Blogging has become a huge part of my life over the years. It has gone from a small hobby to a budding business and has allowed me to meet some pretty incredible people. I’m a big proponent of starting a blog if it’s something you’re interested in (I recently wrote a blog post about why you should start a blog.) When it comes to starting a blog, there are four main factors you should consider, and I’m going to share them with you in this blog post!
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Your Blog Niche
Let me preface this by saying that I don’t necessarily believe you need to have a specific niche for your blog. There are plenty of lifestyle bloggers who are incredibly successful, and a niche is even less important if you know you don’t plan to monetize your blog. However, there is something to be said about narrowing your focus down some. If you choose to have a lifestyle blog, narrow down your focus by narrowing down your target audience and the perspective from which you write about lifestyle. For example, perhaps you’re in your twenties, married without children, and you’re a homeowner, and though you write about a myriad of topics, your audience fits the same demographic as you. This will allow you to more easily choose topics to write about, more easily gain loyal readers, and more easily monetize your blog.
Now, how do you go about deciding what you want to write about? Some of you may have chosen to start a blog because there’s a specific topic you want to write about, in which case, you don’t have to worry about this part.
If you aren’t sure what to write about, consider these factors:
- Choose something you know a lot about and therefore won’t run out of things to say.
- Choose something you’re passionate about and therefore won’t get bored writing about.
- Choose something that people want to read about. While narrowing down your niche can be a good thing, narrowing down too much can severely limit your potential audience.
Your Domain Name
Choosing your blog name and domain is more important than you might think! So many bloggers choose their name on a whim and come to regret it later. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your domain name:
- What is your blogging niche? Some bloggers choose to incorporate their niche into their blog name. Before you go this route, ensure that you’re really committed to that niche.
- Is it timeless, memorable, and easy to spell? If you tell someone your blog domain, would they be able to easily type it in the browser and find it themselves?
- Is it taken? This is an obvious first question. Before getting attached, make sure the domain you’re interested in is actually available.
- Are the corresponding social media handles available? You’ll want your social handles to match your blog name, so check these before purchasing a domain name. If you can find something similar and matching across all your channels, that might work as well. When I went to start my blog, the domain name veryerin.com was available, but the handle @veryerin wasn’t available on every channel. Because of that, I went with @itsveryerin on every channel and it hasn’t caused any issues.
Your Blog Host
Once you’ve chosen your blog domain, choosing a blog host and getting your hosting set up is the next big step. There are many to choose from, and it can be overwhelming for a new blogger. For self-hosted blogs, my favorite host is Bluehost. I’ve been blogging for more than two years and still use them today. It is an investment, but at $3.95 per month, it’s one of the most affordable options, and they have great customer service options. There are plenty of tutorials available online for setting up your Bluehost account, along with your self-hosted blog.
Your Blog Design
Once you’ve set up your blog hosting, it’s time to get your blog design ready. Like choosing your blog’s host, choosing your blog’s design can be even more overwhelming because there are simply so many options. If you have some money to invest you can hire a blog designer, but this is going to be a significant investment for a beginner. There are many designs available on Etsy that are extremely affordable, but those tend not to be as customizable and they typically don’t come with support from the designer.
There are several options I recommend for finding an affordable blog design that you can customize to fit your blog. My current blog design was purchased from Pretty Darn Cute Designs. The site is full of feminine, fun, and customizable designs. The customer support is great as well. Two other options I would recommend are Restored 316 Designs and StudioPress Designs.
There is a lot more to starting a blog than just these four, but this is a great start! Tackling these four major questions will provide you with an excellent framework for starting your own blog.
Are you starting a blog? Let me know in the comments!
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