The Best Ways to Make Money Online in 2017 2000. That was the first year I ever made money online. You know what I did? I sold scrapbooking supplies. I had a few fun scrapbooking punches and would punch out 100 of them, put them […]
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So You Want to Start a Blog? A Simple Blogging Guide to Get You Started!
Blogging! If you are reading this, you know what a blog is. You like to read them. Have you ever wanted to start your own blog?
I started my first blog way back in 2004 when I was pregnant with my first child. The blog was very simple, mostly just photos and short updates. This was before Facebook or even Myspace took off and there really wasn’t such a thing as social media.
In 2009 I started my first “public blog” and have been blogging regularly ever since. I find blogging a great way to get my words out, to help others and to become a part of a community that works together and helps each other out.
So if you do want to start a blog, where should you start?
You Need An Idea For Your Blog
The first step to becoming a blogger and to start a blog is to figure out what your blog is going to be about. There are so many options out there that it can seem overwhelming. What you want to do is sit down and ask yourself what you want to write about.
Here are some examples of the types of blogs people create:
- Lifestyle blog- About your life in general, from the kids to date nights. Pretty much anything goes.
- Political blog– You would share your political beliefs, news stories, etc.
- Mom blog– You would blog a lot about your kids and your life as a mom.
- Review blog-You would write product reviews based around a theme. For example, baby products or pet products.
- Photography blog– You would post photos you have taken. Not as much writing. If you have a local business a photo blog can be a great way to get your work noticed.
As you can see there are many different types of blogs. You can really get as creative as you want when you start a blog. If you have a hobby or a passion, you can create your blog around that. If you just want to blog about whatever comes to mind, you can do that too. Over time your blog will take shape, even if the blog is more general when you first start out. Sometimes letting the blog evolve is a good idea.
Where Should You Blog
Once you have decided what your blog is going to be about, you need to figure out where you are going to do your blogging. There are a few options out there depending on if you want to spend money on the blog or keep blogging for free.
If you want to start your blog without spending a dime, I would recommend using Blogger. Blogger is by far the easiest way to blog and the most user-friendly. WordPress also has a free option but I personally find using it for your main blog frustrating. You also can not put any type of ad on a free WordPress blog. If you want to start a blog and make money with doing so, a free WordPress blog is not the way to get started.
You need to decide if you want to have a domain name or not. These do cost money but you can usually find a good deal where you only have to pay $1 to set one up. If you do buy a domain name, you can have it redirect to your Blogger blog.
If you are willing to spend a little bit of money, you can buy hosting and put your blog on your own self-hosted WordPress site. I like this option the best because having your own site gives you the most flexibility when it comes to your blog. You do have to pay a little bit each month or per year for hosting but I think doing so is worth it.
Time To Set Up Your Blog
So you now know what you are going to blog about and where you are going to put your blog, now it is time to get things setup.
If you are going with Blogger, their set up is pretty simple. Once you decide on a name for your blog it will take you to the area where you can choose your template and make other changes. Makes sure to fill out your “About Me” section so your readers can learn a little bit about you.
With self-hosted WordPress, it might be a little more complicated. You can choose to use one of the free themes or buy a premium one. I like to use Genesis but there are free themes that look nice too.
Spend some time figuring out what you want your blog to look like. Some bloggers keep things simple and others like to create something a little more elaborate. You can start with simple and later on change things as you see fit.
Make sure you do have the basics on your blog:
- Contact Me- So people can contact you. If someone wants to ask you a question or find out about advertising with you, they are going to need an email address.
- Privacy Page– A must if you want to put ads on your blog.
- Google Analytics or another way to track your stats.
- Where people can find you on Social Media.
- Disclosure Policy– If you are going to have any type of ads, affiliates or paid reviews on your site.
Once you have done at least that, you should be good to start writing!
Writing Your Blog Posts
When it comes to writing your blog posts, you want to make sure you are doing so on a regular basis. It can be once a week, three times a week or whatever works for you. You might try writing every weekday to start out with. This will help your blog get some exposure.
I try to make sure I am doing all of this when I write a blog post:
- At least 600 words.
- Good searchable title.
- End with a question to get more people to comment.
- At least 1-2 photos to add to the post and make it more likely to end up on Pinterest.
When it comes to what you should write about, that depends on your topic. Since it is your blog, you can write about whatever you want. Keep in mind about your audience. Some blogs allow you to write about whatever comes to mind and others need to stay on topic.
It would be a good idea to start a notebook with blog post ideas. You can write in the notebook whenever you feel inspired so you will always have a list of ideas to go to when you have time to write.
- Leaving Work Behind
- Blog Tips to Help You Make Money Blogging – ProBlogger
- The Smart Passive Income Blog
- BloggingJulie Pinterest
- Alex Beadon
- Inspired Bloggers Network
Now, Go Start A Blog
Now that you know the basics on how to start a blog, go out and make your own.
Come back here and let me know what it is, I would love to check out what you have created 🙂
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Hi! It’s me. Blogger and social media lover, Julie.
This is my brand new place on the web.
I have been a blogger since 2009…since 2004 if you count the first blog I created when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I am the blog owner of Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life.
I love love love my spot on the web. I love helping military spouses with my words.
However, there is much more to who I am. A lot of my life that doesn’t fit on that blog. I have a lot to share and I want to write about so I need a new space. Don’t worry, Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life isn’t going anywhere. But this place? It’s my new place and one where I can blog about a lot of the things that are important to me.
After a lot of thought, I decided this is going to be a blog of many things. I tried coming up with a more specific niche but I realized that might not be the best thing to do here. I can tell you that you will find posts on blogging, social media, motherhood, travel, books, writing, life in Tennessee or anything else I want to blog about.
I believe everyone has a story and this is mine…
I married my husband back in 2002. We were both from California and I met him during my senior year in college. We dated for about 8 months, got engaged and we were married about 8 months later. Now that anniversary #14 is here I see more and more how great a decision that was. My husband is one of the greatest. Although we are very different people with different opinions on certain things (like politics) we make things work.
We have three boys. Our oldest is 11.5, 12 is just around the corner and he reminds me of that often. Our middle son is 9.5 and has Asperger’s. This is a big part of our lives as some days can be really good and others not so much. Our littlest boy is 5.5 and about ready to start Kindergarten. We also have a little girl, Gwen, who is our 3-year-old Hound mix. She is the first dog I have ever had since I was raised with cats and I am so glad we decided to add her to our family.
My husband is in the Army National Guard. Next June he will then end his time in the Army after spending about 11 years in Active duty and 3 years in the Guard.
I have been a WAHM consistently since 2009. Right now that means I am a blogger, I write for different websites, do social media and do a few other side jobs. It’s a great job for me although life gets a little more crazy when the boys are not in school.
A little more about me…
I enjoy blogging and writing. I am working on my first novel which I started back in August of last year. I have a lot of stories started but this is the first one that I feel I can actually finish so stay tuned for that. I also enjoy photography, reading, watching television & movies, drinking coffee, being on social media, going on walks and traveling. However, the last few years I have not been able to travel as much as I would have liked.
I have been to 11 countries and about 25 states. I would love to grow those numbers in the years to come.
I consider myself a creative person and I can’t figure out if I am a shy extrovert or an outgoing introvert. I think it depends on the day and who I am with. I worry too much but I am working on that. I am a very picky eater but each year I seem to add new foods. Hello, guacamole, where have you been all my life? I hate driving and I can’t wait for the day when we have self-driving cars.
I love to read and I am always reading at least 2-3 books at one time. I love to watch tv and movies when I have the time. I love the beach and miss being close to one. I haven’t even visited in 2 years. Someday we hope to live by the beach again.
This new blog is just getting started. I am not sure what the blog will end up looking like in the end, but here I am, starting my new space on the web and glad to be doing so!