ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE LEAP? MAKE THE PLUNGE AND START A BLOG TODAY? IT’S SIMPLER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK! FOLLOW THESE 8 EASY STEPS AND START YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
There’s no doubt about it, regardless of what you may have heard – blogging is still going strong! Perhaps now more than ever, people around the globe are looking to start a blog for new ways to promote themselves and their businesses. In fact, more entrepreneurs and enterprises are online than ever before. So how do you get in on it? Follow these eight easy steps to start a DIY and crafts blog and get going faster than you ever thought possible!
Of course, in all fairness, these steps apply to most types of blogs, not just DIY or crafts. But, since it’s what I know, I’ll mainly talk about my own experience. I do have a second blog focused on travel, which you can visit at www.diveintodisney.com, and the steps I took to set it up are the same.
Blogging, or CONTENT MARKETING as it is often now referred to, can be an incredibly rewarding and draining, creative and confusing career choice. And that’s all before noon! Seriously though, I love what I do. I wouldn’t change it for the world. EXCEPT … I wish I’d had these eight simple steps in front of me when I decided to start a blog. You can download a copy of my simple checklist using this form:
There is so much to learn and so much information on blogging out there. So how do you know where to start and who to listen to? The best answer I can possibly give to that question is this – listen to the person(s) who speaks to you. Find a blogger with whom you really resonate. Maybe you are already on their email list. Maybe you’re a super-fan in their Facebook group. Or maybe you’re truly brand new to this whole online thing and you haven’t developed any crushes yet.
SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN SETTING UP A NEW BLOG
Now, before you really get rolling, you should ask yourself these questions :
Why do you want to start a blog? What are your goals?
Are you looking for a hobby?
Will this be your new career?
Looking to make a little money on the side?
What would you like to blog about?
Be specific when you answer this question. “Everything” is not exactly a good way to start – trust me on this one. You’ll be overwhelmed by options and, like most people when overwhelmed, move quickly to inaction.
What do you love to do, see, talk about? Identify something you can spend ALL day talking about without losing steam.
Have you thought about a name for your blog? What does the name mean?
Let your creative juices flow, but be careful not to get too attached to one name too early.
Ensure your blog name is easy to find and easy to remember.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you can move on to the fun part!
Before getting into the techy stuff, take some time to really think about the name you’ve chosen. Does it make sense? Will you be easy to find? Is it memorable? Too often, new bloggers start out with a cute, fun name but early on in their journey, realize that it simply wasn’t a good choice.
I actually went through several iterations of both my blog name and niche before settling into my current structure.
Do a little thinking and a little research. But only a little! Don’t get mired down before you even start. Give yourself a time limit and go with what you have. Come up with three name ideas and write them on your checklist. Find out which, if any, are available for purchase using the link below. Then, once you have your domain name, create your tagline.
What’s a tagline, you ask? A tagline is an extremely simplistic explanation of your blog. For example, my tagline on this site is “Created with Love”. It offers readers a brief glimpse of what they might find on this site. My tagline on Dive into Disney, it’s “To Disneyland and Beyond”.
It’s just a little extra something that helps your audience – and Google – understand you a little better. Keep it short and sweet. Once you decide on your tagline, write it down on your checklist.
And now – the tech!
SETTING UP THE TECH STUFF
Now that you have answered some really high-level questions, you are getting ready to start. Work through the links below to complete each step.
Choose and purchase your blog domain name
You can do this through a number of companies such as GoDaddy, SiteGround and more. Do your research and find the service that fits your needs.
Choose a blogging platform
Again, you have options, but I recommend WordPress. In fact, all of the big-time bloggers that I follow and learn from HIGHLY recommend WordPress. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume that you’ve chosen to use WordPress.
Get a blog hosting account
You can generally get hosting through the same company from which you’ve purchased your domain. I currently use SiteGround for my hosting needs.
Your host will generally walk you through how to install WordPress. They’ve made it really easy for you to get going right away. A
Choose a WordPress theme
This can be both exciting and tedious. Do not spend a ton of time thinking about it. Your theme is something that can be changed in the future. There are some really great free options, but if you don’t see one that you feel will work for you, browse through the Premium Themes. I chose to purchase my theme from the beginning but have now moved on to designing my own using the Hello Theme and Elementor Pro. Please note that I am an affiliate for Elementor. If you purchase a product through my affiliate link, I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you!
Do keep in mind that in the beginning, your site won’t look like the demo site – it sounds like common sense, but it can be a real let-down when it doesn’t just magically spring to life!
As you add your own content, images and links, your site will come to life and you can make it exactly what you want.
Install the necessary plugins for your blog
Some plugins will be general plugins that most bloggers use, and some will be theme-specific. Premium themes often contain recommendations and even instructions on which plugins to install. I’m not going to tell you which specific plug-ins to add, but you will need some basics, like a spam filter and a way to collect emails and send newsletters. From the beginning, I used ConvertKit for this purpose and their plug-in is super easy to use. Please note that I am an affiliate for ConvertKit. If you purchase a plan through my affiliate link, I will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you!
If you plan to start a blog about food and recipes, you may want a specific recipe-making plug-in, for example.
There are literally thousands of plug-ins to choose from, for so many different things. Find products to meet your basic needs and move to the next step.
Customize your blog settings
This is where you can play with colours, fonts, layouts and more. Again, this is something that can be changed later. The important thing is to create a look you are happy with for right now. This is the area that I found the easiest to get bogged down in, but over the past year, I’ve changed many settings several times. It’s not set in stone, so don’t stress too much about it!
Write your first post and hit PUBLISH
I know, I know – easier said than done. But trust me when I say that publishing your first post is the hardest part. Believe me – it gets easier. Write your post to introduce yourself, and your blog, to the world. Let us know who you are and why you’re here. And most importantly – BE YOURSELF. You are better at it than anyone else!
Congratulations! You are a blogger!
I know what you are thinking – there must be more to it! You are right, there is a lot more to it, but you have taken the crucial first steps to start a blog. These are the key elements that every blogger started with, no matter how many years they’ve been blogging or how many blogs they have.
A WORD ABOUT MARKETING
When choosing your blog and domain name, you should consider reserving the same user name on all the main Social Media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest. Yes, technically YouTube and Pinterest are not “social media”, but you’ll want to have a consistent user name across the platforms.
Please, though, do not make the mistake that I made and try to be EVERYWHERE all at once! Just reserve the names for now and pick ONE to focus on! Decide where your people are hanging out and go there. They might be on Facebook OR Pinterest, but maybe not both. Maybe they are on both but don’t try to be all things to all people all the time. It’s an exercise in frustration, so let me save you the headache! Pick ONE.
So there you have it! These are my eight easy steps to set up a brand new blog! Get started now and in a few hours, you’ll be an entrepreneur!
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