How to Start a Blog in 2018

April 24, 2018 | Blogging

Blogging is a really fun way to share your thoughts, talk about a passion of yours, or help other people. But it certainly can be intimidating when you’re first starting out! Today, I want to talk about how to start a blog in 2018!

STEP 1 | Pick a topic

The very first thing you’ll want to do is decide on what exactly you want your blog to be about.

It could be a personal blog, where you write about your life, keep readers up-to-date, share your thoughts, etc. A good example of this would be The Pioneer Woman, who writes about her life on the farm.

You could also write a niche blog, meaning the topic is very specific, such as food blogs, fashion blogs, or travel blogs. You can share tips, examples, or advice on your particular topic. A good example of this would be Nomadic Matt whose niche is how to travel inexpensively.

STEP 2 | Pick a name

Once you’ve decided on a topic, now it’s time to come up with a name! I’d recommend thinking long and hard about your blog name because it can be a headache to change once you have your blog established. When I first created my blog, I couldn’t think of a catchy name so I just chose my first and middle name, kristeneliza.com. There were a few problems with this in my opinion:

1. Personal names are hard for people to remember. Think of how many names you’ve heard in your lifetime. If you’re a new blogger and someone randomly stumbles on your blog, the chances of them remembering your personal name a week later are pretty slim.

2. Personal names can be spelled so many different ways. If someone asked what my blog name was and I said kristeneliza.com, they might type it in later as kristineliza.com or kirsteneliza.com or kirstineliza.com… 

 

Once I realized that I wanted to change my blog name to Miss Northerner, I had to go through the process of switching everything over which took a lot of time.

 

So here’s some advice on picking a good blog name:

1. Your blog name should be obvious when spoken verbally. You should be able to say what your blog name is without someone saying, “wait, what?” or “how do I spell that?” 

2. Don’t make it too long. Try sticking to two words if possible. Three is pushing it. Four is too much. 

3. Check to see if the corresponding Gmail account is already taken. For example, if you want your blog name to be coolblog.com and the Gmail account coolblog@gmail.com is already taken, that’d be something to keep in mind.

4. Check to see if the social media handles are already taken (ie. @coolblog). Head over to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and check to make sure they’re still available.  

5. Try to avoid dashes. It can be tempting to throw a dash in there if the name you want is already snatched up. But I’d say instead of choosing, cool-blog.com, I’d just go back to the drawing board and pick a new one.

STEP 3 | Get your blog online

So you’ve decided on a topic, you’ve chosen a blog name, now you need to put it online!

To get your blog online, you need a platform where you actually write blog content as well as hosting. To make things simple, I would recommend just heading over to Bluehost. You’ll get your domain name for free, 24/7 support, and they even have a one-click WordPress install. How easy is that??

STEP 4 | Customize your blog

This is the fun part! You can either choose a free WordPress theme or you can pay for a theme. I personally pay for my theme through Elegant Themes. I chose to use Divi which I absolutely LOVE.

Check out my step-by-step tutorial on how to install the Divi theme on your WordPress website here.

STEP 5 | Start writing

The last thing is to simply start blogging! The single, most important piece of advice I can offer about having a blog is to be consistent. Post on a regular basis and have set days on when you publish. Make sure to add photos when applicable and start sharing on social media so that people can find your blog.
That’s all I have for today! I hope this helps you in your blogging journey 🙂
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