One typical thing I hear most often from friends when we start talking about my blogging career is, “I want to start a blog but it seems so complicated.” Or “I’d start a blog but it costs so much money.”
Well, my name is Kim and I am a blog-aholic. I am a blog hoarder. It is so incredibly simple to start a blog that I have started way more than I could ever work on at one time. In the beginning I had no idea how to start a blog and knew nothing technical other than everyday technical things like how to get my television to switch from watching television to get it to play a movie.
Starting a blog is one of the easiest things to do. If you have an idea you want to share, ideas of recipes you’d like to publish, a lot of personal/family stories you’d like to share, or if you’d like to start a business and make money from blogging, you can start a blog in 4 simple steps. The idea of blogging can get overwhelming when you get into the details of it and if you work or stay at home, you may think that blogging is not for you because you don’t have time, but trust me, if you want to blog even one little bit, you should.
Blogging started for me in 2006 when I wanted to have a blog where I could share my personal insights, what was going on in my life, and share some of my written pieces. It was an outlet for me when I needed it the most. In 2010, I began my first public blog where I used it as a resource for other moms in my area to find free events going on. After an off and on battle with it, not sure if I’d keep it, I checked my email after 5 months of never looking at it and I had multiple sponsored posts (where I get money for talking about the company) opportunities just for me (not mass emailed) and questions about purchasing ad space on my website from local companies. It made me so happy that people were actually wanting to advertise on my website and finding it despite me not posting that I started it back up again in October 2013 and haven’t looked back.
I want to make this real easy on you and walk you through how easy it is to begin a blog.
4 simple steps to start a blog
1. Decide on a domain. Make it something you love and you won’t want to change. As I am not too creative, I always go with simple names like United Moms Network. It describes what it is and what you might find there. But whatever you like, go with it. Search places like Google Domains to find an available name. I go through Google as they have many unique domain endings and I trust Google. We’ve been through others and they are just fine as well.
This costs $12.
2. Find a host that will host your domain. I recommend DreamHost. Their basic plan includes 1 free domain name, you have access to unlimited email accounts with your domain as the @(domain) (like hello at unitedmomsnetwork.com), you can host unlimited sites, you have unlimited storage and bandwidth, it is rarely down (meaning you can actually view your blog) with a 97 day money back guarantee and 100% uptime guarantee, and DreamHost offers a 1-click WordPress installer meaning you can instantly get your WordPress-based blog online without knowing anything about how to actually get a blog up and running. DreamHost makes owning a blog incredibly simple. (It sounds intimidating but it’s not. I promise.) Plans start at $7.95/month.
This costs $7.95/month. Get $50 off your first year here (making it about $5.80/month).
You can also use Siteground with plans that start at $6.95/month which is perfect for beginning blogs. Siteground offers a free domain name, a 3-click set up, and 30 days money back guarantee. This is definitely a cheaper option for those who have 10,000 unique visits per month on their blog.
This costs $3.95/month.
3. After getting your host and hopefully using DreamHosts’s super simple 1-click WordPress installer, log in and begin posting. WordPress has a slightly higher learning curve than others but once you get the hang of it, WordPress is easy to navigate and easy to post. It even has a mobile app so while you’re sitting around you can be blogging from your phone! (I use it all the time while sitting through very long sports practices.)
This costs $0.
4. Set up your social media. It all depends which social media you want to link to your blog but the recommendation is to set up all of them and only really focus on a couple of them that you enjoy. My love is Instagram and Pinterest but United Moms Network also has Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope (@utahmom). While I occasionally post on all of them, my focus is on growing Instagram and Pinterest. There are also great companies like Board Booster and Tailwind (you’ll get $15 to use by using our Tailwind link) that help make scheduling pins a breeze so you don’t have to always be on social media but they also help grow your account and help get people to your blog.
If you’re looking to get some automation going on Instagram, Massplanner is one option. For scheduling Instagram, use Tailwind but if you’re wanting to automate likes or follows, try Massplanner. I do recommend against automating follows, especially the follow/unfollow method (follow someone and then unfollow them) but I’ll leave it up to you. Massplanner does cost depending on what you want to do with it, however, with our link, you get a 5-day free trial.
This costs $0.
And it’s just that easy. Domain, host, blog posts, and social media for under $22.
Now, what about making money?
Find ads to add to your website like Google Ads or RevContent. We also use Gourmet Ads but I recommend searching reviews about the company before agreeing. Some ad companies can be very malicious to your site.
Next, add in affiliate links. This is a link that is personalized to you and will give you a small percentage of the sales when someone buys through your link. We go through ShareASale and are affiliates for companies like VidAngel and Gymboree. We also are affiliates for many other companies that we enjoy and like to talk about. If you are looking for a specific comapany, Google search the name of the business + affiliate. If they have an affiliate program, it should show up. You can also join companies like ShareASale that have lots of companies in one place.
If you’re looking to grow an email address, get answers to questions, or direct your audience to a social media or specific site, make sure to get the code and install something like GetSiteControl. This one happens to be one of my favorites (and has a great free plan). It works well, doesn’t slow my site down hardly at all, and has a lot of great features. We currently have a bar at the top for email addresses and we love resubmissions or guest posts on our site so we also have a popup for that as well. It’s a great way to get people to where you want to take them.
Also sign up for sponsored posts like Cooperatize, Influence Central, Linqia, and Social Fabric. When your blog is a good fit for companies, you will be matched with them and have the opportunity to make money for writing a blog post.
Good luck with your blog! And once you get it up and running, let us know in a comment. We’d love to check it out!
Have questions? Contact us and we’ll help you out as much as we can.