It’s so easy to look back with wisdom and judge ourselves badly for making incorrect decisions. I get it because I do it!
And I would love for you not to have to look back and wonder about the decisions that you made.
These are the things that I wish someone had sat me down and told me to do. And not to waste a whole year trying to figure it all out by myself.
I am a great believer in “community over competition” so I want you to fly, right from the get go, and do you know what, you CAN DO IT!
First of all, the motivation behind me wanting to do this is that I really needed to work from home. I have two kids who are tweens and they have crazy sports schedules and I was really struggling to hold down a job where I worked outside of the home. Is anyone else in the same boat? It’s tough, right?
I have always been passionate about blogs and most especially lifestyle blogs, I can’t get enough of them. And honestly, over the years, I had dipped in and out of setting up a blog but never really being consistent. And never really understanding what I needed to do or how I needed to do it. Or how to make it work as a business.
I’ve also spent my entire working career having an “IT Team” who would always fix what you needed and to make it all happen from a tech-y point of view. Which is perfectly normal when you work out of the home.
And then you quit your job and you are ALONE, all ALONE with your computer and techy stuff. It’s a little scary and still is, to be honest.
But I’ve finally figured it out, so here is my game plan which I’m sharing with you.
Please note this post contains Affiliate Links. Please refer to the Disclaimer for details.
Number 1: Domain Name.
Before you do anything you need to figure out if your domain name is available. I always buy all of my domain names from GoDaddy.
I love how they are all easy to see, you can set them to renew automatically.
I ALWAYS, ALWAYS buy Privacy Cover. You don’t want the creeps to find out where you live.
Number 2: Make sure all of your social media options are available to you.
Before you pull the plug and purchase your domain name, be sure you can get the same handle on the social media platforms that you are going to use, that way you have consistent branding. You will see all my social media platforms have the same (or close) version of “gorgeouswithgrace”.
Number 3: Get Hosting
DO IT!!! For goodness sake just get it!! I literally would be screaming that at myself, I can’t believe I did not get it right from the start.
It does not break the bank and TMDHosting is the cheapest and definitely THE BEST hosting platform. It is $2.85 per month! That is less than a Starbucks coffee!
I use them and the reason why I recommend them is that their Customer Service is off the Richter scale. They have a pop-up chat box on their landing page and I’ve asked some of the most inane questions and they have been super polite and helpful
Also, you can pick up the phone and someone answers right away which is incredible I had a tech spend at least 20 minutes with me setting up my website, he must have had the patience of a saint.
Number 4: Write at least 30 blog posts
Do not, I repeat, do not, be tempted to start a blog with one or two little posts on it. This is primarily if you are wanting to blog for business (i.e make some money)
In order for the search engines to really find you, they need to crawl (creepy right!) on your site and pick up lots of keywords etc.
Also, if you are blogging for business, which I’m going to assume is why you are reading this, you cannot add Google AdSense if you do not have enough content on your site.
Write out a list of 30 posts and then start writing them on Google Drive. It is so awesome to have them on a drive that you can access from any other device you would like, this means you can work on them literally anywhere.
I am a SUPER FAN of Google Suite.
I use Wordable to load my articles from Google Docs straight on to my WordPress Site, it is pure genius. It keeps ALL of your formatting and neatly drops any images into your post. Unfortunately, I am not getting paid to endorse them!
Number 5: Choose a Theme before you start
I absolutely love Pipdig themes. They are worth the money! I have the Equinox theme.
When you purchase a theme they will install it for you if you need help.
I also purchased their Shopr plugin which lets you create a Shop or Carasol with products.
Number 6: Get Grammarly
Grammarly is so brilliant in that it immediately alerts you if you have incorrect Grammar or Spelling (no one likes reading a blog post with bad spelling and grammar!)
It’s FREE! There is a Pro version that you can purchase but I just use the Free Version.
Number 7: Sign up for Canva for Work
Canva is simply phenomenal.
It is a graphic design program that will make designing your blog post graphics, Pinterest pins, facebook graphics really easy. They will also look very professional.
It is also really fun to use. There is a learning curve associated with it but there are loads of online training (all free) that will help you understand what to do with it.
The reason why I recommend you splurge on the Canva for work is that you can upload your own fonts that you purchase (through Creative Market or Etsy).
You can upload your business logos in a separate folder ready for you to easily add to all your creations.
The best part, for me at least, is that you can identify your brand colors and these are kept separately for you to access very easily. It’s a great resource if you want your branding to look the same.
Number 8: Figure out Pinterest
Pinterest can be used to drive readers to your blog.
Create beautiful pins with catchy headlines that entice your reader to visit your blog.
I use Tailwind to schedule out my pins, that way I know I’m not overloading my boards and spacing my pins out well.
Click HERE to get a free trial of Tailwind for a month! I love trying things out before you have to buy them.
Number 9: Figure out your money making strategy
You want to start monetizing your site as soon as possible. What that means is that you want to have some links to products that you believe in and that when people click on them and purchase you will get paid!
How exciting is that??!!!
My recommended affiliate link companies that I like using are:
Number 10: Email list
Why oh why do people constantly harp on about an email list?
Well, primarily because it is just so important (and ultimately lucrative).
Every time someone signs up on your website you have a potential customer and/or new reader that you can entice with everything that you are promoting on your website.
Think of all the emails that you receive offering you things, I bet you definitely click on the ones that you like and are interested in?
I absolutely love Mailerlite. It is such a simple system to use and is very, very step-by-step and you get up to 500 free email addresses before you have to buy anything. I always think that it’s good to try something out before you commit.
Are you ready to start your blog? I hope you said YES! Because I know that you CAN do it!!