So you want to start a blog?

One of the questions I get most often about my blog is how I actually went about creating my site. So instead of forwarding the same recycled “How To” email I decided to write a post about it!

First, pick a blog topic, or topics.

Whatever you choose to write about should be something you are very passionate about and can write enough about to keep readers engaged. This can be anything from fashion to sports, to health and fitness.

Second, pick a blog name.

The name of your blog can be as simple as your name, or a play on words of whatever your site is about. I knew that I wanted my title to somehow incorporate my name and happiness, thus “My Happy Journeigh” was born. My brainstorming session included writing variations of happiness and my name together, it was quite entertaining. Use a site such as Google Domains or SiteDaddy to ensure your name is available to be purchased.

Next, pick a platform.

This will probably be the part that takes the longest because there are a plethora of options available to you. Some great blogging platforms include Squarespace, WordPress.com, WordPress.org (they are not the same thing) and Wix. I could list out all the options for you but there are just so many. If money is not an issue, there are people who will do the whole set-up from start to finish for you. (Friendly note, I am not one of those people.)

If necessary, purchase domain and hosting.

You have the option of simply using the platform’s URL for your blog or buying your own domain and host space. For example, www.myhappyjourneigh.platform.com is free through your platform site but opting to buy www.myhappyjourneigh.com costs. The costs vary from the domain site you purchase through and the host site you use. My Happy Journeigh uses WordPress.org and SiteGround for hosting. My domain was purchased through Google Domains. Make sure you follow all directions in ensuring your server names are transferred once you have purchased everything.

Design your site.

This is the fun part. Depending on the platform you use, this can be quick and easy, or confusing and tedious. Some platforms just have you choose a theme, drag and drop objects, write a post then you’re done. Others involve downloading files that include HTML coded themes and downloading additional plugins for your site.  The amount of effort you want to put into designing your site will help you determine which platform to use (do your research on each one).

Join blogger communities.

This can be joining Facebook Groups, Pinterest Groups, Email Newsletter, Twitter Lists. I’ve lost count of the different blogging communities that I am a part of but they seriously are a big help. You can get help with site issues, find collaborators, receive topic suggestions, and exposure to wider audiences.

If you choose to do this yourself, take your time and be patient with yourself. There are countless amount of free video and blog tutorials for each step of the way. If you find yourself getting frustrated or confused, search a specific problem you’re having and I promise you’ll find your answer.

For those who ask if I monetize my blog–right now that is not a focus of mine and I have not made any money from this. Not to say I won’t monetize in the future but that isn’t a goal right now.

Need a little more information or assistance? Feel free to reach out to me.

14 Comments

  1. Reply

    Tanya Barnett

    February 22, 2017

    Definitely having a tribe or community is the most important. Your friends will not understand or care about what you are writing about.

  2. Reply

    Jay Colby

    February 22, 2017

    Great tips very insightful!

  3. Reply

    Toiia L. Rukuni

    February 22, 2017

    Wonderful tiips about starting your first blog!

  4. Reply

    Kat

    February 22, 2017

    These are great tips for starting out. Will there be a follow up to what happens after the first blog post? 👍🏾

    • Reply

      Ashleigh

      February 23, 2017

      I hadn’t thought about that.. hmm.. great idea! Thanks

  5. Reply

    Mimi Green

    February 23, 2017

    Additional Tips:

    Use the same name across all social media platforms. You want people to be able to find you easily. (www.namecheckr.com)

    Six is horrible for a blog and it doesn’t hold a candle to other platforms. It wasn’t designed for blogs.

  6. Reply

    Ty

    February 23, 2017

    These are great tips.It’s so much easier to learn how to start a blog with tips like these, then when I started 5 years ago.

  7. Reply

    Donna Shana (@byDonnaShana)

    February 23, 2017

    These are great tips for new bloggers. I wish someone had laid it out for me when I was getting started!

  8. Reply

    Kirstin N. Fuller (@thetravelindiva)

    February 24, 2017

    Excellent tips! People don’t realize all that goes into starting and maintaining a blog. It’s work…lol I can honestly say that I enjoy my blog, its my baby!

  9. Reply

    Jonna

    February 24, 2017

    These are really the basics to starting a blog. it doesn’t have to be complicated at all – just do it

  10. Reply

    naetorious

    February 24, 2017

    Blogging takes consistency, so figure out something you wouldn’t mind talking about on a regular basis. 😊

  11. Reply

    Nay

    February 24, 2017

    Blogging will definitely show you how to manage your time if your serious about it. Good simple tips to read!

  12. Reply

    Shantel Turner-Collins

    February 24, 2017

    Blogger communities are a great way to build up a following for your blog.

  13. Reply

    Ramona Collins

    March 1, 2017

    Blogging communities are a great way to find like-minded people and additional readers for your content. I would also suggest having a plan to promote your content on social media. This can be a good way to interact with your readers and direct new traffic to your site.

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