I love to blog! Such a surprise right? But I have to say getting started was much harder than I anticipated. Quite frankly, there is so much to do to get started from choosing the hosting packages, logos and posting schedules. I did a ton of research on Pinterest and Google as I’m sure you are doing right now. Not to fear new blogger! From one blogging newbie to another, I get it! I have not been the game very long, since January actually. However, even now I feel more confident than I did even two months ago. So I decided to share my tips and tricks with you!
Hosting Your Blog
I know everyone talks about Bluehost. It is probably one of the most popular options I’ve seen, aside from GoDaddy. However, if you are like me and starting out on a shoestring budget, paying upfront for the entire year seems a bit steep. I personally have never used Bluehost before merely because of that cost. I did a lot of research and found IONOS. They have a special of $12 for the entire year!
After that depending on your plan it can be about 8 per month. I certainly loved that price and decided to sign right up. I have yet to have any issues with their hosting or my website with them. Like many others, they offer WordPress.org plugin. I even have my email address for my blog through them, which I chose to forward to my Gmail that I check more frequently. Again, no issues here. I loved them! So far I have yet to find anyone who beats their price and service.
Logos And More
Creating your own brand is not easy by any means. Picking a name was hard enough but what was that going to look like? Entirely different matter. My first versions of my logo I did through Canva. The program is pretty easy to use and offers a variety of different templates, fonts and stock photos. It did not take me long to decide I wanted to just pay for the monthly service and unlock more of their options.
I have used Canva to create Instagram posts, Pinterest’s cover pins (this one included!), business cards, even a brochure for another business my partner and I are starting together. It has been absolutely amazing the amount of “art” I’ve needed to create per post and Canva has made my life so much easier. Of course, I choose to pay the monthly service but you can totally use it for free until you can afford it or you make up your mind on the program you do want to sign up for.
I cannot believe how important stock photos are to my blog. When I was getting started it was hardly a blip on my radar of needs. But boy when I got going it became really important very quickly. My partner is a website nerd and was working as a company’s project manager to build websites. He told me about pxhere.com it is totally free to sign up and you can use their photos for personal or commercial purposes. I also use Unsplash. They are a just like pxhere, it is free to use and neither require you to license for commercial use.
Pictures are an extremely important aspect for blogging. Most of the time that is why we click the link. It’s eye-catching while also offering the information we are looking for. Although, I do try and take my own pictures whenever I have the option to. That comes with its own struggles of lighting and angles, so if you don’t have time to fight that battle use these two sites. You won’t be disappointed.
Sharing Your Blog
Once you’ve loaded your blog with all this beautiful, amazing content how do you get eyes on it? This was a struggle for me at first. Aside from my ever faithful friends and family, I was not getting much feedback. I started out joining some blogging groups on Facebook which was helpful and definitely boosted my viewership, not to mention I was able to get some good advice. Especially as I was tinkering with the aesthetics of my site in general.
My favorite blogging sharing program though is Tailwind. I mainly use it for Pinterest but I plan on expanding it to my Instagram too. I love how easy it is to share a pin in your different “tribes” or groups. You share and they share. It’s really that easy. I went from less than a few hundred views and 4 monthly followers to 3.6k monthly views to 28 monthly followers in just the couple of months I’ve been using it. Big win!
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to starting your blog. Finding the optimum time to post, what are you going to post about, keeping track of income and collaborators. Not to mention posting across all of your social media platforms! I tell you, I was driving myself positively mad trying to do everything all the time. Just skip that, it doesn’t work. Automate what you can *ahem* Tailwind, looking at you. Then schedule the rest. Being able to look at what you need to do and break it down a little at a time will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed but you can also see exactly what needs to be done.
Trello has been a lifesaver for me. I added a calendar powerup to my Blog Post board and I have never looked back. It’s easy to keep all my ideas in one place and put them in the calendar when I’m ready to write about them. You can also do the same for social media which I have an entirely separate board for. Best part, Trello is free! For now I have been using Google spreadsheets to keep track of my clients and vendors. However, I have been looking at making the change to Hubspot for our topical CBD business and seems like it might work for blogging. So we shall see on that one. Google works for now though and it’s easy to access across any device.
When starting any new journey there can be quite a learning curve and blogging is no different. I know what works for me may not work for someone else. Bullet journal seemed like a great idea until I tried it and sadly it just wasn’t my “thing”. My hope truly is that this may help someone make the blog world a little easier. Blogging is work, honestly sometimes it feels like I have a second job.
For those that know they have something they want or need to share, do it! Don’t let anything hold you back, not even money. There are so many free options out there, start small. Just put it out there! I think blogging is kind of brave, you put a little piece of yourself out to the world one post at a time.
Do you have any hot tips for other bloggers or myself?! Questions? Reach out or leave a comment below! There is a whole community standing behind you.
Hey! Don’t forget: Like & Share