How Do I Start a Blog?

People are often asking me “How do I start a blog?” shortly after they learn that you can make money blogging. We live in a time where every penny counts so I want to help others learn to do this. While it is a lot of hard work, it’s a great work-at-home job. I’m not one of the ones earning a living salary off of blogging but those people are absolutely out there! I’m certainly not an expert by any means but I can help to offer tips on how to begin blogging. I was mentored by a few bigger bloggers who helped me learn the ropes and I’d like to do some of that for you! So here’s a run-down from my point of view…

First, I think it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into and decide if you want to make the commitment. It’s a job where the return depends on how much work you put into it. If I’ve spent extra time cleaning instead of making time to write some posts for my blog, I see the difference in readership. This is why I think a schedule is important, which I’m working on trying to do for myself. When you work at home, it’s easy to fall into working 24/7, just as easy as it is to get sidetracked. If you think blogging is for you, let’s help you get going!

Decide on your blog’s main focus. Do you want to write about parenting? Perhaps you are a fashion guru or the best cook this side of New Jersey? I’d like to advise not to go too specific but I know that not all bloggers agree with that. It’s just that I wanted a natural parenting focus and because of that, I was passed over for some work opportunities or sometimes ridiculed for doing things like using modern medicine. I think that you’ll find issues like that with anything and the bigger your blog gets, the more attention it will garner from both lovers and haters.

– Choose a name. Make it memorable, put a little of your interests and/or personality in there. One day I made jokes about all of the unconventional things I do, like homebirth, and what my neighbors might think if they saw or heard me doing these things and thus, The Crunchy Mom Next Door was born. As with the specific focus, I feel like I pigeon-holed myself with this one and I just want to put that thought out there. I obviously decided to re-brand my blog later on and I’m much happier with that decision!

– Create your blog. I think that there may be a million ways to do this but I purchased the domain name and then a separate host for my blog, running it on WordPress. WordPress seems to be recommended by most bloggers but I can’t really get into the technical aspect of these things because I just went with the flow. It took me a while to get used to WordPress but I’ve finally found a layout that I love and the app for posting on my phone is pretty wonderful for ideas that I have in the middle of the night! Do your research and decide which hosts and sites work best for you.

social media

– Create social media accounts with your blog name. I definitely recommend Facebook and Twitter for sharing purposes but beyond that, I think it’s good to choose ones you’ll use. I’m still learning how to use Pinterest but it’s a HUGE cash cow for blog readership. I am an Instagram lover so I post and interact often there. As for Snapchat, I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out so I gave up trying. If you’ve got a personal account that you don’t want to interfere with, Twitter and Instagram now offer the option to sign in from different accounts so look into that.

– Post content. Write about things that apply to your blog’s focus. If it’s a parenting blog, write your favorite family recipes with nice, crisp pictures to accompany them. Craft time with the kids? Photograph the steps and share it later! Perfect Instagram opportunity, too. Pinterest eats up all of those tutorials and recipes you can share with people who will want to try to re-create it in their lives!

– Network with other bloggers. Get yourself out there! Join blogger groups on Facebook and support other bloggers while they support you. Comment and share each other’s work that might be relevant to the interests of your blog readers. In my experience, some bloggers aren’t the most collaborative but the ones I’ve met who are, I love bouncing ideas off of and sharing each other’s posts.

Where does the money come in? 

I haven’t utilized ads yet but this is one of the ways that you can make money. There are different ways and it’s something that you’ll need to research for yourself and see what works best for your blog.

Currently, I specialize in product reviews and sponsored posts. This means that a company compensates me for a post with product and/or money. There are further steps to take to become a review blogger…

– Post reviews of things you own. There’s no better way to show a company how well you can represent them than by giving an example of your work. I suggest writing posts of at least 300-500 words from your own personal standpoint. Be honest and detailed. Include nofollow links to the company’s website, social media channels, and high quality pictures. Share, share, share!

– Pitch companies. Compose an e-mail to the media representative of the company that you’d like to work with. Be polite and specific. Find out if they’d like to sponsor a giveaway for more exposure. This helps both of you because it increases follows and interactions on your blog, as well as to their website.

These are really just the basics to help get you started. In future posts, I will elaborate more on things like media kits, newsletters, pitches, and social media marketing. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you and good luck! Absolutely share your new blog with me, I’d love to see and share!

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