Why Start a Blog
You might have been tossing around the idea of a blog, but aren’t sure why you should start one. Four reasons to start a blog are:
- You have a business to share – Do you sell something you make yourself? Do you refer people to existing products as a brand influencer? These are businesses! Help your potential clients and customers learn more about your business to learn, like, and trust you.
- Develop your brand – People shop small because they connect with the owner on a personal level. Help your audience recognize and connect with you in your chosen niche. Example: I’m a working mom and military spouse living in San Diego with a passion for beauty and business. That is my “brand”. What’s yours?
- Build a happy audience – Provide your audience with quality content and they will keep coming back and refer their friends to you too. You can write for the sake of therapeutic release, but imagine the impact you make when you are able to give your readers the answers they seek!
- Become a trusted source – Be the resource your readers come to to find out more about a specific topic. Whether you’re a beauty expert, have business savvy, or a little of both, be the resource your readers look to for honest and reliable content. This goes to #3, because as a respected source, your readership will enthusiastically share your content with friends creating organic sustainable growth.
Hit The Ground Running
You’ll need a few things to get started with your blog.
- Pick a niche. Narrow down your topic choices to 1-3 topics that you will consistently post about.
- Pick a domain name. This can be changed, so don’t fret too much if you’re not in love with it. I personally prefer to buy domain names through GoDaddy, because their domains are usually not too expensive, you can often find coupon codes for discounts, and if you don’t want to commit to step #3, you can always forward your domain name to a free hosted site until you decide for certain. Domain names can be as cheap as $1.99 to as much as thousands of dollars. Try to pick something relatively short and memorable, and don’t get too hung up on not having a “.com” extension because with the right marketing, you can make any extension work!
- Pick a self-hosting provider. Although you can buy a domain without hosting, and set up a blog using wixsite, squarespace, or wordpress to get by while you’re figuring out your content, branding, and audience reach, I do not recommend doing this for very long. Your links will change once you are self-hosting, which can result in a loss of reblogs, repostings on Facebook, and Pins on Pinterest. Self hosting helps your audience find you consistently in the same place. You can self-host for as low as $4 a month with SiteGround. I prefer SiteGround because they have wonderful 24/7 customer support, seamlessly integrate WordPress and WooCommerce, and include customized email addresses with the lowest plan that can be grown at any point. For under $50 for the first year, click below to get started!
- Install WordPress. Why WordPress? It allows the most flexibility for customization. Other sites that are built for you (like wix or squarespace) are often part of the monthly hosting fees. You cannot customize the site quite like you can on WordPress, and WordPress is very user and blogger friendly. SiteGround walks you through how to set up your WordPress site easily, and you can always contact their help desk for more assistance.
- Find, Purchase, & Install a WordPress Template. Although you can definitely spend $0 by using the templates available on WordPress itself, in order to truly express your individuality, try taking a look through available templates you can purchase through WordPress, or Etsy. My favorite option so far is Luxibee. Kristina is a delight when it comes to answering questions and helping you get started. Her templates are on sale right now for 40% off, but usually range in the $49-59 range. Her instructions are easy and detailed start-to-finish for her clean and feminine WordPress templates that allow quite a bit of customization. She even includes instructions for e-commerce set up and “shop this look” widgets! So if you’ve got a small shop or a RewardStyle or ShopStyleCollective member, you are SET from Day 1! She also offers installation on your behalf for a small fee of $45 so if you’re not tech savvy, you can always choose that option.
- Start Posting Content Consistently! That’s it. You’re a blogger. For about $100 you’ve bought your domain, set up your site hosting, and installed a WordPress template to create a beautiful site for your clients, customers, and fans. Now all you need is content. Start filling up those posts with quality content and driving your potential customers to you via your social media platform posts and interactions.