Have you been thinking about starting a blog but are not sure you have the time to get one going?
I promise, it’s not as hard to start a blog as you might think and blogging can open up so many doors that I wouldn’t recommend waiting any longer to jump in and get started.
I earn a great living from my blog and it has made it possible for me to stay home with my kids while contributing to our family finances. While a large portion of my income comes directly from my blog, my blog also opens up consulting opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without it.
Starting a blog can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, especially if you don’t consider yourself a tech genius (or if you are like me and can break anything that plugs in just by looking at it). Don’t let that scare you away though. Fortunately, (for you and me) there are some very simple short cuts that can get you blogging in no time.
Blogging can be a great way to share the things you love and earn an income from home. I am asked at least once a week for blogging tips and advice on earning an income from blogging.
I have been blogging since it was “online journaling” and I spent hours tweaking a Geocities blog.
Blogging, both here and on other blogs, has been my main source of income since I quit my teaching job 8 years ago. I’ve made more money blogging than I ever thought was possible in the beginning. It’s brought me opportunities that I never could have imagined and allowed me to stay home with my kids and really just been an enormous blessing to my family.
Why should you start a blog?
- To stay in touch with family and friends
- To earn an income from home
- To create a community for a cause you are passionate about
- As a fun hobby
- To keep up your skills while you are home with kids
- To get the word out about other products or services you sell
- To document the things in your life as an alternative to journaling
So how do you start a blog?
Don’t wait for things to be perfectly in place to start blogging. Everyone has to start somewhere. You can easily get lost in the details and never get going.
Keep your eyes on your end goal and don’t let anything distract you along the way.
Ready to start your blog?
- Decide on a name. This part can be tricky. You are stuck with your domain name so choose well. Once you have a name you need to purchase a domain name. Try and keep your domain name short and memorable.
- Find hosting. Hosting plays a big role in how well your site runs. I’ve switched hosting companies more times than I care to count. If I was doing it over again, I’d just start on HostGator. They have plans that start at only $3.95 a month and they are really good about answering questions that you run into along the way. Sign up for a HostGator hosting account here.
- Decide on a theme. The design of your blog is definitely an area to splurge on. If you can swing it, I’d hire this out and get a professionally customized design. If you are on a budget or just want to try and do some of the work yourself, there are some very professional looking themes out there. I love Studio Press themes. They run on the Genesis framework and have some great child themes that are very easy to customize. The child themes at Pretty Darn Cute Designs and Restored 316 Designs are some of my favorites. I’ve actually always gone with one of their themes even when I’ve paid a designer to tweak it for me because I love their theme options.
- Claim your social media accounts. You may not be ready to jump in and use social media for your blog just yet, but it’s important to claim the usernames you want so no one else takes them. Be sure and get the basics (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) right away.
- Decide on a posting schedule. The cool thing about this is it’s your blog. You can decide on any posting schedule you want. The important thing here is to be consistent, so whether that means posting every day, 3 times a week, or once a month, stick to it so your readers know what to expect. I’d recommend planning on posting at least 3 times a week if your goal is to build traffic and/or earn an income with your blog.
- Start creating content. With blogging, it’s important to just jump in. Starting is usually the hardest part. You’ll learn as you go and improve but for now just focus on getting some content out there (you can always go back and update old posts later). Start by having at least 2 weeks worth of posts before you begin promoting your blog. You want to have some good tuff there for people to read when they show up on your blog so be sure you have a good base of posts to start off with.
- Share your posts. I once heard a blog described as a house in the middle of the woods. You can build it, but no one is going to come unless you build some roads. Sharing your posts, directly or though social media is how you build roads and get visitors to your blog. As soon as you have a few weeks of posts live on your blog, you are ready to start sharing. Traffic will probably build slowly at first but stick with it and you’ll start to build a base of readers.
One more thing . . .
When I started my first blog I spent months and months playing around with code and images trying to piece it together by myself. It was a hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing experience I wouldn’t recommend unless you enjoy that sort of thing (the blog set up not the teeth-gnashing).
I broke more things than I fixed.
Now, I’ve decided that detailed code work is just not something I’m good at and my time is better spend somewhere else. Before you do anything else, I’d recommend checking out Blogger’s Helpdesk. Sarah is awesome and can handle all the technical stuff so you can get your blog up and running.
It’s easy to get bogged down with the details but don’t let that stop you from getting your blog up and running. There’s always time to tweak things as you go. The important thing is to get started.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE POSTS ABOUT BLOGGING:
- Blog Income Report: How I Made Over $10,700 Last Month Working from Home
- How I Made Over $5300 Blogging from Home
- Are you Ready to Get Serious About Blogging?
- 20 REAL Ways to Earn Money from Home
Are you thinking about starting a blog? What questions do you have?
*This post contains affiliate links. Everything I’ve linked to is something I wholeheartedly recommend (and use). I earn a small commission if you purchase anything through my links that helps me earn an income from home.