So you want to be a blogger? Welcome to the family! Blogging can be a great way to connect with an audience, share your story, get your creative juices flowing, and even make you a little (or a lot) of money. If creating your dot com has been on your mind for awhile, then these 3 things you need to start your blog will get you set up on the path to an amazing new opportunity.
3 Things You Need to Start Your Blog
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Choose Your Niche
Before you can start your blog, you need to determine what it is you’re wanting to write about. If your blog is going to become more of a hobby, then it’s okay to be a little loose in your niche-selection and write about various topics. If you’re wanting to focus on growing your blog and creating a stream of income, you may want to consider “niching down” and being more specific in your content. The reason for this is Google wants to know what it is specifically that you’re posting about, and if you’re posting about a lot of different things, it’s going to be hard to earn Google’s trust and rank high. BUT.. if you’re proving with every post that you’re an authority on a specific topic, Google will start to trust you over time. But – that’s a blog post for another day.
Name Your Blog
Once you know your niche, determine what your blog name will be. Pick something that fits your brand (personal or otherwise), and make sure it’s something that you love. You can definitely change it later, but if you want to start out with consistent branding from the beginning, make sure it’s a name you can see yourself using for the foreseeable future.
Before you commit to your business or blog’s name, do a little research. Type the name into social media and Google; do any other pages come up with the same name? If you want your page to be one of a kind, you’ll want to make sure that you pick a name that’s unique and doesn’t have another business tied to it. If you are head over heels in love with your name and still want to use it, just make sure that there isn’t a similar brand to yours using a similar name, because that could be too confusing for your audience and potential audience.
Register Your Domain
So you have your name. Now what? If you didn’t already research domains when you were deciding on your name, now’s the time to do it. A domain name is the web address for your site, for example, limitlessbloggingco.com.
You can search for available domains through multiple sites, including this one through SiteGround.
WP Beginner shows that there are over 140 million dot com domains registered, so it can definitely take a little trial and error sometimes to get your dream name and domain to both line up. If you’re running into situations where one or the other isn’t available, don’t stress. It just means something better will be available for you that fits your vision.
On the flipside, if you have a brand name or domain name in mind and it is available, snag it. Domains get purchased every single day, so when one is available that you like, grab it. Even if you don’t create your site quite yet, most domains are going to be fairly inexpensive so purchasing one and having it sit “empty” for awhile won’t hurt anything.
Choose a Host For Your Blog
So you have a vision, a name, and a plan. Next, you need to figure out the platform you’re going to use to actually create this blog, and also figure out where it’s going to be hosted.
Find Your Perfect Blogging Platform
Platform means the program you’re going to use to create your blog content. Something like WordPress, Wix, Showit, etc. If you’re wanting to eventually monetize your blog, the best platform to choose would be WordPress. If you’re planning on selling physical goods, you might want to consider Woocommerce + WordPress or a Shopify site.
Choosing a WordPress dot org vs the dot com will be vital here, because the dot org is the only way you’ll be able to self host your site. This may sound super confusing, but basically it just means that you’ll own your site, have full control over what you post, and you’ll have the potential to run ads or campaigns on your site to earn commissions.
Whichever platform you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s going to provide you with all the features and possibilities that you’re wanting for your blog.
Find your perfect hosting provider
So what does it mean to host a blog? Think of the host as your blog’s home on the internet. It’s the space that’s going to keep your blog and all of its contents and make them viewable to anyone in the world.
If you chose a platform such as Wix, Showit, or Shopify, the hosting plan will be provided through the platform. But if you chose the self-hosted WordPress dot org route, then you’ll get to choose your own provider.
When researching hosts, you’ll want to take into account their reputation for things like customer support, speed, and price. Faster hosting providers are typically going to be a little more expensive, but if you’re wanting your site to perform well and eventually rank well, site speed is going to be a critical factor you’ll want to pay attention to.
Some of the most common/popular host providers are:
Keep in mind, you do not have to have your domain and host managed through the same place. When you get your host set up, you can point your domain names to your host – and if that confuses you, don’t worry. You should be able to have technical support through your hosting provider help you with this.
You’re now the proud owner of a shiny new blog!
This sounds like a lot of confusing information, doesn’t it? Don’t worry. Once you get started it’s going to make a LOT more sense. And once you get through all the technicalities of this technological adventure, you’ll be able to actually start creating content, and that’s when all the real fun begins!
Stay tuned for future posts on how to create amazing content, building an audience, and getting your content seen! If you’re anxious to start looking ahead, check out Creative Market to get some ideas on themes and web design!