Starting a blog brings up a string of questions. What’s the best site to host your blog? How do you make it look nice? Where do you even begin??
I’ve had my fair share of rifling through Google pages, looking for articles that’ll answer all those questions and more. It’s time-consuming, it’s exhausting, and more often than not, you magically end up scrolling through Pinterest* instead of doing research. Oops. Wonder how that happened?? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
That being said, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and a
little LOT frustrated when starting a blog. But I’m here to welcome you to the crazy-awesome world of blogging and equip you with the five steps to starting your own site! What are we waiting for; let’s make the blog of your dreams!
*or, in my case, rewatching old ninjago episodes 😭
creating your site
Before you start writing, first thing’s first — you need to make the space where your content will live… your blog! This guide is most easily applied to WordPress.com sites. I’ve had experience with Blogger, Wix, and Squarespace, but WordPress has had my back everytime and I greatly recommend it.
Creating a site through WordPress is simple. Just go to WordPress.com and click ‘Create New Site’ (or, if you already have a WordPress account, click My Sites > Add New Site). WP guides you through the process quite well, so just follow its lead you’ll be good to go.
The first thing WordPress will ask you to do is name your new site. New bloggers tend to panic over naming their baby blog, but don’t freak out!! It’s totally okay to not know what you want or what you’re even doing*. We’ve all been in a state of lowkey hysteria regarding blogging before. Join the club, amigo.
People tend to supply their blogs with a name that matches their niche, which we’ll talk about in a minute. Some just let their name or a few of their defining characteristics be their blog title. It’s all a matter of what sounds good to you! If you can’t think of anything right now, don’t stress!! It took me months to come up with ‘When Words Fly.’ Set a placeholder name and keep going; you can always change it later.
Then, you’re going to find a domain name — you know, the middle part of the URL. (www.whenwordsfly.com) You’re going to click the name listed on the left of the screen. If the domain on the left doesn’t match your blog name, it’s probably taken. Consider choosing the name on the right of the screen, or coming up with a different domain. Again, you can change it anytime.
Also, yes, I did make Cole a blog about cake for this post’s research. It’s beautiful, thanks for asking.
WordPress will ask you then if you’d like to buy a plan with them, which I wouldn’t recommend until you’re sure you’d like to blog for at least a year AND you’ve done your research on each plan. Once you’ve done that, you’re all finished and your site is ready to be customized. Also known as THE FUN PART.
Just like with blog names, us bloggers tend to severely overthink the visual value of our blogs, but it’s a simple balance of what you want and what you need. Lists are a lifesaver, as per usual. Just make a list of what you need to have (those things that would drive you crazy if you were without them), and what you want (the things you’d like, but be willing to sacrifice). Here’s a little snippet from my lists!
With these two bases covered, I can rule out what I don’t want and find what kind of theme and style fits my new blog. Once you’re satisfied with the technical side of customizing, it’s time forrrr…. aESTHETICSSSS 🤗☀✨⭐🌻💛🙃
People like to crack down on what makes a blog look nice or not, but you know what? Heck to the rules! Your blog’s aesthetic should be anything you want it to be! You want a lot of clean white space with blue and purple accents? That’s cool. You want a neon pink and green wonderland with floral everywhere? That’s awesome, too! Your blog is a representation of you and your brand, meaning you’re free to make it whatever floats your boat. Experiment, have fun, and design to show your heart.
*i mean, i barely even know what i’m doing !!
finding your niche
If there’s one word you’ll hear in your first leg of blogging, it’s NICHE.
Niche, niche, niche. I remember being a baby blogger and wondering why everyone threw the word around like it was the savior of the blogosphere. Like, how do you even ? pronounce that?? It’s been two years and I still do not know.*
A niche is basically narrowing down on the topic you want to write about. Let’s say you’re an up-and-coming blogger who likes women’s lifestyle and sports. Those are broad, broad topics, and, your readers are going to be confused when a summer lookbook and a guide on running an 11-minute mile show up right next to each other.
How about we narrow the topic down a little? Now, you adjust so your blog centers on how sports can benefit women in their everyday lives. This way, your audience is going to be active woman who wish to improve their lives. One audience, one common goal, and an audience you can relate you. And that’s your niche.
In the end, though, your niche doesn’t have to be about your audience. It can be all yours with a simple equation:
(What You Love) + (What You Know) = YOUR NICHE
If you love something, write about it. If you learned something new, write about it. If you want to write about it, for God’s sake, write about it!!!
*ok i looked it up and it can either be ‘nitch,’ ‘neesh,’ or ‘nish’ which is aWeSoMe because i’m now 4x more confused 👌
writing your (first!) post
Your first post is likely the most intimidating post you’ll ever write. It’s like the ultimate blank-page of all blank pages. You could potentially be blogging for years, logging thousands of words a month. How to even begin this sacred legacy????
My suggestion: introduce yourself, just as you would in real life with someone you don’t know. Tell the paper why you’re here, your hopes for the blog, and who you want to reach. In essence, let the post be your feelings getting started. And then – click – let go for the world to see.
It’s scary to hit that publish button for the very first time — heck, sometimes it still is — but, like with all things, it gets easier with time and experience. So just post again… and again… and again… and again…
psttt heres a full guide to how i write my
flawless posts 😉
simalar to this
- what on earth is a BLOGGING VOICE?! // how to make your posts uniquely YOU!
- how to earn more followers RIGHT NOW // 10 realistic ways to grow your blog audience
- Common MISTAKES New Bloggers Make (+ FREE Blogging Milestone Checklist)
launching your blog
Something that’s been coming increasingly more popular in the blogosphere is ‘launching’ your new blog or having a ‘blog tour.’ Both are akin to a grand opening for any other brick-and-mortar business, except much more fun! The point of these is to get the word out about your blog through others with already-established platforms.
Here, you can see my launch tour signups and my tour announcement as an example of what these tours look like. Just, please don’t read any of the other posts on that site. They’re, uh… really awful, as is the rest of the blog. I… just… no.
Making your own launch is much easier than it sounds, though. Just email a handful of bloggers you admire, explaining who you are, what your blog will be about, and if they’d be interested in joining a blog tour. Most of the time, people are more than willing to lend a hand, but blogging schedules or life might get in the way. That’s alright! Pick yourself up and try someone new!
Let’s make this clear: you don’t need to do a launch. You could just sit down and start blogging right now and gain an audience naturally. That’s awesome and it helps you focus on your content instead of stats right off the bat. A launch just gives you a little shove in the right direction.
FACT OF LIFE: Blogging is hARD.
Yes, it’s super fun when you start blogging. Yes, it’s still super fun after blogging for two years. But fun does not always equal easy. It’s a lot of work, and that work doesn’t always get rewarded. There’s even a period in blogging a few months after starting where, no matter how hard you work, you come to a standstill in your growth. And. It. Sucks.
When you get to this point, a quiet voice magically arrives in your brain and slowly starts to convince you to post less, or ‘wait for inspiration’ to post. dO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS VOICE. That little pest is DOUBT and it’s the reason why so many blogs are abandoned to rot away their days deep in the web. You, my friend, aren’t one to give into doubt, so keep pushing on.
In the meantime, write. Read other blogs, make new friends, explore new topics, but mostly write.
You can do this. You can be as successful a blogger as you dare to believe.
You just gotta make the choice to do so.
Viola !! That’s everything you need to know to start your blog right. The blogging world is WILD, to say the least, but it leads you to grow in so many ways. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: blogging is life-changing and I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I hope this post inspires you to take a leap of faith and get started !!!
Let’s discuss!! If you had the chance to start your blog differently, would you take it? What would you change? I might, but I’m also very happy with where I am today! If you’re still thinking about blogging, what would you post about first? Let’s have a discussion in the comments 💛