So, you want to start a blog or you already started a blog…..Surprise it is not as easy as you were lead to believe!
There are so many posts, pins, and articles on starting a blog. They all say how easy it is and how it can happen in a few steps………
Starting a blog is NOT easy and it doesn’t happen in a few easy steps! It gets easier over time, that I can say!
It does get easier over time, that I can say!
I am relatively new to blogging so, I am not pretending to have all the answers I am just here to offer some of what I have learned and to be honest about how it is not as easy as it is portrayed to be.
I am not by any means trying to scare you away; I just want you to be more informed than I was. There is nothing worse than jumping into something and being so excited and then it turns out to be a lot more work and harder than you thought. Which is exactly what happened to me….
It can be a serious motivation killer! =(
First thing first
- Picking A Name
- Buying A Domain
- Blogging Platform
- SEO/Key Words
- Connecting To Other Social Media Platforms
- What To Blog About
Just to name a few, that is a lot more than a few easy steps.
It has its good and bad and its ups and downs, but if you have a love for writing and social media and want a chance to make money from home, then starting a blog is a GREAT choice.
However, be prepared for all the NOT so fancy stuff.
If you want to make the most out of blogging, money, and followers, you’ll need to treat it like a job. It is WORK a whole lot of it.
And with ANY job there is good and bad.
I will start off with the good and the bad, and then I will give you some helpful advice!
Here we go…
A lot of work.
Can be very stressful…..laptop Frisbee anyone?? =P
Very time-consuming, oops did I forget to feed the husband and kid again??
Oh, and BTW it isn’t free like it is claimed to be.
It is mentally draining, at least for me, it was information overload!
Connecting with like-minded people
Meeting people from all over the world.
Sharing your thoughts and ideas, because they are awesome. Right??
Be your own boss [should you choose to do it for money] I mean who doesn’t want to be their own boss??
Learning new things every day, blogging requires a lot of learning and researching.
Satisfaction knowing you created something
See, there is a lot of good!
I have learned a lot and still have a lot to learn. However, I do have some advice for you!
1-Picking a Name-
Picking a name is HARD, it seems easy enough, that is just not the case. You need to make sure your name represents what you want to blog about. The internet has been around for a long time now so most of the domain names, blog names, user names and many variations of such have been taken. Check other social media platforms as well to make sure you can have your name in all places, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and the like. You also want something catchy, eye appealing, something in your niche and something people will remember.
Pick several names
Make sure it is in your niche
Google search it
Check domain availability
Once you have picked a name, you’ll need to purchase the domain name and depending on your name the price for this varies greatly. The name I actually wanted was “creatingchaos” and to my surprise it was available……however, the domain name price was WAY out of my budget like $5,996.00 dollars out of my budget!!
Ouch! Time to choose another name! Which I did as you can see and it was only $2.99 YAY, thank you Bluehost!
2- Choosing a Blogging Platform-
There are many platforms for blogging; the two most used are Blogger and WordPress. I had started blogging on Blogger many years ago and I enjoyed it very much. However, it didn’t offer all the things I wanted. I chose to move to WordPress. Bluehost makes installing WordPress SUPER easy!! I didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out! PHEW, one easy step! =)
3- Choosing a Host-
Once you have your name picked out and your blogging platform picked out you will need to find a host for your new name. What I wasn’t told is that this service costs quite a bit, as you have to pay for a year upfront…..so if you do not have the money for that you will have a WordPress hosted domain.
The difference is www.creatingthroughchaos.com vs. www.creatingthroughchaos.wordpress.com.
The first looks more professional and you have more customization options. I have spent many hours researching the cheapest and best host for my blog. I finally after reading 100’s of reviews I chose Bluehost, it is cheap and reliable and REALLY easy to use!
- This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive money if you make a purchase using this link.
Themes will all depend on the platform you choose, WordPress and Blogger both offer some great free themes. Picking a theme will all depend on what you want the style of your blog to be. You can also purchase themes from them directly or from an outside source and add the theme yourself. Where ever you decide to buy a theme or even if you choose to download a free one like I did here, it will come with instructions for downloading and using it. Be careful when changing themes as you may lose some of your widgets and plug-ins. I’ll discuss those in another step.
5- Widgets & Plugins-
Here was a recipe for disaster, at least for me it was! I had no clue what I needed or how to get any of what I did know I wanted. So a HUGE shout out to other fellow bloggers who have written 1,000’s of posts on just this type of thing. I just typed into Pinterest search “Widgets for Bloggers” & “Plug-Ins for Bloggers” and bam I found all the ones I wanted and needed. I would list them all but that is a whole other post. I suggest looking at blogs that you already follow and see what you’d like on yours. Once you know it is easier to find the widget or plugin you need. They are really easy to install once you know which ones you want. WordPress has amazingly created a really easy user interface.
6-PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES-
The number one thing I have heard about blogging is you have to have good pictures; well we all do not have money to shell out for an amazing camera…So you will need to use what you have. If you a phone or semi good camera you can still have good pictures, you just need a good editing program. There are many good free programs online, I have been using Pic Monkey it is free for most of the features or you can pay to upgrade to all the features. I haven’t paid for that yet, but I will be eventually. I really like all the features they offer.
You can pick which one you like best, and make those not so professional pictures look darn close to professional!
P.S. Do not forget when you upload pictures to make sure they are labeled correctly and that you have a description written for each. I made this mistake and all my links for my pictures are a jumbled mess! I will explain that also in another post….it’s too much for this post, I am sure you are overwhelmed enough already.
7- SEO/ Key Words-
Your SEO/keywords are what all the major search engines use to help users find your site. This may sound easy enough but it is actually really technical and I am really in no position to offer much advice on this topic. I am still learning about this topic.
Let’s just say most of us are looking to do this when creating a blog. I mean if you are going to put in all this work into making a kick-a$$ blog, why not get paid for it?? Here is another thing that is a whole lot of confusing. There are so many options to making money on your blog and some generate more income than others. You can become an affiliate and brag and review about products or services for other companies, there is a lot of rules and guidelines you have to follow for this, so make sure you read all the fine print.
There is also programs like AdSense in which you put ad plugins on your site and you get money when someone clicks the ad and buys the product or service. You can also sell your own product via your blog, provided you have a product to sell. The options are endless for monetizing your blog. My advice is to do your research and do not go overboard with advertising, that will turn away readers.
The options are endless for monetizing your blog. My advice is to do your research and do not go overboard with advertising, that will turn away readers.
9- Connecting To All Other Social Media Platforms-
Once your blog is up and running you’ll want to drive traffic to our site, this is usually done through other social media platforms. You will want to as stated above, get your name on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc… You’ll want to make sure all of these have your blog name as well if you are able to get your name. You also want to keep these account separate from your personal accounts, mixing business and personal life can get sticky, it is best to not do so. Once you have all of these up and running, start following people in your niche, comment on their stuff, like their stuff, and make yourself visible.
10- What To Blog About-
This can be the hardest part of blogging, what to actually write about. Try this: What is your niche? What do you like to read about on other blogs that are in your niche? What would you want to read about? Do you want to educate your readers? Do you want to make your readers laugh? Do you want to make them think?
Think of your blog posts in the form of what are you writing for, and who are you writing for. It helps me decide what I want to write about. I recommend having at least 10 posts written before you set your blog live, I have read to have 25 posts ready, but I think that is just a lot and overwhelming on top of everything else. If you are posting 1 to 2 posts a week having 10 posts could get you through 5 to 10 weeks, during that time I am sure you will have come up with many new blog posts to write.
Think of your blog posts in the form of what are you writing for, and who are you writing for. It helps me decide what I want to write about. I recommend having at least 10 posts written before you set your blog live, I read to have 25 posts ready, but I think that is just a lot and overwhelming on top of everything else. If you are posting 1 to 2 posts a week having 10 posts could get you through 5 to 10 weeks, during that time I am sure you will have come up with many new blog posts to write
I know I haven’t even touched on all the topics, One could truly write for days on this topic and all topics regarding blogging.As time goes on I will write plenty more posts about blogging.
So, for now, I will be quiet and continue on my own blogging journey. I’ll keep educating myself and spending too many hours researching and googling the many, many things I have no clue about. I hope you will too! If you have any questions feel free to ask and if I don’t know the answer, WE together will find the answer! I am new to blogging too, so feel free to also leave advice for me in the comments!
THANKS FOR READING
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