I’ve received a lot of requests, from both friends & strangers, on HOW to start a blog. I’m with you, it’s daunting! There is so much information out there that it can be confusing AF to figure out what’s your next best move.
Instead of sharing my tips with each of you individually, I thought it’d be helpful to put together a blog post sharing my top 10 tips on how to start a blog (or website, social media influence, etc.). Let’s get started!
#1. FIND YOUR NICHE
What are you offering to your readers? In a perfect world, your niche will be unique. This is a tough one because it does feel like everyone is doing everything nowadays but figure out what niche you want to build your brand around. Are you sharing outfits under $100? Financial advice to college students? Family recipes you won’t find anywhere else? It should be something that will differentiate you from the rest.
#2. BRAINSTORM A NAME
Brainstorm a name for your blog that will be a) easy to remember b) easy to translate c) align with your niche. For me, Allie Wears is pretty self explanatory. People often get confused on how to spell “wears” so I like to say “Allie Wears, like Allie wears clothes.” I would also avoid anything that you need to spell out.
#3. BUY A DOMAIN
Once you have a name, use GoDaddy to a) see if the domain is available b) buy it! If it’s taken, GoDaddy will recommend similar renditions of it. Websites with a different extension than dot com, like .net or .us, tend to have more availability. There is an annual fee to own your domain, usually $12 or so. I suggest setting up direct payments because if you miss a payment, you no longer own it & it will be available for anyone to buy.
#4. SITE DESIGN
There are several great CMS sites, like WordPress or Squarespace, to help you design a website. WordPress is highly recommended for blogs & easy to learn if you put in the time & effort. There are hundreds of (free!) WordPress themes you can install, or pay someone to install, & thousands of widgets you can use directly on your site to make it functional & user friendly. This is the most daunting task because if you are a perfectionist (like me!), it can take you several weeks or months to build the website you envisioned. There is also an annual fee to host a WordPress site, around $150 or so.
#5. LINK THE TWO
Once you own a domain & have your site designed, you will need to link the two so that those accessing your URL are directed to your blog’s website. The great thing about owning a domain through GoDaddy is that their Customer Service is top notch & they are always available to help. I suggest chatting with Customer Service to ensure you are linking the two correctly.
#6. SECURE SOCIAL MEDIA
You want to be easy to locate so it’s recommended that your social media sites have the same name as your blog. I am “alliewears” across the board – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. I don’t put equal effort into all of these platforms but I did secure the names, just incase.
#7. SET UP AN EMAIL
Set up an e-mail address that again, aligns with your blog. You can use any email provider for this, like Gmail. I used a “alliewears@gmail” for years & then decided to take the extra step to look more professional. I did a bunch of research & figured out how to set up a “email@example.com” account through my Gmail’s Admin console.
#8. CREATE CONTENT
This is the FUN part! Ideally, you should be creating content in parallel to completing Steps 1-8. The more content you have, the better. It’s recommended to launch a blog with 3 months worth of content so that there is something for your reader’s to consume.
If your blog will be image heavy, consider buying a DSLR or hiring a professional photographer to capture images. Many people rely on just their iPhone camera to create content so professional equipment is not required. If your blog will be content heavy, plan out your content weeks in advance so you don’t hit writer’s block.
#9. INVEST IN YOURSELF
Especially when you’re starting out, be willing to invest in YOURSELF. As in, spend the money & sign up for classes, trainings, guides.. anything that will help you understand this business better. The idea is that the money will come back around & you will profit from this blog & make your money back, PLUS some.
#10. MARKET YOURSELF
I’m with you.. marketing yourself is AWKWARD. It took me months, even years, to feel confident & comfortable enough to market this blog. In the end, the success of your blog is dependent on you, no one else. If you keep it a secret, it will stay that way. If you shout it from the rooftops, you will attract views, readers, & engagement which is the perfect recipe for a successful blog.
Was this helpful? If you’re stuck, search on Pinterest – it’s a great resource for new bloggers. I also love leveraging Blogger 4 Keeps, a blog designated to helping fellow bloggers succeed.
If you have any questions, shoot me an email! Also, shop my outfit below (you need these Mom jeans!).
Images by Glory Roze Photography.
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