One of the best decisions I have made is starting this blog. I am so happy that I have a place to be creative, to share my thoughts and ideas and also a chance to build a community of likeminded women. I also love the idea that one day I could earn a living off of my blog and because it is such a passion of mine I am so excited for that day to come. So if you have always wanted to start a blog but don't really know where to start then here are some more technical tips to get going.
1. What Do You Want to Write About?
So first thing you need to decide is topic and type of content you want to create. This can be absolutely anything that you are knowledgeable on and feel passionate about. A lot of bloggers will tell you that you need a niche and to narrow it down as much as possible. I think if you are looking at the end game then yes it would be best to do this but when you are starting out I think you can write about a more broad subject and find what you love and what people are resonating with as you go along. Like my blog, I write about all things Self-Development with some blog tips thrown in - it's about building a life you love through Health, Wealth and Happiness. Now I know eventually I will narrow this down and just go down one avenue but for now I love writing about all of these topics and I am still finding my footing. A lot of bloggers may disagree but if you are struggling to think of something that specific it is best to just get started rather than putting it off for months or years because you are not quite sure yet what to pinpoint.
2. Think of a Name
You have two options with the name for your website. If you like your name and it is easy to spell and remember I would use your name. This also gives you the flexibility to change the type of blog you want to write in the future. The only issue with this if you have a clear idea about what you want to write about then people won't be able to tell by the name of your blog what your blog is about. Lifestyle blogs may be the best to have as your name but again there are no rules, whatever you like the sound of.
Otherwise you can create a 'brand name', you want to check that this is not used by anyone else and that most social networks have this name available to you. Also, that you will be able to get the domain name. You can check on Go Daddy to make sure that it isn't taken.
When you think of a new name for you blog you want people to get a good idea about what your website will be about. It needs to be easy to spell and to remember so your readers can find you easily. Don't make your name too long or too short, between two or three words would be ideal.
Like the name of my website is True You Lifestyle. I think this shows well that it is a self development blog but also covers lifestyle topics. It can take a little while to think of, mine took me about a week. But just keep jotting down key words that you like and eventually one name will stick.
3. What Platform do you want your blog on?
The two main website platforms, in my opinion, are Squarespace and Wordpress - and I mean Wordpress.org, not Wordpress.com.
Squarespace is great if you want something that is super easy to work with, you can drag and drop everything into place, however you are slightly limited to what you can do and it is a little more expensive than the next option. Squarespace will host for you so if you decide to go with Squarespace you will just need to purchase a domain. You can search to see if your domain will be available at GoDaddy and if it is why not just purchase it?
Wordpress will be something that you need to download. It can be a little tricky but it doesn't take too long, here is a guide on how to download it. Wordpress is super flexible and you can customize it a lot more than Squarespace however it does take a little more time to learn about all of its functions. There are plenty of blogs or videos however that can teach you everything you need to know. Wordpress will be slightly more affordable initially as well but has many other add-ons that you can purchase. The download is completely free, you will just need to purchase hosting separately, which isn't too much of an investment at all, but I will get into that in the next step.
At the moment I use Squarespace and this decision was purely based on ease. I kind of wish I had started with Wordpress from the beginning because I have gotten so used to Squarespace and how easy it is to use it will be difficult to make the change. However, I am planning on it as I would like some more functionality than I have at the moment.
There are lots of articles comparing Wordpress and Squarespace, here are a couple to help you decide:
5 Top Differences You Should Know | Squarespace vs WordPress by Jeremy Wong
If you have decided to go with Wordpress then you will need to purchase hosting separately. Hosting is where your website will live, so Wordpress is like the house and hosting will be the land that it sits on (and to go even further the domain is like the address). Self hosting helps massively with driving more traffic to your website as Google prefers to show results for self hosted websites, it also looks a lot more professional because you will get your very own website that won't end in .blogger.com or .tumblr.com. Plus you are able to earn money from your website. If you have for example a Blogger website, they actually own it so you are restricted with what you are allowed to do on your site. So to have total control and to be able to potentially turn this into a profitable blog that you can earn an income from, go self-hosted.
The hosting site I highly recommend and will be moving over to soon is Site Ground. Prices start from just £2.75 per month and they have impeccable customer service if you have any issues at all. I am not even a customer yet and they have been more than helpful with questions I have had in getting started. They are super easy to sign up with and you can also purchase your domain through them as well as your hosting so it is all wrapped up in a super easy package.
Sign up with Site Ground here with prices starting at just £2.75 per month.
So now you have got everything ready you can play around and start deciding how you want to it to look. There are tonnes of tutorials around and the help centres for both Wordpress and Squarespace are super helpful.
The main thing I would say however is to just go for it. I bet if you are reading this you have wanted to start a blog for a while now and just haven't taken the plunge. All you have to do is just get on with it, the only thing stopping you is yourself. Just put aside a day to get everything sorted and then start writing and sharing.
*Some links in this post are affiliate. I will earn a commission if you purchase anything using them. Opinions are still my own.