How to Start A Blog

The number one thing people say to me after they read my blog is that they would start one but they don’t really know where to start. I thought it would be fun to explain how I started my blog and also explain how you could start one yourself (everything in this post is very loose information because I started my blog off super loose haha)

*LOL I just finished writing this and it’s so long but I think it’s kind of funny so at least you have that to look forward to

Come up with an idea

So the first thing you need to do is have a really clear idea of what you would want your blog to be about. I spent about two months thinking about what I would write about before I actually started constructing (designing? I don’t really know what the correct word is haha) my blog. When I first started I thought it was going to be 100 percent about fashion (then I realized that I dressed like Jcrew ad and that wouldn’t really be an original concept). Really take some time to brainstorm, try to come up with at least 10 ideas for blog posts and see if they fall into a particular category.

Time Commitment

Once you have an idea I would take a few minutes to decide how much you want to commit financially and with your time. Your decision here is really going to determine how you proceed. There are a lot of different ways to start a blog, they range from really expensive and time consuming to free and easy. Whichever you choose just know that it is going to affect the quality of your website/blog.

I found a bit of a middle ground when I started my blog, so I will be telling you exactly what I did. This is not the only way to do start a blog and at the end of the post I will be linking some articles on different ways to start blogs, so you can find the one that works best for you.

1.) You need to come up with a name. This was actually the hardest part for me because I am an idiot and really wanted it to have the words “polished” and “plaid” in the title (my big idea was polishedinplaid.com). If you are having trouble coming up with a name consider these tips:

  • Avoid having the word “and” in the title
  • Avoid sounding like another blogger, for example, I see so many people with the word “Prepster” in their blog URL. Every time I see that all I can think about is “Carly the Prepster, or The College Prepster”. So if another really popular blogger has a similar name, come up with something else.
  • Think about longevity. You don’t want a title that won’t make sense in a year or two. Avoid things that only relate to your life right now, I almost named this blog something related to Disney and now that my programs over I write a lot less about Disney so that would have been very dumb.
  • Do make it relate to you in some way.

2.) Congrats! You came up with a name! Bad news, someone probably already bought the domain name.

*So this is where things start to get trickier, if you want to start a blog that has the URL, Taylorsblog.wordpress.com or Taylorsblog.blogger.com, you can skip this. If you want it to be Taylorsblog.com, stay tuned.

I bought my domain from Godaddy, there are SO MANY PLACES you can buy a domain from. I have only had problems with Godaddy twice and both times the customer service has been amazing.

Godaddy hosts my wordpress site, which kind of means that I pay Godaddy every month for my domain name and they make sure its up and running (this is such an oversimplification but i’m just a kid so don’t even worry about it). A few other popular hosting sites for bloggers are BlueHost and and SiteGround. This is a good little post  explaining more of your options.

(also domain names very in price depending what you pick, mine is super cheap but the name Taylor Phillips isn’t exactly in high demand yet, but give me a couple years)

3.) Congrats you bought a domain! So now you have to decide WordPress or Blogger (or other? I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t use one of these two). I’ll make this decision easy for you, pick WordPress. It’s by far better than blogger, its becoming the standard among bloggers, it’s just superior.

4.) Ok now you have to do quite a bit of set up. I don’t really want to go through all of this because it’s definitely not that hard, but basically you are going to go on WordPress and connect your domain to WordPress so you will now have an essentially blank website.

*Honestly if you have trouble with this step email me, Mstaylorphillips@gmail.com, Its just not that hard so I better not get any emails.

5.) Now for the fun part, site design! I am actually going to write a whole post tomorrow on design (You always have to keep them coming back for more).

6.) After that you’re all set. You can now start strictly referring to yourself as an influencer and only drink fit tea! I would write somewhere in between 5-10 blog posts before you tell anyone about your site. Some of my biggest months page view wise were in those first couple months when people were curios/wanted to hate read my blog. If all those people come to your blog and there is one single “about me” post thats a waste and they probably aren’t coming back.

7.) Decide how much you want to post every week (and stick to it). I started out with one (crappy) post a week. Whatever you commit to just make sure whatever you post is good quality.

Here are some additional tips:
  1. Learn how to use photoshop and lightroom, I took online classes in both (I’m so smart)
  2. Create a logo! You can do this yourself (like I did, because i’m so smart) or you can go on one million websites that will do this for you. (Ill cover this a bit more tomorrow)
  3. Buy a decent camera. I am not an expert (although I did read a wikipedia page on photography) but I may beg Bronwyn (hi Bron) to educate you all, she’s smarter than me.
  4. Change all of your social media handles to match your blog. It will make it easier for people to find you.
  5. Learn about SEO, it’s basically how google-able you are.
Some other people who know more about starting blogs and wrote about it:

1.) The Blog Societies has amazing information and tips for starting a blog, I personally like this article and this article.

2.) Emma’s Edition has a lot of specific tips about running your blog, I like this post and this post.

3.) Literally google “Blogging tips”. Start reading.

Basically to sum this up, it should absolutely shock you all that I managed to start this blog. I clearly know like, 5 things total, but here we are. If you have any (good) questions like I said shoot me an email, but if I google it and find the answer in less than 5 minutes I will assume you grew up in a cave. Have a lovely Tuesday.

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