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It can be crazy overwhelming when you want to start a blog. You read so many posts and they all say something different. What should I name it? What platform should I use? Self-hosted or not?
Ahhhhh, you could go crazy before you’ve even started it. The sad thing is this does stop a lot of people from starting blogs or starting them and then just stopping because it gets too overwhelming. So I had decided to share how I set up my blog and what I personally think the best way to go about it is.
Here is my super simple way to start a blog from idea to launch!
First of all, you need to know why you are starting your blog. Blogs that don’t have a clear purpose are extremely hard to start up because you have no idea where you’re going with it.
Now, this is not to say you have to stick with this aim, I mean I have completely changed my blog over time to add in lifestyle and millennial advice as well as travel. You just need something to start off with and then it can evolve as you find your voice and what you like to write about.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Who is your target audience?
What do they struggle with?
How can you help them?
Okay so now that we have figured out the why of your blog, we need to find a name. I went super simple and just used my name, this was mainly because I already had an established presence online through YouTube and Instagram using my name.
But if you’re not into using your own name then we need to get creative. I personally find thinking of names hella hard! My brain just doesn’t seem to work in that way. Think of some words that related your blog aim and work around that. Use a thesaurus to find more options, write out a mindmap, ask your friends what they think. Just explore until you find a name you are happy with.
A little tip: Make sure to check that there are social media accounts available with your name before 100% committing to your blog name.
I personally believe self-hosting is the only way to go if you are wanting to start a blog that will be successful. This means you can easily own your content and monetize without any worries. Other free sites like wordpress.com or Wix have all sort of restrictions on ways you can make money from your blog so if that is your goal at any point (even if your only earning enough to keep the blog running) then definitely go with self-hosted.
But which host? I use Siteground and I absolutely love it. Not only do they have super affordable plans (from only $4.95 per month when paid annually) but a really good customer support team. The lowest plan even lets you have up to 10,000 monthly visitors before you have to upgrade which you just won’t find anywhere else. They have really great and simple (isn’t that what we are going for here) instructions to help you set it all up. So even if you’re not the most tech-savvy person you will have no problems at all and if you do run into any minor problems the customer support team is there to help!
Click here to sign up with Siteground from only 4.95 per month!
I started out with just a free theme from WordPress and if I’m being honest it did the job BUT it definitely didn’t do what I wanted it to do. Seeing as I’m not very good with the whole coding thing, the free theme just didn’t have the features to edit what I wanted to be changed.
So if you’re serious about blogging I definitely recommend paying that little extra from a paid theme that has all the features you are after. For example, see that email signup box just under my logo and menu, that wasn’t available in any of the free themes I felt like matched my blog and there was no way in the world I could figure out how to code that in. So with the current theme I use it came with that option and it took me no more than 2 seconds to add in what I wanted there.
My theme is from Bluchic and it’s called Isabelle. I definitely recommend checking out Bluchic because they have some really amazing themes. The thing I love move about Bluchic is the fact that they have a complete FAQ section for every theme that will pretty much tell you how to add anything and everything to your blog. Plus if they haven’t answered it in the FAQ’s then they have unlimited support.
About Me Page
This is a section so many blogs I see skip over or don’t put any effort into but trust me it is super important. When someone wants to know who you are and what your blog is about this is the page they will go straight to and this is where you need to sell yourself to get them to stay on your blog and take action on whatever it is you want them to.
You can check out my about me page here and use that as a guide on how to set it out!
Plan Topics & Posts
So now is the time to get your thinking hat on and plan out exactly what you’re going to write about. You need to plan out categories that you think will fit the purpose of your blog and then post ideas that will fit into those categories. You will need to make sure you have a blog that you can write a million posts about otherwise it is going to fail very quickly if you don’t have enough ideas.
So start to map out these topics then you need to think of about 20-30 blog posts you can write under each of them to make sure you will have enough content to keep the blog running. If you can think of that many post ideas about each topic then maybe you need to go back and refine those categories.
Then you need to start writing. It is ideal to have about 10-15 posts already up when you start your blog. That way when you actually launch your blog you will have content that people can read and know if they like your blog and want to stick around.
Social Media Accounts
You want to focus on 2-3 social media accounts that you can use to promote your blog and blog posts. So start up these social media accounts before you’ve actually launched your blog and begin to interact with people to start building a little bit of an audience before you actually launch your blog.
Make sure you do a bit of research about what platforms your target audience and readers spend their time on. Lucky for me I had already built a small following on YouTube and Instagram prior to launching my blog so this definitely helped with reaching people and then I started investing time to Pinterest as that was another platform I could find my target audience on. So make sure you are using the platform you know your readers are on and not just platform you think you should use because you see other bloggers doing that.
The last step! LAUNCH YOUR BLOG!