Starting a blog can be an overwhelming process if you let it be. The good news, is that it doesn’t have to be. I’ve created a step-by-step guide in helping you start a blog. The bonus is, that you can start it for the low and not break your pockets in the process.
1.) The Hostess With the Mostess
I am not a tech savvy person and if you’re anything like me, then you also try to look for the easiest, most understandable technology there is. This was a major factor in deciding which platform I wanted to host my blog on. After reading blog after blog and review after review, I finally settled on WordPress.
For me, WordPress was basic enough for me to understand what to do without messing it up. Plus, I had previous experience working with WordPress in the past during my entertainment blogger days; it felt like a perfect fit. To customize my blog, I did a simple Google search of ‘feminine WordPress blog themes’ and came across Pipdig. I love Pipdig because all of their templates were crisp and clean AND their customer service was unmatched. They also have a very indepth and detailed FAQ section that helps users with anything blog related from setting up a blog to monetizing a blog.
If I’m being honest, my Pipdig template was probably the most expensive thing I purchased for my blog. The template ran me a smooth $59, but hey, I love it and still think it was worth the purchase. Once I installed my theme, I dove headfirst into naming all of my pages, creating and linking my social media, and wrote my first welcome post! One thing I do want to point out about WordPress is there are two options to consider when creating your blog. The first option is to host on WordPress [firstname.lastname@example.org] and the other option is to self-host on WordPress [www.yourblog.com]. The pros and cons of each are the following:
WordPress Shared Hosting:
- Completely free
- Low maintenance
- Automatic updates
- Limited functionality in regards to options and customization
- Not ideal for sites with large numbers of traffic [which is your goal]
- Completely customize-able
- Can sell advertisements and merchandise
- Have to pay for it
- Have to stay up to date with the updates
If you are interested in self-hosting, then I’d definitely recommend GoDaddy. I’ve been working with them for years now and haven’t had any issues yet. Set up is fairly easy and any questions you have, you can direct them to their 24-hour customer service team who is so friendly, even at 3 in the morning!
Action Step: Decide what your blogging topic[s] will be and the projected purpose of your blog. From there, create a resource list to help you along the way. You can use my blog start up worksheet I used to help you fine tune the direction of you blog!
2.) Spice It Up
So I know that you’re hype right now because you finally set your site up! Congrats sis! Now, comes the fun part: making it yours! In the beginning stages of my blog, I struggled A LOT with finding pictures online that wouldn’t get me sued, fined, or ceased and delivered. I also didn’t have the money to be able to take constant photo shoots and edit them on fancy software to make them look appealing. So what did I do? Hopped on the interwebs and did some detective work to find free stock photos. It took me a few hours, but I finally hit the mother load.
My favorite sites to get pictures for my blog posts are Pexels [everyday style stock photos] and Styledstock.co. [fashion forward, clean stock photos]. To turn these pictures into visual content and graphics, I use Canva. Canva is a free design program with HUNDREDS of templates for you to create any kind of graphic your heart desires. Canva is also great because they allow you to upload unlimited photos of your choice when creating a visual design. The best thing about spicing your blog up aside from you creating your vision is that you can create your vision for the FREE!
Image courtesy of Pexel
3.) Creating Content
Here’s where the heavy works come in. Do you have your pen and notepad by you? Yeah? Good.
Creating blog posts in my opinion is an east challenge. I know that doesn’t make sense, but follow along with me. In the beginning it’s a challenge because you’re just trying to post something that sticks. Then that challenge turns into struggling coming up with blog topics and so on. But suddenly there’s a shift… you get into a groove and it becomes easy. At least it has somewhat for me.
Every blogger has their own style and way of creating blog posts, and you will cultivate your own style over time.
The written content of your blog can come from literally anywhere because there’s inspiration literally everywhere. The best way to always have fresh content is to stay active in what’s going on in the ‘world.’ What hot topics are being discussed? What books have a lesson that someone can benefit from? What branding lesson did you learn from Company A’s project roll out? There’s literally something always to write about. In addition to that, your audience wants to be able to connect with you. The easiest way to do that is to offer some personal stories and spin it into a life lesson to them.
We already touched on this but remember, relevant pics from FREE stock photo sites. Your phone camera can work wonders too if you know what you’re doing!
You’ve made it this far and this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. My best and only advice for creating a blog post is to stay true to you and your voice. When I first started, I was trying to sound like my favorite bloggers who found success. I thought if my voice sounded like theirs, then I would get support. In the end it was too much [living two lives] and I wasn’t myself at all. I decided to continue forward with MY voice and I’ve seen slow, but great success ever since.
Action Step: Follow the steps above. Check for grammar mistakes [Grammarly is a big help]. Don’t overthink it. Hit publish!
4.) Promote, Promote, Promote
If you thought your work was done because you published your first post, you thought horribly wrong. The work is just beginning. The only way people will know about your blog and your work is if you promote yourself. Now a lot of bloggers suggest promoting yourself across ALL social media platforms. I’m not knocking that tip at all, but in considering what works for me, that doesn’t. Promoting across all platforms was too much and too time consuming. So I focused on 3: Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Deciding which social media to use also depends on your audience. I personally don’t use my personal Facebook often so to get buy in for my blog from my followers was going to be a challenge. I knew that I engaged a lot on Twitter and Instagram and that would be my safest bet and it has been so far. Every time you hit publish on a post, it’s time to upload that link SOMEWHERE to start growing your following.
- Create social media accounts [if you haven’t already].
- Link post on social media.
- Attach visually appealing, relevant image.
- Include captivating caption.
- Include relevant hashtags.
- Retweet, repin, repost, etc.
- Repeat step 6 a few hours later! 🙂
Take It a Step Further: Get my FREE blogging worksheet to help you gain clarity on creating your blog, deciding who your audience, and everything you need to set your blog up!
So you see how easy it is to start your blog!? I created my blog for a smooth $82 which is relatively cheap! Now that you know what to do, make sure to download my free worksheet to get you started on the road of creating an amazing blog!
Don’t forget to keep up with my on Twitter and Instagram! Drop your blogs in the comment section as I’d love to read them!