If there’s one question that I hear a lot, it’s “so…how did you start your blog?” or “I want to start a blog, because I like to write, but I have no idea where I’d start”.
If you’ve been thinking either of these thoughts, I’m going to answer both with one post.
If you’re looking to start a blog, most people will tell you to “write about something that you’re passionate about”. 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, etc. Essentially, I like nice things, but I don’t like paying a fortune for them. In my opinion, it doesn’t take any kind of ‘skill’ to pay full price for something that you absolutely love. Show me a serious sale, and I’m in it up to my chest. No lie.
That was it. That realization gave birth to “She Loves Nice Things”; Food, Fashion, Lifestyle and More…for Less. 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, which I suppose covers just about any and everything you can reasonably think of, but whatever. I went with it.
Purchase a Domain Name and Hosting
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.
The domain name is the custom .com, .net, or .org URL for your blog. Hosting is where your website’s files are physically located on the web, letting others to load your website. If the concept of web hosting is confusing right now (and I’m betting that it is), don’t stress. You don’t need a lot of technical knowledge to buy web hosting and a domain name. Once you start the process it should be fairly straight-forward. If not, there’s always Google 🙂
I bought my name and hosting at a company that I’ve been using for some of my blogs for years. I use this company because, they’re inexpensive, and they’re great. Customer service is friendly, and no matter how I mess up, they’re always there to help out.
Choose a Blogging Platform.
Now…I’m going to tell you something that no one else is telling you, but I’m telling 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; 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 frustration over customizing the various parts of the blog. You will too. I promise you that.
People make it sound like WordPress is easy to install and maneuver in 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.
But 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.
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. Some will tell you to do something, but they’ll leave out a very valuable part of that piece of advice. Your job, is to figure out what that piece is 😉
If you’re looking for a web hosting company that you can trust, click here to check out Host Gator 🙂
And that’s it! Happy blogging!
If you have any questions that I can help with, please shoot me an email 🙂