How to start a blog
Starting a blog might be an idea you have had for a while, but haven’t acted on because it all seems just too confusing to get started! I took over Bargain Mums over 3 years ago now, thinking it would just be something I could do in my spare time after having my first baby, and now it’s turned into a full blown business. I knew absolutely nothing about blogging or WordPress in the beginning, I had to work it out as I went. If you have been wondering how to start a blog, this quick and easy tutorial is exactly what you need to get started.
Below are three steps to starting a blog; get your hosting and domain name, install WordPress, and pretty it all up. In about 15 minutes you can have a website up and running and ready to make your own.
1. Hosting & domain name
First, choose your hosting plan. Siteground offer 3 plans to suit different sized blogs. Start with the ‘start up’ plan and you can then easily change to a higher plan as your hosting needs increase.
Next, it’s time to choose your domain name; what do you want your blog to be called? Try keep your domain name as simple and easy to remember as possible. Mine is bargainmums.com.au, and I also have bargainmums.com just to cover all bases. Once you have a few ideas check SiteGround and see if any of the names are available.
The great thing about SiteGround is you can purchase your domain name and hosting all in the one spot, which makes getting your blog up and running much easier, especially if you are new to this! SiteGround are fantastic for hosting WordPress based blogs as they offer excellent WordPress support, which speaking from experience is something most hosts aren’t interested in offering. The bonus is they are well priced, with hosting starting at only $3.95 per month, including a free domain name.
I have personally tried a few hosting companies over the past few years and have had some pretty terrible experiences with slow speeds and excessive down time. Siteground has so far been the only host I have completely happy with. Yes, I have had one or two problems, but they have extremely fast response times so they have been sorted ultra quick!
Once you have chosen your hosting plan and domain name, it’s time to review and complete your order.
2. Install WordPress
Once your domain name and website hosting are sorted, it’s time to install WordPress. WordPress is by far the best was to run your blog, it’s what I use for my websites! Installing WordPress is very easy if you have hosting with SiteGround using their one click WordPress install, which you will find in your cPanel account once your hosting is up and running. Just click the WordPress button and follow the prompts, which install WordPress for you.
3. Pretty it up
Now that you have WordPress installed, it’s time to pretty up your blog. You can use one of the free themes that come pre-installed with WordPress, or you can purchase a premium theme. A few of my favourites are themes from:
When choosing a theme think not just about how pretty the theme looks, but it’s functions too. I opted for a magazine style theme for Bargain Mums because that suits the style of website I run, with many categories etc. Have a think about what you plan to blog about and the features you might require to help narrow your list of potential themes.
The theme I am currently using for bargain Mums is the Bucket theme from Themeforest. Once you have installed your chosen theme, it’s time to start uploading content, and getting what you have to say out into the world.
This is where all the fun begins, the part you have been looking forward to! The content you add to your site will obviously depend on your sites niche, but overall it’s a process of trial and error. Once you start getting content onto your blog, you will begin to work out which headings generate more visitors and which content keeps your visitors hanging around your blog for as long as possible. Once you have written a post, share it far and wide. Social media is a great place to do this. I find Facebook, Pinterest and the recipe sharing site Yummly to be fantastic traffic generators for Bargain Mums.
Earn an income
Once you feel ready to start earning an income from your blog, it’s time to start exploring your options. Affiliate marketing is just one way of monetizing your blog, and a few of the affiliate programs I belong to include:
– Jack Media – Great for monetizing your email list
– Commission Factory – Earn money sharing products from some of the biggest names in retail, including David Jones and The Iconic
– Moms Affiliate – Particularly good if you have an American audience
Aside from earning money from affiliates, try creating your own digital products. While it does take a little effort to create a product, it’s then ready to sell over and over, 24 hours a day, with the only effort required on your part being the marketing of the eproduct.
No doubt once you start blogging you will want to find out more about improving your blog. There are some fantastic resources out there, including my favourite:
- Secret Bloggers Business eCourse – I have taken part in this course myself and it’s fantastic. It covers topics suitable for bloggers just starting out through to advanced bloggers.