Grammarly. It will catch your spelling and other errors, so your article makes sense.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
These are the basics for starting. Try to ignore all of the other noise you hear so you can focus on learning. Once you have tackled the above, then you can begin to read more about adding an email newsletter opt-in, affiliate marketing to make money, promoting yourself on Pinterest and more.
But, even then, it is easy to feel still overwhelmed. You can’t do all of the things all at once. It is impossible. I would research and start in this order:
- Affiliate marketing (so when people start to visit your site, you can begin making money)
- Promoting yourself on Pinterest
- Adding an email list and subscriber opt-in
It is easier to focus on just one thing at a time and learn it well. Once you learn about that topic, move onto the next step. Never try to do all of the things all at once. It just doesn’t work.
Blogging is a lot of fun, but it can be stressful. Having someone in your corner, who gets what you are going through to help you on your journey makes all the difference.