Ever thought of starting your own blog but not sure what to do next? Whether you’ve always dreamed of blogging or just decided to try it out on a whim, these 4 steps will get your blog up and running so you can get to the fun stuff!
(This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through one of the product links, I’ll receive some pennies. Shiny, shiny pennies. Thanks for supporting Lazy Sundays!)
1. Decide on a topic.
Obviously. But really give this some thought because the majority of your posts will based on this. It needs to be a topic that you really enjoy researching and writing about or your passion for it will dwindle quickly. Your love of all things polka dot or bird watching in the fall may not be quite as strong in six months or a year.
It also helps to have a niche so that you have a target market, aka an audience in mind for you to think about when writing. But don’t limit yourself too much when/if you choose a niche. Sure, there is a market for stuffed animal collectors but going as far as stuffed animal collectors that live in Arkansas doesn’t leave you with a lot of potential readers.
2. Make a list of potential domain names.
Before registering with a host, you’ll want to narrow down which domain names you’d like to use so you’re ready when it comes to that part of the registration process. Have options so that if you’re favorite isn’t available, you already have other ideas waiting.
You can either go the practical route and name your website something related to your topic, ex. Allrecipes.com. Or try to be unique and use a memorable word or phrase like Amazon or ShutUpAndTakeMyMoney.com. These aren’t blogs but you get the idea.
Also try Googling your desired name to see how many search results come up. Having a more unique name gives you a better chance to rank on the first page of Google results. (That’s a great thing, especially if you’re hoping to monetize your new blog, aka make money with your blog.)
A unique name also works toward your advantage later when you SEO (search engine optimize) your blog. More on that in posts to come! For now, focus on a name you love and can’t wait to write for and promote.
Have an idea for a domain name in mind? Enter it here and see if it’s available today:
3. Sign up with a host.
There are free web hosting sites out there but if you want to make money from your blog (either starting right away or down the road) or really have control over your site, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend that you pay the small monthly fee to own your domain name.
“If I can start a site for free, why would I want to pay for it?”
- It is much more professional than adding your blog name to example.wordpress.com. If you want to be taken seriously as a professional blogger, you need to own your site.
- Free sites typically don’t let you work with affiliates to advertise. Want to give yourself the best shot at making money? Own your site.
- Free sites can shut down your site whenever they want! It’s happened to some now famous blogs before they went self-hosted.
- You will be able to customize all parts of your blog. Free blogs can require their own ads to be displayed, have rules about what you can and can’t do and aren’t known for the greatest customer support.
So what host should you use? From personal experience, I recommend Bluehost.com. Lazy Sundays has been run on Bluehost.com since day 1 and I have been very happy with it. Bluehost.com has been one of the top hosting companies since 2003. The monthly fee is very low, there are lots of free themes to choose from to create the look you want (or you can buy fancier ones too) and there is great customer support.
Bonus! If you sign up using this link, you’ll get your domain name for FREE if you purchase a 12 month or longer blog hosting plan. (I signed up for 3 years right away so I knew I’d be committing to making this successful long term!)
Don’t know code? Me neither!! Bluehost.com uses the WordPress platform, which is very popular in the blogging world so there are tons of widgets and help online to get the results you want. And if you give it a try and decide it’s not right for you, you can cancel in 30 days with no strings attached.
I’m learning this whole blogging thing as I go too so if you have any questions, please let me know! I’ve been Googling and researching all kinds of WordPress solutions so I may have already an answer for you.
4. Launch your blog!
Now that you have a domain all registered and ready to rock, launch your blog! It’s your chance to grace the internet with your presence. Write what you know, write what you love and put your personal spin on it.
The internet is full of millions of things but you’re the only you. Your perspective and voice are different than anyone else’s so let your blog be as unique as you are!
Questions, comments, need help? Please let me know! I’d love to help or check out your new blog in action.
Check out my Affiliate Disclosure & Resources page to see what affiliates I’ve been approved for (before my blog was even 2 months old!) and resources I use to manage and run Lazy Sundays.
******Important Note: If you want to use Pinterest to promote your new blog (which you definitely should!!), I highly, highly recommend Pinteresting Strategies by Carly Campbell from Mommy on Purpose. (Read all about it here. Amazing success stories!)
She personally tested tons of strategies and through trial and error, put together a plan that gains her more and more page views to her blog everyday (100-200,000 page views per month!!). This plan was just implemented on Lazy Sundays’ Pinterest page and I can already tell it will make a huge difference. Definitely worth the very small investment if you want to gain visitors to your blog from Pinterest!******