Thinking of starting a blog? Here’s a step-by-step guide from coming up with a topic to making money.
HOW TO START A KICK-BUTT BLOG THAT PEOPLE WANT TO READ AND COULD MAKE YOU MONEY
If you have a small business or hobby or children or an idea, you should blog. You’ve probably thought about doing it before or you wouldn’t be reading this article. Right?
I’ve been blogging since around 2003. Not full-time, and sometimes off and on, but I’ve created websites and blogs and logos for side-hustles, a full-time career and just for fun. I’ve found blogging can be fun, exhilarating, therapeutic and scary (but in a good way).
This will be an e-book and course soon but I’m posting it on the website for the moment. I will teach you and show you how to get started, how to go forward and how to keep a blog going when no one seems to be listening.
You’ll see how to come up with an idea for your blog. A name, the difference between a free blog and ones you pay for and which one is right for you. I’ll show you where to go to find free photos and artwork and why you should never just take what you want in Google image searches.
We’ll also get down to the brass tacks of when to blog, how to get to the top of Google search results.
By the time you finish this course, you’ll either be off to a good start or have decided you shouldn’t start at all.
I think you’re probably ready to do it.
What will you blog about?
This is it isn’t it? You’ve read how some bloggers make a lot of money blogging. Some travel the world as a travel blogger; getting freebies of hotel rooms and free meals at restaurants.
Some bloggers sell advertisements and endorse products for thousands of dollars each month. Some actually have to turn advertisers down even though they could pick up hundreds of dollars by placing a few photos and links on their blog.
Why? Because those bloggers have found something other people want to read. Think of a blog like one of your favorite magazines from years ago. You and many other people purchased or subscribed to those magazines because it was about your interests. It had just a wide-enough audience to have enough people reading it every month so it could sell advertisement space.
What is it you love? Are you an authority on something? Is there a subject your friends are always asking you for tips or advice? If you’re a mom, is there one certain part of being a parent you know inside and out? If you’re a dad can you go on for hours about being a Cub Scout dad? Starting a new business? Auditioning for roles in community theater? Pressure washing different surfaces?
As you can see there’s no limit to the things you can blog about and what others are interested in as well. What’s it going to be?
HOW TO COME UP WITH YOUR IDEA. GUARANTEED
Some of the greatest ideas came across my mind when I was bored or daydreaming. We don’t do that enough. Turn off the TV. Wash your car. Read a book. Just sit in front of a fireplace or in the steam room at the gym. And when you do one or all of these things don’t allow for any outside sounds.
When I came up with “What the Tech?” I was driving in my car without the radio or music playing. True story: I had been reading a book about prayer time and taking part of the day to just sit and listen to God.
Like most people I was too busy (or at least I thought so) to do that at work or when I came home for the day. By the time dinner was put away my brain had expired for the day and I found myself sitting in front of the TV whether I was watching something or not.
So while I was driving to and from work I did it with the radio off. I was left with nothing but my thoughts and prayers.
I found listening inward was only possible when there were no sounds coming into my head. My mind wandered. It was like I remember being a kid and being bored when my mom and dad were busy somewhere and had me tag along.
I didn’t have a phone to check or music on a mobile device to listen to through headphones. My mind had to provide the entertainment.
When I came up with the syndicated TV news franchise “What the Tech?” I couldn’t stop thinking about it. How it would look, how I would design the website and logo. What the stories would be about and how they’d appear in TV newscasts.
I doubt any of that would have come to me if the radio was always playing.
Daydream. Ride with the windows down and the radio off. Think. Let your mind wander.
You probably already have an idea for a blog. Let boredom figure out the details.
Things you might blog about:
- Being the parent of _____
- Being a Cub Scout mom or dad.
- Being a barista.
- Being a school teacher.
- Being a video gamer.
- Being a retired _____
- Driving a ____
- Quitting a full-time job
- Starting a side-hustle
There is no shortage of blogging ideas. The question is: are there enough people who can relate to the subject?
COMING UP WITH A NAME AND URL
This is second in importance only to the subject of you blog. The name. It must be catchy enough for people to pay attention while clearly describing what your blog is about.
Do you want to blog about catfish? You want a catchy name yet anyone stumbling across your site must have a clear idea of what it is. Otherwise, they may not stop to read it.
A blog about growing roses might be “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”. Perfect right?
But wait, while the name should be clearly defined and catchy you also need to make it line up with a website URL. The URL is what shows in the web address bar, where the www. is shown.
I’m guessing www.everythingscominguproses.com is taken. I don’t even need to look it up. .coms are nearly impossible to get these days. Those web addresses are taken. But not all great names have been taken.
Use this Bluehost link to get a website name and hosting for $3.95/month. Also included is a 1 button installation of WordPress.
It’s regularly $7.95/month but this affiliate link gets it for you at half-price.
You can try a play-on-words with a semi-different spelling. This is a challenge because of the ‘easily understood’ rule above. You need to be able to tell someone to check your blog without having to spell it over and over again. You wouldn’t want to tell someone to check out www.3v3rythingiscominguuproses.com would you? Nor do you want to tell someone to check out your website www.roses15385a.com
You can try to come up with a name that no one has thought of because it isn’t really a word. Google made it work. So did Spotify and Snapchat and even Facebook. I’m not saying it’s impossible to create a name from nothing anyone’s ever said before, but it will be a challenge. Unless your content is so good an audience can’t stay away.
Even nonsense .coms are taken.
.coms aren’t the only game in town. There are .tv, .rocks, .live, .xyz to think about. (Google nabbed what might be the greatest turn on a url ever. The parent company of Google is ‘Alphabet’, so when the .xyz domain was released, it grabbed, www.abc.xyz.
Where to check on a domain. I suggest www.bluehost.com. Search for available domains at Bluehost and sign up for a hosting plan. More on that in a bit.
Write everything down. If you come up with a name you love but it isn’t available, don’t forget it. A new way to use that name may turn up in a daydream.