The hardest part about starting a blog is all of the technical stuff you have to learn to get it going! There is a pretty big learning curve and sometimes you get so frustrated, you want to quit.
But you know what? You can learn it and you can get through it. At first, it seems like all you do in blogging is hit one wall after another. As soon as you figure out one thing, there is another impossible task to figure out.
So why put yourself through all of that trouble? Because it is worth it. It is worth sharing your story and your perspective on life. Helping people and hearing from others how your blog impacted their life is amazing. It is worth the creative outlet a blog can give you.
So here are a list of things that helped me in the beginning to get my blog off the ground:
You want to have a self-hosted blog, so you will need to buy hosting.
Where should I get hosting from?
Bluehost-This is the company I use for both of my sites. I haven’t had any problems with it. It is cheap and works great. That being said, other bloggers have had problems and speak about those often. I think if you have a huge viral hit overnight on your blog, you will have problems and your site might go down. My traffic has been slow and steady, so that may be why I haven’t had a problem so far. If that changes, I will let you know and tell you who I switched to.
Website Design & Theme
Website design can be overwhelming at first. It is expensive to hire a designer, so you really should just DIY it in the beginning. There are many free and premium themes that you can choose from online to get started. You probably don’t even know what you want yet, so hiring a designer wouldn’t be beneficial. Your site doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be good enough to get started.
Many bloggers use the genesis framework with a child theme. I didn’t know that when I started, so I just picked a premium theme that I liked. Both of my blogs use the same theme, but they have different vibes because of colors and other design choices.
Here are some places to find great genesis child themes:
Setting up your site with WordPress is a must! You want wordpress.org NOT wordpress.com (which is free). You can try other sites like Squarespace or Wix, but you will quickly grow out of it. I didn’t know anything about WordPress when I got started, but after a few weeks, it got easier. You just don’t want to start one place and then have to move everything when you hit a wall! If you want to monetize your blog (now or in the future), you need to use WordPress.
Here are some sites I recommend to help you with WordPress:
Understanding WordPress (free course) @ iMark Interactive – Grayson really knows his stuff. He is an awesome IT guy who can help you learn WordPress fast.
There are tons of tutorials on WPBeginner to search for what you need.
Free videos to get you started on WordPress @ wp101.com
Plugins To Get Started
Plugins are things that you can add to your blog instead of code that help your site run better. There are thousands of plugins you can use for your blog, but here are a few basic ones that are free for you to get started.
Yoast (helps you get a handle on SEO for Google rankings)
Akismet (spam fighting service to protect your blog)
Ultimate Social Media (helps you and others share your posts to social media)
Google Analytics (shows you how many visitors have visited your site and more)
Ultimate No Follow (makes your affiliate links no follow for better SEO)
UpDraftPlus Backups (helps you backup your blog in case something bad happens)
WP Content Copy Protection (makes it where people can’t right click on your blog and copy information)
Broken Link Checker (checks for broken links on your site)
You can add these to your site by going under Plugins in WordPress and searching for them in “add new”.
Beginner Blogging Courses
There are so many free blog posts you can read to help you get started. In fact, there is so much out there about starting a blog that it can be overwhelming. I am not super technical, so I am not going to cover the technical side of starting a blog.
Here are some resources I recommend to help you get started blogging:
How to Start a WordPress Blog @ iMark Interactive
How to Start a Blog in 20 minutes @ Redefining Mom
How to Start a WordPress Blog on Bluehost @ Making Sense of Cents
I love blogging for many reasons: a creative outlet, starting a business and sharing ideas. But actually starting a blog can be overwhelming. Just know that anything you do on your blog can be undone: design, writing, topic, etc. So the most important thing to do is get started. You can always change things later.Click here to learn how to set up a WordPress blog to make money in 5 easy steps. #startablogClick To Tweet
- Start a self-hosted blog with WordPress.org.
- Find a theme that you like and start with basic plugins.
- Click on the links above for further blogging resources to help with the technical stuff.
Do you have other questions about starting your blog? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
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