Hey Guys! For this week’s (delayed) #MondayMuse, I’m going to get you #inspired to finally fulfil that long lost dream of yours: to start your own blog1! Now don’t look at me like that. I am 100% sure that you have the inner itch to create your own writing platform so don’t be shy to admit it to yourself. You WANT to start it because that’s exactly why you’re here and I’m going to make the process so much easier for you! So switch on your #workmode, pick up your pencil to jot notes and let’s get kicking! Here are the main 5 steps for you to start a successful blog!
Step #1: Building
Remember in high school Biology where we learned that cells are the ‘building blocks’ of our body? Similarly, your blog will need its own building blocks, which is called Web Hosting. I opted for BlueHost and from there I got my domain name (which is the www.what-ever-your-domain-is.com). I didn’t even need to register an account at WordPress prior to that because BlueHost does all that for you! All I had to do was install WordPress, choose my themes (we’ll get to there in a bit) and I was done! With BlueHost, I was also entitled for an email address with my own domain name i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. This way, your blog will look 10 times more professional!
BlueHost’s website is also very user-friendly so I didn’t face any problem understanding each of its element. But if you do, you can easily hit up any of their customer service via Live Chat and you’ll receive a very prompt reply.
As for the financial commitment, I’ve opted for the most basic package which is the Shared Option one. It costs $5.95 per month on the website but if you click the banner below, you could get it for only $3.95! #thankmelater
BUT what you actually pay in the end will mount up to so much more than just $3.95 (this is something the guides I read on the Internet NEVER told me). Here was exactly what I ended up paying:
- July 11 2016- Purchase Basic Web Hosting (the $3.95 per month) and Domain Name Registration. COST: $59.40
- August 14 2016- Purchase Domain Privacy Protection (because I realised that my private details were put up on the Internet!). COST: $10.79
And then a year later… I had to renew things that were expiring since in the previous year, I opted for a year long contract! This was the costing:
- May 17 2017- Renew Domain Name Registration and Privacy Protection. COST: $27.87
- May 17 2017- Renew Basic Web Hosting and Renew SiteLock Security (this is free in your first year, but after that you’ll need to pay per year!). COST: $107.88
So as you can tell, the commitment per year is pretty high. However, don’t let this deter you from investing in your passion. I made a huge loss when I first started out but as you will come to learn in the Earning section below, there are ways to get your money back! Keep reading!
Step #2: Creating
For this step, I want you to pretend that you’re a baker who is about to bake a cake. A cake comes in two main parts- primarily the internal filling (the cake mix) and external decoration (frosting). So similarly, when you need to create your theme you’ll need two main elements: the Framework and the Child Theme.
The Framework is in charge of ensuring that your cake actually becomes a feasible cake- one that doesn’t topple over and actually tastes good! I opted for the Genesis Framework by MyStudioPress. As for my Child Theme AKA blog design, I chose Glam Theme by Restored 316, which is readily available on MyStudioPress.
Note that like the Building phase, this step comes with a cost. But the only difference is that you just make a one time payment and that’s it! Hence, chose your themes wisely because it’s unlikely that you’ll change them very often, or not at all! If you feel like this step is a little costly, then you could always just stick with WordPress themes and code your way to the design of your choice! And then once you feel like ‘upping’ your blog game, invest a little on the Genesis Framework and a nice Child Theme ok?
Step #3: Modifying
The Genesis Framework and ChildTheme that you purchased won’t instantly work its magic without no spells. In this case, the ‘spells’ is YOU! You already have the tools to build and create your blog, so now all you’ll need to do is modify it to your own likings. This step may seem easy, but trust me, it will be the looooongest step of them all! I spent a over a week to take photos for my thumbnails, register a MailChimp account for my Newsletter and move the widgets around- among other things- until I was finally satisfied! At this stage (or all stages actually haha), Google will be your best friend so keep him close!
Step #4: Writing
You are almost there!
Now that you’ve completed steps 1-3, you’d think that you’ll ease your way swiftly through step 4 because like… ‘Obviously I know what to write! That’s why I started a blog in the first place right???’ WRONG.
They say the first time is the hardest and this rule is no exception to writing your first blogpost. I remembered mine. Back then (I think in 2010) I used Blogger as my blogging platform so instead of fiefirds.com, mine was geniusfit.blogspot.com (long story but my OG followers will remember my GeniusFit days hahaha). And looking back, my first post was super #cringeworthy hahahahahaha and don’t you go looking for it because that- along with my other 3 dead blogs/tumblrs- are long gone! Muahahaha!
BUT but… I kept writing and over time, I’ve learned to master it. Although I may still get stuck at Introductions but once I pass that, and am in my writing zone, I could write whatever I intend to in one sitting! You will too. Just promise me that you’ll keep going ok =)
My advice to you is to have a niche and write what comes from your heart first- before you start taking requests from your reader! And don’t be shy to #SelfPromo your blog. Share them with all your WhatsApp Groups and social media platforms because that’s how you build a reading following (which is superly vital if you wanna start earning) at the start! After all, what’s the point of a blog if you have no readers!
Step #5: Earning
There are multiple ways for you to earn $$$ from your blog but here are my two top mediums:
- Google AdSense
If you’re on a laptop right now, glance over your right and for those of you on your smart phones/tablets, scroll down. Whichever device you’re on now, you’ll be able to see some of the advertisements placed by Google! All these are out of my control and the advertisement varies from one person’s device to the other. That’s because advertisements are generated via your cookies and browsing history! Cool right?
Anyways, I get $$$ every time you click on an advertisement and even more $$$ if you actually purchase or sign up to whatever the website you’re taken to (OK SO GO AND CLICK ON ALL THE ADVERTISEMENTS PLEASE HAHAHA). But, note that the income here is very very small. On days I don’t post anything I get only about 0.01 pence or so and on some lucky days, especially after I put something up, I could earn up to 2 pounds. So essentially, you can make a lot if you learn how to place your advertisements in the right places! The most effective one is obviously in between the paragraphs of your blogpost!
However, before you are even eligible to start earning via GoogleAdsense, you’ll need to reach some viewing threshold. Only then, will your GoogleAdSense account be accepted and you can access your Ad banner codes. When that’s done, you’ll need to reach a certain payment threshold so that you can receive a pin from Google to verify your address, and then only payments can be made. It’s a pretty complicated procedure but don’t worry about the pins yet. Start getting readers first.
- Affiliate Programs
Ahhh yes. This is my favourite way to generate income and the list of brands/products to be an affiliate of is endless! Be smart and register for affiliate programs and insert your links whenever you mention the brand/product on your posts. You’ll earn money or a discount card whenever your readers purchase the goods via your link!
Sooo that’s all I have for you guys today! I know all this may seem a little overwhelming now but slowly tick off one step by step. You’ll get there eventually. Trust me. And if you do, please leave your blog link below so I could check it out <3
I also welcome any sort of queries you may have regarding the blog making process! Till next Monday! Bye guys!
Stay Quirky, Fie <3