Thinking about blogging? Here are a few things you should know:
- It takes THOUSANDS of views to earn money from ads on blogs.
- There are 173+ MILLION blogs in the world. (source: Statista)
- Blogging takes up an insane amount of time (source: me)
- But most important of all…
You should start with a free blog.
Yup, that’s right. Even though this is where most blogs usually swoop in to tell you to sign up for a blog for the price of coffee (because they get paid for it), I’m going to be an honest person here and suggest you get one for FREE first.
Because most people quit blogging after a few months.
So if you’re thinking, “Blogging looks fun!” and you want to give it a try, DO IT! Just do it for free first because:
- It’ll teach you what you want to write about.
- How frequently you like to write.
- Whether you like blogging at all.
Some great places to start a free blog are: WordPress, Blogger, Wix, and there are a ton more but those are the ones I’ve personally used.
Now, I have an EMBARASSING confession to make…
You ready to hear them?
1. I don’t make much money off my blog. In order to do that, you need to get people to sponsor your posts, sell products, etc. all of which I’m not as interested at the moment because I don’t really want my blog to become a gigantic billboard.
So why the heck am I still doing this?!
Great question! Because–and it’s going to sound so CHEESY–I like it.
I started blogging because I like writing and because it was much easier than dragging around a heavy notebook.
But it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I thought about monetizing it and it’s been mostly a struggle bus but I’m learning a lot.
Also, since I’m also a freelance writer, having a blog teaches me business skills, website design skills, writing skills, and so on and so forth.
Plus, it’s a great way to meet other bloggers/writers/travelers!
Now, if you’re ready to get your own domain and LEVEL UP your blogging game, here’s how:
Things you need:
- A domain
- $$ (not a lot but you do need some to start)
- A niche (aka what can’t you shut up about?)
- A crap load of patience
- Site traffic
1. Choose a Blog Name AKA Domain
You might think it’s easy buuuuut wait! 99% of what you’ll come up with is already taken.
Here’s what I suggest:
- Go to Go Daddy and type in a domain name to see if it’s already taken. Don’t purchase it yet.
- Once you come up with a name and it’s available, sleep on it for a few day and see if it’s really what you want because it’ll cost you money to change. If you do, however, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
- Move on to the step below.
2. Choose A Web Server
A what? A web server is an online company that stores and protects all of your files from hackers.
Do you have to pay for it?
There are free ones like wordpress.com but if you want to make money, you’re going to need a paid one because it’ll allow you to do much more and it’ll appear much more professional.
Where do you get one?
You can get one from WordPress.org, SiteGround, Bluehost and a variety of other places. Do your research to see what fits your style and budget.
What do you use?
I use SiteGround because a friend of mine who works in cyber security recommended it. So far I really like it. Customer service is excellent.
How much does it cost?
Most web servers will tell you it’s “less than a coffee” but don’t be bamboozled! When you get to the checkout, your total will most likely be $80-$100 because you have to pay for it yearly. The basic plan at SiteGround’s is $82.15.
Note: most web servers also provide domain and CMS so steps 1-3 can be done all at the same time.
3. Choose a Blogging Platform AKA CMS
A CMS or Content Management System is a website that allows you to build your blog. Popular CMSs are WordPress, Blogger, Squarespace, Joomla, Wix, etc.
I use WordPress because it is highly customizable. Also, as a freelance writer, it’s advantageous for me to know how to use WordPress. But check out different CMSs and see which one is best for you. I recently tried Wix and I loved how intuitive and simple it is to design a website.
4. Customize and Design Your Blog
To start building your blog, pick a theme. Most CMSs provide these for free but also sell fancier ones.
Once you pick one, you can start designing and customizing your blog! It is both an exciting and hair-pulling endeavor! You’ll come out a stronger person though, I promise.
Once your blog is all set up, it’s time to start writing! You don’t need to have hundreds of blog posts before you share your blog but I would suggest having a few at least, otherwise, it would be like inviting people to an empty house and that’s no fun.
Bottomline: Blogging is a learned skill and a journey! You get better at it as you go.
Got questions? Feel free to put them below!
This post contains affiliate links of products that I love. If you make a purchase through them, I’ll earn a commision but feel free to Google them on your own if you wish. Either way, it won’t cost you anything extra. Thank you!