Updated December 23, 2020
They call me “The No BS Blogger”. By the end of this post, you’ll know why.
I’m so tired of reading that you can “start a successful blog in 20 minutes or less”. 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 wasn’t ‘passionate’ about anything in particular when I started this blog. That’s since changed, but back then, 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’ to speak of (and there are many, many of us), 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, and on some level, I regret not niching down further when I started this blog. It would have taken a lot less time to generate traffic to, and monetize.
That said, find a niche that you can cater to, and write 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.
Here’s where you start, regardless of your topic;
Domain and Hosting
Regardless of your chosen blog topic, your starting point is always going to be the same; purchasing your blog name and hosting.
Now…there are two ways that you can go about doing this.
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’:
If you’re the type who makes a decision (like “I’m going to start a successful blog”) and sticks with it, this company might be right up your alley.
That said, 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!”
That isn’t entirely accurate.
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
So help me God…
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!
If paying for 3 years worth of hosting will keep you from quitting your blogging journey, by all means, go nuts.
I don’t happen to be that person.
At the moment, I own 7 (maybe 8) blogs, and I use Namecheap for all of them.
I use them because along with my web hosting, I also got free SSL Certificates (up to 50 depending on the plan), and free privacy protection FOREVER!
They’re $2.88 a month, and you pay that on a MONTH TO MONTH basis, unless you buy the yearly plan, and that drops to $1.53 a month or $18.44.
This gives you everything you’ll need as a new blogger!
The next step…
Choose a Blogging Platform:
Now…I’m going to tell you something that no one else is telling you;
(I’m 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! It takes YEARS of TIME and WORK.
Starting a new blog is MUCH more than “all you have to do, is purchase your blog name and hosting ‘with my link’, and you’re up and running!”
And don’t let ANYONE tell you different!
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 for the newbie anyway. That’s simply because no matter what you’re doing, doing it the first time can be difficult.
By the way, if you’re looking for a way to make money without having to build a blog (or a job), check out this post 🙂
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
Regardless of WHO does the installation, once it’s all set up, you’ll need to choose a theme for your new WordPress blog, and customize it.
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 😉
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 want to make money that’s truly automatic.
I want to run a business(es) that I can 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.
Whew! That was a lot!
I’ll be going through the steps that I take to make money with all of my blogs, as well as all the juicy deets that those big bloggers won’t tell you, in The No BS Blogging Guide course.
It contains unfiltered blogging tips and hacks that the big bloggers don’t want to tell you about.
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)
- Design your blog
- Why you should use one hosting company over another
- How to generate that all-important, money-making traffic 🙂
- Let you in on other secrets that most other bloggers never would
- How to ‘super power’ your Pinterest account
No BS, no smoke and mirrors. Just the ‘no bs’ truth.
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 $2.88 a month 🙂
And that’s it!