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Start a blog. Have you been hearing the buzz about making money online with a blog? Have you been thinking you would like to start a blog? Are you a complete beginner and don’t know where to start? Are the technical aspects of a blog scary to you? Don’t worry boo, I got you.
I always thought of myself as technically savvy until I decided to start a blog. With all the information out there starting a blog can be really overwhelming and suck the fun right out of it.
Has a lot of the information you have been reading about starting a blog been kind of complicated? It was for me.
When I decided to start a blog I felt like everyone started any kind of teaching or training ten steps ahead of where I needed them to be for me to understand what they were talking about. What I really needed was some super basic information on how to start a blog, something even I could understand.
If you are struggling like I was, then have I got some good information for you.
What is the first thing to do when you start a blog?
Before you start a blog the first thing you will need to do is pick a niche. I have hidden secrets you can use to find your niche.
A niche is your area of expertise. It’s what you blog about. Let’s say you started a blog about food. Your blog would be about food, but if you wanted to narrow down your niche, it would be something more specific like vegan food.
It’s important for you to choose the right niche when you start a blog. If you don’t choose correctly you may become bored and not want to post, or even worse abandon your blog all together. But don’t worry, if you don’t have your exact niche right away, you will figure that out as you go along.
The good thing is, when you have a new blog you don’t have many readers. Yes, I said it, it’s a good thing not to have much of an audience when you first start a blog. It’s good because you will make mistakes. So don’t worry at all about making mistakes, just jump in and start your blog.
Once you have established your niche, finding a name is your next project.
Finding a name that fits your brand is super important! I don’t want to scare you here but you really have to put some time into naming your blog. Your blog isn’t just a blog, it’s going to be part of your future business. So you want a name that can stick!
If you really want to learn how to name your blog I highly recommend the book Hello My Name Is Awesome – How to Create Brand Names That Stick by Alexandra Watkins.
Alexandra is a naming guru. She says there are two tests you can take to see if you picked a good name. Scratch – if it makes you scratch your head because it’s confusing or Smile – if the name makes you smile because it’s either catchy or just makes sense!
So choose a name for your blog that you like. One that tells exactly what it is and what you do so when your readers come to your blog, they don’t get confused.
Once you’ve picked out your blog name it’s time to create a tagline.
A tagline is something that sums up your blog in one sentence.
Think about some of the greatest taglines of all time, “The happiest place on earth.” Disney World “, OR “Finger Lickin’ Good” KFC. It may take you some time to figure out your tagline, but you will. If it’s not perfect right away, don’t worry about it at all you can always change it later.
OK, my tagline “Your successful blog starts here.” may not be quite finger licking good but hopefully it invokes the feeling of what my blog is about, helping people create a successful blog.
Your tagline is almost as important as your name so put a lot of thought and effort into it. If you don’t get it right the first time you can always tweak it later and make it the best tagline ever.
You’ve found your niche, name, and tagline so it’s time to set up your blog!
You are going to need a host for your blog. A host is where your website lives online. It’s where it is housed on computers called servers.
From all of my research (and personal experience!) I’ve come to the conclusion SiteGround is the best hosting solution. They are really reasonably priced, but the goldmine with SiteGround is their tech support.
SiteGround’s tech support is so helpful. They have tutorials for everything, but if you still can’t get it (been there done that) you can speak with them on the phone or even better live chat 24 hours a day 7 days a week!
Remember when I said that I was technically challenged?
I was not lying, *hand raise* “My name is Deanna and I am tech challenged.”. SiteGround tech support will hold your hand each time you need to fix something on your site and they are happy to help. They never ever make you feel tech challenged even if you *ahem* are like me.
SiteGround’s plans start as low as $3.95 per month for the basic plan. You can buy your domain (your web address) right when and where you buy the hosting.
SiteGround has a dot-com checker on the same page you purchase your hosting. You just type in the web address that you would like to have and SiteGround lets you know immediately if it’s available.
If your blog name and domain don’t totally match, that is just fine!
Lets say I chose Mango Life for the name of my blog, yet mangolife.com was already taken. I could go ahead and purchase a domain name like LivingTheMangoLife.com
I can still keep the blog name I so thoughtfully chose, and I get a clever (yet a little different) dot-com to go along with it! People may even remember livingthemangolife.com easier than mangolife.com because it’s a fun play on my blog name.
When purchasing a domain, stick with a dot-com address because that is much more popular and easier to remember than a dot biz or a dot net or dot any other extension.
Once you decide on a SiteGround hosting plan you can set up your blogging platform.
WordPress is my favorite platform, it’s easy to use and you can integrate the next step, your WordPress theme from Bluchic. WordPress.com is a site that you don’t own, you want a wordpress.org site.
This whole WordPress thing may sound a little confusing but let me explain…
When you have a wordpress.org website you host your own site using SiteGround or any other hosting site you choose.
WordPress.org is totally free and you get a professional site that you can have complete control over. My wordpress.org site is planblogrepeat.com and I have it hosted on SiteGround.
When you have a WordPress.com website, your site is hosted by WordPress. WordPress has a free plan and your site has a wordpress.com sub domain.
To really break it down…
Meaning if I had a WordPress.com site my web address would be planblogrepeat.wordpress.com. That example is a sub domain. So. not. cute. Not only would you have to have wordpress.com in your web address, they would place ads on your site that you could not control. If people click on those ads, WordPress gets paid, not you.
Any who, once you have purchased your hosting package with SiteGround, you will need to install WordPress. Lucky for us, SiteGround makes it super easy with a tutorial that walks you through all four steps to install WordPress.
If you were to have any issues installing WordPress, you can chat with SiteGround support and they will help you out by holding your hand through the process with screen shots and explanations. Can you tell I’ve had to have them help me a lot? Hey, we are not born knowing how to do things we have to learn. That’s why God gave us tech support. 😉
Once WordPress is Installed you can move on to the next phase to start a blog.
Setting up your email.
Having your own email is what you will need to be professional. If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger you need to have your emails come from your own domain.
I would not want to have my email be firstname.lastname@example.org especially when email comes free with my hosting plan.
When you purchase a site with SiteGround, all of their plans give you a free email account for your domain. You can make your email anything that you would like @yourdomain.com. SiteGround even has comprehensive tutorials for setting up your email.
You can get your email up and running fairly quickly. You can configure a mail client like Gmail or you can access it right in the cpanel of your SiteGround account.
Once the bones of your site are in place you can move on to the pretty part, designing your website.
Want to hear an embarrassing story? Years ago I overpaid someone to design a WordPress Theme for me. A theme is what your blog looks like, the colors, pages, designs, and fonts.
I paid over $2000 for this horrible ugly theme. I wish I had a picture of if, well maybe I don’t because it was so hideous. It was dated and totally unprofessional looking.
I always loved to create content, but the technical aspect of blogging never came easy to me. Not only did I over pay for this hideous theme (my blog), but I had no way to change anything on it and my web designer wanted me to pay to have anything changed.
In the end, I uninstalled the theme I overpaid for and created my own ugly theme that I could control. It was a little less ugly but at least it was free and I was able to make my own changes.
Bluchic is a beautiful way to start a blog on the right track.
Fast forward to today, this time I got smart. I bought a Bluchic theme. It’s gorgeous and so user-friendly! Whatever I can’t figure out on my blog theme they have a tutorial for. If I don’t understand how to do something I submit a ticket and within 24 hours I get a response! Guess how much this all cost me? $79! *face palm*
It’s embarrassing to put my mistakes on blast, but hey, maybe my mistakes can save you from making the same expensive ones when you start a blog.
Bluchic has all these beautiful customizable themes that can make working on your site a piece of cake!
WordPress has customizable themes but unless you are a pro they won’t look professional and they probably won’t have the capability to do what you want.
After you start a blog are you planning on selling products?
If you are planning on selling products on your site, Bluchic is great for that because they have a woo commerce site built right in.
Woo commerce is a WordPress plugin that lets you have a store right on your blog. You can sell physical and or digital products with woo commerce. Woo! You may not want to sell things right away when you start a blog, but it’s something you will have ready when you need it.
With woo commerce you can add things to your store and sell them.
With certain Bluchic themes, woo commerce is already set up and in place. You will love the ease of having a built-in woo commerce site!
Another great perk of Bluchic is that if you are really not good at the technical side of blogging or just don’t have the time to learn, you can pay them to install it exactly like the demo site(the demo sites are gorgeous you can see them in their woo commerce shop!) and all you have to do is add the content. So easy! Ultra professional! Super affordable at $129! Sorry, I get excited about things that are awesome and don’t require technical knowledge.
Or you can just install your Bluchic theme yourself with a tutorial. How you set up your blog is entirely up to you.
In case you were wondering, my site is Bluchic’s Isabelle. I did set it up myself so if I was able to install it and set it up almost anybody probably can. It would have been faster if I would have paid to have it installed, but I did learn how to use it really well and I can do any later customizations myself easily because I now know how to do it.
Once you have your theme installed, you can start designing.
A good blog banner will have your blog name and tag line. I have a tutorial for you How To Create a Blog Banner With Pic Monkey. Pic Monkey is super easy to use and great for beginners. You can design your logo, site icon (what you see in the browser tab if you look at the tab for this page it’s a red heart) and banner using Pic Monkey.
Investing in your blog.
A blog is the cheapest startup business you can have. It costs hardly anything to start a blog. It’s one of the lowest investments for any business and it can have the highest returns. You can always continue to invest in systems, training and programs as your blog grows.
You can hire someone to do any of these things if you have the budget. It is good though to learn some of it though because otherwise you will always be waiting on someone else to do any customizations.
I have the perfect free printable for you to use while you are setting up your blog and beyond! It’s my free printable Daily Top 5. With Plan Blog Repeat’s Productivity Tools – My Daily Top 5 will not only be your top 5 to do’s but your Top 5 success Habits you can follow every day.
So there you have it, how to start a blog even if you are technically challenged. That wasn’t so bad was it? If you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comments I’m here for you!
My Daily Top 5
With Plan Blog Repeat's Productivity Tools - My Daily Top 5 will not only be your top 5 to do's but your Top 5 success Habits you can follow every day.