THE FOOLPROOF WAY TO START A BLOG
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You’ve decided to dive into blogging headfirst! Blogging is an awesome way to share what you know with others.
It’s a great place to vent, it’s an online diary, it’s so many things and more! Starting a blog is WAY EASIER than you may think. Here’s the foolproof way to start a blog:
PICK A NICHE
What will your blog be about? Parenting? Fashion? Food?
It can even be about a more specialized topic like parenting an autistic child, living with Grave’s Disease, eating raw, etc. Once you pick your niche, it’s time to get building.
BUY YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Select and buy your domain name. Brainstorm a catchy blog name that you like and find a domain to go with it. Check out Bluehost for your domain name.
BUILD YOUR BLOG
There are many platforms available for your blog.
Bluehost has an awesome WordPress 1-click installation that is a total lifesaver, really!
Without this guide, it would take MUCH MUCH longer to install if you had minimal coding, tech knowledge.
DESIGN YOUR BLOG
Yay! You’re more than halfway done. By this point, you’ve picked your niche, domain name, and completed the build of your blog.
Next is design.
Pick a template or theme for your blog. WordPress has a theme store BUT I recommend you head to Bluchic to see their awesome themes.
Select your theme and upload to your store.
BLOG SET UP
Set up involves creating categories, pages, and adding plugins. Your pages will include: About Me, Contact Us, FAQ, Resources, Advertise, and the blog categories you think are appropriate.
For a fashion blog, categories might include: product reviews, giveaways and contests, lifestyle, fitness, etc.
About Me: In the About Me or My Story page, you’ll want to tell your audience about yourself.
Who are you?
What experience do you have?
What makes you special that will keep the reader coming back to your blog time and time again?
Add a photo too, for a personal touch. The reader wants to connect with a face, not just a computer screen.
Contact Us: This can be as simple or complex as you like. I like to keep it simple and install the Contact Form 7 plugin which will display a clean, simple contact form on this page.
Feel free to browse the Plugins library on WordPress to see what other contact forms they have available if you’re looking for something more.
FAQ: This might not be necessary depending on the type of blog you have.
I always love FAQ pages. More times than not, any question I have will be found in FAQ. I like this because it’s a lot faster to find my answer than contacting the website.
Resources: This a MUST HAVE, especially if you want to monetize your blog.
The resource page will have a list of your recommendations. For a blog about the art of blogging, this might include recommendations for hosting companies, email marketing companies, themes, courses to improve traffic and more, just to name a few.
Check out my Resource Page to get an idea what yours might look like.
Advertise: If you’re planning on having sponsored posts, sponsored reviews, sidebar advertising, or similar, you might want to add an Advertise page with your rates, media kit, and information. For media kits, I’ve seen some awesome packages on Etsy that you might like.
Plugins make your blogging life easy. There’s a plugin for just about anything. Here’s a list of my favorites:
- Contact form 7
- Click to Tweet
- Comment Luv
- Simple Author Box
- WP Super Cache
- WP Super Simple Speed
- WP Optimize
Notable mentions: Visitors Traffic Real Time Statistics, Poll Survey Quiz & Form by OpinionStage
Yoast is about all things SEO (SEO means Search Engine Optimization which is how search engines can find your blog on the web).
It’s an all-in-one SEO solution. Features include on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps, and more. You’ll hear high praise for bloggers of all sorts about how fabulous Yoast is. A MUST HAVE.
CONTACT FORM 7
A simple, clean contact form. Flexible and customizable. Easy to set up and super user-friendly.
CLICK TO TWEET
Add click to tweet boxes to your WordPress posts, easily. This is super simple.
I love it because it makes it easy peasy for readers to Tweet right from your post AND the Tweet Box helps break up the text in your post.
Shareaholic makes it super easy for you to share your blog. It helps with traffic, engagement, monetization, and conversions. Very easy set up.
So many features with SumoMe. This is truly one of my favorite plugins. There are several categories like Share, Analytics, Communication, etc.
The feature I see most blogs using are the Share banners, usually displayed on the left hand side of the blog page vertically.
You can add social buttons here to make it easy for the reader to share your post on social media.
They have just about every social network you can think of: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Buffer, etc. Some other SumoMe features include heatmaps, welcome mat, and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
SIMPLE AUTHOR BOX
Displays an author box on your posts. You can add an author description and photo. Responsive and with social buttons as well.
A simple way to monetize links on your blog. Viglink adds affiliate links AUTOMATICALLY. It can’t get any easier than this. If your goal is to monetize your blog, definitely check out Viglink.
WP SUPER CACHE
WordPress caching plugin.
WP SUPER SIMPLE SPEED
A powerful plugin that helps with site speed. The plugin description shares that they use GZIP compression, leverages browser caching, includes automatic hotlink protection and much more with no configuration required.
COMPOSE YOUR FIRST POST
Now that your site is set up, its time to start writing. I recommend setting up an Editorial Calendar, which will help you to stay organized. Coschedule has a great calendar which you’ll love.
You can post as often as you’d like. I try to post 5-6 articles per week. I know bloggers who post 1 article weekly. It’s completely up to you.
When writing your post I’d recommend the following:
- Use white space, which means make sure to have adequate line breaks so your article is easier to read.
- Images, infographics, charts, and graphs are great inserts to help your post
- Proofread before and after you publish
- Use Grammarly to check spelling and grammar (they have a browser plugin too!)
- Aim for 1000-2000 word posts. This is a lot of writing. If you can’t do this regularly, try to write lengthier posts as often as you can
- Make sure to use tags and put your post in the appropriate category
- Use Yoast to optimize your post, add keywords, and search engine description (these options are at the end of the post so scroll down)
Once your post is ready, you can go LIVE! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on creating a blog. Please share, what are your FAVORITE plugins?
WEALTHY AFFILIATE: The best beginner blog training I have taken. It spells everything all out! 7 phases total and helps with everything from setting up your blog on platform to PPC advertising to Facebook and more! Truly amazing. Highly recommended.
BLUEHOST: Amazing web hosting starting at as low as $1.95/month! Streamlined set up and easy integration with WordPress. Check out The Foolproof Way to Start a Blog. Bluehost is currently the host used for this blog, Drink Coffee & Prosper. Highly recommended.
CONVERTKIT: Newsletter services to your subscribers AT ITS FINEST! I have to admit, I am not a techie, AT ALL! ConvertKit makes it all so easy. Lots of easy tools, streamlined newsletter creation, affordable packages. It takes me a few minutes to shoot out a newsletter to the blog’s thousands of subscribers. Easy peasy. You’ll love ConvertKit!
BOARDBOOSTER AND TAILWIND: I’ve tried these Super Pinning tools separately but I have BOTH! The minute I made that change, my repins increased by 200X, no joke! I love the features and tools from both. You’ll like the simple, easy navigation of Boardbooster. Not too complicated at all. Tailwind has tribes! Another awesome way to connect and grow your pins exponentially. They are both very affordable. A must have and my secret weapon for exploding my blog pageviews!
MAKING SENSE OF AFFILIATE MARKETING COURSE: Join the ranks of Michelle Schroeder and be on your way to earning $50,000/month in affiliate income like she does! In fact, she had a record SIX FIGURE MONTH in July 2016! Learn from the very best. Read my full review of her course on my post, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Reviewed.