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First, decide on your niche and choose a blog name
Figuring out your niche and blog name can be the most time-consuming part of starting your blog so try not to get frustrated.
Starting with your target audience or niche can help you narrow down what you’ll want your blog name to represent. The easiest way to do this is to write down a list of all the things that make you, you.
Include all your hobbies and the things that you love. Go to your Pinterest boards for ideas if you have one. You’ll see what interests you the most by the number of pins in that board.
Once you have an idea of your niche, spend some time playing around with all the words you wrote down and try two and three word combos. Try to stay away from quirky spellings if you can because it might make your blog hard to search. Write down a list of at least five possibilities.
If you are really struggling with figuring out what you will specialize in, don’t worry. It happens to LOTS of bloggers. You can always start out with something broad like lifestyle and narrow it down as you go along.
Some bloggers even suggest using just your name like sashalassey as your domain which allows you to stay broad on topics if you need to.
Often, what your audience reacts to positively will start to form your niche as you create posts as it is likely the thing that interests you the most and is most authentic.
Second, register for your domain name and choose a hosting site
Now that you’ve rounded up a list of names that might work for you, you’ll need to secure or register your domain.
If you are signing up with a free site host like WordPress, Wix or Blogger, your domain site name will be included with the download. When you go this route, please be aware that you will not actually own your site.
Some free sites will allow you to monetize with some customization and upgrades to your plan but most will not.
You can transfer it to a self-hosted site at a later time if you need to, but it can sometimes be tricky so I suggest that you purchase a hosting site right off the bat.
This will allow you to make income from your blog and you own your own site. This for me is HUGE.
I highly recommend SiteGround for setting up your blog. It’s easy-peasy to use and the customer service is crazy good. And if you follow this special link, you can get your site hosted for as little as $3.95 per month and your domain name registration is FREE!! (I love FREE)
PRO TIP: If you sign up for three years at the introductory rate, it will cost you less than one year at the regular rate, so I would suggest you do that and save yo self some moola.
Last, download WordPress, choose a theme and install some tools
Luckily, WordPress is easy to use and install. If you are using the free WordPress.com, the site will connect you instantly to the platform and you can start posting and editing right away.
If you are self-hosting through SiteGround or another self-hosted site, the installation is usually integrated into the setup steps. Meaning- Siteground will walk you through all the steps you will need to have it installed by the end of your registration process. No extra downloads or uploads, which is incredible! TIP- Keep a notebook handy for all the passwords. You’ll need them!
Once you have it all set up, the next part is to make it look pretty!! This is by far mine, and I’m sure everyone’s favorite part! There are a ton of free themes available through WordPress.org that can get you started. Think clean and bright to have a more professional appearance. Some of my favs are Kalon, Anissa, Ashe and Elegant Pink.
Most of the freebies have some limited customization options as well. The nice thing is that you can preview what each of them will look like. Keep in mind what it will look like on a device such as a phone or tablet as that is what most of your readers will be using.
You can always upgrade later
If you don’t find any that suit you, you can pick up some beautiful, fully customizable ones for under $100 on sites like Creative Market and Etsy and you will have support from the developer.
Vanessa over at Blog Pixie has some incredible add-ons for your blog theme too for a great price and there are weekly freebies full of graphics there too! When you get to this point, check out my blog post on How to Customize Your Social Media Icons to walk you through that step-by-step.
You’ll also want to install some plugins to help. Your WordPress dashboard will have a link for you to follow to search and find plugins. There are two must-haves right from the beginning.
Yoast SEO, which will help you when you write your post to make sure that it has the best possible search engine optimization (SEO). Also, Shareaholic which will let readers share your content. YAY!!
That’s it! You are all set to write your very first blog post!
If you want full details plus some extras, you can request to download the entire Free Ultimate Blogging Toolkit for Beginners here!
It has a ton of extras that aren’t in this post!
- Beginner Blogger’s Dictionary to help sort out some of the lingo
- A sheet of start-up costs and other things to consider
- Some ideas and tips for creating your first post
- Bonus tips
- A ton of helpful links to get you up and running today!
CLICK on the pic below to get your Free copy of The Ultimate Blogging Toolkit for Beginners today!
Have you started your blog yet? How is it coming?