How I Started My Blogging Journey
Hi everyone! If you have found your way here you have probably decided, like me, that you need to earn some more money. You have heard that people are making money from home, online, and you thought you would give it a try.
Updated April 2018
What could you do, well you love to write so that seems the obvious solution. That’s when you think about starting on your blogging journey.
How long until you realise it is not as easy as people say it is. You have been at it days/months/years and still, haven’t made a penny. So what do you do?
a) Give up!
b) Take stock of yourself, go back to square one and start working on topics that you actually know about.
Guess which one I am doing! Yes, this is my blogging journey ‘take 2’.
Start Earning Some Money
Yes, so I realised I was approaching this all wrong. I need to stop thinking of it as some sort of hobby but deal with it on a business footing. My main problem is that I really need to come up with a step by step blueprint because, at the moment, I am stuck in procrastination city. Busy doing a lot of things but none of them are producing anything. I am blogging but with no detailed plan. This ends now. This is me starting a new blogging journey.
I find that you get bombarded with so much information, but you don’t have the knowledge to use it all. You start a blog. You start a twitter account. Then you start a YouTube channel. Then a Pinterest account. You are just doing random steps without linking them all together.
I am now going back to the drawing board as they say. I am going to work on a plan and document my steps along the way. Please feel free to join me!
As my day job is to create training products and courses, that is what I am going to concentrate on. My ultimate goal, like 99.9% of the world’s population is to write a book. My baby steps to get to that stage are to write blog posts and information products. That will probably kill my desire to write a book anyway!
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My Blogging Journey Begins
Step 1 of my new blueprint is to create a blog. And here you are. That is step 1 ticked off then! I am creating this blog as a place to share my thoughts and progress, a place where people can follow along and also see and/or buy my products and training. Read about it or join me on my blogging journey. The more, the merrier!
But that is for the future. At the moment, all I am concerned about is creating my WordPress blog. These are the actions I took to complete step 1. Some people will be a dab hand at creating blogs and will find this information useless! Some people will find it daunting! You will find endless tutorials on YouTube so I have not gone into any detail here. I have added some videos that may be helpful. If you need help, just ask.
Choose a Niche
I already had decided upon my niche, as you can see. If you are still undecided, check out this post.
Hosting sounds confusing but is really just a ‘place’ on the internet for you to put your ‘stuff’. People then use the internet and find your stuff. A bit like a service provider for your mobile phone which is where your phone number ‘lives’. Like your mobile phone tariff, hosting has a cost.
If you don’t already have hosting, then don’t buy hosting for just 1 domain. You will probably end up with more sites than you think. If you are new to this and don’t currently have hosting, you will find researching this a nightmare. Everyone has something bad to say about every host! I purchased the HostGator baby plan about 6 years ago and I still use it. It is less than $10 per month so not overly expensive for something you absolutely need. At the time of writing, HostGator is being named as the best web hosting service in 2017. I think hosting is one of those things where if you have a good experience you tell no one but if you have a bad experience you tell the world. Let me just say that I have not had a bad experience.
Updated April 2018
After a few difficulties with HostGator, I moved my hosting.
I am now with SiteGround, and I will just say that they are amazing. They moved all my sites for me. The changeover was SO easy. And the speed is mind-blowing! Everything happens so much quicker now I have switched to SiteGround. My site and posts load quicker. Installing or updating plugins happens in about a tenth of the time it used to take. I am so pleased I moved.
SiteGround has three plans and you can sign for any of them with a great discount by using my link.
They have a number of plans available, but I signed up for the GrowBig plan:
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are starting now
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves a WordPress and Joomla website speed
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like staging and GIT integration
One of the great things is that you can either buy a new domain or use an existing domain. Don’t worry if you, like me, already have a domain as there is a free website transfer included in the SiteGround hosting service. This takes some of the worries away from changing your hosting company.
If you are not happy with your current hosting, or are new to blogging and looking for a hosting company, I thoroughly recommend SiteGround.
Get a Domain Name.
I use Namecheap for all my domain names and I have never had a problem. I would definitely recommend them. This is where many people get stuck as they just can’t think of a suitable name. Try not to stay here for too long; just accept that the best names have probably been taken and find one that you like.
Again staying with the mobile phone idea, this is the equivalent of your telephone number. You then have to link your telephone number to your service provider. Or in this case, register your domain name on your hosting account. All this means is telling your domain name which DNS servers to use. Your hosting company will send you an email with your DNS servers listed. Add these where you bought your domain name e.g. Namecheap.
If you are stuck there are lots of tutorials available. If you are really stuck, let me know and I will do some detailed instructions for you.
I know the adverts make it look super easy, but don’t install something like Wix. This is what is known as a third-party site and you don’t really own the site.
The most popular, and probably the best, option is WordPress. Ensure you use WordPress.org.
WordPress is highly customisable which is mainly thanks to the huge library of Plugins. You can get plugins that will do almost anything, but don’t get too carried away with these as they can slow down your site.
WordPress is one of those things that seem impossible to grasp when you are new. It then suddenly all falls into place and seems so easy. So if you are struggling, don’t despair. You will get it – I promise! I have added some videos to the site so if you are stuck with anything then check them out.
Now that you have a website, like your first home you have to make it personal to you.
Further posts will cover how to change your website and personalise it.
Hopefully this quick run through has been helpful. Please join me on my blogging journey. If you need any detailed help with any steps, look around the site for further posts.
Use the comments box if you have any questions and I will be happy to help.