Are you thinking about starting a mom blog? Lifestyle blog? Food blog? Then you’re in the right place! I’m going to teach you the basics of how to quickly start a blog like a rock star.
Blogging Is Where It’s At
Our society is becoming more and more digital every day. Companies are going out of business and being replaced by artificial intelligence, influencers, and online shopping moguls like Amazon. Social media consumes and creates many more relationships than any face to face interaction. Doctors visits are being done through skype. (Ever done that? Blew my mind. I was like, “Where’s the doctor?” and they point to the computer.) Court cases are being done through skype. Business meetings are being run by someone not even in the same room, probably on vacation somewhere awesome.
How and Why YOU Should Start a Blog.
So how can YOU, the everyday Jane, the stay at home mom, the entrepreneur get in on this movement yourself? You start a blog of course! Blogging is so wonderful for so many reasons. It’s a creative outlet. It’s a great way to connect with like-minded individuals. Blogging is a huge learning experience for most (myself included!). And eventually with a lot of hard work it can definitely become a source of income.
I’m betting you’ve read a hundred posts on how to start a blog. Claims like “Start a Blog in 15 Minutes or Less” and “How I Made X Amount of Money My First Month Blogging” really reel you in if you’ve even toyed with the idea.
I Want You To Start A Blog Off Right!
What To Consider Before You Start a Blog:
1. What are your reasons for starting this blog?
Are you looking to journal your thoughts, travels, crafts, or tips to share with others? Great! Lots of people start blogs with that in mind and it can become a great way to share those things with other folks like yourself with the correct promotion.
Are you looking to teach and inspire? That’s a wonderful, noble and phenomenal reason to start a blog! Mindful living, chronic illness, fitness, and health are great things to blog about with lots of successful bloggers doing the same. Everyone is aspiring to lead a better and healthier life and if not they should be!
Are you looking to make money? Good for you! But a word of warning, it doesn’t happen over night. Even the most successful bloggers had to learn a lot, network, promote, and put in endless hours before even receiving a notable paycheck. You’ll find plenty of claims of bloggers that make six figure incomes, and they ARE out there. But they are few. However there are lots of stay at home moms, and other regular people just like you who make a couple thousand dollars a month blogging, that’s equal to a full time minimum wage job. From their home, or while traveling, on their terms, on their timetable.
2. What is your niche?
I’m not saying you need to pick a specific thing. “Crafts! I’m only writing about crafts, DIYs and that’s it!” or “Motherhood life… and that’s all!” Everyone is always talking about “finding your niche” in blogging. So many people are “niched down” so hard! If you’re not ready to dive in with that commitment that’s totally ok!
There’s lots of successful bloggers who talk about multiple topics with great success. Healthy eating, mindful living, and exercise. Or motherhood, organization, frugal living, and blogging. Just for a couple ideas. I blog about a bunch of topics! But when you come to my site you will always be learning how to “Vigor it Out”! (Live your life with physical strength and good health.) Whether it be exercise, motherhood and kids crafts, good eats, or blogging.
What you do need to
vigor figure out is what you love to talk about. What can you talk all day and night about? Think about what you love to do. What consumes your mind and life? Write about that! If that is a lot of things then go for it! Blogging takes a lot of time, blogging takes writing A LOT of articles. Figure you’ll have written over 100 pieces after only the first year on average. You better choose something you can write hundreds of pieces on or you’ll never want to stick with it!
3. What is you blog name going to be?
I read a lot of varying opinions about this and took an awful lot of time before I came up with Vigor It Out. Once I said it, it was a complete “a-ha!” moment… but it took a lot of scratch paper, bouncing around ideas, research, and brainstorming to get there. I was told by some “use your name! It’ll never change and you can write about anything!” I also read “You should definitely have your main topic in the title so advertisers can find you easily.” Both make total sense and are opposing opinions.
Do what works for YOU, for your blog! I mostly write about motherhood topics so almost included that in the title, but I didn’t want to niche down too hard. I wanted to draw everyone here and I also wanted the freedom to write about multiple topics, all under the umbrella of a healthy active lifestyle. BAM! (Oh and the fact that Vigor is technically my last name may have played a small part.)
4. How much time and money do you want to invest?
I don’t think I’ve read this tip before but I think it’s definitely important. If you can only spend 10 hours a week on the blog be realistic with yourself about that. If you honestly don’t have any extra income then learn what to wait on for now and what to invest in now as well. Don’t think you can put together and manage a money making successful blog in 7 hours a week.
Blogging takes a lot of time, more than I had planned on, but not much more so I’ve been able to find those extra hours. You can make it happen if you really want to with a little or a lot of creativity. You can start a blog like a rock star today! Just have realistic expectations on the slow growth of your business, as ANY business has! That way you’ll be apt to stick through the hard times or push past any idea of giving up on this dream.
Starting a blog can be really cheap.
I’m sure you’ve head that. I build my page through Bluehost and they have been amazing! The price is so cheap right now, under $4 a month kind of cheap, through my special link here. They offer lots of beautiful free themes if you’re not into coding in your free time (I have no idea so trust me you’re not alone!), they have GREAT customer service and technical support (I’ve called them sooo many times for so many different things. Seriously handfuls of different things ranging from silly new blogger questions like “I can’t find the free themes where are they?!” when I felt totally dumb to much more serious, “OMG a brute forcer is trying to get into my site and now I’m locked out over and over and over, what do I do?!” They’re amazingly helpful and informative and the wait time is virtually nonexistent).
Bluehost is one of the biggest hosts out there and through them YOU own your domain.
(That is very important to making money down the road, you can’t do it on a free host like GoDaddy.)
Through Bluehost you have the option of purchasing one year, two year, or three year packages. With a bigger discount on what you are paying each month with each package. I opted for three years to get the most bang for my buck, got an additional discount for doing so, AND have gotten some great site protection freebies from them as well some through my initial signup like site backups and domain privacy and more through calling and speaking with their super helpful staff. If you’re already thinking “Yes, I’m FINALLY doing this! I’m starting my blog today!” Please do so through my awesome discounted link here! It’ll even help me make a big of commission on the sale! I’d really appreciate it and would love to be your nudge into the influencer life.
Helpful Things To Do BEFORE You Start a Blog Like a Rock Star!
1. Do your research.
There is so much free advice out there from great bloggers wanting to help and inspire. It’s a really welcoming and HUGE community. Not everyone is a peach but the number of helpful bloggers (even the BIG ONES) has astounded me. Reach out, comment, connect, and ask lots of questions. Chances are they’ll be happy to share their knowledge.
2. Grow your social media.
Blogging is a lot of writing but even more than that it’s promoting. If you have social media accounts work on growing those! (Oh wait, I’m THE ONLY one who had NO social media accounts in 2017?! Ya, maybe I AM from the stone age.) Once you know your perfect blog name open social media accounts in it: Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to start. Pinterest is where most bloggers get most of their traffic (I get between 90-99% from there!), so I’d really focus on learning Pinterest well. However if you have a great following, are really knowledgeable, or simply REALLY love another social media source work on growing that following.
3. Join blogging Facebook groups.
There’s really no better way to network with fellow bloggers. It’s great and really helpful to comment on your favorite blog or even start communicating via email to some bloggers within your niche that you admire as well. But neither of those compares to the amount of great established and other newbie bloggers that you can reach in one Facebook group. My top three I find really helpful for promoting and networking are:
I’m on about a dozen more but these three are each a great help in their own way to a blogger just starting out. They each have specific rules for joining and participating so be sure to read the rules first!
4. Write a bunch of posts!
Yes now, before you’ve even purchased and set up your site. Write about 30 great blog posts. If you want to write on multiple topics then be sure to include a few of each. I thought by doing this I had gotten soooo ahead and then after purchasing my site realized that with the time I’d already spent writing and proofreading I STILL wasn’t done. Now I had to SEO each of the posts, upload and add in my photos, learn how to link, and learn what the format of a good blog post contains. (SEO is search engine optimization. It means making your posts or pins in a way that search engines like Google and Pinterest can easily find and categorize them!)
Google “search engine optimization” and you’ll get so much info!
It’s really complicated and there’s no way to learn it all. It is ever changing but you really need to familiarize yourself with what it is. Bluehost has this AWESOME plugin called Yoast that helps walk you through optimizing your posts. I love Yoast, it is so helpful and free!
Ok so I totally got on a tangent there. So I was TRYING to say ‘write your posts ahead of time!’ THEN when you launch your site it’s going to look great and like you’re a seasoned blogger from day 1. ALSO if you plan on monetizing your site with programs such as Google AdSense or Amazon Affiliates, you’re a lot more likely to get accepted with a lot of awesome content on your site.
5. Learn to create pins using Canva.
You will definitely want to include Pinterest into your marketing strategy. As I said before bloggers get over 90% of their traffic from Pinterest alone. It’s easy to see you cannot neglect this aspect of blogging or no one is going to read your amazing content. I use Canva to create beautiful pins. It’s free and very user friendly. You can buy addition things on it like images but I honestly never have. The alternative to Canva is PicMonkey. I’ve heard lots of bloggers rave about PicMonkey and they come out with stunning graphics as well. I had so much to learn and learned Canva first and fell in love with it so still am using it at this time. Canva has lots of free formats to use including one for Pinterest! Set at the perfect size to easily make a visually appealing pin.
6. Now create pins for your best posts.
I recommend creating at least three pins for at least your best 12 posts. Don’t worry, if it takes you forever at first you will not only get faster at making them with practice, but they will look better as well. Save these for when you launch your site through Bluehost. I say to make 3 for each post to A, B, C test them. What you love might not be the one everyone else loves. That viral pinner you anxiously await to pick up your pin just may have different taste in fonts and coloring than you, totally ok! My first viral pin was my least favorite of the 3, and it took off like wildfire. You just never know.
7. Join Pinterest Group Boards.
If you’ve never heard of them let me tell you Pinterest group boards are the bomb diggity! When you create a board in Pinterest it is YOUR collection of things you like in a certain topic. Now imagine inviting all your friends to pin all the content they love to the same board to make a mind blowing collection of awesome pins. That’s exactly what it is. People have opened up their boards for contributors and the chance to share YOUR content with their audience! Told you they were amazing. Even a newbie pinner with a miniscule following can reach hundreds of thousands of people through Pinterest group boards.
Find them and join a few and start pinning viral things you love for now to get the hang of it. It’s a good idea to join about 30 to start. That sounds like a lot and it is. (As I’m writing this I’m finding so many topics I’d LOVE to tell you more about and inspiration for posts for months to come… like how to get on Pinterest group boards for instance.)
8. Try out Boardbooster and Tailwind.
So now that you’ve got content, you’ve got pins, you’re getting so close. And here I go throwing ANOTHER new thing to learn at you? Well you’ll be happy I did if you’re crunched for time and want some promoting to run on autopilot. I found Boardbooster especially helpful for my launch. I had 75 pins to promote, about 30 group boards to pin them to and got so confused trying to do that manually!
Enter Boardbooster. It’s a program that you can set up to manually pin your content for you. Take an hour or two to schedule pins using campaigns that tells them which boards to go to at what time and you’re done. They’ll pin everything for you. And the BEST part is the first month is totally FREE! Perfect for your huge blog launch. After that it is still ridiculously affordable at a penny a pin. You can buy monthly subscriptions starting at only $5 for 500 pins and up from there.
Tailwind is Boardboosters competitor.
They are LOVED by many and have some cool thing called Tailwind Tribes that bloggers within the same niche join to promote each others content and network. I haven’t yet tried Tailwind but they ALSO offer a free trial! There’s is an amount of money though not an amount of time. People rave about tailwind and you can completely try one and then the other without spending a dime to see what you like.
I’m currently manually pinning through a Pinterest strategy book that is WONDERFUL and you can pick up here. It definitely got me my first VIRAL PIN after only one month of blogging! It took about five weeks to implement all of Carly from Mommy On Purpose’s strategies and then BAM, it happened. But to be perfectly honest it IS really time consuming and for launching I recommend trying out Boardbooster to start. If manually pinning doesn’t scare you away you’re welcome to pick up Carly’s book for a steal right here! Seriously it’s only $32 and worth every penny. When trying to get crazy traffic from Pinterest when you start a blog it’s important to have a solid Pinterest strategy. Otherwise you’ll be wasting your precious time on “hope pinning”.
Boardbooster also has really great analytics that will help you know what boards, what pins, and what times are working best for your audience. Some people continue using it for that helpful aspect alone!
9. Buy and build your blog.
I had the hardest time once I thought I had all my blogging ducks in a row trying to find out if I had to launch my site right when I purchased it or if I could just have it waiting as I took as much time as I wanted to be really ready. Let me tell you, you can totally purchase your domain and sit on it. Installing plugins , arranging widgets, playing with different themes, and anything else you want. I held off as long as I could to purchase because I didn’t want to waste the money I spent on the blog per month for my eyes alone, I wanted to get it out there! It took me about 3 weeks to be happy with it. I was astounded it took so long but it did. BUT when I launched I KNEW I had enough great content to spread all around using Boardbooster.
You Now Know How To Start A Blog Like A Rock Star
I tried to be as open, honest, and informative in this post as I could. To save you time, headache, and hours of clicking around suffering from information overload! As I mentioned earlier I am DEFINATELY going to be writing in further depth about some of the topics on here. So I’d LOVE to know what you need to know more about! What program or point left a question mark in your mind? What are you struggling with in starting a blog? What’s holding you back? If nothing here’s my link to Bluehost ONE MORE TIME! 🙂
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