So you want to blog? Start here.

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I’ve been doing this blogging thing for more than 12 years. We’re coming up on year 13 in a few short months. It’s been a wild ride, and when I started out I had no intentions of making money (or really, getting anything in return.) I’ve learned a lot along the way, and it’s been such a fun time. Every couple of months I am approached by someone asking how to start a blog, how to make money on a blog, and what other tips can I share. So I’m hoping this will help a few people when it comes to just starting and what has helped me in recent years.

Decide on a name. Even if you create a site under your name, decide on something that has long-term potential. (I’ve changed my blog name a few times over the years, but I also have a site with just my name.) Secure your name – I used to have my domain name and my hosting with the same company. I recommend keeping them separated now. I use Namecheap for many of my domains.

Figure out which platform you like. Blogger is fine, but I moved to WordPress (self-hosted, not over four years ago and I’ve been SO incredibly happy with WP.

Once you know which platform you want to work with, decide on a host. As of 2020, I’m updating this with my NEW host! After being with one company since 2001, I’ve moved my hosting over to New Blog Hosting. I love them. And you can get cheaper names (even renewals) through Namecheap. Another company I am personally using. I even have some of my sites hosted through Namecheap.

Decide on a theme! If you are on WordPress (the self hosted kind – and from here on out just know I’m only talking about the self-hosted WordPress), I had used Pretty Darn Cute Designs for years, but have started using the Mai Engine and 17th Avenue Designs most recently. (17th Avenue Designs has become one of my favorite themes in the past 6 months.)

Blogging courses: I can’t get enough out of Pinning Perfect, Media Kit Smash and Content Brew. Pinning Perfect is one I go back to often, and the Media Kit Smash course has more than paid for itself. I didn’t have a proper media kit until I took that course. It comes with templates you can edit in Canva, and I can’t believe I wasted so much time without having a great looking form before! Sticky Blogging is a great SEO course that I have paid for and refer to often.

Photo Editor: I use Photoshop for some editing projects, but I’ve come to rely on PicMonkey for SO much over the past two years. They have good filters, fun graphics and overlays, and a good selection of fonts already available (if you don’t have something you already love on your hard drive – it pulls fonts from both places.)

Pinterest Scheduler: I’ve been using Tailwind for the past year and have been so pleased with how easy it is to schedule a month or more in advance, and the results I’ve seen since implementing Tailwind. Want to try it out? Use my link for your first month free.

Other Social Platforms: It’s important to have a profile on most of the popular social media sites, picking the best ones for the niche of your blog. For example, if you blog about fashion or food then Instagram would be the best way to grow your following. It can take time to build your social following, so I do recommend trying what you want to keep up with and growing what makes sense for you. 

Content: Just start writing. I have nothing more than that advice. It’s difficult to get traffic if you don’t have any content. Start small – post a few times a month. You can work into a blogging schedule that works for you, but get content up.

Blogging is such a fun hobby, however it’s also an investment. You get what you pay for, and you have to expect to pay something into this new venture, whether it’s a domain name, hosting, or if you want to learn new things and you pay for a blogging course. It’s well worth it, though.

Learn more about blogging:

why move from Blogger to WordPress?

Ways to Make Money Blogging

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  1. Great advice from a total veteran! Don’t forget relationships because I can honestly say that some of the people I’ve met through blogging have become friends I’ll treasure always. Not to mention I’ve learned a lot from them, too, which has helped a lot.

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