Life

How to Start Your Own Blog & How NOT to!

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.

  • Blogging takes up an INSANE amount of time (source: me)

  • But most important of all…

you should start with a FREE blog.

That’s right. Even though this is where I can be telling you to sign up for a blog for the price of coffee (because people get paid to do that!),  I’m going to be an honest person here and suggest you get one for FREE first.

Why?

Because most people quit blogging after a few months. It sucks but that’s the truth. 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:

  1. It’ll teach you what you want to write about.
  2. How frequently you like to write.
  3. 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 have the time. I focus mostly on freelance writing for others.

So why the heck am I still doing this?!

Because I like writing, simple as that. Writing has helped me get through tough times and it’s a form of therapy and creative outlet for me. Also, a blog is much easier to carry than a heavy notebook.

In addition, maintaining a blog will teach you business skills, website design skills, graphic design skills, marketing skills, writing skills, social skills…you catch my drift?! Plus, it’s also a GREAT way to meet other people who share the same interests as you! 🙂

But if you’re like “Yea, yea, I’ve heard it all”  and you’re ready to LEVEL UP your blogging game, then here’s how:

Things You’ll Need:

  • A domain
  • At least $100
  • TIME
  • Ideas of what you’d like to write about

1. Choose a Blog Name AKA ‘Domain’

You might think this is easy BUT wait! 99% of what you’ll come up with is already taken.

domain name, blog name
Seriously?

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Go to Go Daddy and type in a domain name to see if it’s already taken. Don’t purchase it yet.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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.Web Hosting

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+CMS, so ‘steps 1-3’ can be all done at the same time.

3. Choose a Blogging Platform AKA CMS

wordpress, blogging, CMS
Here’s what WordPress looks like on the backend.

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 but check out different CMSs and see which one is best for you. Nowadays, there are a lot more options. Wix is another CMS that I love.

4. Customize and Design Your Blog

blog themes, themes, templates, picking and customizing themes

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 building your blog! It is both an exciting and hair-pulling endeavor. Be prepared to lose half of your day to it.

5. WRITE

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.

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Got questions? Feel free to write them below.

This post contains affiliate links of products that I use and love. If you make a purchase through them, I’ll earn a commission, which will go towards the maintenance of this website. However, feel free to do your own research. Thank you!

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About Living the Free Way

LTFW is a travel blog that emphasizes giving ourselves permission to do the things we love and stepping outside or our comfort zones. You can learn more about the author on the 'About' page.
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