If you feel called to start a blog, you definitely should take the plunge and go for it!
I know it may seem scary, but you’ve got nothing to lose and you never know who your blog could help or where the experience could lead!
But starting a blog can seem really overwhelming… where should you start? In what order? What if you not that techny? And how do you launch?
I don’t want you to get so overwhelmed with the process that you don’t even start. That would be so disheartening. So, in this post I’m going to try and demystify the ‘starting a blog’ process and make it as simple as possible, so you can dive in and go for it!
Step 1. Planning Your Blog
Your niche and your unique focus is what makes your blog original and will help you attract and audience and stand out online. No one has your unique view of the world based on your individual experiences, so draw inspiration from your own background, experiences, passions and obsessions.
Think about your love’s and hobbies
What are you excited and passionate about?
What do you love doing?
What could you talk all day about?
What about your knowledge and talents
Where do your individual talents lie?
What knowledge, expertise and/or experience do you already have?
What do your friends compliment you on?
Now play around by mixing and matching these topics together to create some unique combinations and see what you come up with!
Bringing it all together
What do people need?
What are people already asking for?
Can you help them solve their problem?
Name Your Blog
You probably have a blog name in mind which is great! If not, or you have no idea where to start, why not a list of all the words that relate to your niche, adjectives, verbs, phrases you like, words that convey your brands mood and tone, words that explain what your brands about.
What value does your brand provide to others?
What three words do you want people to associate with your brand?
Which brand or blog names do you love? Is there anything about them that strikes you as similar?
Then play around by mixing and matching the words together to create some unique combinations. Have fun with your domain name and remember to ultimately choose a unique name for your blog!
Step 2. The Tech
When deciding to start your own Blog, probably the first big decision is going to be which platform or content management system to use. With a bit of googling you’ll soon realize there are extensive options.
I prefer and recommend WordPress because it’s cost-effective, extremely powerful and adaptable to new features as your site and brand evolves. WordPress actually powers about ¼ of the all websites on the Internet, which is incredible and also demonstrates your in good hands!
Some other platforms and alternatives to WordPress are: blogger, tumblr, squarespace, wix and weebly.
Another factor to consider is that transferring away from WordPress is simple, but if you start off with a platform provider they do make it difficult to transfer to WordPress – something to keep in mind.
Deciding on your blogging platform will also influence if you’ll need to register for a domain name and hosting (will I’ll talk about next) as some platform providers includes.
Domain + Hosting
Once you’ve picked your blog’s name, it’s time to secure your web address.
If you pick WordPress, you’ll need to register for a domain name and web hosting with a good company that knows WordPress.
Where as a ‘platform’ provider may charge a monthly fee (which you’ll be committing to indefinitely) to use their platform and host your website, with WordPress your website costs are website maintenance costs are in your hands to choose a suitable provider.
BlueHost* has cheap and solid hosting if you’re just starting out with a personal blog or small business website. I don’t think their suitable for high traffic commercial or eCommerce sites – for these I’d recommend Name Cheap above.
Think about which social media channels you’d like to have for your blog? (You can also just keep your personal accounts and link them to your blog)
You definitely do not have to be EVERYWHERE. Remember it’s quality over quantity, so choose one or a couple of channels you can really engage with and that you’re passionate sharing content on.
Once you’ve decide which social media channels you’d like to pursue, go ahead and secure your blog’s username if you haven’t already. Even if you don’t intent to start posting immediately, it’s a good idea to secure themes as soon as possible to get your preferred username for your blog.
Step 3. The Tools
WordPress websites offer ever increasing design, functionality and features due to its structure to utilize themes. A “theme” is like a skin or design for your site, that styles your content – essentially it’s the web design. When choosing a theme I’d suggest deciding which features you’d love to have, then previewing the live demo site for each theme that interests you.
Where to find gorgeous blog themes? Etsy and Creative Market (or my store!) are great places to start.
How to choose a theme
Choose a theme that will require the fewest customizations and one that most closely resembles your ideal site.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed for which theme to choose and you’re feeling decision fatigue, you can always start with a free theme. You don’t necessarily have to commit to a design and purchase paid premium theme.
I have created a free theme called Blogging Babe! You can find the details here including live preview and free download.
Spam – Akismet Anti-Spam
Security – Sucuri Security
Email newsletter popup – ConvertPlus (Premium)
Social channel icons – Simple Social Icons
Affiliate link manager – Shortlinks by Pretty Links
Contact forms – Contact Form by WPForms
Logo & Branding
Creative Market* offers feminine and affordable pre-made and customizable logos from creatives around the world/
Etsy* offers high quality and affordable pre-made or custom logos and branding design from creatives around the world.
Images absolutely make up the look and feel of your website, regardless of the type of site or the theme you’ve chosen.
Take Your Own
Why not get creative and take your own images!
If you take a photo for yourself, then you most likely own the copyright and can do whatever you wish. ‘
Create Your Own
If you create your own graphic for yourself, then you most likely own the copyright. There may be exceptions, but the general rule is if you make it, you own it.
Canva offers lots of free templates that you can use for free to start off your creation
Creative Market* has lots of stock design assets available to purchase
Find Stock Photography
You can also find beautiful and professional images free to use on your blog.
Unsplash offers beautiful landscape, outdoor and portrait royalty free photography – free!
Burst Offers high quality collection of royalty free photography – free!
And then you go, there’s my resource of everything you need to start a blog! I so hope it helps you, even if it just makes the process a little less overwhelming and a bit more fun 🙂
Feel free to tell me about your blog in the comments if this resourced helped you launch!