Giving all my secrets away, just like that!
Want to start a blog, but don’t know how? You’re in the right place! Almost one year ago, I was in the exact same position. I knew that I wanted to share my ideas, writings, and passions with the world, however, my biggest obstacle was in how to get started. Well, it’s a good thing you’re here because I have done all of the research and have tried and tested everything for you. In this blog post, we get into everything you might need to start a blog. From the website hosting platform to the analytics to keep track of it all. So, without further ado, let’s get into it blogger!
The first thing you will need in order to start your blog is a place to hold all of your blog content. In tech terminology, this is called a CMS or content management system. There are many different CMSs out there and the one that this blog uses is WordPress. WordPress is the most widely used CMS in the world, powering over 30% of the top 10 million websites in the world. I have found WordPress to be an extremely easy-to-use software that helps novice users make incredibly professional-looking websites. They also have many different website templates that help you get started! Originally, my blog was built using Wix, yet I quickly found that there were many limitations within the CMS’s user experience for my blogging needs. I also found that my website did not rank as high in Google’s search results as my current WordPress site does. Overall, I highly recommend WordPress as both a CMS and hosting platform for your website- it’s a perfect two-in-one!
Next, after you establish where your blog is going to live and how it will be hosted on the web, you are going to need to purchase a domain name to attach to your blog so that visitors know where to find you! Believe it or not, I purchased my domain name for under $2.00 with godaddy.com! You can also set up an auto-renew so that you don’t even have to worry about your domain name expiring. I prefer using godaddy.com to purchase my domain rather than using WordPress because it is an altogether separate entity, so if I decide to use another CMS, I can always keep my domain name safe with me!
Google Suite (Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets)
For creating content, Google Suite provides an array of tools that are perfect for helping any blogger stay productive and organized. The entire Google Suite is free and all you need is a gmail account to use any of Google’s software. I use Google Docs to take notes during my blog interviews and to write blog posts! I also use Google Sheets for planning out my blog posting schedule and- believe it or not!- Google Slides to do all of my photo editing!
Surprisingly, one of my most frequently used websites is remove.bg, which is a free website where you can upload any image and the background of your image can be removed. Within the website, you also have the option of manually removing sections of your photo. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have used this website! I like the look of images without their backgrounds so much that I have incorporated so many of them throughout my blog- as you can probably tell!
So now that we have all of the website and content needs taken care of, let’s get to another critical part of the blogging process- the marketing! We need readers to enjoy our content! I use social media to market my blog and to increase the exposure of my posts. It is important to get organic visitors to your site, however, you also want to increase your odds of people making their way there too. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to where you should market your blog. I make sure to always market my posts on Instagram as well as LinkedIn because I gain the most traffic from these sites. Yet, it’s best to know what works for you and your content to know where to focus your energy. Try it out and see what platforms work for you!
One resource that I have found incredibly valuable, if you post a lot of content on Instagram, is a “link in bio” platform that directs people to the right articles on your site from their respective Instagram posts. I use Later, which is super straightforward, free, and easy to resource. It’s important to get your readers to the right place as quickly and easily as possible. I have found Later to help with that a lot!
I have found having a newsletter to be a great way to continue engaging readers and increasing blog loyalty. It’s also a way to see how many interested readers your blog has! I send out my newsletter every Sunday afternoon and if you haven’t subscribed you definitely should! In the newsletter, I include a link to all of the blog posts that you may have missed during the week as well as a few other things on the internet I think you should check out! I recommend you do the same if you are a regular blogger!
Google Analytics is an excellent free tool provided by Google to help you learn more about your blog. In order to get started, all you have to do is connect Google Analytics to your website using some simple code. Don’t worry, Google gives great instruction on how to do this. The analytics dashboard gives you all kinds of insights about your website, such as how long people stay on your site, what pages they view, and how many people visit your site per day. This software also tells you what mediums people are coming to your site from. And there is so much that you can do with this information in order to create a more accessible and engaging blog! Using this information, for example, you can figure out what social media platforms you should use to market your content, which content gains the most readership, and what time of day you should be putting up content! These tools are at your disposal for free, so take advantage!
Google Search Console
I find Google Search Console to be an excellent way to monitor your blog’s traffic. Within this free site, you can see web analytics such as total web clicks, total impressions, and the average position of your content within Google search results, as well as what people are searching in order to reach your site. This is a great way of tracking your blog’s progress and SEO! This can also help you strategize around what type of articles you should make more of and what content ranks the best for your site on Google!