I am so excited to write this post. After 1 month of blogging, I wanted to document my progress, for myself and for you. Maybe you might want to start a blog if you are inspired I’ll do my best to help.
Before we get to the good stuff I want to be completely transparent. I initially started a blog in 2018 but didn’t stick with it. I just couldn’t find a rhythm. And when I decided to start again I chose to start from scratch.
When I did this though I was stuck with a lot of 404 errors which I have yet to completely redirect. Probably not the best choice.
How To Start A Blog Yourself
Since you are reading this post you must be interested in blogging, am I right? If you are I would love to give you some help getting there. Continue reading for my step by step guide to starting a blog from scratch. I’ll describe every step I took in detail.
[If you would like to just skip to the stats you can click here]
Get Your Domain And Hosting Before You Start A Blog
Your first step and probably the most daunting is to set up your domain name and choose your hosting provider. There are many providers to choose from. I’ll give you some of the most popular and then I’ll let you know who I chose.
Where To Find Your Unforgettable Domain Name
When looking for your domain name there are many options online. You can purchase your domain name separately or sometimes from your hosting provider. Some people recommend purchasing them from separate places in case something happens to one of the companies then you still have a record of your name. I just bought mine from my hosting provider. I like to live on the edge!
You may have heard of Namecheap. They offer great deals on their domain names. You can purchase a domain name for as low as $8.99/year. You can also host your site with them for $2.88/month when paid upfront for 1 year.
You can find a domain name ending in .com with Blue Host for $15.87/year.
I purchased my domain name with Interserver for $1.99/year with the purchase of a hosting plan. Without a plan, it cost $11.00/year.
Where To Find The Perfect Host To Start A Blog
I am sure if you are interested at all in blogging then you have heard about Blue Host. You can host your blog for as little as $3.95/month when paid in full for 1 year.
This hosting provider is also great. I have personally tried SiteGround and had an excellent experience I just prefer to pay monthly and I have had perfect customer service with my provider. You can host your site with them for $3.95/month after paying upfront for 1 year.
My hosting provider is a company that’s been around for a long time and I love them! Interserver has never steered me in the wrong direction, whenever I have needed their help they have answered my questions immediately with no wait! You can’t ask for anything better! Host your site with them for $5.00/month.
All of the above hosting companies will guide you through the setup process and all have excellent customer service if you have any problems. Plus almost all of them are having some sort of sale this weekend!
Deciding Your Blogging Platform
Guys, I’m going, to be honest with you, I don’t have much experience with very many platforms- I’ve only used WordPress and dabbled with Blogger. I can, however, give you a few examples of the different platforms to use but I highly recommend WordPress.
Online Platforms To Start A Blog
Out of these 4 popular platforms, Blogger and WordPress are free, Squarespace and Wix have a yearly fee.
If you chose WordPress, each hosting provider I have listed has a link within their platform to install.
Decide On A Theme
If I can give you 1 piece of advice, let it be this. Don’t spend too much time on this decision right now. It is very easy to waste a lot on this step because it can be fun designing and playing around with the layout. Trust me when I say, this is not necessary. For 1 simple reason- you have no traffic yet! Pick an easy to follow FREE theme for now and move on. I chose the Astra theme for this blog and I love it.
If you want to spend money on this now and forget about it, I suggest StudioPress they have gorgeous themes available at reasonable prices.
When You Start A Blog Also, Protect Yourself Legally
Do you plan on monetizing your site in the future or sending out newsletters to email subscribers? Then you must have certain disclosures, terms and conditions and privacy policies on your site. I recommend talking to a lawyer first and foremost. There are businesses online that will help you with this. Give it a Google.
I recommend FreePrivacyPolicy but like I said it is best to talk to a lawyer and get the correct advice for your area.
Before You Start A Blog- Know Your Audience
Now that you have your site all set up its time to get to know your audience. This is a critical step in the blogging process. This is a step that a lot of bloggers neglect- me being one of them my first time around!
If you want some help with understanding exactly how to get to know who you are writing for I suggest Ruth Soukup’s EBA New Blogger’s Toolbox. I purchased this package a few weeks ago and I have been learning so much. This is a great alternative to soak up Ruth’s knowledge for a fraction of the cost of Elite Blogging Academy!
In order to get to know who you are writing for all you have to do is design your ideal reader. When you do this write down all their characteristics, their likes and dislikes as well. Maybe even give them a name. When you write your posts you want to write for your “ideal reader,” solve all their problems, answer all their questions and make them happy!
It’s Time For Branding
Now that you know your audience you can start to think about your brand. What do you want to stand for? How do you want your audience to feel when they are on your site? What kind of mood do you want to set?
You can accomplish all of this by the choices you make in your logo, font, graphics and colours you choose for your site. Choose carefully and don’t forget the characteristics of your ideal reader!
Place all your colours on the appropriate places on your site. For example, the menu bar, header, and footer are some choices.
Write Some Excellent Content
The most important step in the blogging process is content. I am sure you heard the saying, “Content is King” and that is definitely true. Your readers will only come and stay for your content so make it amazing!
The rule of thumb is to have at least 10-20 posts written before you launch. This is so people have something to read while they are on your site and so your site looks more established. I wrote 16 posts. A couple of posts myself, and I used articles from Publish For Prosperity too and edited them for my use.
“Done For You” Content
Have you heard of them? Publish For Prosperity offers “done for you” content that you can keep as it, edit, or sell and promote as your own! It is a great help when you are stuck for time or maybe the creative juices just aren’t flowing this month!
Writing is something that I love to do but with doing everything else that is necessary to do with a blog behind the scenes, it was nice to have some written articles there ready to work with. I don’t plan on doing this all the time.
These articles are great but sometimes the grammar is worded more like a college essay than a blog post. Which means they can be hard to edit, sometimes you may feel like you’re rewriting the whole post. That being said, they are still a great help when you are in a crunch.
If you feel like checking them out yourself and would like a sample you can get your own free by clicking the link below. They also offer graphics, newsletters, and courses; everything you need to start a blog!
Now that you know how to start a blog, you have your content- the only step left is to hit publish!
My First Month Of Blogging
Now let’s get to what I have accomplished during my first month of blogging. I am happy with my stats so far but this month I hope to get to 1000 pageviews.
Statistics For My First Month
I had 306 users on the blog this month which equaled into 442 sessions. Not too bad considering most of the month was spent curating content behind the scenes.
I did use Pinterest to market my posts and Tailwind to schedule my pins. Most of my traffic this month came from Pinterest and my Tailwind Tribes.
I hope that you were able to follow along with the steps and start your own blog. Please remember that those steps were not meant to be completed in one day. Don’t forget to download the checklist so that you have it for your own reference.
Join The Self Love Crew
If you enjoyed this post I am planning on making it into a series on blogging to document my progress. The next post will be on my Pinterest strategy. If you would like to be notified when I upload a new post, consider joining The Self Love Crew. I send out a newsletter once a week and you gain access to the Freebies Vault where I keep all my printables, courses and graphics. Sign-up below.
Pin to your favourite Pinterest board.
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