This post is sponsored by HostGator. All opinions are mine alone.
It seems like everyone wants to start a blog these days and for good reason – it’s fun and totally lucrative! So if you’ve ever contemplated starting your own blog but felt overwhelmed by the process, check out these five easy steps to start your very own blog today.
How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps
1. Pick your passion!
The first step in starting your own blog is picking your main topic(s). Are you a foodie and want to write about all the delicious creations you’re cooking up in the kitchen? Or perhaps you’re a crafter extraordinaire and you’d like to share some of your recent DIYs with the world? Maybe sports is your main interest and you’d love to share your opinions about the playoffs with other fans around the world?
Whatever topic you choose, you have to make sure it’s something you’re really passionate about. After all, you will have to write about this topic a lot. And when you feel like you’ve written everything possible about this topic, you will have to write some more! 😉
Also, when choosing a topic, make sure it’s not too specific or too broad. For example, a blog all about gluten-free bread recipes is probably too specific. A blog focusing on all types of gluten-free recipes, however, strikes a better balance between broadness and specificity.
2. It’s all in the name!
When it comes to blogging, it does all come down to the name… the domain name, that is! What is the domain name? It’s the name is the name people will enter into their address bar in order to get to your URL. So it literally represents the way people will get to your site. Furthermore, it’s intrinsically related to your brand and the image you create for your blog and business.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to selecting a great domain name:
- Make sure it’s easy to type. Avoid the use of slang words or abbreviations.
- Shorter names are generally better than longer names.
- If possible, include one or two keywords in your domain name.
- Find a name that’s memorable, catchy and unique.
3. The right host matters!
A web host will get your blog content live on the Internet. That’s why it’s super important to pick a host that’s reliable, easy to customize and very affordable. When it comes to web hosting companies, HostGator is a smart all-around choice!
Here’s what I love about their hosting plans:
- 1-Click Script Installs save time & money. Work smarter, not harder.
- 99.9% Uptime guarantee means your site won’t be offline often!
- You can choose from over 4,500 website templates to make your site uniquely you.
- There is a 45 day money back guarantee to make sure you’re satisfied with your experience.
- The technical support staff is available 24/7/365, so you’re never left alone to solve a problem.
- With plans starting at $3.95, you can get your site online very affordably.* (Price is accurate at the time of posting, but prices are subject to change.)
Plus, HostGator offers new customers an amazing $100 credit to Google AdWords and $100 credit to Yahoo!/Bing, so you can get your brand new site in front of many eyes without spending another dime! When it comes to publishing content on the Internet, you have to promote your posts to make sure they get read. With this advertising credit, you can do just that conveniently!
There are many different hosting plans to suit every business budget. The plans include a Hatchling Plan, Baby Plan and Business Plan. And if you’re a newbite to website building, fear not. There’s a convenient drag-and-drop website builder to get you up and running in no time. With HostGator, you don’t need to be an HTML master to get your site live today!
4. Manage your content & make it pretty!
A content management system (CMS) is the way in which you organize and produce your blog content. It affects your experience preparing posts behind-the-scenes, but it also affects the viewer’s experience when she reads your posts. Two of the more popular options include WordPress and Blogger. Engineer Mommy is run with WordPress and I absolutely love the system. I love WordPress because it’s very easy to set up and manage my content with a user-friendly admin panel. Another thing I love about the system is that there is a huge variety of plugins and templates so it’s easy to customize the blog & make it look pretty! 🙂
Blogger is another popular content management system among bloggers. Since Blogger is a Google product, it integrates seamlessly with Google Toolbar and Google AdSense. Furthermore, Blogger offers free storage space for your posts & pictures, which is a nice perk.
5. Start writing!
You’ve selected a topic you’re madly passionate about. You found a domain name that is memorable, catchy and short. You also picked a web hosting service that’s reliable and affordable. You finally picked a content management system and made your blog look pretty. There’s only one more step left… start writing!
Now, it’s time to begin churning out those posts. Here are some tips on making this step seamless and successful:
- Pick a blogging schedule and stick to it. Whether you want to write posts every day, three times per week, or only twice per month, pick a schedule and stick to it.
- Create an editorial calendar to keep track of seasonal interests. For example, as long as it’s relevant to your blog content, write posts about Valentine’s Day in February, Halloween in October, and so on.
- Another tip about producing blog content easily is to write posts in bulk. Consider writing several posts all at once and then schedule them to go live on specific days.
Now that you’ve learned the five simple steps to start your own blog, what are you waiting for? Start your very own blog today – it’s easier than ever!
Now, I’d love to hear from you! How did you decide you wanted to start a blog? What is your favorite part about blogging? What was the hardest part of starting your own blog?