Hello, this is week 2 of my five-week blogging series. If you missed last week’s post about How to Leverage Instagram as a blogger be sure to check it out here.
Today, I am sharing the basics on how to start a blog from square one.
7 Steps to starting a new blog:
1. Find your niche
Figure out what you want to write about a why. When I first began my blog I wanted to write about fashion, food, travel, and the list goes on. But that is nearly impossible when first starting out. Start with one or two topics that go together. Once you have a better understanding of the time commitment and what content works best for your blog, dive into other niches that still fit within your brand.
2. Find a name
This might be the hardest part of starting a blog. You will probably go through dozens of names before you land on the perfect one. Mainly because you have to make sure the social media handles and URLs are available.
Tips for finding the best name:
- Make it memorable (Catchy phrases, your name, or a play on words tend to be the most memorable)
- Keep it short and sweet (I recommend 10-20 characters)
Need help? Here is a list of catchy adjectives to get ideas.
Also, take a look at this graphic to help you brainstorm blog name ideas.
3. Lock in all the social media handles
This should be a no-brainer but with URL and social media handles getting created every day make sure you make sure your blog name is available under every social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, Twitter, BlogLovin’, etc.) I probably went through five or six blog names until I landed on one that finally had an available Instagram handle. I originally was going for “What Should I Wear” but that title was taken so I opted for BUT What Should I Wear 🙂
4. Choose the hosting and platform that is right for you
It is important to research all of your options when it comes to hosting so you have the best website host that fits your needs. You want to think of everything you could possibly want in a website before ou decide how to host it. Transferring your website from one platform or host to another can be very difficult and sometimes things can get lost, so really take some time to think about you want.
First, ask yourself a few questions. What platform do I want to use? Does this host support that platform? Will I eventually sell products off my website? Do I want security? How much security? Will my blog be text based or image based? What type of theme do I want? How customizable do I want my site? All of these questions will help you find what is right for you.
If you desire the ability to customize your website and plan on eventually making blogging more than a hobby then I suggest you go self-hosted from the very being. If you plan on getting into e-commerce I would just Spotify.
I personally use BlueHost and WordPress.
Still confused, Google and Youtube all your questions for expert opinions and feedback. But, remember to keep in mind the specific needs for your blog.
5. Buy your URL
This step is simple. Once you have followed all these steps and are ready to commit to your name by the URL (with security and back-up) ASAP! URLs get snatched up so fast these days you don’t want to take up any chances. If you’re not 100% I still suggest you buy your URL, it can be as little as $3! And wait to add any security, hosting, or back-up until you’re ready.
Just start. You will waste so much time waiting for everything to perfect, I know I did. And trust me, it never will. Once you have completed all these steps start creating and out your content out in the world! Plus, you won’t start learning until you start!
7. Start tracking your progress from day 1
I cannot stress this enough is every blog post I write, how important it is to keep track of your own data and results! While my best performing days are Tuesday and Wednesday and my best performing times are 2-3pm or 7-9pm. Your audience may be online and active on completely different days of the week. This is why you have to JUST START and track your numbers. You can do all the research in the world on when and what to post but until you start learning about your own audience, you’ll never know.
Once you start tracking your results, traffic, and engagement. Don’t stop. Social media changes all of the time and it is important to make sure you are reaching the biggest audience possible when you post. When you continuously track your results you will be able to catch changes before everyone else in the industry.
Want more tips? Read my recent post, 6 Tips for New Bloggers, here.