This is a cutie’s guide (similar to the Idiot’s guide or for Dummies, but for cuties like you and me!) to blogging. This was a previous post I’d made in 2011, but have updated (finally) for 2015!! Enjoy and let me know if you have some more tips or questions 🙂
Updated and Re-Blogged: May 11, 2015
In this article I will cover: 1. How to make the decisions regarding blogging 2. What venues to go through (where to start and how to dive in) and 3. Various ways to get more traffic and POSSIBLY make money for blogging!
STEP 1 — IS BLOGGING FOR ME? WHAT NAME SHOULD I HAVE? WHAT SHOULD I TALK ABOUT?
Recently, I have had a few people that I know (and love) asking me how to begin blogging. I have personally been blogging since I was about 15 years old (even though the beginning was a lot of crap about boys and school — lol) and I have become an expert at the blog scene. I know it seems a little haughty to be saying that, but whatevs… the point of this post is to share my expertise on the matter! When I started blogging, it was basically just to get noticed. Now, however, I blog because I want to get a LOT out. If you are thinking about blogging because you want to vent and get your day to day life’s BS out — then great! If you just want to share what happens in your life and show off your adorable family — great too! If you want to share your thoughts about certain opinions and subjects — awesome! The point is, if you just want to talk then there is no better way to do it than blogging. Blogging lets you put it out there, share it with someone who might offer advice or share the same feelings. Blogging lets you get out your emotions and then, later, you can re-read and see “that really wasn’t so bad.”
Blogging can be therapeutic and healing for many, but you should take into account that other people CAN read your posts! I, for example, have no qualms about who reads my posts. I talk so much shit about people that it’s ridonkulous. I don’t care. I say what I feel because it’s how I feel. Why should I apologize for that? However, some people don’t exactly have that same outlook. So, my advice to you is that if you want to write a blog, and if you care about what people may be reading consider this: censor some of what you say OR password protect posts. I don’t like password protection because I love the controversy of what I have to say sometimes.
If you’re trying to decide what to name it and what to talk about my advice is: talk about what you know and pick a name you will love. I have had various names through the years (you can use these too if you like them): Perfection, Devious Eyes, November Rain, Ghetto Princess (lol), Afflicted, Virulent, my name, Flavored Candie — the list goes on… Some other blog names are: Sugar, She Loves Sugar, and More Lemons (as in when life gives you lemons). Basically, when you think of name, make it something you love and create in a fun, loving way! Fly High, Rocketship is by far the best — and longest name that I’ve had. I don’t know where it came from, but I just fell in love! If you would like to run some names by me, I would love to hear them: just email me!
Deciding what to talk about can also be tricky. Mommy blogs are about moms and their day to day life as moms, but where do I stand? My personal blog is about my personal life. I talk about me, my life and everything happening to me particularly. Some people talk about illnesses, some people talk about hobbies… really, the possibilities are endless. Talk about what you love and what you know! That’s all I can suggest!
STEP 2 — WHAT VENUES SHOULD I GO THROUGH? WHERE DO I START??
There are two different ways you can get into this: 1. Sign up for a FREE blog or 2. Purchase and OWN your own domain and host your own blog!
Free blogs (and my opinion on them):
Blogger — Widely used and customizable, however I loathe blogger
WordPress.com — Widely used and NOT fully customizable, my most FAVORITE because it’s the platform of WordPress
LiveJournal — Gained popularity through the early 2000’s and is still used a good deal, fully customizable. I think this service is dying out however.
Tumblr — Widely used and popular, able to customize to a degree, however used for blogs with a lot of media: pictures, media, voice posts, etc.
Hosted hosting: (when someone who owns a domain offers free hosting for people to use. Usually will require you to know basic HTML and uploading skills.)
000webhost — A free site with ability to forward your domain to it and can use blogging services such as WordPress. (You only get one MySQL database if I’m not mistaken so only one install of WordPress.) It’s my favorite free host!
Purchase your own domain:
A Small Orange — I have been using ASO for a couple of years now and they have been the BEST webhost I have every come across. The pricing is very fair, I had downtime once but it was resolved quickly, and their customer service skills have surpassed any customer service I have encountered throughout my life this far. They’re amazing. I strongly recommend them for your hosting needs!!!
HAVING YOUR OWN SELF-HOSTED BLOG
- You are able to customize and edit all files, so you can have whatever themes and whatever colors you want
- You can have your own name so if you want www.whyisthisbananabrown.com you can
- You can earn money with your site by ads
- You normally have to pay for these sites
- You have to know a little about HTML, CSS, FTP, and other coding languages
- You’re responsible for updating and maintaining the site
HAVING A FREE/HOSTED BLOG
- Usually free with little-to-no strings attached (maybe an ad for your host)
- Your host maintains the server and keeps everything up to date for the most part
- Not usually fully customizable
- You must adhere to your host’s demands (some hosts want you to update regularly or limit the types of content you may have)
- If you use sites like weebly or 000webhost, you will have to have ads for their hosting services (otherwise you violate their TOU/TOS)
STEP 3 — GET SOME TRAFFIC AND MAKE DAT MONEY, HONEY!
NOTE: Networking and marketing can be time consuming!!!
Once you set up a blog and have a good following then, and only then, can I suggest trying to make money from it. If you just put ads onto a site that gets no traffic, then you’re not going to make money and will only be hurting yourself (feeling sad and “why don’t I have more visits?”).
Once you are at a good blogging-place, then you can get traffic by:
Social Networking — make sure you follow other people and comment on their stuff, too. Think: Comment for Comment and Follow for Follow.
(click here for more options for networking)
Find Blogs With Similar Interests
Making Money With — again, be SURE you can devote time to this and have a decent following to support you!
SO, IN CONCLUSION…
I hope that I have helped you a little bit in where and how to get started, how to network yourself and make some money with what you love to do! Starting a blog can be very rewarding, but it does take work. The less you blog, the less people visit you. I lost a LOT of contacts because I stopped blogging for a couple months. Good luck to you and if you want to share what you’ve done using my little guide here, please comment below!