How To Start A Blog

Are you sitting there wanting to start a blog, but don't know how to get started. If you have the desire to start one...DO IT! If you have the desire now, you will likely have the desire 5 or 10 years down the road, and then you'll just be kicking yourself that you didn't start sooner. I love reading other people's blogs, and I think more people should have one!

Here are 5 easy steps to get you started!

5 Easy Steps to Start a Blog - Jesse Coulter

1. Choose your message

First off, decide what you want to write about. My advice would be to write down all of the things in your life that bring you joy. Then write down what you are passionate about (maybe that list is similar to the first). Whether that be food, parenting, religion, dating, budgeting, fashion, writing, traveling, woodworking, exercising, quilting or whatever....just write it all down and then decide what you want your blog to focus on.

My blog originally started as a fashion blog, but over the past 4 years it has transitioned in to a lifestyle blog. Everything I write about I'm passionate about. I have a message that I want my readers to hear. For example my latest post about Kerbey Lane's newest location in Round rock talks about their amazing pancakes and kids playscape. It may not be a profound blog post, but I'm a mom and I want other moms in my area to know about it.

2. Decide where to host your blog

If you don't know what that means, it's basically the site that will store your blog. Some sites you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee, and some are free. Wordpress and Blogger are free (I use blogger). Squarespace has a fee, but it is very user friendly.

3. Choose a blog name

Brainstorm blog names. My advice would be to keep it simple. Don't make your blog name super specific, because overtime your blog's topic will likely change.  When I first started blogging, I was set on the title of "9-5 Style" or something stupid like that. I was working in an office at the time where I had to dress professional everyday, and I was pursuing my MBA. I was focused on fashion in the workplace. Thankfully that blog title was taken, and I could not come up with anything else. So, the only thing I could think of was my name. I'm SO glad I chose that as my blog title, because it leaves me free to talk about WHATEVER I want.

After 4 years of blogging, I finally purchased my own domain name. Jessecoulter.com was taken, so Jessecoulter.net was the next best thing. I used GoDaddy, and it cost me $10 per year. Prior to that I didn't pay a cent for blogging. When I was first started blogging, I thought it was stupid to invest any money in to my blog since it was a hobby and I didn't take it too serious. My advice would be to go ahead and buy your domain name, because you never know how successful your blog will be one day. Having a .com or .net makes your blog look very professional.

4. Buy a template

You're probably thinking, "How do I design a blog? Where do I get a logo? I have no graphic design experience!" Don't worry....Etsy is here to save the day! This was my most stressful step in starting a blog. Back in the day, I had my good friend Casey create my logo (which is still my logo by the way!), and then I tried to learn as much about HTML as possible to create a semi-good looking blog. It sucked.

I discovered blog templates on Etsy a year ago and my graphic design problems were solved. $15-25 for a simple and functioning blog template (including a logo) was just what I was looking for. Now, you need to know that there are likely other blogs out there with the same template, but I was ok with that.  There are wonderful graphic designers out there that can create a beautiful custom blog for you, but it can be a very expensive process. If you have the extra $, go for it! Once you purchase your template all you have to do is insert the link in to your blog HTML code. You might have to google a few things to figure this out, but most of the time the designer will have detailed instructions on how to insert the template in to your blog.

5. Start writing!

Brainstorm and write down topics you want to post about. I like to keep a list on my phone of blog topics. I'll get inspiration or random thoughts through out the day that will inspire a blog post, and if I don't write it down I usually forget about it. Start writing your drafts! It may take a while for you to push "Publish", but that's ok!

Don't feel bad if your Mom is your only reader. Don't let feeling like no one will read your blog or no one will care, keep you from blogging. Let your desire motivate you, whether  that be for a creative outlet or to tell a story/start a movement that you feel will make a positive impact on the world.

I hope these 5 steps help you on your blogging journey! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me. 

1 comment:

Boo said...

Good basic guide. I think a key decision is whether you want to use your own domain name or not. It's often overlooked until later down the line.