One of the questions I get quite often is, “How do I start a blog?” I thought a post would be the perfect place to share my knowledge and give everyone a back to basics post to work from. Here are my tips on how to start a blog:
1) Just Start! – Don’t wait for the perfect time. There is no perfect time. Stop planning and start blogging. You will learn from doing and improve from practice. I always believe that you have to suck at something before you can get good at it. My first couple months of blogging were just the worst. I still cringe when I read any of my early blog posts. I didn’t have a voice, direction or idea or how things would shape up. It was only by actually blogging did I become better. Just start a blog.
2) Name Your Blog – This was the hardest part for me, coming up with a unique and catchy name that wasn’t already taken or registered. Brainstorm away and do domain checks before you decide on your blog name before you start a blog.
3) Buy the Domain Name – You can kill two birds with one stone by getting your domain name and hosting from one place. I use Bluehost for my blog hosting and they give you a FREE domain name when you sign-up. Which is one less password, login and account to set-up, so I recommend going this route.
4) Pick a Theme – Pick out a Wordpress template that you can purchase such as DIY Themes or Elegant Themes if you’re just starting out. They are relatively easy to use and inexpensive. If you decide to get into blogging long-term, I would wait to see how things are going in about a year and pay a professional designer to do a custom website for you (around $1000 – 3000).
5) Buy Hosting – You will need to host your WordPress blog somewhere, I decided to go with Bluehost and I suggest it because of their one-click Wordpress install. I found the set-up painless and easy to use. You can learn more at www.BlueHost.com
6) Set-up Your Social Media Accounts – Hopefully you’ve pre-checked availability before you decided on your blog name and registered the domain. At this point you’ll want to set-up your Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook pages with which you will use to promote your blog posts with. You might want to explore these extra ways to make money beyond blogging.
7) Start Blogging – Yes it’s that easy. Now I have people ask me all the time how I build traffic and how-to create a successful blog. You need to blog everyday Monday to Friday. If you want to win the blogging game, you have to actually blog – a lot. Sure, you could start out just blogging 2-3 times a week, but the more you blog – the faster you’ll grow. It’s that simple. You need to do the work before you can make money from your blog.
8) Read These Books – There are a few watershed books that helped with my business sense and with building a successful blog. I feel like blogging is actually 50% writing and 50% hustle – meaning you can write the post, but it doesn’t mean anyone will read it. You have to spend the rest of time promoting yourself, promoting your posts, networking with other bloggers and attending events. It can feel like a full-time job.
I recommend reading these books to get your head wrapped around the business of blogging:
- Blog Inc. by Joy Cho
- Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk
- The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
- How-To Get Rich by Felix Dennis
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