Have you ever thought about starting your own blog, but didn’t take the leap because you weren’t sure where to start? This super simple guide to starting your own blog will walk you through the basics of setting up a WordPress website so you can get started blogging!
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Why Start Your Own Blog?
Blogging is a great way to have a creative outlet about something you are passionate about. I could talk anyone’s ear off about smart money habits and online business, so having a platform where I can use this passion to help other women has been extremely enjoyable for me.
Making money is also another reason to start your own blog. Not going to lie — I definitely plan to make some money off Financial Flamingo! Blogging requires a small initial investment when compared to most other business ideas. As a blogger, you can make money through ads, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and selling your own products.
Determine Your Niche
Before you can start setting up your blog website, decide what you want to write about. What are you passionate about that you can talk about all day? What is something you can help others with? Decide who your target audience is.
You want this niche you decide on to be very specific. This will help you reach the target audience that you can provide the most value to. Unless you can provide value and solve the problems of your target audience, they aren’t going to keep coming back to your blog.
Once you’ve decided on your specific niche for your blog, start thinking of names that are fun and unique, but will also identify your blog to your target audience. For example, I chose Financial Flamingo because it sounds like a lot of fun, I really like flamingos, and my bf always makes fun of me because I stand on one leg a lot.
You can also just buy a domain with your own name for your blog. This can be a good choice if you’re a lifestyle blogger or if you aren’t sure what exactly your niche is going to be.
Setting Up Site Hosting
Site hosting gives your website a place on the internet that enables people to find it. The company you purchase hosting through will be able to take care of all the behind the scenes technical stuff for you, as well as fix things if you make a mistake when making changes to your site.
Choosing a good company for site hosting is important if you plan on monetizing your blog. You want fast load times for your site and minimal downtime for maintenance. I recommend SiteGround.
SiteGround was extremely easy to set up and I haven’t had any issues with them. Plus, it was one of the cheapest site hosting services I found, at $3.95 a month. I think it provides great value for the price.
You can even purchase your domain through SiteGround while setting up your web hosting — we’ll talk about this next.
Setting Up A Domain
Your domain is extremely important because it allows you to own everything on your website and enables people to find your blog. Buying a domain gives you the URL for your site. I’ve purchased the domain “www.financialflamingo.com”.
I had you think about what you wanted to name your blog a little bit ago. Now you have to make a final decision. It’s not the end of the world if you end up hating the name you pick later, it’s just not a super simple process to change your name later. Try to pick something you really like from the start, but know this isn’t going to make or break you.
Another important step when coming up with your name is making sure there isn’t something out there with that name already. A quick google search will usually tell you pretty quickly if there’s another blog or company that already has your name.
Once you’ve picked your name, it’s time to get your domain set up. I purchased my domain straight through SiteGround. It’s super easy to set up and buy your web hosting and domain all at one time. It will also let you know if your domain is already taken.
So now you’ve got your web hosting set up and domain purchased. Let’s link WordPress to your domain!
This can be a slightly technical step, but it is definitely doable on your own. I got mine set up by myself using this guide: Installing WordPress Blog on SiteGround Hosting — Complete Guide. I’m not incredibly tech-savvy and it probably only took me an hour to get my domain and web hosting set up from start to finish. You can also ask SiteGround for help with this step.
Setting A Blog Theme
This can be one of the most fun parts of starting your own blog! The theme you choose sets the whole aesthetic and feel of your site. There are tons of different places you can get blog themes, both paid and for free.
If you aren’t wanting to immediately pay for your blog theme, WordPress does have quite a few free ones available. These free themes don’t allow for as much customization as paid themes, but they can still look great.
I personally use the Extra theme from Elegant Themes. I like paying for Elegant Themes because there are the Extra and Divi themes available, as well as the Monarch and Bloom plugins. These plugins are great — I have used them both. Monarch provides social media tools and Bloom provides great email opt-ins that link to your email service.
Avoiding Legal Issues
When starting your own blog, making sure your blog is legal is one of the most important steps if you plan on monetizing. There are several legal pages that are required to be included on your website. I’m not an attorney so I can’t really tell you anything specific about the legal requirement of these pages. What I did was purchase a template bundle.
I recommend using this Legal Templates Bundle from Amira at ASelfGuru.com. Amira is both a blogger and a lawyer, so she knows what legal pages bloggers really need. Her templates are extremely easy to use — PLUS when you buy the bundle you get 9 BONUS templates! It is completely worth the money to make sure your blog is protected. You can click here to learn more about these great templates.
Prepare Your Blog Content
So, you have this great website ready to go! You’re just missing one thing… content.
My number #1 tip for starting your own blog is to have content written and ready to go BEFORE launching your site.
Someone else recommended this to me and I didn’t listen. I really regretted that until I had some vacation time planned off work and was able to get a month ahead on writing my posts.
Writing good, quality content takes time. You can churn out a post in an hour to get content posted, but it’s not likely to be quality content that people want to read. Take the time to plan out and write a month’s worth of content before launching your blog. Seriously. Do. This.
Once you’ve made it through this entire checklist and have some content ready to go — hit that “launch site” button!
Blogging takes a ton of work – I won’t lie to you there – but it is so so worth it! Get your blog up and running and start building the business you’ve always wanted! Good luck on your blogging journey!