I get emails quite often from people asking about how to start a blog. I am no expert but I have learned a lot over the last nine years. There is a lot involved with it, especially if you want to make money off it so I thought I would put a post together about the Super Simple Way to Start A Blog. Whether you want to blog as a job or for fun, this should help you get it set up and hopefully make a little money off of it!
The first thing you will want to do is find a name and think about the direction of your blog. Try to come up with something unique. Deal and coupon blogs are a dime a dozen now so if possible come up with something new but I will show you how to create a deal blog if you want one!
Once you have your name you will want to snag a domain name to ensure no one else gets it before you. GoDaddy is a great place to find a register your name and has them for $7.49 right now and must be renewed each year. If you plan to blog – you need your own domain.
Second you need to find a blogging platform and hosting. Hosting is how your website shows up on the Internet. I use WordPress as my platform and WP Engine because they are the best hosting company for WordPress bloggers. Read my WP Engine Set Up article to learn how. Here are a few other options if you want to try another company…
Next start building your site. This will take time and you will NEVER stop working on your site. There are always improvements, updates, and maintenance that will need to be done. The first thing to learn is “Google is your friend” – when in doubt search it out. This will be your best resource for information. Also use the forums in WordPress for a whole lot of information. WordPress is great because there is literally thousands of plug-ins that will make your blog do just about anything you want it to. These are an easy way to get functionality without coding.
Now you need a look – you can search “wordpress templates” and find thousands of templates that you can use for free. Elegant Themes has some great ones including “Divi” which this site is built on.It does cost money to purchase the theme but the amount of time it will save you is priceless!
If you do go the free route, find one that is not cluttered and easy to read. Be conservative on your design, simple is good in blog design. Of course you could start out small and simply use a free template and upgrade later as the blog starts to make money.
I started out with a template and have upgraded several times to custom built ones. I went from theme to pro and back to theme just because I like controlling my own content. I don’t like having to ask for a change to be made. It may not look as professional but I like it!
Then start adding content! You need information on your blog. You don’t want to announce your site yet, you want to have content for new readers before you start telling people. No one wants to read a blog with one post on it so make sure you have something to keep people coming back. Content is key!