How to Start Your Own Blog
We love sharing our blog with the world. It's been such a huge blessing for our families to get out, be more active, support our local communities - and write about it!
We'd love others to experience the challenge and rewards of running their own blog, too. If you're seriously thinking about giving it a shot, here's a step-by-step guide to getting started.
1. Choose a Topic
Probably the hardest part about blogging is choosing what to blog about. There are so many blogs on the web, it's sometimes hard to have your voice heard. Picking the right niche to blog about is the best way to gain traction when you are just starting out. Here are a few ideas:
- There are probably millions of travel blogs, but how many travel blogs are there about your hometown?
- Want to write a food blog? You're going to have millions of competitors. But, what about a food blog that features only zucchini recipes?
The point is, if you want followers, you've got to start with a small, targeted audience. You can always expand to broader topics later, but to gain some traction, it's best to start small.
Another thing to consider is that your blog should be about something you are passionate about. If you can't picture yourself writing 100 or even 1,000 posts about your topic, it probably isn't something you'll want to stick with for very long.
2. Choose a Domain Name
Once you've decided on a topic, the next thing you'll want to do is secure a domain name. A domain name is your unique address on the internet (etsy.com, pinterest.com, saltproject.co, etc.). Many of the best domain names are already taken, but you can still find some great ones.
Here are some tips when choosing a domain name:
- Shorter is better. People are going to have to remember your domain name.
- Domains ending in ".com" are best, but if you can't find one available, other domain suffixes are fine.
- Try to find a domain name that includes your subject matter in the name. For example, if you are writing about golden retrievers, a domain like "goldenretrievers.com" will probably rank higher in search engines than a domain name that is unrelated. Sometimes you won't be able to find a domain name that contains your subject matter, and that's fine. Just know that you'll have a better chance of getting search engine traffic if you can.
You can check if the name you want is available with the tool below:
3. Choose a Platform
The next step is to choose the platform, or software tool, that you'll use to manage and write your blog posts. Probably the easiest and most used platform is WordPress. Most hosting providers (which we'll talk about next) make it super simple to get up and running with WordPress. Other options that people use are Blogger, which is pretty limited in its customization options, and Drupal, which is a little more complicated than WordPress.
4. Publish Your Site
Now it's time to get your site up on the web. To make your site viewable to the public, you need to store it somewhere that's accessible to people on the internet. This is where web hosting comes into play. Every website must be hosted somewhere. A web host provides the software (WordPress, etc.) and hardware (Server) necessary to put your site online.
The hosting provider we recommend using is BlueHost. BlueHost is very affordable (among the most inexpensive hosts out there) and their support and service are excellent. You can't go wrong with BlueHost when starting a new blog. Their basic hosting plan provides everything you need.