Are you thinking about starting your own blogging journey? If you have found your way here you have probably decided, like me, that you need to earn some more money.
You have heard that people are making money from home, online, and you thought you would give it a try. You have heard a lot about people making money on their blogging journey.
What could you do, well you love to write so that seems the obvious solution. That’s when you think about starting on your blogging journey.
How long until you realise it is not as easy as people say it is. You have been at it days/months/years and still haven’t made a penny. So what do you do?
- Give up!
- Take stock of yourself, go back to square one and start working on topics that you actually know about.
Guess which one I am doing!
Is Your Blogging Journey About Earning Money
You may have started blogging to make some money? Yes, me too. Until I realised I was approaching this all wrong.
I think you need to stop trying to make money, and start thinking about your blog as a place to help people. And helping people does not have to be life or death. Yes you may help people to get out of debt, or deal with a serious illness. But you can equally help people by teaching them to draw a flower, or make a cheesecake.
But you also need to stop thinking of it as some sort of hobby and deal with it on a business footing. You don’t want to get stuck in procrastination city. Busy doing a lot of things but none of them producing anything. You need to have a detailed plan.
I find that you get bombarded with so much information, but you don’t have the knowledge to use it all. You start a blog. You start a twitter account. Then you start a YouTube channel. Then a Pinterest account. You are just doing random steps without linking them all together.
I am now going back to the drawing board as they say. I am going to work on a plan and document my steps along the way. Please feel free to join me!
As my day job is to create training products and courses, that is what I am going to concentrate on. My ultimate goal, like 99.9% of the world’s population is to write a book. My baby steps to get to that stage are to write blog posts and information products. That will probably kill my desire to write a book anyway!
The ultimate aim is to create quality content for your blog.
My Blogging Journey Begins
Step 1 of my new blueprint is to create a blog. And here you are. That is step 1 ticked off then! I am creating this blog as a place to share my thoughts and progress, a place where people can follow along and also see and/or buy my products and training. Read about it or join me on my blogging journey. The more, the merrier!
But that is for the future. At the moment, all I am concerned about is creating my WordPress blog. These are the actions I took to complete step 1. Some people will be a dab hand at creating blogs and will find this information useless! Some people will find it daunting! You will find endless tutorials on YouTube so I have not gone into any detail here. If you need help, just ask.
Like many people, I wanted to learn how to start a blog for free. After some investigation I realised that whilst it probably could be done, it would take longer and be more difficult.
So I have changed to not wanting to spend much money, but being willing to spend money when I have to!
I looked at different options and decided I wanted to start a blog on WordPress. So these steps are around how to start a WordPress blog.
Buy Hosting to Start Your Blogging Journey
Hosting sounds confusing but is really just a ‘place’ on the internet for you to put your ‘stuff’. People then use the internet and find your stuff. A bit like a service provider for your mobile phone which is where your phone number ‘lives’. Like your mobile phone tariff, hosting has a cost.
If you don’t already have hosting, then don’t buy hosting for just 1 domain. You will probably end up with more sites than you think. If you are new to this and don’t currently have hosting, you will find researching this a nightmare. Everyone has something bad to say about every host! I purchased the HostGator baby plan about 6 years ago and I used it for quite a few years. It is less than $10 per month so not overly expensive for something you absolutely need. HostGator was named as the best web hosting service in 2017.
I think hosting is one of those things where if you have a good experience you tell no one but if you have a bad experience you tell the world. Let me just say that although I had not had a bad experience, there were things that started to irritate me.
So around 18 months ago, I moved to SiteGround. And WOW do I love it. I think sometimes you just put up with things and don’t realise that they are getting progressively worse. It was like that with the speed of my sites. My sites loaded so much quicker once I had changed hosts. I heartily recommend SiteGround and they were so helpful when I needed to move my sites over.
Get a Domain Name
I use Namecheap for all my domain names and I have never had a problem. I would definitely recommend them. This is where many people get stuck as they just can’t think of a suitable name. Try not to stay here for too long; just accept that the best names have probably been taken and find one that you like.
If you are not 100% sure what you are going to blog about, try to pick a domain name that doesn’t force you down a track you may not wish to stay on.
Let’s say you want to blog about Cooking for Your Family. You choose a domain name www.cookingforfamily.com (I don’t know if this exists I have just made it up!). You start writing a few blog posts. When writing your posts you realise that you prefer the family budgeting side. You want to write about how to budget and save money. This does not really fit with your domain name.
However if you had chosen the domain name of www.fulfillingfamilylife.com (again – just made up!) you would have more flexibility.
What is a Blog Domain Name
Again staying with the mobile phone idea, this is the equivalent of your telephone number.
You then have to link your telephone number to your service provider. Or in this case, register your domain name on your hosting account. All this means is telling your domain name which DNS servers to use. Your hosting company will send you an email with your DNS servers listed. Add these where you bought your domain name e.g. Namecheap.
If you are stuck there are lots of tutorials available. If you are really stuck, let me know and I will do some detailed instructions for you.
I know the adverts make it look super easy, but don’t install something like Wix. This is what is known as a third-party site and you don’t really own the site.
The most popular, and probably the best option is WordPress. Ensure you use WordPress.org. WordPress is highly customisable which is mainly thanks to the huge library of Plugins. You can get plugins that will do almost anything, but don’t get too carried away with these as they can slow down your site.
Now that you have a website, like your first home you have to make it personal to you. Further posts will cover how to change your website and personalise it.
Hopefully this quick run through has been helpful. Please join me on my blogging journey. If you need any detailed help with any steps, look around the site for further posts.
Use the comments box if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.