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Now when I started my blog I was lucky enough to have a wife who had been blogging already for over six years so she was able to tell me a lot of the what NOT to do’s. Unfortunately not everyone is that lucky.
There are a lot of things to starting a blog and you want to make sure you do it the right way because just one thing wrong can trip you up and make for a problem down the line.
First why do you want to blog? Some people just use it as a journal to vent and the end of the day. While others use it as a source of income. Yes you can make money from blogging but it is not over night. If you want to make money doing this you have to think of it as owning your own company and you will probably lose some money before you make any. If you stick it out long enough the payout can be great.
Now to the list of how to start your blog…
1. Decide On Your Blog Niche
You first want to know what path you are going to want to take as a blogger and that is very important.
For example my blog is a lifestyle blog. I did that for a reason. I didn’t want to pin myself down to just one area. That is why up in the menu above you see health, wealth, family and the recently added blogging sections. It gives me the option to write about many different things. On the other hand if I had decided to be a financial blogger that pins me to that and makes it very difficult to transition if my passion changes.
Some ideas of what you can blog about are: crafting, DIY, Interior Design, Fashion, Makeup and Beauty, Travel, Health, Wealth, Family or as my blog is set up it allows me to mix some of these.
2. Choose Your Blog Name
This was the fun part for me. I wanted to make sure I could find a website that wasn’t taken as well though so that took research. If you didn’t know the meaning behind my blog name its this: I am a dad who strives to be the best at everything I do and I wanted to share that with everyone and help as many people achieve that as possible. That is why I feel everyone can live a million dollar life. That is where I came up with The Million Dollar Dad.
When it comes to your name be creative if you like or just use your name. My wife’s blog right now is A Fresh Start On A Budget but she has expressed that when her blog gets big she wants to rebrand to her own name.
3. Grow Your Audience (Pre Launch)
Now I know your probably asking yourself… How can I grow my audience if I haven’t even started my blog? Simple create yourself a Pinterest account and start getting followers. Now I did just this because I knew I wanted to start a blog and I grew my Pinterest to just about 2k and in my first month I was consistently getting over 50 session.
I am now currently in my third month and since this isn’t my full time job I just didn’t want a day under 50 sessions or users and so far I have had 11/16 over 100 with one day almost hitting 200. You will also want to continue this after you launch your blog.
4. Buy Web Hosting + Register Your Domain Name
Now if you feel like you have your blog name swing by Namemesh.com over there you will be able to see if that sites taken. You will also be able to combine words about your blog/business to come up with the perfect name. Once you have that taken care of you are at a point where its time to chose your web hosting and there are a ton of them out there.
Do your research before you chose though because some may say oh $1.99 a month… but then their loading speed is horrible or their customer service is horrible. Please don’t just go off the price.
After much research that I did there were three that I narrowed it down to 3.
Bluehost where they offered:
- FREE Domain Name for 1st Year
- FREE SSL Certificate Included
- 1-Click WordPress Install
- 24/7 Support
$7.99 $3.95/month* if that interests you click HERE
Then there was Siteground where they offered:
SPECIAL PRICE $3.95/mo. Regular $11.95/mo.
- 1 Website
- 10 GB Web Space
- ~ 10,000 Visits Monthly
- FREE SSL and HTTPS
- FREE Email
- 24/7 WP Support
- Unmetered Traffic and lots more if that interests you click HERE
Then there was DreamHost where they offered:
Shared Unlimited: $5.95/mo
- Unlimited Websites
- Free Domain included
- Unlimited Traffic
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- WordPress Pre-installed
- Fast SSD Storage
- Free SSL Certificate
- Unlimited Email @ Your Domain if that interests you click HERE
I ended up choosing DreamHost and they have been amazing. Every time an issue has come up they have it fixed almost instantly which in my opinion is what a blog owner wants, also if your site is down people can’t visit it and that is not what you want. Another thing that I have enjoyed about them is the loading time. So far I have not had any issues with how fast my site loads and I love it.
5. Use of WordPress
There is wordpress.org and wordpress.com so be careful with this. I recommend using .ORG because that gives you more control of your site. If you are using .COM you are forced to have the extension wordpress.com in the site name unless you know how to hide it or pay for the plan to remove it. WordPress.org has a vast collection of templates, plugins and other things that are customizable that makes the users experience on your page that much better that you can not fully take advantage of on .COM.
6. Start Creating Content For Your Blog
Since I had you grow your audience prior to your launch with Pinterest that is a good place to get blog post ideas. Comb through and get ideas of things that interest you and before you launch your blog write 5-10 good posts.
Make sure you install the plugin Yoast because this plugin helps with the readability of your post. It does it in such a simple way to, just like a stop light RED = BAD while GREEN = GOOD!
When you are writing your blog posts think about the readers. Think if I was reading this would this one block of text be super painful on the eyes? OR Is something you adding too much of really needed or is it slowing the read?
If you’re not the best when it comes to spelling and grammar, Grammarly an amazing tool to have!
7. Photos For Your Blog
It is VERY important that you DO NOT STEAL anyone’s photos. If you are not good at taking your own photos then use a stock photo site. A great site to start with is CANVA. Though if you want your pins to be noticed you need to use your own photos and not stock photos, just something I have learned over the last couple months.
8. Grow Your Audience (Launch+Post Launch)
There are many places that you can let people know about your blog. First start pinning your posts that you have to your Pinterest. When you do this don’t blast one pin into all your boards.
Going back to step #3 for a minute: I originally grew my Pinterest account to over 4k followers before I launched my blog. Then when I launched I started pinning my posts everywhere, according to the Pinterest policy I didn’t violate anything but the bots they have monitoring things viewed it as spamming and suspended that account. It was ok because I learned a lesson early and not when my account was as big as my wife’s account: A Fresh Start.
So right now here are where I choose to post my blog:
- Pinterest and this is where I get the most traffic so I focus on this the most.
- Twitter this is where I share a lot of other bloggers content and I will explain that shortly.
- Instagram I struggle with but I post here when I can
- LinkedIn I have grown a large audience over the years so I try to take advantage of it
- Facebook Slowly but surely grow my Facebook page. Nothing serious just want to have a presence there.
- Mix Every time I post I try to share it here
- Viral Content Bee This one I am still waiting to see if I get any returns from it but its interesting.
Now these are some places that you will want to join to help grow your audience.
Tailwind: If you are not using this as a Pinterest pin scheduler than click the link HERE and start! Like I said earlier with Pinterest how I was suspended for pinning too much, well this makes it so that hasn’t happened.
Bloggers Helping Bloggers: Active Pinterest Group boards are very important to help your growth and this is my group board and it is currently my most active board with 31K impression (when this post was written)
Facebook Groups (NO LINK… You’ll have to search for the right ones to join) In these there are typically threads for Pinterest or to Click to your sites all you have to do is follow the rules and you get a traffic boost!
Bloggers Traffic Community: This place is amazing! They are similar to Facebook groups. However this is definitely a more powerful version of the Facebook groups.
One more thing, once you launch your blog make sure you have Google Analytics to track your traffic. It will give you a good break down of users, sessions and new users.
RELATED POST: 15 Blogging Tips To Help You Better Your Blog
9. Monetize Your Blog
Now there are a few different ways to do this and as you grow they get better. There are three main ways for you to earn money once you feel you are comfortable enough with the basics and are ready to monetize your blog.
- Sign up with advertisers and get ads running on your site. For me first step was getting Google AdSense going. Personally after that I am looking to get to a level where I can work with MediaVine. You have to have a minimum of over 25k sessions a month before they will work with you. Then eventually I want to get to Adthrive but they want a minimum of 100k.
- If you write posts that mention products or services then add affiliate links to them for example: I LOVE the Amazon Echo I have in my kitchen, not only do I use it for listening to music but I also use it as a timer while cooking.
- Write a book, create a product. physical or not… it could be an eBook my wife has eBooks that she has written.
So there is your guide on how to start a blog the right way. I hope you enjoyed it.