So you want to start a blog?
This is far from an all inclusive tutorial, but I have started enough blogs and worked on enough websites at this point to help give anybody a base level primer on some of the basics of getting going. I will not be focusing on steps that will give you the power and control to create content in your way and monetize your site. The following is a loose guide to the tools and tricks that should get a person going in the right direction.
Start your own blog tools and tips
Have an idea.
First of all, you need an idea to start a blog, right? What are you going to write about? And this is important, as it will give you a clue as to who the people you are trying to engage with. Are you going to write about food? Well, that is an enormous topic. You may be able to attract readers, but just be warned that it might be a little tough going because you have such a large genre. Now, if you narrow down your genre, or niche, to something more specific… you will be able to generate more loyalty from that group. For example, if you decide to narrow down from “Food” to “Bacon”, you may not be able to attract everybody who likes “food”, but you will be more likely to pull a more loyal group that is dedicated to “bacon.”
What is your blog and domain name?
The domain name is the url that a person types into the address bar of a webpage. This blog is Ramshackle Pantry. I first searched for the name and then made sure that the domain name was available. Since it was available, I purchased it and secured the name. I use Name Cheap for all of my domain needs. If you are going to use tumblr, you do not need this, but you will have less control.
Find your brand and logo
What is your brand? Do you have a tagline? Do you have a logo? I used 99designs to help me come up with this logo. The designers will provide you with ideas based on some of your input and then you will work together to come up with a logo.
Find a website host.
Who is going to host your website? Where does the code and content exist? I have used Bluehost and NixiHost in the past, but my current choice is VeeroTech. I have had the most ease with this host and the least problems.
Veerotech has an easy button to install WP, but any host you are using should have this.
Find a Theme!
There are several free WordPress themes, but there are some really great and elegant paid ones that can help you get off on the right foot. Theme Forest is my go to platform for finding themes. Make sure to look at the reviews of the themes and see how often they are updated.
Install them. For almost anything you want to do, there is a plugin. A word of caution is to evaluate the plugins you install. Are they popular? Are there lot’s of reviews? Do they have good reviews? When was the plugin last updated? In general, staying with popular plugins with frequent updates is a good idea.
Write blog posts.
The most basic way to monetize your website is with Google AdSense. You can also engage in affiliate marketing, sponsored blog posts and/or create your own product to sell to the public. The sky is the limit.
Most of all, have fun!
Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links. If you click on them and purchase the product, I may have financial gain from that. THAT being said, I will only promote tools that I either use or have used and items that I feel are worthwhile.