Simple steps to start a blog (for beginners only)
Before we started blogging, we didn’t even know that such a thing existed, or that you could even make money from it! More money than from a regular 9 to 5! Then again, no one was born knowing everything!
Now that we are in, we know that serious money can be made from blogging and it doesn’t cost much at all to start up! After we started blogging for fun and relaxation, we heard about and signed up to this professional blogging course called Elite Blog Academy. Honestly, it’s a serious (mega) game changer that is giving us all the tools we need to make money doing what we love. I will say up front that it is an expensive course and also that the doors to the course usually only open once a year in February. You can join the waiting list if you would like to do the course and start your own blog. Consider the course as an investment in your future. It really is.
This self-paced blogging course may be more appropriate for you if you are in the UK. Do let us know if you need any help.
These are the simple easy steps we took to start our own blog a few months ago.
First, we had to decide on a name and focus for our blog. So in our case, we chose to use our names Jo and Leisa and combined them to make joleisa.com. Then we had to check to see if it was available to be used (sometimes the name you want is already being used by someone else.) You do this by typing the name you want in the address bar on your browser and it will tell you if that name is already being used. Say, for example, you want your site to be called jamaicagirl.com, type it into the address bar and see what happens(as you can see this one has not been taken yet so you could use that).
Sometimes you have to try a combination of letters, words and numbers until you find a name that is suitable (be careful of spelling). Try to avoid the use of special characters like hyphens, underscores and hashtags etc.
Now time for the focus. Decide what you want to blog about, it could be health and wealth being, fitness or money saving ideas or anything else of your choice. That’s called your niche. In our case, we wanted to blog about everyday life experiences and how to remain positive despite the odds (what to do when life serves you lemons). We have narrowed down our niche now so we blog about frugal/money saving tips that allow you to have a better life.
We have found that the simplest and easiest site to start off with is this even though there are a wide variety of other sites to choose from. You can create an account there if you wish.
Once you have started with your blog, you will be tempted to look at other peoples’ blog and you will notice that they are more colourful, attractive and have ads which mean the owners are making money or have the potential to make money. It will then be time to move over to a self-hosted site and you will have to move over to a site like this to do this after you start your blog with wordpress.com. Next, you will need your site to be hosted by a host such as Bluehost or Go Daddy or Site ground. I have personally had experience with two of the hosting companies and my personal recommendation would be Siteground. Throughout the year they have different deals so keep watching out to see when prices and deals are on but if your domain name is available it is better to go fast at it than watch it being scooped up by someone else who was quick to the draw.
To make your site attractive, colourful and set out nicely you will need to purchase a theme. This will allow you to have an attractive layout on which you will enjoy working every day. Our theme is called Tasteful. Sign up to see what our theme looks like and how it could suit your needs.
We have also started our newsletter! Exciting! So every Sunday we take turns to tell our readers what we are up to, or share any exciting news we have with them. Sometimes there are surprises which is a bonus, not to mention that it’s always exciting.
You can use various social media sites to share your blog such as Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Email. It’s a good idea to let your immediate circle of friends and family know that you have a blog and ask them to share with others too. Guess what? You would have started your very own blog and have others looking at the awesome content prepared by you!
Don’t be too disappointed at the first sight of hiccups as there is always help at hand. If for example you don’t know how to add an ad, position images on your site or to schedule posts in advance you can look to the pros such as Rosemary Groner, Ruth Soukup and Grayson Bell (we got to know these through Elite Blog Academy and Grayson has come to our rescue several times to solve our tech issues).
There are also many do it yourself bloggers who may also have YouTube channels. Our absolute favourite is Bella Coco who has a blog but also does creative YouTube videos on how to do amazing crochet work. It is also a good idea to join Facebook blogging groups as they are super helpful in giving you a heads up on what’s new, what’s changing and also how to do things you don’t understand.
Highlights of blogging (when you do start a blog)
- When your post goes viral (This has been my best post so far: why I left teaching)
- That warm fuzzy feeling you get when someone says ‘I’ve read your recent post’ such as this one written in memory of my son
- The first few pence/cents you get from an ad
- The prospect of working for yourself at your own pace
- Being a help to others who want to venture into the blogging field
- Knowing that you wrote something that can help someone else
- Your blog goes with you anywhere, even on holiday, as you can blog from your phone or tablet (I recently read of a college student who has a substantial following on her blog even though she doesn’t even have a computer! She does it all on her phone! Isn’t that good?)
Negatives of blogging
- Disappointment when there is not much traffic to your blog
- Sometimes the tech bits can be hard if you are not tech savvy
- Stuck for post ideas( but there is always help by looking at others’ blog)
- Negative vibes sometimes from those who don’t know better.
As you can see, the positives far outweigh the negatives . So enjoy every minute of it. We are certainly enjoying the blogging experience. I’ve been involved too in checking out other peoples’ blog. Some have been blogging for many years and some, like us, have only just started. I find it very interesting to see what people blog about! They blog about anything and sometimes nothing.
Can you think of any step that we left out? Was this easy to follow? If not, send us an email and we will do our best to get you up and running your own blog in no time! Remember that you can join the waiting list to get into Elite Blog Academy which only opens once a year. Even if you think you can’t afford it now, still join the queue so that if your fortunes change, you have a place on the course. Or set yourself up to do this more cost-effective course to give you the know how to start your own blog.
Do tell us if you decide to start a blog. Share too, any ‘secrets’ that you’ve found helpful.
Talk to you soon,