Blogging is one of those things that I would have never thought would have totally changed my life. When I started blogging I was a stay at home mom making $100 a month with my little craft business in the margins of my day. The idea to blog was totally random but I liked writing so I thought it would be a fun hobby. Little did I know that 3.5 years later I’d be making enough money with my online business that my husband was able to quit his electrical engineering job.
That was my goal but that may not be your goal. Your goal might be as little as paying your mortgage or funding a family vacation. Whatever it is, if you enjoy writing and are willing to learn, you can blog and make a side income from home.
1. Evaluate Your “Flaky” Factor
Let’s be honest people- many of us with entrepreneurial spirits have a tendency to jump from idea to idea simply because we get bored or one idea doesn’t work out. If you are going to make blogging into a business, it takes consistency, commitment, and patience.
Say it with me, “consistency, commitment, and patience.” If you don’t think you can do those three things, find something else to do. On the other hand, if you can handle that, read on.
2. Figure Out What You Want to Write About
One of the biggest things that people struggle with is what in the world will I write about?
I highly recommend picking a topic or niche that you really like to write about! I often say, think about that thing that you geek out over, read about, know about and can talk about all day long!
- Natural Parenting
- Organic Food
- Diet & Nutrition
3. Get a Website Host!
Set up a hosting service like Bluehost, get a domain name, use a website creation tool like WordPress.org and get going. Bluehost starts at around $3.95 per month, you can pick your .com domain name and start creating your website using WordPress.org right from the Bluehost dashboard. It’s only about the price of a fancy coffee each month to host your own site!
So what’s the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com? It’s sort of like a house. Wordpress.org means you are essentially buying a piece of land that you own and building your house on it. Wordpress.com means you are essentially living rent-free on someone else’s land and if they decide to let’s say evict you, go out of business or shut down the free property- there goes all your hard work.
So, it’s easier to fork out the few bucks a month in the beginning than to have to move everything or run the risk of losing everything on a free blogging site like WordPress.com or Blogger if you plan to make your site a business now or in the future.
4. Pick A Domain Name
Can I be frank here? When you are thinking up your domain name for your blog try to think ahead. Run the name by a few people you know and trust and see what they say.
When I started my first blog I called it Little Mommy Secrets and I didn’t run it by anyone. I thought it was cute! But anytime I tried to tell someone else my blog name I felt embarrassed. Something wasn’t sitting right. Then I realized it was that my site name sounded more like an “adult” website (if you know what I mean) and I certainly wasn’t going for that!
So after a little pow-wow with some good friends, we came up with Thrifty Little Mom and that’s the name it is today. Pick a domain name that represents you, what you are writing about and that is easy to remember/spell. You can check your domain name availability from my affiliate widget for Bluehost, right from my blog. Simply type in the name you think you want and see if it’s free to use or if someone has already purchased it.
Use this Bluehost widget:
5. Design It
If you are using WordPress.org you’ll need to search for a template that has the features you are looking for and then activate it. Once you activate you can take some time and explore all the options and do lots of fun customization.
You don’t really need to know any coding for these themes. It’s really simple and just requires that you spend a few hours playing around with the design and before you know it, you’ve got a site up and ready to go.
The best course for getting started-
If this is the place where you start to get overwhelmed— never fear! Melissa from Blog Clarity has created a simple and thrifty WordPress 101 course that can help you understand how to make this stuff work. You should seriously just buy this course for $49 and save yourself some time in getting everything up and running!
The course covers 3 main areas:
- Basic Set-Up: Installing WordPress, Picking out a Theme, and More
- Plugins, Pages, and Posts: Exactly what you think it is. Also includes inserting photos, videos, and PDFs.
- Making Basic Navigation and Design Updates: Creating Menus, Designing a Simple Header, and More
6. Start Writing
No matter what website creation tool you use, creating a blog post is as simple as using a word processing program. You just click “Add New”, create a title and start typing. Most programs allow you to simply click a button to upload images straight from your computer. Blogging has a come a really long way. There are lots of computer science guys out there doing the hard work, so you don’t have to. When you’re ready, just hit publish.
You’ve officially started a blog.
I really hope this post has provided you with simple insight on how to start a blog from scratch in just a few steps and brought a little clarity to the process.
What website creation tool (example WordPress.org, WordPress.com, Blogger) are you using or planning to use and why?
Kim Anderson is the organized chaos loving author behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. She helps other people who thrive in organized chaos to stress less, remember more and feel in control of their time, money, and home. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day, and more!