So you want to start a blog but not quite sure where to start? Here are 5 action steps you can take now to start your blog. Starting a blog is not as hard as it may seem. However, knowing what to do and where to start can be challenging. I have learned that without a proper strategy, blogging can be daunting and often even frustrating. But with a great system in place, you can start blogging in matter of minutes. Take these 5 key actions and start your blog today!
1. Discover your niche
Have you figured out what your niche is yet? In the bloggosphere world, a niche is referred to as your tribe. When you blog, you’re generally speaking to a particular audience. By knowing what your niche is, you can better target your blog to reach them. Think about your passion, the things that interest you, the things that keep you up at night and your hobbies. What do you enjoy most and can talk about for a long time? Is there a need in your niche? Can you bring a new perspective, fresh ideas to your tribe? Fleshing out these questions will help you better determine what your niche is and how to better serve them.
2. Choose a blogging platform
While there are multiple blogging platforms, Sparespace, Wix and WordPress are the 3 that I recommend. Each of these platforms have features that differentiate them. Squarespace and Wix are drag and drop platforms. It gives the non-designer the ability to build a website with ease. The only downfall of these two, are the blog templates are limited to whatever they have available.
I run my blog on WordPress and have been using WordPress for the past 5 years and it is the blogging platform that I always recommend because of its functionality and ability to customize. WordPress is a free and open source content management system platform. This simply means that WordPress offers a wide range of option to users and developers when it comes to building their site on the platform. If you can dream of a look for your blog, you can have it. That’s how good the WordPress platform is.
3. Choose a Name + Get Web hosting
A domain name is your website address name, this is the URL used to access your site. Similar to a book, think about the domain name as your book title. It’s important to spend some time to think and to research your domain name before making the purchase.
Joyce Tip: Make sure your domain name aligns with your niche. When someone sees the URL to your site, it should somehow give them a brief idea of what the site is about.
Web Hosting is what allows your site to be on the internet. Without hosting, no one will be able to see the valuable information you are sharing on your site. While there are sites like wordpress.com where you can create a blog for free and have it hosted there, you are limited with the templates provided. In addition, your website URL will be www.domainname.wordpress.com vs. www.domainname.com
If you’re ready to choose your name + host your website, I recommend using Bluehost, because they are my trusted hosting company, they’re giving anyone who signs up today a free domain name with hosting that starts at just 3.95/month.
4. Set up your blog + choose a theme
Once you’ve purchased hosting for your blog, it’s time to make it homey and beautiful. If you want your blog to look professional, I highly suggest hiring a web designer to help you set up your blog and design it. However, if you want to do it yourself – no worries, Bluehost has a 1 click install of WordPress which makes it easy to install WordPress on your blog once you’ve purchased hosting. After installing WordPress, you are now ready to design your blog. There are tons of free templates that WordPress provides but access to premium templates will cost anywhere from $39 to $125+. I recommend using a premium template because they are more customizable (something a web designer can do for you). These templates give you the ability to change fonts, colors, move things around on your blog compared to the basic templates that don’t offer as many features or options.
I have found some of the best templates on Studiopress, Mojo Marketplace and Creative Market. My blog is build on the genesis framework using a theme from another one of my favorite developers Restored316.
5. Create content and blog like a boss
If you’re choosing the DIY route, it’s important to set a plan and schedule of when you plan to launch. Setting up a launch date will create an urgency and allow you to work toward that time. Creating a blog can be time consuming, so weather you do it yourself or hire a designer to do it, there are other part of your blog that will need your attention as well. A plan and schedule will allow you to know what content you will have on your blog, how often you should publish a blog post, and how you will get readers on your blog. Blogging can be as big or as small of a commitment as you want it to be. This will all depend on what you are trying to accomplish through your blog, the audience you want to reach and your overall goals. The key thing to be a successful blogger however, is to remain consistent.
Don’t forget to grab this FREE checklist to help you draft your first blog post.
Have you built your own blog? Tell me what are the action steps you took to build your blog.
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