So, you want to start a blog?
I’ve decided to round up some of my favorite resources that you can use to start your blog in just minutes! I’m also including books and tools that will help you grow your audience, increase your pageviews, and help you stay on top of running your blog!
First things first, you have to buy a domain name and hosting
(you can find really affordable hosting, seriously, as low as $4 a month). Don’t forget that expenses such as these could be considered as a business expense, so, keep your receipts! I’ve been blogging for quite some time now and have used several different providers for both of these. Even though I know what I love, others will have a different opinion of the same company! It’s crazy and I don’t know why the experiences vary so much. You may have to get a host to get off the ground and see what happens and if you’ll need to change hosts somewhere down the line.
I’ve been blogging for quite some time now and have used several different providers for both of these. Even though I know what I love, others will have a different opinion of the same company! It’s crazy and I don’t know why the experiences vary so much. You may have to get a host to get off the ground and see what happens and if you’ll need to change hosts somewhere down the line.
After you’ve set those items up, you can start thinking about how you want your blog to look. The possibilities are endless, but great places to start are The Thesis Theme for WordPress and Pretty Darn Cute designs. There are a TON of options, but I’ve personally used both and love them. You can find all sorts of options by searching for either “free wordpress themes” or “premium wordpress themes”.
Get ready on social media
So, by this point you are probably ready to bust out some content and start seeing some pageviews but slow down! Head to every social media you can and register for them with the username of your BLOG NAME. Even if you don’t plan on using it, it’s better to grab that name now than let it slip away.
You will need content to be successful. You can’t just set up a blog and not do anything with it. What topics are you well versed in? What things do you love and have a passion for? Answering those questions can help you determine what your blog will be about and how you can create quality content. Invest in some pens and notebooks because you’ll quickly find yourself jotting down ideas for posts.
Create great photos
For great photos, I really do love the camera on my iPhone, but you’ll find having a nice camera (like my Nikon D3000 or Nikon Coolpix L840) will give you much clearer and bright photos. Yes, not everyone is a great photographer – but you have to practice. Set yourself up with some tools – white foam board to bounce natural light back onto your subject, maybe even a lighting system like this one, and inexpensive props if doing food or craft photography. You don’t have to invest a ton of money to get started, but get some basic things if you want to get serious about blogging and eventually make money.
Use a site like PicMonkey to create beautiful images that are shared to social media and make people want to click!
Additional blogging tools for success
So after you’ve written and published some content, you can start exploring additional tools for managing social media and making things easier when promoting your content. For Pinterest marketing, I LOVE Tailwind. For a full-package offering, look at CoSchedule. I also really like Buffer because it integrates with some other things I use, like Feedly for all of my RSS reading needs.
Want to dive into some reading material to help you grow your blog’s traffic, tackle business expenses, and manage your blog?
This new ebook from Crystal Lopez and Kelli Miller is an amazing look into Google Analytics and how to use them to skyrocket your pageviews. Get a copy and start following along with the challenges to grow your blog!
Once you start blogging and making purchases for your blogging business (camera, camera equipment, office supplies, etc), you’ll absolutely have to become knowledgeable about taxes. This is a great ebook to help you get started. The Unofficial Tax Book for Bloggers
Once you’re ready, you can start looking into ways to make money from sponsored posts and other revenue streams with your blog!
Have questions? I’d love to help you! Leave your questions in the comments below and I’ll work on answering them and expanding this page to become even more resourceful to new bloggers like yourself! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!