All you really need to start a blog is the desire to do so.
Oh and if you’re wanting to start a parenting blog, maybe one or more kids too…
What is the first step?
It’s best to start with a free hosting website, such as http://www.wordpress.com or a similar site and start a blog using their existing set up. (Like I have!) Your URL (the address people type in to get to your site) will look something like this: (www.lifeasthelonsdales.wordpress.com)
The advantage of free blog hosting is that it’s free (obviously), it’s simple to use and you can have your blog up and running within a few minutes. If you’re starting a blog just for fun or as a way to keep your family and friends informed, it may be worth just sticking to free hosting but if you’re looking to take blogging a bit more seriously and are wanting a wider audience, free hosting has some limitations.
With free hosting the options for changing your blogs appearance are limited, ads sometimes appear on your blog (which can be annoying) and the name of the host is always embedded in your URL, meaning you don’t just get to be (www.lifeasthelonsdales.com) when using free hosting. Also, it’s more difficult to be found online if you use free hosting as search engines favour self-hosted blogs.
What’s involved in self hosting?
With self hosting, first you will need to register your URL (www.lifeasthelonsdales.com) with a domain name service. There are many to choose from, some cheaper than others, some more user friendly, etc. Google ‘register a domain name’ to see what I mean. Whatever service you decide to use, it shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. You can sign up for multiple years, however I suggest starting with just one year to see how you feel about blogging before commiting yourself and investing any additional money.
After you’ve secured your domain name, you then need to find someone to host your blog for you. As with domain name services, there are many hosting options out there, some places offer both domain names and hosting.
What should I call my site?
What you call your site is totally up to you. I’d recommend something that makes it clear what your site is about. Make sure that the name of the site sounds ok when you say it out loud too if you want to be taken seriously.
What should I write about?
Anything you want. Just be yourself. My blog is a parenting/mum/lifestyle blog so I try to keep my content relevant to that.
How often should I write?
As little or as often as you like. I try to write at least 1 post per week.
How do I make money from my blog?
If you’re hoping to make money by blogging then you will have to get lots of people to visit your blog (also known as traffic) and give them a reason to keep coming back by providing content that’s either helpful, fun to read or both.
Here are some ways to do so:
Affiliate links: You get a commission when people click on the link you’ve provided on your blog and buy the product or service you’ve recommended.
Advertisements: On mum blogs, these are usually display ads that run in the sidebars of the blog.
Sponsored posts: A company pays you to write a post about one of their products.
Selling products or services: For example, if you write about crocheting on your blog, you may decide to write an ebook about crocheting and sell it on your site.
One perk of mummy blogging is all the great stuff people have sent over for me to try and review. If you are lucky enough to experience this too, you’re legally required to disclose these arrangements when you write about them. For example at the end of your review, you would write something along the lines of: (Organix PR sent me some of their products to review and write about on my site. All views are my own.)
And that’s all there is to it really!
So, if you’re thinking of starting your own blog, stop lurking and start writing today!