Starting your blog can be an exciting time, but more often than not it’s an overwhelming and “am-I-doing-this-right-there-are-so-many-conflicting-ideas-out-there” process. I get that. I remember the first blog I started years ago (okay, not the first, we are skipping over all those lame Xanga and Livejournals I had throughout my teenage years) and just being so unsure the whole way through. What should I title it? Where do I host it? What do I write about?
Well here’s what I think you should do: blog about your business/offerings. If you have a product or service, blog about related topics. Blog to boost your SEO and authority, not just to hear yourself talk…er, type. Blog with intent, purpose, and reasoning and make it work to grow your business. Whenever people email me and ask me how I got started or what I owe my success to, I always respond with "blogging". It’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business.
Now, I agree, if you hate writing then maybe blogging isn’t for you/your business. Maybe there is another approach that is similar to blogging in what it can do for your business – like vlogging or Periscope series or free classes/courses. The point is – putting out dang good free content that relates back to your product/service is going to help your business.
So, step 1 would be to decide what sort of free content you are going to use. We are going to move forward this post as if you decided to blog. The next step would be to create the title of the blog/website.
Your blog should be a part of your businesses website and does not need a separate title. Most of the people I work with use their names and occasionally tack on their actual business (consulting, copywriting, etc.). If your business is SOLELY blogging based then my advice is to get creative, memorable, and easy to spell/say as possible. Things like dashes get difficult because you have to say “visit my blog at www.thisword-thatword.com” and that can be confusing to people. I read a lot of advice that it should be extremely obvious what you do/offer/talk about but I disagree with that, to be honest. What does apples have to do with electronics? Obvious is fine but don’t let it limit you. I’d rather have something that makes me go “hmm, what does this mean? Let me read more/read their about page/comment a question” than assume it’s just like another very similarly titled blog.
After you’ve done those two things it’s time to set up the website. The two options I work with are Squarespace or Wordpress as far as hosting goes. They both have surprisingly easy set ups, but for this post I want to walk you through setting up Wordpress using BlueHost as your hosting service. BlueHost was recommended to me at some point in college as the preferred hosting service when we were told to start making portfolio sites. I’m going to show you how to get started with them and Wordpress (if you decide to go Wordpress).
First you visit BlueHost.com and click the get started now. This will bring you to a page where you can choose between their plans. Depending on your budget and needs you can select one of these plans.
Next you’ll enter the domain name you’ve decided on previously (or are already using on another hosting service). From there you’ll actually create your account information.
This is where you select your actual plan and decide how far out you want to pay. The further out you pay the better the monthly price is overall, but either way it’s really not a bad price for having your own website (especially if you are monetizing in the future, offering services, or offering products). I always include domain privacy, but to be honest, that’s because a teacher told me to during my first website build. I do think it’s important to protect yourself online, so I still get it to this day.
Then you enter your billing info and you’re almost all set. You’ll get an email confirmation and you can then log into your cPanel and install Wordpress. There's actually a button in your cPanel that says "install Wordpress". You just have to click that!
The Wordpress install is super easy, you literally just follow the prompts from your cPanel and enter your website information. It’s pretty foolproof to be honest!
Once that’s done you’ll have a Wordpress site and the only thing left to do is actually design and develop it. If that seems daunting to you, I have a solution for you there too – I offer Wordpress design and bring on my friend Krista to help with the development. If you’ve seen my latest client project that was all done on Wordpress!
If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below and I can help you get setup. If you want to hear more about my branding + design services then click here!
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This post does contain affiliate links, but I wouldn't recommend a service that I didn't fully believe in and know would give you a fantastic experience.