All right, so I got your attention. That means you’ve been thinking about starting your own blog but you might be feeling a bit lost about where to begin. Or perhaps you’re looking for some encouragement? Do you have doubts whether this really is such a great idea to start blogging?
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Well, to resolve your doubts, here’s a few great reasons why you SHOULD start a blog:
- Blogging is a super creative activity and if you have a creative soul and you love writing, you should definitely try blogging!
- It gives you the feeling of self-independence and if you turn it into your own business you can be your own boss
- Writing a blog also gives you the feeling of leaving some sort of “legacy” for your kids and everyone to read now and in the future
- You meet so many new people from all around the world, and you can help so many people by sharing your knowledge and experience
- It’s a LOT of fun!
And if you need a financial reason, have a look at Forbes list of highest earning bloggers in the world. Crazy, isn’t it?!
OK we may not be aiming THAT high, but mom blogs, food blogs, travel, fitness, lifestyle blogs and all different sorts of blogs can also give you a great financial opportunity.
So where do I begin?
FREE vs. PAID
If you’re thinking about starting blogging only for pure fun, for yourself, family and friends, you may simply choose either wordpress.com, blogger.com or wix.com , create your account there, choose a name for your blog and a free theme and that’s it! You can start writing and publishing. It’s very easy.
However these free options are extremely limited and you don’t have full control over the design of your blog or any additional features which might greatly help your blog grow.
All those professional looking and high earning blogs are paid self-hosted versions (including my blog here). After 6 months of having my free version on wordpress .com I made a decision to upgrade it to a self-hosted one, which has turned out to be a huge game-changer! I have never regretted taking that step.
Find out how it helped my blog grow: MY FIRST YEAR OF BLOGGING
WHAT YOU NEED, IN ORDER TO START A PROFESSIONAL BLOG:
- WORDPRESS .ORG
- EMAIL MARKETING TOOL FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS
This is simply a name of your blog. Think about what you’d like to call it. Many bloggers use their own names for their blogs, but you can use your creativity here.
Where to buy a domain from?
There’s so many different websites to choose from. GoDaddy seems to be the most popular one, but before you get it, check a few different places because prices may vary. Besides you can also get a domain from your hosting company!
Web hosting is a service which allows you to post your blog onto the Internet. Without it no one would be able to access your website or blog.
There’s many different hosting companies to choose from and I spent loads of time trying to find the best one for my blog. After countless hours and reading many different test reviews I’ve chosen HostGator.
Here’s a few main reasons WHY I chose HostGator for my blog:
- This is the only hosting company offering unlimited storage disk! This was my priority due to a big amount of photos I wanted to include on my blog.
- HostGator has the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. You can contact support via a live chat and they respond almost immediately. They are very polite and always doing their best to help. They have sorted all the issues I’ve had in no time. I’m honestly impressed and I couldn’t recommend them enough for that.
- They offer great discounts! You have three different plans to choose and you save a ton if you purchase hosting for 2 or 3 years in advance.
- You can install wordpress.org with only one click (I’ll talk about wordpress.org in a moment).
- Their interface is very clear and extremely user-friendly.
What else you can expect from HostGator?
- Free daily backups of your blog
- Free migration of your website/blog
- Very fast loading time of your blog
- Personalised email accounts
- Automatic malware removal, and more…
If you want to learn more you can click on the banner on the right and it will bring you to their offer.
Please don’t mistaken it with wordpress .com. Those are two entirely different things. WordPress .COM is a free online platform for bloggers. WordPress .ORG is also a free online platform for websites, however in order to access it, you need to INSTALL it on your web hosting. With HostGator you can do it with one click. If however you encounter any problems, you can always ask support to do it for you.
While setting up your wordpress on web host, next thing you should do is choose a domain. As I mentioned earlier, you can get a domain from your hosting company. Just type in the name you’ve chosen for your blog (yourblogname .com ) and see if it’s available. It will show you prices and many other options. Most common is .com however you can choose a different extension if you wish.
If you have already purchased a domain earlier from a different website, you can contact support and ask them to redirect it to your blog.
And one more thing which will come useful is to create your personalised email account dedicated especially for your blog (eg. admin@ yourblogname .com). This can be done very easily on your hosting panel just like installation of wordpress or registration of your domain name.
Once you’ve done the above, you should be able to access your blog’s wordpress dashboard via the link: www. yourblogname .com/wp-admin. When you’re there you can choose a theme for your blog, which is basically the way your blog will look like. There is a lot of free themes you can choose from and you can customise them to some extend. However if you want to be unique you can buy one and install it in your wordpress. Many of those paid ones are almost fully customisable. You can change the colours, fonts, layout of your articles and the way your homepage looks like, and many more bits and pieces which will help you brand your blog and make it look exceptional.
There’s many places where you can look for blog themes. I love Creative Market for that, and for many other resources too. Just remember to search for themes designed particularly for wordpress.
If you decide to purchase a theme, it should come with full instructions how to install it on wordpress. You should also be able to contact support team from the company you’ve purchased your theme from, in case you need their help.
EMAIL MARKETING TOOL FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Every professional blog that I know has an option for readers to subscribe, so if you want to grow your blog, to have such an option is a must. I have tried two different email marketing tools: MailChimp and MailerLite, and out of those two I’m more satisfied with MailerLite. it seems to be much easier for me to navigate through their pages and create newsletters. They have nicer designs of email templates and I also like their statistics more. It’s free until you get your first 1000 subscribers. After that you would need to pay a monthly fee.
Like the one here:
Two pulgins which I strongly recommend you install right at the beginning of your blogging adventure:
- Yoast SEO – this plugin will help you optimise your blog articles for search engines
- Social Share Buttons – I use Sassy Social Share buttons because it let me customise my share buttons and make them blend in with my blog’s theme. However many bloggers also recommend Social Warefare sharing buttons. Having those in a visible place on your blog gives your readers a chance to share your articles on their social media which increases your potential audience.
If you want to see how social media, especially Pinterest, helped my blog grow, check my post about
Feel free to browse through various plugins and widgets on your wordpress. Learn the way wordpress works, on the go! I had no clue how to navigate there but google was my great help and I managed to learn a ton within those few months. It’s easier than it seems.
So now you’re all set! Congratulations! You can start writing and publishing your first post!