Hello! Congrats on considering starting your own blog. I’ve been writing about my personal life on the internet since before google existed. I’ve had a WordPress site since 2010. I have a few recommendations for people wanting to start their own blog.
Please note: I use affiliate links in this page so if you click a link and make a purchase, I may make a commission. Thanks for supporting my business.
Before You Start a Blog
Read my post on EzineArticles.com:
When You’re Ready to Start a Blog
1. Select a Name for your New Business
For example, the name of my blog is Womanly Woman. I researched that name just like I would research starting a new business. I checked to be sure no one had the name registered as a trademark, I checked to be sure the name was available on most social media channels, and I did internet searches to find out what people were saying when they used that term.
2. Select a Host
My host is FatCow. I chose them because they use wind energy to power their servers.
You’ll purchase your domain name and hosting through your host.
3. Install WordPress.org
Next you need to get your host to help you with installing WordPress.org to your domain. My host makes it very easy from the control panel to install it yourself. But if you are nervous, give them a call and have them walk you through it. You can also check out WordPress.org to get more information about what you are installing on your site.
4. Install Genesis Framework
“The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you’re a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.” – StudioPress
You need this. ALL of the best bloggers on the internet use it. ALL. Trust me. It will make your life easier and allow you to run your blog like a business because you can easily customize your site YOURSELF without hiring an expensive web designer or developer.
Before you purchase Genesis Framework on it’s own, you may want to check out child themes first. Sometimes you can purchase them as a package deal.
5. Select a Child Theme
StudioPress, the company that owns Genesis Framework, makes it very easy to find a well designed and developed child theme. They’ve already pulled together a list of the very best and allow you to purchase both the framework and the child theme in one purchase.
You can also purchase a child theme directly from a developer. The developer of my site is Restored 316. She specializes in feminine designs. She is also a recommended developer by StudioPress. This is important because she is trusted and does a great job coding the backend of her child themes. A clean code means you’ll have a site that runs well and doesn’t cause you issues later. It also makes it easier for you to customize your site if you get more confidence and learn HTML and CSS on your own. If you hire someone to customize your site, it makes their life easier and reduces the chance that things can get botched up.
6. Install Plugins
Plugins help you to customize your site to have features like interactive social media buttons or search engine optimization tools. When you purchase a child theme, it will come with instructions on how to set up your site to look just like the demo site. When I get a new child theme, I first set up my site to look exactly like the demo. Then from there, I move around widgets and add plugins I like myself. The more you blog, the more you’ll learn about plugins you want to add. But you can search for them within your WordPress Dashboard and add them very easily.
7. Start Publishing
Read really good blogs and start writing really great posts that are helpful to your readers. The big shots in the blogging world always say that “content is king” so it’s important to attract people to your site by really producing great content.
8. Get Involved
Join Meetup groups for blogging, join Facebook groups for blogging, and be willing to learn. Attend conferences like Bloggy Conference when you first start out and then Affiliate Summit when you really start to monetize.
9. Begin to Monetize
Once you have been blogging for some time (about 6 months) you can start to monetize your site. This is a whole different topic so I won’t be covering it here. Having a really well organized site and using my recommendations above will set you up for success in this area. You want to have a professional site if you want to turn your blog into a professional endeavor.
10. Enjoy Yourself
I’ve encountered a lot of people that are new to blogging that are way too serious. Yes, you’re starting a business. Yes, you need a professional design. But blogging is a lot of fun. Learning new things is fun. Serving your new readers is fun. So have fun with it.