Post contains affiliate links.
So you want to start a blog? Great! It’s a lot of work and it’s a slow build. But once you get your groove, it’s gratifying to put something out that reflects your brand. Here are my tips!
Start Your Blog In 6 Steps
1. Get Your Domain
This is how people are going to find you online. We’re talking about the address you type in the address bar: http://workfromhome.mom. What’s yours going to be?
You can buy domains on sites like Namecheap or even Google. They’ll run you around $10 per year.
- Keep your domain simple and easy to remember.
- Try not to use dashes if possible.
- A .com is what most people remember but .mom just launched so you can totally branch out to find something that works for your brand.
- Consider using your own name – it’s all about branding.
- Don’t abbreviate with weird spellings.
2. Get Hosting
There are many hosting companies out there. Some have great promotions for the first year but read the fine print!
- WPEngine gets very good ratings in many blogging circles. Their lowest plan is $29/month and they are currently running a special 20% off your first payment (use code: SPEEDUP).
- Bluehost is a very popular company that will run you less than $5 per month for your own (shared) space. You can log in and manage your domain(s) and with all that space, you could start more than one blog!
You can even check if your domain name is free for you to grab:
- MediaTemple also offers a free domain with your account. Monthly rates start at $20 per month for their grid service.
Other hosting companies will likely give you a free domain as well. Be sure to call or email their sales department and ask them questions if you’re not sure about their services.
3. Choose a Blogging Platform
Once you’ve got your hosting space and domain name, you’ll have to decide which blogging platform you want to write from and manage your blog. I recommend WordPress. Most hosting companies will have a one-click installation process for WordPress. Follow the instructions, and you’ll get going on the WordPress dashboard/platform.
Check out WordPress.com (free) and decide if the WordPress platform is for you. (WordPress.org is the self-hosted version.) If not, you may want to check out Blogger, Google’s blogging platform.
- For the “Admin” username, don’t use Admin. Use something that’s unique to you so it makes it a little harder to be hacked. That goes for your password(s) too.
- Bookmark the WordPress blog, Problogger and WPBeginner for inspiration, tutorials and news.
4. Customize Your Site
Now that you’ve got your site set up, it’s time to make it your own! You can hire a web designer to help you create a custom design for your blog. You can also go to buy a template from Studiopress or Pretty Darn Cute Designs, and customize it yourself.
TailorBrands offers a logo-creating service on their website. You put in your description, pick an image and choose fonts you like, and it spits out several different designs!
If you can’t afford a logo service, try PicMonkey! You can create your own logo. It is also a very good online photo editing site that you can upgrade to Pro. Canva is also a great photo editor and you can also create easy Pinterest images with their templates.
5. Add Pages to Your Site
One thing you’ll notice is that most blogs have several pages. It helps people find out more about you and your services or your terms of service.
Suggested Pages to add:
- About – Tell people more about you, what the blog is about and your why.
- Contact – This can be an embedded contact form or just some info on how to get ahold of you.
- Services – In this case, what services does your business offer?
- Disclosure – The FTC requires bloggers to be compliant and disclose any relationships you have with brands/products. For example, if a brand paid you to write a sponsored post, it should be disclosed within the post and also a general note on this Page.
6. Start Writing and Share
Start writing posts and publishing them! Don’t forget to include images (not stolen; ask for permission and/or credit the original source!) to make your blog posts pop.
SEO (search engine optimization) is important, so keep those blog posts at 300-500 words. Use titles that describe your post – you can do a Google keyword search.
- Go to a site like Knowem.com or Namecheck.com to see if your desired social username is available.
- Share your posts via social media, and set up an email newsletter! We like Mailchimp because it’s so easy to use, and you can integrate it into your site easily.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. If you decide to click and purchase, I receive a commission at no cost to you. Any commissions earned go back to running this site.