How to Start Your Own Blog
Do you want to start you very own blog but don’t know where to begin? I know how you feel. When I first started blogging, I didn’t know where to start. I researched and scoured the internet for as much information on blogging for beginners I could find – and I devoured it. ALL . OF . IT.
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My decision to blog all started when I wanted to become a stay at home mom and partner.
You see, in 2015, my life was a mess. Everything was falling apart – my marriage, my parenting abilities, my motivation at work, and my mental health. EVERYTHING.
Something had to give, aye? And it did. My 11 year marriage keeled over.
When I met my current partner, Wayne, we talked very honestly about what we both wanted in life and how we could support each other.
I told him that it was my biggest dream to stay at home – be there for the children, especially after the emotional cyclone that hit their young lives. I also wanted to be able to welcome him to a nice, clean, warm home at the end of everyday – (yes, I’m that kind of 1950’s partner and I love it).
I Wanted To Be A Writer
We stuck our heads together and brainstormed on what I could do and wanted to do as a career. We talked about me me going back to university to study…. but none of that seemed like a journey that I wanted to take.
One day, during one of our honest talks, I confided that to Wayne that I always wanted to be a Writer.
“What’s stopping you?” he asked.
I rolled out all of the BUT’s, IF’s, SHOULD’s that I could think of, but none of it came close to how much it suited me as a person – both in skills and my personality.
I wanted to be a Freelance Boss like Jorden at Writing Revolt.
AND! I wanted to be just like the Mom Bloggers I looked up to:
So! After much planning, research, budgeting, and stalking those I looked up to – the big day finally came when I was ready to leave my high stress, high income job to become a Writer.
Today, I am a Freelance Writer and Blogger. I am actually living my dream of being a writer!! Gosh what I would give to tell my young self what I’d become today! Here’s how I started my freelance career.
Now Let Me Tell You About Blogging: How to Start Your Own Blog!
Newbie to Newbie – I want to tell you everything that I have learned – mistakes and all – in the hope that you will learn from them, making your journey a lot easier (and less expensive!).
It’s surprisingly simple – I promise 🙂
Step 1 – Find Your Niche
You’ve heard this many times right? Yes, it’s true.
This is what I learned most from Jorden. It’s so important to have a niche, because you have to know who you are writing for. If you don’t know who your audience is… then your audience won’t know it either.
This is where people begin to feel stumped – Yes, right at number one. And so they skip this part and go on writing about whatever they might fancy. But it’s so, so, so important – so DON’T.
So how do you find your niche? Ask yourself the following:
- What do I love talking about non-stop?
- What am I super passionate about?
- What am I good at and can share with others?
When I first started blogging, I wanted to write about Blended Families – hence the name, This Blended Home of Mine. But then I realized that I had more to share in other areas.
Gradually, I noticed my writing began to cater to a wider audience . I was writing about Blended Families, Parenting, Lifestyle, Relationships, Health & Wellness, Food & Drink. The navigation menu on my homepage got so wide – I started to confuse myself!
So now – This Blended Home of Mine’s tagline is Simplifying Life across four sub topics and a number of categories.
- Related Post: How to Start A Freelance Writing Business
- Related Post: 5 Things You Should Do Before Quitting Your 9-5 Job
- Related Post: How to Find Your Passion So You Never Have to Work Again
Step 2 – Choose A Domain Name
Now, it’s important that you have decided on your niche before you choose your domain name. The reason for this is that you want to be able to somehow be able to include your niche in your domain name for two reasons: 1). So that your readers know what you blog about, and 2). for SEO purposes. That’s a whole other topic, so we’ll cover that another day.
This Blended Home of Mine is NOT a good name for reasons that it is no longer is my main niche. However, I’ve chosen to keep it because it’s how I’ve come to be known now. Why rock the boat, aye?
I really like The Busy Budgeter as a blog name. From the name alone, it’s pretty clear what Rosemarie blogs about.
You can buy a .COM domain name for as little as $0.99, and it’s a really good investment. Having a domain name makes you appear to be more credible. Another good tip is to go with a .com rather than .blog or .org or something like that! I got mine from GoDaddy.
Now, I’m sure you’ve had a look at blogging platforms. I particularly like WordPress because it’s super easy to use, and there are so many themes that you can choose from to make your site as YOU as it can be. Just make sure that you are using WordPress.ORG, which is different from WordPress.COM.
.ORG allows you self hosting, which is what you want. I made the mistake of using .COM – oops!
They are also the most recommended hosts, particularly when it comes to ease of use and speed, which is super important for your site! I use HostPapa for my freelance business. I love them because they have 24/7 Tech Support and they never make you feel like a numpty! One time – I wiped my website out. Kaput! It was gone. After all my tears…. they helped me, fixed it, and put me back online. Phew!!
You might be thinking you’re not ready to commit to this, but believe me – this is an investment you’ll want to make. I made some serious mistakes and ended paying more than I had too… ($300 to be exact!! Ssh! – I’m trying to forget it, but I can’t… It still hurts!!). So learn from my mistake – that’s my gift to you!
Step 4 – Write 25-30 Posts Before Going Live
No, seriously. Do it. The idea behind this is that when you launch your blog to the public (or okay… your friends and family)… you want them to have something to read already, and a reason to keep browsing.
Having something to keep your readers browsing your site is so important.
Now, when you start writing, don’t write about your day or your life. Your readers don’t know you – so they don’t really want to know about your life. This is a mistake that a lot of new bloggers make – thinking of their blog as online journal.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. WHEN you become a big boss blogger, then yes your readers will want to know what you did and what you had for lunch. But as a beginner, it’s about giving something to your readers – something they need; something that helps them solve an immediate problem; something they didn’t know.
Step 5 – Join Pinterest
Every blog needs readers right? Pinterest is super important for your blog traffic. Pinterest is your BEST friend!
Do you have a personal Pinterest account already? Great! DO NOT DELETE IT. Use it. You can use that very same account, change the name, and carry on.
I made the mistake of creating a new account for my blog and starting from scratch. It was not easy. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting any traction. I was so, so, so close to giving up – until I came across Carly’s Pinteresting Strategies. Seriously, this has changed everything for me. I went from 0 – yup! you read right, ZERO – views, to
35K. Okay, I’ve rounded up from 34K, but still hey! $46.7K!! *Update as of October 2017 – I am now at 217K monthly views.
Have a look at my stats here. Like I said, I had ZERO views. Zero! I know a lot of bloggers say that had no views = only a thousand or so. So you can imagine how upset I was with zilch!
You’ll see that in August (and before that)… nothing was happening. I purchased Pinteresting Strategies in September, and started implementing Carly’s strategies straight away. The rest is history as it continues to climb everyday.
I cannot stress enough how helpful Carly’s e-book has been for me. I’ve now read it twice, cover to cover; and I still keep referring to it. The difference with this other other eBooks, is that Carly actually tells you what she did herself – she’s so honest and real. It’s not regurgitated content. It’s something that she has done for herself and there are real and actionable steps. And you know what? It’s really affordable too so I felt like I definitely got my money’s worth. Take a peek.
There you go – Now you’ve got your own blog! Let’s talk about monetizing it next time 🙂
Any questions? Leave me a comment and I’d be happy to help – from one newbie to another xo.