How to Start a Blog in 2019
So you want to start a blog in 2019? Starting Frankvinyl.com has been one of the best learning experiences in my career as a blogger. Even though I started my blog almost 10 years ago, I still believe you can create a successful blog in 2019. Of course, it can be overwhelming at first with all the technical stuff, but once you get all set up, blogging can actually be the fun new creative outlet you’re looking for. I hope this blog is helpful to any new or soon-to-be bloggers! Heres a few easy steps you can take to start a blog.
How to Start a Blog in 2019
CHOOSE YOUR NICHE
You’ve probably heard this word a thousand times if you’ve had the whole blogging thing in your mind for a while. By “niche” we basically mean, find that topic that excites you! Chances are you won’t be the first person to write about the topic you want to focus on, but you can still find a unique way to do it. If you are blogging about EVERYTHING it may be tougher to find your audience. Stick to your niche.
PICK YOUR NAME
Now that you have a focus for your blog, it’s time to pick a name. Think about your topic and what makes you stand out. Your blog name doesn’t need to be out of this world creative or witty, it just has to be something people will remember. Here are some quick tips I have for picking a name:
- Pick something short (2 to 3 words max!)
- Make sure it’s something people can pronounce and spell easily
- Choose something you won’t be embarrassed to say out loud
- Think longterm. Will you grow out of this name?
- Make sure your name will be available as a domain (more on this below).
THE TECHNICAL STUFF:
Your domain is your blog’s permanent address on the internet (for example, mine is Frankvinyl.com) Keeping your blog name and your domain name the same is best for branding purposes and to keep things simple. When thinking about your blog name, make sure it’s available as a domain. You can use Instant Domain Search to see if it’s taken or not. You can use a site like GoDaddy.com to secure your domain, but getting your domain name and hosting for your site under one roof is the easiest way for new bloggers (more on this below).
Hosting basically means where your site and all the data is stored. I recommend choosing a web hosting company that will also give you your domain. Bluehost, probably the most popular and easy to use, gives you your domain for free when you sign up for hosting. Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll probably be paying anywhere between $2 and $6 dollars a month to get your site up and running. Once you create your account with Bluehost, they will automatically install WordPress for you, which is the platform you will use to manage your blog (other options you’ve probably heard of are Sqaurespace or Wix, but in my experience WordPress is the best for long term growth of your blog).
BUILDING YOUR BLOG
YAY! Now that we finished setting up the blog, it’s time for the fun stuff! Get to know WordPress and think about how you want your blog to look. This may be a bit of a learning curve but there’s no rush. Take your time, this should be fun!
It’s perfectly okay to start your blog with a free WordPress theme. Once you actually install your theme, you can experiment with fonts, colors, and other design elements to make it your own. It’s always important to choose a theme that’s reader-friendly and easy to navigate. Make especially sure it looks good on tablet and iPhone as well (most themes do nowadays). If you have trouble with this, there are also plenty of freelancers on UpWork.com that can do it for you! They charge either hourly or by the project. I built my whole new website through Upwork (since I wanted to do a very specific design ) and have my go-to freelancer who always helps me whenever something crashes or acts up on the website. For now, I would stick to a free template if you can. I didn’t do a custom design until years later.
When starting your blog the two most necessary pages are your About Me page and your Contact Page (my contact info is combined on my ‘About Me’ page). The About Me page tells your audience all about who you are, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Your Contact page has all the important info your audience, brands or agencies need to contact you. I recommend creating an email that matches your domain. It just looks more professional. You can use Google Suite for Business to create your custom email address, which starts at $6 a month.
As a blogger, one piece of advice I have for new bloggers is to understand blogging takes commitment (tons of blogging tips here.) You need to be consistent with creating high-quality content for your readers in order to grow your brand. Sometimes that means creating content even when you don’t feel like it. Coming up with a posting schedule is a great idea to keep yourself accountable and to get your readers familiar with when they will receive new content. The number of posts per week is up to you, but as a rule of thumb, quality of posts is better than quantity. When you’re first starting out, it’s really all about putting great content out there and building an audience. Focus on SEO strong titles as well. Think about your niche, then think about what people would be typing into google. This just helps to get your page ranking higher in the google search engines.
Marketing plays a huge role in growing your blog as a business. Two of the main ways of doing so is through social media marketing and email marketing. From the beginning, it’s important to link all your social media accounts to your blog and to begin driving traffic to your blog through your social accounts. Another way to market your blog is through email. Having subscribers to your blog is a great way to inform your audience when a new post goes live and to turn a one-time visitor into a loyal follower.
Chances are you not only want to start a blog and grow it, but you want to make money too. There are tons of ways to monetize your blog from affiliates (RewardStyle and Amazon Affiliates are two of my favorites), paid ads or selling your own product. I go more in-depth on how bloggers make money here. In the beginning, making money isn’t going to be easy. It takes a long time to develop loyal followers who will trust you enough for you to have an influence on their purchasing decisions. The more authentic, real and true to yourself you are, the more likely your audience will find you relatable and trustworthy! Be patient, and know that a successful blog takes time, consistency and passion!
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!
If you have any questions feel free to email me or leave a comment below.