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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. (Also right now there are a lot of sales going on because of Cyber Monday. I highly recommend taking advantage of some of these deals!)
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 – but you might wait until you’re ready for hosting as you can sometimes get a deal when purchasing hosting to also get a reduced or free domain name.
Once you know which platform you want to work with, decide on a host. I recommend anyone other than Bluehost (I’m not even linking to them. Just know I won’t even work with clients who are hosted with them anymore.) I’ve been fine with GoDaddy, but I have referred friends to New Blog Hosting. They have great service, and are a smaller business. The rates are fantastic. I just happen to have all of my domain names with GoDaddy and my hosting goes back to 2001. I’ve been a little lazy to move it.
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 love, LOVE Pretty Darn Cute Designs. I’ve used Lindsay’s themes for about 3 or so years, and I use them on clients sites. She offers excellent tutorials to walk you through setting up your theme! You can save $15 on her themes with the code prettythankful (And this is an affiliate link, but I promise that she is highly recommended. Look in my footer – I’m using her design right now.)
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 harddrive – 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.
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 and hosting, or if you want to learn new things and you pay for a blogging course. It’s well worth it, though.