My decision to start a blog wasn’t an easy one. I think it takes a lot courage and vulnerability for anyone to decide to put their life on the internet for whoever to see. Creating the blog was the tricky part, though.
I didn’t just decide to start this for the hell of it. So, when I finally made the choice to take the plunge and #JustDoIt, I REALLY took it.
I also don’t think the decision to start a blog was quick, either. It took me months to decide what my “niche” would be. Even now, I don’t have just ONE thing or category I stick to.
So, when I see blog posts promoting “Build A Blog in One Day,” or “Tips on Creating A Blog In 30 minutes Or Less with These Easy Steps,” I get very frustrated. WTF? I hate to break it to you, but if you are creating an entire blog in less than a day, you are setting yourself up to fail. Many things go into the startup that you wouldn’t even think about.
Come Up With A Name
It’s not as easy as you think. You come up with something clever, you google it….. Only to find out it’s taken. This step is the most frustrating part of it all!
Luckily, I had been toying around with the name of my blog for quite a while. Of course, my first choice was already taken. And it’s also a super popular blog. I wasn’t about to compete with that by going with something similar.
I inevitably decided on a familiar name. The name I came up with on my own when creating all of my social media @ names. I think it’s simple and catchy, and it doesn’t tie me down to writing about one specific category since it is essentially just my name.
I knew immediately I would have to spend some money on hosting. So before I could second guess myself, I did just that. Well, there’s no turning back after you pay to host your blog for a few years in advance. Literally, L. O. L.
Wait, You Have To Spend Money When Creating A Blog?
In a sense, yes. If you want to own your content and if you want to have your own domain, you WILL have to pay for that. I use BlueHost to host my blog because they are reliable and they have good rates. I bought hosting for 3 years and got the domain I wanted for freeeee for the first year. WIN!
You could start your blog off on WordPress.COM or Blogspot.com. These will result in your domain looking something like: www.domain.wordpress.com or www.domain.blogspot.com. I only recommend going this route if you are on the edge of creating a blog or if you just aren’t financially able to buy your domain and hosting at first. You can always transfer your blog to a self-hosted platform whenever you are ready! I used the self-hosted platform WordPress.ORG
You also need to keep in mind the theme or design you want. In my opinion, it is much easier to buy a theme for your blog rather than using a free one that is provided on whichever platform you decide to use. WordPress does have a lot of free templates that can be customized to your liking, butttttt they can only do so much and take forever to get to your liking. Trust me. I tried!
Templates don’t have to be expensive, and personally, I think they are a small price to pay not to spend hours upon hours getting a free theme juuuuust how you like it. Afterall, time is money. Etsy has some great options that are different, and you can support people and their talents! How cool?!
This step alone took me like TWO DAYS to make a decision because I found so many great templates on Etsy, and I contacted the store owners to ask questions about installation, responsiveness …. all that good stuff. DO NOT be afraid to ask questions.
So, You Got Your Blog Looking Cute and It’s Ready To Go?
Not quite, honey. Of course, designing your website is fun, and it is really important. You want something to be pleasing to the eye, but also be a reflection of you.
I would recommend starting with the “About Me” page. This is where a lot of your readers will go first. Or, if they found one of your posts on Pinterest or somewhere else on the web, it might be their second place of navigation.
First impressions are very important. Your about me is your first impression to your blog and you! It gives readers a glimpse of who you are, what you stand for, and it connects you to them by seeming “more real.” I think we are all aware of how social media can take the “realness” out of things because its face is literally a computer screen. It’s refreshing to know there are others in the world we can relate to, despite that barrier. If you can break that barrier in your about me, you’re doing it right!
Create Content! Get To Writing!
What is the most important part of a blog? Oh, yeah… content! If you don’t have content, you don’t have a blog. Did you figure out what you want to write about? Maybe you don’t want to write as much as you want to showcase your photos – that’s fine! Either way, you have to produce some content to get viewers to your blog!
I recommend writing three pieces to start you out. I feel like three is a great foundation to show potential regular readers what they will be getting on the reg. Try to find your “voice,” though, it may take you several published posts for that to finally come out. It will be uncomfortable at first, but just stick to it.
I will admit, this was the hardest part for me. I wanted to write and allow the world to see it, but about what?! And… wow, everyone is going to be reading my stuff. That sounds kind of intimidating.
IT IS. But don’t let that fear get to you.
Next, make sure you have photos ready to go for each published post. Maybe you don’t need pictures, but it’s always a good idea to have them. They make posts more visually appealing and they break up the text, making it easier to read for your audience.
I try to take my own photos for every post, but I know there are some people whose camera skills are sub-par. That is ay-okay! There are resources to help you. Canva is what I use to turn my photos into graphics. It also has free stock images you can use. If you want photos that less people use, they have some you can buy for $1. Not too shabby! There are several other free stock photography sites out there, I am just recommending what I use.
In my opinion, I think taking and using your own photos is more beneficial in the long run when creating a blog and maintaining it. It challenges you to think outside of the box to come up with a photo-op that will go with the theme and topic of each of your posts.
The End… But Not Really.
As you can see, there are a lot of contributing factors that go into “creating a blog.” And if you want to do it right, it will definitely take more than a few minutes or even a day. This is just the beginning, and if you want your blog to grow, you have to grow with it.
I bet many of you had no idea I bought my domain name in April, but my first post wasn’t published until May and I didn’t even make my WordPress public until June. It won’t take EVERYONE this long to go live, but I wanted to make sure I was producing good content, that it looked good to MY personal standards, and a little part of me let fear get in the way and made me push it back even longer.
I really hope this didn’t intimidate those who are on the deciding edge of wanting to create a blog. I think blogging is a great tool to express one’s self, and though it takes a lot of work, anyone with the right passion and drive can succeed with it!