Over the past several months I have had many friends ask me about starting a blog. Each of these friends is a teacher, an empty nester, and recent retirees. Lots in common across the board. As I gathered my thoughts in how to help them, I decided to jot a few ideas down for you all, too.
Here are some initial thoughts:
Once you've identified your niche or your blog topic, pick your blog's name and then move on to step #1. I really like this blog post on how to choose a blog name if you need a bit of inspiration!
Step #1 – Buy a .com Domain
I have used GoDaddy for years and it has worked well for me.
Step #2 – Identify a Rock Star Host
You don't want to go with the host that has the lowest price. What happens when you choose the lowest price? You get not so great service and a slow website. I know from experience. The best decision I ever made was choosing Synthesis years ago for my hosting. Impeccable service & a lightning fast website. Synthesis was recently acquired by WP Engine. So far, so good. Find a host with above average customer service and with lots of server space.
Step #3 – Sign up with WordPress.org as your blogging platform. It is THE platform for bloggers.
Step #4 – Choose a theme/design for your blog.
I love Pretty Darn Cute Designs and Restored 316 Feminine Themes. Custom service for both outfits is above average and they really help you choose the best fit for your blog and help you with the technical stuff.
Step #5 – Decide on a taxonomy.
What I mean by this fancy word is how your blog will be structured or organized. You will have Categories and Tags. You don't want too many categories. So leave it up to your tags to get more specific. For example, if you were a food blogger, a category might be “Recipes” while your tags might be “Breakfast”, “Lunch”, & “Dinner” to keep it extra simple.
So, if you wrote a block post on healthy almond flour pancakes, you might have a path like this Recipes > Breakfast with a tag such as “Healthy”. You can have more than one tag but I recommend choosing one category as you're building your cornerstone content (this is the content you want the search engines to match to you). You can consider cornerstone content as the core of your website as well put by Yoast.
Step #6 – Chose the Essential Plugins.
Plugins can kill your load time or the speed of your blog so you want to be selective about which you choose and why. Avoid redundant plugins because, well, what is the point?
Step #7 – Set up your Social Media Profiles. Duh.
Step #8 – Develop a Content Strategy.
Think about what you want to ultimate sell. You want to develop products in the end. You don't want to rely solely on advertising revenue. Product examples include eCourses, printables, eBooks, and so on.
Step #9 – Create a Work System.
Step #10 – Identify Stock Photo Sites (Images matter a lot)
Here are my favorite stock image sites for bloggers.
Step #11 – Learn the Ins and Outs of Canva so you can make amazing images
Step #12 – Create a Promotional Strategy for Your Content.
Step #13 – Start a Newsletter. I recommend ConvertKit.
Step #14 – Start a Facebook Group.
Step #15 – Develop an Affiliate Strategy.
Step #16 – Join Facebook Groups of Potential Partners and Mentors.
Step #17 – Learn everything there is to know about Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Those social media platforms are my go to platforms. Twitter is fun and useful to set up an automation but drives very little traffic and subsequent conversions.