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I remember when I was thinking about starting my first blog back in 2014 (seems so long ago!) I was so nervous! Anytime I read a post about starting a blog, everyone had something different to say and what steps needed to be taken.
Some were simply trying to sell their own products such as e-books, courses, or services.
It was so overwhelming! So much so that I waited almost a year before starting my own blog! And you know what?? I should have just started it!
Blogging has become such an amazing part of my life!
It’s challenging and rewarding in all the best ways!
Yes, there is so much to learn and the to-do list never seems to end but it’s fulfilling. I get to write my own stories and help others live their best lives!
I don’t think that there will be a period in my life where I’m not blogging even if I’m not making any income.
The connections that I get to make through blogging are awesome! I have friends all over the place!
Blogging is different from any other kind of industry in that almost everyone agrees that it’s about community over competition. There is always room for more bloggers because not a single one is the same. No one will have the same story and no one explains the same stuff in quite the same way.
Don’t feel like there isn’t a need for your voice!
More to the point of this post, this is a beginners guide to the more techie side of starting a blog.
There are so many steps to blogging and this post will go over just a few that will help get started.
By choosing a domain name
Selecting a hosting site
And installing WordPress
I also included some resources that I recommend for any beginner!
What is a domain name? It’s basically the address of your blog. That whole www.domainname.com is what I’m talking about!
When choosing your domain.
I stressed for days about choosing my domain!! I just couldn’t think of that perfect one that conveyed everything that I wanted to say. There would be other blogger’s domains and I think that is so perfect! Why didn’t I think of that??
I did some research and after choosing my own domain there are a few questions to ask yourself while making your decision.
- Is it short?
You don’t want something too long because it’s makes it more difficult for readers to remember.
- Does it make sense?
There is no reason to write about food but your domain speaks of gardening…
- Does it reflect you?
People come for the content but stay because of you! Make sure that your domain has some of you in it!
Myself and several other bloggers choose their names (initials in my case), which is honestly perfect!
I mean what’s more you than your name?
If you use your name, there is always room to grow and change. A lot of blogger’s change their focus as they grow into their passion it’s totally normal!
Plus, as people continue to love your content, they’ll remember who you are and remember your domain! Meaning it’ll be so easy for them to just pop in and find you!
Before we talk about who should your host be, let’s talk about the differences between self-hosting and not.
Self-hosting is not free (I know!! Huge bummer!) You will want to own your blog especially if you ever want to make any money off of your blog.
A free hosting site like WordPress.com or Blogger.com will have all the rights to your site, they’ll be the ones who place ads onto your site and make money off of it, not you!
And truly, a self-hosted site is not nearly as expensive as you might think. Many come down to only $3.95 a month! Like Siteground, which is what I use.
Deciding on which hosting company to use, there is Bluehost, Justhost, Godaddy, and many others.
I personally use Siteground and almost all of my favorite bloggers use Siteground! I just can’t say enough of them! The customer service is above and beyond anything I can imagine!
Let me walk you through how to get your site up and running with Siteground and at the end I’ll tell you about a couple freebies that they offer that you’ll want for your site!
Let’s get started!
Choose your plan
Just starting out, you’ll do great with the start up plan (sounds a tad redundant LOL). Once your site starts to grow Siteground is super easy in transitioning your blog to a larger plan.
Set up your domain
This part is super easy so long as your domain isn’t already chosen and if you’re switching from another hosting service, plug in your current domain and Siteground will walk you through the process of moving your website over.
You’ll have to set up an account and enter your billing info.
Finish choosing the details of your hosting service, you can choose 12, 24, or 36 months and next are the extra services.
Domain privacy– You’ll definitely want this! This is what will protect your personal information from being taken from outside sources,
SG site scanner– A monitoring service that immediately tells you if your account has been attacked, hacked, or gotten an extreme virus!
Siteground will automatically give you a SSL and HTTPS so you won’t have to worry about paying a plugin to do it for you!
The SSL is, Secure Sockets Layer meaning that any information that your readers have on their computer will be secure and protected when they visit your site and won’t be in danger of being stolen.
Same with HTTPS, Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure that Google is ranking higher within its search engine.
Great for making sure that your website will be seen in keyword searches.
You’ll also have access to making email accounts for your blog (one of my ALL time favorite feautres!!)
Emails like email@example.com which are awesome because they make you look much more professional and knowledgeable than a simple Google account.
Those are just a couple perks of working with Siteground like I said customer service is great!
Website building, great! SSL certification, great!!
Setting up WordPress
What is WordPress? Well if your domain is your address and your hosting is like your foundation, then WordPress is your house!
WordPress is where your site will sit and where you’ll do all of your work for your blog. You’ll customize it, content create, and do just about everything!
WordPress is used by nearly half of the Internet for websites or blog (I use it!! As well does every other blogger I know!)
WordPress offers you so much!
Free site themes and designs
Online articles and videos to teach you how to best your site
Plugins like APPS to use for your site
5 minute install wait
I mean so many things! It’s simply awesome!!
Here is a little walk through for installing your WordPress
BAM!! You have yourself a blog!!
Here are a few things to do before launching your newly created blog!
Design your blog
WordPress has literally thousands of free themes but they’re limited in how customizable you can make them. If you want to pay for a theme I use go check out, Pipdig. I simply loved them! They offer to set up your new theme for you and always get back with you quickly if you have any trouble.
If you don’t like any themes that they offer though, I’ve seen other bloggers suggest, this one or this one.
And there you! You’ve just finished all of the necessary parts of creating your blog! Probably didn’t even take you half an hour!
Before you get start running around creating new posts, here are some blogging resources that you should have the make your blogging life a little easier.
Yoast SEO – This will give you a checklist on your post to help use SEO, search engine optimization, to the fullest to help get seen in search engines.
Akismet anti-spam – Helps protect your blog against spam.
Social Warfare – A plugin to help your social media game.
WP super cache – Super fast caching plugin, caching is a way for the server to store information for the user next time.Start your own blog today! Click To Tweet
Grammarly – I use this to help me with my writing. It’s a great service! It’s a writing service that proofreads your writing for grammar and spelling mistakes, saves me a ton of time when I go back to edit my post before I publish it. You can download their app to add to your browser or upload the document straight to your account. Not only is it great for grammar but they also have a plagiarism detector. Great for students! (Just saying LOL)
Google Analytics – This is a MUST in order to track how many users, sessions, and page views you have!
You can also see where your readers are coming from such as Pinterest, Facebook, or Google.
Also, you can track what posts are doing better than others; see what pins are getting clicked on, and so much else. I love using Google analytics to see where the bulk of my readers are coming from so I can place more energy into that source rather than waste my time somewhere else.
Mailerlite – A great email service! You’ll want to start building your email list right away and Mailerlite is a great service to use when you’re starting out.
Relatively easy to use and build sequences where emails will automatically be sent out, see how well each email does, and create groups of subscribers to help choose which should receive what email.
I’ll admit that it did take a little bit to quite get the hang of using this service but since their last update I’ve found it to be much easier!
Tailwind – One of my favorite services!! This is an automated scheduler that you can use for Pinterest to have pins being pinned with no more than an hour or twos work a week!! Try it free for 30 days, here!
Share-a-sale – There is no reason why you can’t start using affiliates from your very first day! Share-a-sale is a super user-friendly affiliate service. It’s free to join and packed full of merchants to join.
There are so many different services and plugins that are useful but if I wrote about all of them we’d be here for weeks!
You might find this post (I go over some more plugins that every blogger needs for their blog) or this post (This one goes over Tailwind in more detail and how it helped my Pinterest grow 1,000% overnight) helpful in your blogging journey
I hope that you have found this post helpful!
We went over choosing your domain, setting up your host, and installing WordPress! Along with some resources that are good for any new time blogger.
If you have any trouble or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
At the very least, send me an email with your new blog once you have it up and running!
Be sure not to wait!
Blogging is one of the best things that has happened to me and I’m sure that you’ll find it to be a blessing for you as well!
All the best,