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I am still shocked that I launched this blog in 30 days. I didn’t try to rush it, I just felt ready. I spent countless hours reading other bloggers’ tips on starting a blog, took lots of notes, and just went for it. It was a lot of trial-and-error, but by the grace of God, it worked. There is still a lot of work to be done, but I’m off to a solid start.
Here’s How I Did It
I always write down a New Year’s bucket list of several things I hope to achieve in the coming year. When I have lots of bucket-list items to choose from, surely I can check a few of them off. Starting a blog has been high on that list for years. It was the first item I listed for 2017.
Just before the new year, I began spending a lot of time on Pinterest. Other bloggers had been pinning their blog income reports and it inspired me to officially begin my research. I cannot tell you how many hours I spent reading. There are so many great bloggers out there who generously share their secrets. I wish I had kept better notes on my favorites so I could link them here. (I will find them and link up soon!)
Decide what you are going to blog about. This was easy for me. I have worked in the finance industry for what feels like a hundred years. It felt natural to me to blog on personal finance. Because of my experience, I won’t worry about running out of content ideas. Be sure you will be able to generate a lot of good content on the topic you choose. Otherwise your blog will not be successful.
Think of a domain name and see if it’s available. Just take out a sheet of paper and start brainstorming. Be sure your domain name is something easy to remember and relatable to the content you plan to create.
Decide on a blogging platform. FabFunds is a self-hosted Wordpress.ORG site. There is a huge difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. I won’t go into great detail, but you’ll want to research the differences. I hope to eventually monetize my blog. If monetizing is one of your goals, I strongly urge you to use WordPress.ORG. Otherwise you will probably never be able to generate meaningful income with your blog.
- Reliability (your site will rarely go down)
- It is affordable at $3.95/mo
- The free domain was included
- WordPress was a one-click installation
- They have 24 hour customer support
- They offer a money back guarantee
The first four steps were planning steps. The rest of the steps are action items.
- Click here to sign up for Bluehost.
- Click the “Get Started Now” button.
- Select your plan. I chose Basic, you can always upgrade later.
- Choose your FREE domain name. This will be your permanent website! Choose carefully! (For example, my domain name is www.fabfunds.com)
- Create your account and select a hosting package. You have to prepay for a minimum of 12 months. You can uncheck the boxes for all of the extras unless you want them. (Note: I did go back a week later and purchase the Domain Whois Privacy.)
- Once you enter your payment information, you’ll be taken to the control panel for the one-click WordPress installation.
- Congratulations! You now have your own website! It’s not live until you officially launch it (keep reading).
Customize your WordPress site. I chose a free WordPress theme for now. There are hundreds to choose from. Just pick one and then begin familiarizing yourself with your WordPress dashboard. You may decide to change your theme dozens of times before you’re satisfied (I did!). Remember, your site is not live until you click “launch”, so this is your time to experiment.
A few more pointers before you officially launch…
Pages are different than Posts. Pages are static, like your “About Me” page. Posts are the articles that you write. Be sure to categorize the posts, so that your site is easy to navigate by readers.
Focus on CONTENT. There’s no magic number of posts you should have before you launch. I think I had 6 posts, plus a few static pages.
Don’t plan on monetizing right away. You will need solid traffic to your site first. I launched a month ago and I have not applied for any ad services yet, but I plan to.
Create social media accounts to help generate traffic. Join some Facebook groups for new bloggers.
Follow, read, and comment on other blogs you like! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Although I’m still learning too, if I don’t know the answer, I can point you in the right direction.
Let me know if this guide is useful for you and any questions getting started!