Perhaps you’ve been reading your favourite bloggers for a while and decided that 2019 would be your year to stop wondering how to start a blog of your own and to just frigging do it!
Maybe you’ve seen peers making money on social media, having incredible opportunities, trips of a lifetime and the access to some fantastic brands and thought you’d like a slice of the pie.
Or you’re a passionate writer and want a platform where you can share your thoughts and interests.
Whatever the reason, you’re now here because the title of this post says it all – I’m going to go IN on how to start a blog.
Before you dive in, you might want to find out a bit more about how I started the blog here. If so, head over to my ‘About’ page to see my journey so far.
So let’s cut the crap and get straight to it shall we? Throughout the post I’ll break down each easy step you need to take to get a blog up and running. As we go, I’ll link to some of my other resources, posts and podcast episodes that go into each step in more detail.
This post will be updated as I update new episodes and resources and will probably be quite in-depth, so if you’re ready – crack on!
Decide Your Why
Knowing whether you want to start a blog to make money, for the opportunities, to make friends, share passions or a mixture of the above will help set out your direction.
Listen to the Podcast: ‘Finding Your Why & Setting Those Big Goals’
Choose Your Niche
You may be writing for fun and in that case you definitely don’t need a niche but if you’re up for earning as much as possible, becoming a well known expert in your area of expertise or turning it into a full time job – you are going to need one.
Yes there are some bloggers who *seem* to be writing about a whole mix of things and are successful but trust me – they still have a niche. Maybe it’s parenting lifestyle, luxury fashion or from the perspective of being single – they’ll have something that makes them unique.
What could yours be?
Listen to the Podcast episode: ‘Discovering Your Niche & Nailing Those USPs’
Identify Your Reader Avatar
Knowing who the ideal person to read your blog is, is absolutely vital.
It means you’ll cater your content for them and provide them with solutions to their issues. These issues can often be answered with affiliate links or products and can therefore be an easy way to monetise your writing.
If you’d like to learn more about how to identify who this person will be, then sign up to the Exciting Emails newsletter and subscribe to the blog as I have more content and a downloadable workbook coming soon!
Decide On A Name
You can’t go wrong with naming your blog after yourself.
Unless your name is something like Sam Smith or Madonna – pretty much going to be taken I’m afraid.
The benefit here is that if you decide to change your niche at a later date – you don’t have to change the name of your blog and the admin that comes with that.
Register The Domain
Even if you’re going to be using a free blogging platform to start with, registering the domain for as little as 99p can help safeguard it for the future.
You can get more tips all about your domain and the other ‘handy to knows when starting out’ with my ‘Be THE Blogger A-Z’ e-book.
Grab Your Social Handles
Ideally they’ll be the same as your blog. I’m @vixmeldrew on EVERYTHING. It massively helps with branding consistency and for my followers on one platform to find me elsewhere.
Try not to stray tooooo far with different versions on different platforms. There’s nothing worse than finding a blogger you love, chat to, compliment and basically stalk on Instagram to not be able to continue the love in over on Twitter because suddenly they’re @wildrabbit64 instead of @lovelyblogger.
Register A Related Email Address
And then stick it on your social platforms. Use this as your blogging email address for any future notifications or communications.
Makes you look well profesh.
Choose Your Blogging Platform
I’ve used free Blogger, Squarespace and self-hosted WordPress and here’s what I think…
Free Blogger is basic, easy to use and you can buy some lovely layouts to make it look shit-hot BUT it’s limited for growing a blog.
Squarespace has easy drag and drop features if you’re a technophobe and the app is excellent for creating posts on the go, HOWEVER…
For me, it has to be self-hosted WordPress. I host mine with Siteground* (affiliate link means I get a teeny kick back if you buy your hosting through them).
I have unlimited freedom, so many choices over layouts, control over my SEO and the option of tons of different plug ins – all designed to take your blog to the top.
You could always start with a free version or trial of the platform that appeals to you and upgrade to a paid version once you’re sure you’re going to stick with your blog!
Get A Fancy Design
Great blog layouts matter. They help you get seen by Google. They make readers happy when they’re easy to use and they can equally make people leave and never return if they’re clunky and annoying.
Listen to the Podcast episode: ‘Designing A Website & Why It Matters For Your Brand’
Use your social media channels to let friends and family know that you’re going to be launching a blog imminently and get them to help you hype it up.
Download my 2019 Blog Plan with tasks to completely monthly that will help you start to build a community of readers (amongst loads of other super handy things).
The best bit!
You’re all set up, you’ve got a nice design, a domain name, your nearest and dearest are excited and your social media followers are eagerly anticipating your first post.
So give it to em!
And if you reeeeaaally want to know how to create content that has the best chance of going viral and getting the big traffic in ASAP, I’ve got an e-book for you!
Listen to the Podcast episode: ‘OK So What Do I Write About?’
Start A Mailing List
And start it early. Offer content upgrades, bonus material or behind the scenes insights into your life as an incentive to sign up for your blog.
A mailing list is a great way to stay in contact with your readers and a surefire way to turn them into loyal supporters.
I’ve got an e-course for blogging newbies – all about how to get your list started and earn those first 1,000 subscribers!
Research Your Keywords
Once you know the type of content you like making and the niche in which you’re going to be kicking ass in, you need to do some keyword research.
Identifying your ideal keywords will help rocket you up search rankings as soon as possible!
If you have absolutely ZERO idea of what I’m banging on about – don’t worry, I didn’t when I first started. But I put together a SUPER easy to follow guide that helps you ensure you’re ticking all the search engine boxes from the outset which you can grab here.
In the early days it’s key that you build a relationship with your audience by posting quality content and promoting your newest posts regularly.
Use Insta Stories, tweet, comment on other blogs and schedule new posts frequently to really kick things off!
Join The Exciting Emails Community
It’s for bloggers who are wanting to take their hobbies to that next level.
There’s a Facebook group filled with total huns with different experiences and tons of valuable advice.
And a monthly magazine with tips, news and in-depth articles all on blogging – plus I feature my newest favourites. I bet your blog could be one of them! You can get this by signing up to the mailing list.
PLUS a NEW membership option. You can get affordable BESPOKE coaching if you’re super serious about sending your blog into the stratosphere and want to start earning money from it ASAP.
What is the hardest thing about starting a blog for you? What are the hurdles in your way? I’d love to help!
If you found this post helpful, it’d mean the world if you could pin it to Pinterest for other soon-to-be-bloggers to find!