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Ok so now that all of that management of expectations is out of the way I’m going to briefly tell you how to get started. I have a feeling that most people reading this will have already decided to start a blog and will probably be ahead of me on taking certain steps. This is for those of you who haven’t!
Find Your Niche
Find your niche. Yeah, babe… I’m talking niche. The days of blogging about your life have fallen by the wayside. People have amazing access to social media and can have in depth looks at people’s lives every day. They’re not trying to read your life story anymore. And that’s alright, because that makes it easier to focus. You want to write about fashion? Great, what kind of fashion? You want to talk about being a mom? Awesome, what part of being a mom? You want to run a photography blog? Excellent, what kind of photography do you specialize in? See, you can find just about anything on the internet now and you want to make sure that when people are searching for a specific thing they end up with you. This doesn’t mean you take yourself out of your blog, it just means that you always remember your focus. Remember who is reading and what they are there for.
Your audience, and your blog focus is how you are going to make money. While it’s not important to think about money first, it is absolutely important to ask yourself if the audience you’re marketing to is going to be profitable. Being profitable is going to require focus and you don’t want to have to be jumping all over the place trying to market your blog and it’s contents because you can’t decide what you’re actually blogging about.
Buy Your Domain
We can talk all day about the benefits of WordPress versus Blogger, and whether or not you should self host or not. Here’s the reality though, you want to OWN your website. The only way that you can do that is by buying your own domain name. I like Namecheap, because they do automatic renewals and make it really easy for you to purchase the domain name. As soon as you decide on your name, go through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, (every damn social media site you can think of and are willing to participate in) and make sure that name is available on social media. If it’s not, be certain that something very close to the name is available. Don’t be forced to add “00” to the end of all of your usernames, it will not help your searchability (we’ll get to that in a bit).
Find a Hosting Site
You’ve got options. Not all of them are great, and you really do get what you pay for. Most bloggers would recommend places like Bluehost because you can get hosting for $5/month. That option is great for a lot of people. I choose to host my site with AcceleratedWP because it keeps me from having to worry about the backend of my blog. I get automatic back-ups (which is great because I’ve needed them a couple times!), my plugins are always up to date, my site is monitored for malware, and my sites are fast as hell. Their plans start at $15/month and they’re worth every penny.
After you choose your hosting site, you will be prompted to complete a few more steps, including giving your hosting site access to your domain name. This is usually done via email, just make sure you check your spam boxes and follow instructions from whatever company you have signed up with!
Pick A Theme
This is the fun part! Or the part that causes you excessive amounts of anxiety, if you’re me. Either way, it’s a pretty cool experience to look for theme layouts that you enjoy! There are a lot of really great companies out there serving up some bad ass, high quality, responsive themes. Oh, that’s going to be super important. “Responsive” means that your theme automatically adjusts to different devices (computer, tablets, smart phones), it’s pretty essential that your theme does that. I really like Nimbus Themes. They have really modern, forward-thinking designs that are great for photography portfolios, sleek fashion blogs, or even marketing blogs. If you’re looking for something more femme and sweet, AngieMakes has fantasticly whimsical themes for great prices. They even have a free theme you can use (check the footer on their homepage). Another great place to get everything from themes to logos to fonts is CreativeMarket.com. They’ve just got everything, I’m a little addicted.
I want other people to have as much knowledge about what I do as possible. I think everyone should have access to finding out how to do what I do. I want more transparency for fellow bloggers so that we can all have a baseline for what our income can be. I believe that as a woman in a non-traditional job, it’s essential that we all work together to help one another understand the ins and outs of the business. So I’m going to try and do that. If there are any specific questions, please please leave them in the comments below and I will try to address them!!! I’m so looking forward to sharing this series with all of you!
See you then!
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