One question that I get asked a lot by my non-blogging friends is ‘How do I start my own blog?’ When I first started blogging in 2011 I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. For me, it was simply a process of trial and error. I really wasn’t prepared for the vast amount of new skills I would have to learn.
Today I’m sharing with you four easy steps for starting your own blog.
Think About your Niche
The very first thing that you need to think about once you have decided you’d like to start a blog is ‘What do I want to write about?’ It may sound silly but you’d be amazed at how many people are so fixated on the starting of the blog that they haven’t actually stopped to think about what they want to share on it.
Here are a few examples of popular blogging niches…
Fashion : Parenting : Food : Fitness : Beauty : Travel : Money Saving
Now I’m not saying here that you have to pick just one niche and stick to it. You’ll probably find that over time your focus will change. I know a lot of bloggers who started out prominently as parenting bloggers and have organically grown into food bloggers. There is always room for change but having that initially focus will stop you from creating a blog with hundreds of different topics which readers can find confusing.
Some questions to ask yourself before you choose a niche…
‘What am I passion about?’
‘What do we do at home on a regular basis?’
‘What is my aim for my blog’?
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Decide on a Name for your Blog
This one needs careful consideration and it’s definitely worth having a brainstorming session playing around with different names before you decide on one. Start by having a few different examples of names you like the sound of, then think about whether that name fits in with your niche.
Tip: Try to pick a name that you can grow with.
There is nothing worse than being stuck with a name for your blog that you have outgrown. I know this from experience. This blog was originally called Cold Tea & Smelly Nappies which at the time pretty much summed up my life.
I had two children under four whom were both still in nappies and it seemed an endless cycle of changing smelly nappies and drinking cold tea. However 5 years later and my children are well and truly out of nappies and I regularly enjoy a hot cup of tea. My blog name just didn’t fit my lifestyle anymore and I had to rebrand my entire blog which, although doable, is no easy feat.
Once you have a few names in mind you then need to Google them to make sure that they aren’t already taken. There is a fantastic free website called Name Checker where you can check whether the name you’d like to use is currently being used elsewhere. It’s very easy to use and enables you to check across multiple networks.
Some points to consider…
Is there already a blog out there with a similar name?
Is the name easy to understand? Will people get it?
Does the name sum up what your blog is about?
Can you grow with your chosen name?
Hosting your Blog
For the sake of keeping it simple, I’m going to say that you have two options for this…
Hosted or Self-Hosted
What’s the difference?
Hosted: A hosted blog is on a platform such as Blogger. They are free to have but you will not own your blog, the hosting company (in this case Blogger) will. A hosted blog can be great for anyone that only wishes to blog as a hobby and doesn’t intend to make money from their blog.
Self Hosted: You have to pay for a self-hosted blog and it will require you to buy your own domain name. Once you have purchased your domain name you will need to find a host. I personally use iPage and I would highly recommend them. I have been with them for over 5 years now and never had an issue. They have a fantastic 24hr customer service and their hosting packages are very competitive. A package can start from as little as £1.50 a month!
Visit: My free How To Start a WordPress Blog on iPage tutorial for a step by step guide on setting up your own blog. Complete with screenshot images.
Buying a Domain Name
Once you have decided on a hosting company you will need to buy a domain name for your blog. That is unless you have opted to go for a free hosted blog which comes with a domain name, although it will have something like Blogspot or equivalent at the end of it.
What is a domain name?
A domain name is how people will find your blog, so as a rule, it needs to be the same name you have chosen for your blog. For example, my blog is called Gypsy Soul and my domain name is www.gypsysoul.co.uk. I personally bought my domain name from my hosting company, iPage, but there are lots of other places too.
Tip: I would recommend buying your domain name from your chosen host if you can, otherwise you will need to transfer the domain over to your hosting site which can be a bit of a pain.
That’s it! By now you should be well on your way to having your very own blog. I really do hope that you have found this information helpful and I love to hear about how you are getting on with your own blogs. Feel free to ask me questions using the comments section below.
Blogging for Beginners eCourse
If you’d like to know more about setting up and creating your own blog, including designing your blog, writing your first blog post and adding images to your blog then please do sign up for my FREE Blogging for Beginners Ecourse, where you will receive weekly emails with tips and tricks to creating a great blog.