4 Important Things to Help You Start That Blog Right.
Have you read somewhere (everywhere) that you can “start a blog in 20 minutes or less”?
I have. And as someone who’s been at the ‘blogging thing’ since Christ was a child, it never ceases to amaze me.
When I started blogging seriously, I thought I might be mentally challenged, because I nearly threw my laptop over the balcony on numerous occasions out of frustration.
I’m obviously not going to chime in with the “starting a blog is easy” BS, for two reasons; a. I hate lies, and b. I’m not angling for any kind of affiliate payment if I have to lie to get it.
That said, here are a few other things that they don’t (won’t) tell you about blogging.
“Write About Your Passion”.
If you’re looking to ‘write about your passion’ hoping to make any serious kind of headway with a blog, you’d better love Ramen noodles (or learn to), because you’re probably not gonna make much money.
If you’re looking to start a blog, most people will tell you to “write about something that you’re passionate about”. I read that and thought “that makes sense”. But this was difficult for me, because I didn’t think that I was ‘passionate’ about anything. In my mind, having something that I was ‘passionate’ about, equated to “do you have any hobbies?” I have no hobbies. I like everything in general, nothing in particular.
If you’re one of those people who also doesn’t have any ‘hobbies’ (and there are many, many of us) to speak of, or anything that you’re particularly excited about doing, seeing, being, etc., don’t despair. That was me. I racked my brain for months about what I could possibly write about, that anyone else would give a shit about reading.
Then one day it dawned on me; I love fashion, I love ‘lifestyle’ in the form of things like shopping for cool things for my apartment, trying new restaurants, hunting for great deals on anything I might want, health and wellness topics, etc.
Essentially, I like nice things. Hence the name of this blog.
That was it. That realization gave birth to “She Loves Nice Things”; Food, Fashion, Lifestyle and More. It was perfect 🙂 It’s not ‘nichey’ as most will tell you to be; finding a niche that you can cater to, and writing about that. “She Loves Nice Things” is about the pursuit of nice things, a decent life, which I suppose covers just about any and everything you can reasonably think of, but whatever. I went with it.
But I’ll tell you this; because this blog isn’t as ‘nichey’ as it could be, it took a HELLUVA LONG TIME to generate traffic to it, let alone monetize the damn thing.
Regardless, I did both…eventually 🙂
Write about your passion if it happens to be something that others will want to read about too. If not, you’re probably gonna starve from lack of traffic AND money, so choose something else.
First things first. Here’s where you start, regardless of your topic;
Purchase a Domain Name and Hosting
Regardless of your chosen blog topic, your starting point is always going to be the same; purchasing your blog name and hosting. But there are some ‘tricks’ to that too.
I’ve built a few blogs in my ‘past lives’, so I knew that the first thing I had to do, was to see if the name I wanted was available as a domain for purchase. Lucky me, it was (obviously). At the same time, I also purchased hosting for my beloved new domain.
*This next bit is REALLY IMPORTANT. Please read it 🙂
Not everything is ‘as it seems’:
You’re probably already familiar with the “script” from all the other ‘usual suspects’; “I use this web host and you should use it too, because it’s only $2.95 a month! But only with MY link! Wink!”
Here’s the deal on the “$2.95 a month but only with my link” BS; Yes, you can get your hosting for $2.95 a month. I’m cheap AF, and I’d say that’s a great deal, but not only am I cheap, I’m also a hardcore skeptic, and if you tell me that I can only get that price “with your link”, I’m gonna poke around elsewhere to make sure that there’s not a ‘hook’ in that price.
The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing BUT the Truth
I can’t stand half-truths and flat out lies, and there’s SO MUCH of it on the www. I don’t care what you’re trying to sell me, if I smell a lie, I’ll click away faster than you can say “wtf?”
That said, here’s the deal with most “$2.95 a month” hosting deals (you ready?);
Sure…you get your hosting for $2.95 a month! But you only get that price if you pay for 36 months of hosting in advance!
Yeah…that’s what I said. 36 MONTHS IN ADVANCE. If you pay $106.20 ($2.95 x 36), you can have the hosting for your brand new blog, for “$2.95 a month”! (I’m Canadian, so that translates to $139.51 for me.)
That pissed me off. I felt like I’d been “baited and switched”, because you don’t see that total until you get to the checkout, and by then, you’ve wasted all kinds of time on the damn thing!
At the moment, I own 7 blogs, and I use this web host for all of them.
I use them because they’re $2.88 a month, and I pay for that MONTH TO MONTH. I don’t pay $2.88 x 36 months up front!
What if I decide to throw in the blogging towel after only a few months?? (Not gonna happen, but I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here.)
*Ok…I have a confession to make here; because I own so many blogs, I have the upgraded version of that plan that lets me host an unlimited number of blogs on the one host, but that’s still only $4.88 a month!!
If you want a WordPress managed blog, even that’s only $8.88 a YEAR!!! Why the hell would you go anywhere else and spend $106.20???
With any of the other web hosts, I would have handcuffed myself into a 3 year commitment with my damn $139.51 payment!! (Canadian, remember.)
I can’t have that. And with 7 blogs, that’s nearly a thousand bucks out of pocket right away with those ‘other guys’!!
Screw that nonsense.
In addition, my hosting company has everything those other guys have; quick customer service (I swear they all know me by name), SSL site security, etc.
CLICK HERE to grab your domain (which will only cost you something like ten bucks a year), and your awesome web hosting at a truly awesome price; just $2.88 a month 🙂
Second step in my 4 Important Things to Help You Start That Blog Right;
Choose a Blogging Platform
Now…I’m going to tell you something that no one else is telling you;
(This is me, steady handing out the secrets here…)
I tell you this so that you don’t (like I did) start using this blogging platform, and want to throw your computer through a window, thinking that it’s supposed to be easier than it is.
That said, here goes;
THIS BLOGGING THING IS NOT EASY!
Starting a new blog is MUCH more than “all you have to do, is purchase your blog name and hosting, and you’re up and running!”
And don’t let ANYONE tell you different!
WordPress is a fantastic blogging platform. No question; it’s better than pockets. I absolutely LOVE it… Now.
BUT…when I first started with WordPress, there were many (MANY) times that I actually (no joke) cried with sheer frustration over customizing the various parts of the blog, and sometimes I STILL DO when I’m working on a new blog.
WordPress will make you cry. I promise you that.
People make it sound like WordPress is easy to install and set up, but I’m telling you..IT’S NOT. Not at first anyway. If you don’t already know what you’re doing, WordPress will make you question your mental ability. If you have access to someone who can install and set up your WordPress blog, please, for the love of GOD, get that person to do it.
However, if you’re the patient sort, who loves a technical challenge, WordPress is your deal. Go nuts with it.
Once it’s all set up, you’ll need to choose a theme for your new WordPress blog, and customize it. Here’s where the heavy lifting comes in. THIS is the part where you want to hand it off to someone who knows the difference between a “plugin” and a “widget”. Alternately, you can google just about anything you want to know about working with a WordPress function.
*For the record, I have friends who build with this platform, and they say that it’s MUCH easier to get around in than WordPress is.
The third thing that’s HELLA important in getting that blog started right, would be to get a Pinterest account.
Little did I know at the start of this blog build that Pinterest would save my ASS when it came to getting traffic to it.
That said, Pinterest has changed A LOT over the last few years. This blog used to get anywhere from 500 to 2500 pageviews a day thanks to Pinterest without much effort at all. But now, I have to put in some elbow grease on the platform to keep those numbers up, including using tools like Tailwind to keep me active.
Follow your Faves
The next piece of advice I’d give you, would be to make a list of bloggers that you enjoy, follow them religiously online/social media, and do what they do with their blogs and marketing. But beware. Some will tell you to do something, but if you take a look at their own blog(s), you can SEE that they don’t practice what they preach. It’s maddening, but thankfully they’re super easy to spot 🙂
Making money with a blog is a ton of work, but it’s ‘easier’ than most other things that you could do for money. You simply need to know what steps you should take, and in what order you should take them. Which ‘landmines’ to avoid, and which direction will actually move you forward.
I blog because I wanted to make money that’s truly automatic.
I wanted a business that I could legit run from absolutely anywhere. To blog, all I need is a wifi connection and my laptop. Sometimes I don’t even need my laptop, I can post from my phone.
The sad truth about blogging is that no one actually wants to tell you the truth.
I have no issues doing that.
That said, I’ll be going through the steps that I take to make money with all of my blogs, in The No BS Blogging Guide
I’ve thought for a long time about creating this course. I’ve started building it on numerous occasions, and have simply let it slide for one reason or another (you know how it is).
In it, I’ll let you in on how to:
- Choosing a name for your new blog
- Purchasing hosting that won’t break the bank
- Install WordPress (which is where most new bloggers throw up their hands and walk away)
- Create distribution channels for your content
- Generate that all important, money making traffic 🙂
No BS, no smoke and mirrors. Just the truth.
To receive notification when the course goes live, simply CLICK HERE.
In addition, if you’re looking for a web hosting company that you can trust and I haven’t completely scared the living sh*t out of you about starting that blog, click here to get your hosting for an ACTUAL $2.88 a month 🙂
And that’s it!
If you have any questions that I can help with, please shoot me an email 🙂
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