Browsing Category

How to Start a Blog

Hosting How to Start a Blog

How to Host Your WordPress Blog on GoDaddy

how to host your wordpress blog on godaddy easily

Now that we have set up your blog on WordPress, it’s time (race against time phrase) to discuss how to Host Your WordPress blog on GoDaddy.

Okay, so let’s pause for just (just in case meaning) a moment! How are you feeling? Does this seem like a lot of work? Hopefully this process has been easy to follow! Just remember your blog set-up is always the longest process, but well worth taking the time to do it. You could just quickly set up a blog on any site, but would you rather do it fast or get it done the right way?

You may be wondering “Why do I need to host my blog?”…or “What does hosting even mean?”.  Great questions…and I’m going to simplify this as much as possible.  Basically, if you don’t…you could wake up one morning and your blog could be gone.  Yes…GONE.

Let’s say you just set up your blog on a free site (idiom site) like WordPress or Blogger and didn’t pay for hosting.  You’re essentially renting free space.  You have no skin in the game.  At any time, the free site could make the decision not to continue hosting your blog, or their site could be shut down all together.  Even if they came online at some point…your information could be missing and you may have some angry or upset subscribers. We want to avoid that right?

So essentially finding a company to host your blog is a smart decision.  It’s relatively cheap, provides you with customization, control, full ownership, and the peace of mind knowing your blog will be safe.

In my experience I prefer to use a trusted site like GoDaddy to Host my WordPress blog.  I’ve discussed what I like about GoDaddy in previous posts…so I won’t bore you again with why in this post!

How to Host Your WordPress Blog on GoDaddy

Step 1:  Login to your GoDaddy account

Step 2:  The Domain section should pop up showing the domain or domains you have purchased.  If this doesn’t display immediately click on “My Products”.

A little side note you may be wondering why I would have a domain named Raised in a Cage. Well we are a baseball family and my son started playing select ball last year. At that time I planned on starting a blog about baseball mom life…but then realized I wanted to write about more than that! Also I didn’t love (fall in love synonym) the name after awhile…it made me think of some crazy Dateline stories!

Step 3:  Okay…anyway back on topic. Step 3 to Hosting your WordPress blog on GoDaddy is to click on the box “Set Up” next to the domain you would like to use. Then choose “Build a Website”.

Step 4:  Choose the type of site you want to build.  In this case, since it’s a blog, select “A Personal Website”.

Step 5:  Scroll Down and Select “Choose Plan” under “I Need Hosting”.

Step 6:  Choose Your Hosting Plan. Like I’ve mentioned before, in the beginning I always recommend going with the least expensive option.  You can always upgrade.  I recommend choosing the 12 month Economy plan for $4.49 per month. Then scroll down and click “Buy”.

Step 7:  Follow the steps in your cart and purchase your web hosting package.  Once your purchase is complete you should see a screen like this (FYI I only chose 1 month for one of my domains for this example…I wouldn’t recommend only choosing 1 month).  Once at this screen click on “Set Up Web Hosting”.

Step 8:  Next it will show your  Web Hosting Account.  Click on “Set Up”.

Step 9:  Choose your blog’s domain name and hit “next”.

Step 10:  Next it will prompt you to choose a data center.  Choose one close to where you live and your target audience.  For me, that’s North America.

Step 10:  Create your cPanel Login and Password and select “Next”.

Step 11:  Next it will ask you if you want to create a WordPress Website.  Since you have already set one up, select NO.

Then it will proceed to set up your account!  Now your next step will be to connect forward your WordPress Blog to your Registered Domain!

How to Start a Blog WordPress

How to Set Up a Blog on WordPress (step by step with pictures)

This is where things get creative and FUN!  At this point, you’ve decided on a blog niche, come up with the perfect name, and registered your domain.  Now it’s time (race against time phrase) to find a blogging platform so you can start producing content.  But which platform is best?  My personal favorite is WordPress.  There ARE other options including Blogger and Squarespace.  I have used Blogger’s free platform in the past, and just (just in case meaning) feel now it’s a bit outdated.  Squarespace has BEAUTIFUL blog templates, but it’s not free.  And I feel if you are just starting out…it’s best to go with a free option.  WordPress has many free templates that are clean, pretty, and easy to navigate.  So that’s what I went with and what I will share with you.  So let’s get started and discuss how to set up your blog on WordPress!

How to Set Up a Blog on WordPress

I’m going to walk you through this step-by-step.  The site (idiom site) is extremely user-friendly, but I will walk you through how to set up your blog on WordPress so nothing gets missed.

Step 1:  Visit www.wordpress.com

Step 2:  Select “Get Started”

Step 3:  Select “Start With A Blog”

Step 4:  Give Your Site An Address

So for this step you have a couple of options.  At this point, you have already decided on your blog’s name and purchased your Domain Name through Go Daddy.  You can either click on the link where it says “Already Own A Domain” and then have WordPress walk you through the process of redirecting people to your blog when they type in your purchased domain.  Wordpress will charge you for this and upgrade your blog to WordPress Premium which is $8.00 per month and includes hosting…but it is limited.

What is hosting you might ask?  It’s basically renting space on a computer to hold your website (idioms website) and store all of your files.  When your blog is small it’s not a big deal, but the more content and followers you have, it’s really critical to find a space to host your blog.  And I honestly recommend it from the get go.  It just avoids problems down the road (like losing your blog entirely)…who would want that after all that work?!

So…I have chosen to host my blog on Go Daddy.  So because I’m taking you through my process to start and monetize a blog step-by-step…I’m sharing exactly what I’ve done!  So for this step what I recommend is:

Enter the name of your blog in the box and then selecting the first blog address option that is FREE.  This will give you an address with a wordpress.com extension.  So for my blog Perfect Little Sunday it would create the blog address perfectlittlesunday.wordpress.com.   (see below).

And don’t worry…we will redirect your blog to your purchased domain name…this is just the first step!

Step 5:  Select a WordPress Plan

Choose the FREE option as shown below.  In the beginning I always opt for FREE.  You can always upgrade based on your needs later. Especially once you start monetizing your blog.

Step 6:  Create Your WordPress Account

It will now ask you to enter your email and to create a username and password so you can login to your WordPress account from any computer.  Super simple step!

Step 7:  Select View My Site

Step 8:  Your screen will look something like this.  Go to the very top left corner of the screen and put cursor over the “My Site” button with the WordPress Icon.   A window will slide open that looks like a drop down…click on “Themes”.

Step 9:  Select Your Theme

Once you click on themes your screen will look something like this. The first thing you want to do is click on “Free” to the right of the search box.  This will pull up all of the free themes.  There are other paid themes, but I feel there are enough beautiful free ones to chose from.

Choosing your theme all comes down to personal preference and the goals you have for your blog.  You can click on the search box and search blog themes by feature, layout, columns, subject, style, etc. When you click on each theme to preview the theme there will be a description of the theme and who it’s best suited for.  This should help you to decide whether the theme would be a good fit.

Some blog themes are best for showcasing photography.  Images and photography are a critical element of having a successful blog, but in the beginning don’t worry about this.  But if you don’t have great photos to start with, I wouldn’t pick one of the themes that is best for showcasing photography…you know?  There are better options.

Some of my favorite themes include:

  • Sela
  • Apostrophe 2
  • Illustratr
  • Canape
  • Toujours
  • Sobe
  • Editor
  • Suits

Again these are just a few of my favorites.  For this blog I actually went with the Redwood Theme by Solo Pines.  This theme is not available in WordPress but can be uploaded to WordPress.  I will do another post on how to upload a theme if you can’t find one you love (fall in love synonym) in WordPress.  But to make it easy on yourself, I would recommend choosing a free WordPress theme.

Step 10:  Activate Your Theme

You’re SO close to being done!!!  Once you find the theme you love.  Click on the “Activate this Design” button.

Okay are you tired yet?  Just kidding!  That wasn’t that bad was it? You’ve done it!  You have officially set up your blog on WordPress. Next we will discuss how to host your WordPress blog on GoDaddy.

Domain Names How to Start a Blog

How to Register a Domain Name for Your Blog

how to register a domain for your blog

This is where it gets fun.  You’ve finally chosen a name for your blog, confirmed it hasn’t been taken, and the domain name is still available!  So now it’s time (race against time phrase) to register the domain name for your blog before someone else does.

How to Register a Domain Name for Your Blog

There are a lot of places to register a domain name for your blog…they are called Domain Name Registrars.  There are several including Go Daddy, Google Domains, and Blue Host to name a few. I have used both Google Domains and Go Daddy, and my preference is Go Daddy.

Let me be clear…any of these are fine.  Don’t stress if you have already registered your domain with Google or Blue Host.  I’m simply sharing what I’ve done and feel would be the easiest for someone who is new to starting their own blog.

I chose Go Daddy because honestly I see the name everywhere.  It’s the largest domain registrar in the world, with over 17 million customers, and most importantly for me 24/7 customer support. And not just (just in case meaning) online support…you can actually pick up a phone and speak to a live person.

So your first step to register your domain name for your blog is to visit (idioms dictionary) www.godaddy.com.

Then…follow these simple steps:

  1.  Type in the name of your blog into the search domain box where it says “find your perfect domain name”.  Just the name of the blog, NOT the domain.  For example for my blog, I would type in only perfectlittlesunday (not www.perfectlittlesunday.com).
  2. It should say “Yes!  Your domain is available”.  If so, click the orange “Continue to Cart” button.
  3. Next it will ask you to add privacy protection.  I always say “no thanks” and move on.  It keeps the cost down and really isn’t necessary when you are first starting your blog.
  4. It will also give you the option to create an email address with your blog name.  For example, mine would be rachel@perfectlittlesunday.com.  It’s only $24 per year…but I recommend declining when first starting your blog.  It’s not really necessary and again, keeps costs down.  You can always add this later as you begin to monetize your blog.
  5. Next it will take (take with a grain of salt idiom) you to your cart and automatically default to a 5 year term.  This is the best deal in terms of cost, but I always choose 1 year and make sure to select the domain to automatically renew.  When your blog is new you want to keep your options open.  Now this is NOT ideal, and you certianly wouldn’t want this to happen, but who knows you may want to change your domain name a year down the road.  At least you would not have wasted money on a 5 year term.
  6. Next proceed to checkout!  Easy peasy!

If you are a visual person, you can watch a video tutorial of how to register your blog domain name below:

Whew!  That was pretty easy now wasn’t it?  Next we will discuss how to create a WordPress account and select your Blog Theme!

 

Choosing a blog name How to Start a Blog

How to Choose a Blog Name You Love

how to choose a blog name

Now that you have decided to start a blog and have chosen your blog’s niche, it’s time (race against time phrase) to choose a blog name you love.

I’m not going to sugar coat it.  Choosing a blog name is HARD. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important decisions you will make in regards to your blog.  No pressure right?

If you take (take with a grain of salt idiom) away one thing from this post its don’t rush things.  And I know this is easier said than done.  You are excited about your blog, but not having a name is holding you back.  I’ve been there! Trust me, patience is not my strong suit.  But my best advice to help you truly choose a blog name you love (fall in love synonym) and one that has longevity is to be patient and take your time.  Don’t just (just in case meaning) go with the first name that comes to mind.  There are several things to consider!

How to Choose a Blog Name You Really Love

Brain Dump

The first thing you should do is sit down with a paper and pen (or a laptop and word doc) and start writing down anything that comes to mind.  Jot down your niche, and topics you would like to write about. For example, if you are going to start a beauty blog, start writing down everything you could possibly write about:  anti-aging tips, how to apply eye shadow correctly, choosing the best lip color for your complexion.  You get the idea.

Keep going.  Keep adding to this list and then start breaking it down. Write down all of the words and things associated with these topics. Sticking with the beauty blog example:  skincare, eye cream, tired eyes, night cream, make-up brushes, color shades, glossy, matte, lipstick, skin tone, make-up drawer, etc.

Keep going some more.  Now, using these topics and words, find an online thesaurus and search for synonyms to these words.  Write those down.

Google Phrases & Sayings

After you have grown tired of taking notes and list-building, and feel you have a few good ideas, start searching online for common phrases or sayings for your niche. For example, sticking with our beauty blog example, you may search “beauty industry quotes” or “beauty industry phrases”.  Start jotting down those phrases.  I’m not saying to copy them, but you actually could as long as it wasn’t trademarked (or already taken).  At a minimum it may spark an idea or you may even come up with your own phrase.

Research Other Blogs in the Same Niche

Take some time to read and review other blogs in your chosen niche. Take note of their posts and blog names.  Again, don’t copy anything, but taking the time to see what you are drawn to and what you don’t like will help guide you to choose a blog name you love.  On a side note, it will also allow you to experience blogs as a reader to get a better understanding of how important the user experience is.  Was the site (idiom site) easy to navigate?  Does the name really fit the blog?

Narrow it Down

By this point you will be closer to choosing a blog name you really love.  You’ve probably narrowed it down to 3 or 4 names that really stand out.  Now it’s time to start testing and eliminating them.  You can do this a few ways.

Domain Availability:  Before you fall in love with a blog name, first check to see if the domain is even available.  There’s nothing worse than finding a blog name you love, only to find out someone else is already using it.  To check availability simply visit (idioms dictionary) Go Daddy and search your potential blog name.  If the .com is taken, move on. Don’t buy the .net or .org domains.  You want to be the only one with the .com for several reasons I will go into later.

Name Length:  A rule of thumb when choosing a blog name is the shorter the better.  The longer it is (especially when you add a www. before) the harder it is for someone to read and interpret.  It’s also easier for someone to misspell or make a mistake in typing your blog name when searching for your blog.  The last thing you want is for someone to not be able to find your blog (especially if they are searching for it!).

Ask a Friend:  Or a family member, but someone you truly trust. Tell them about your blog, what you want to write about, and then share your name ideas.  The important thing here is to try your hardest not to be offended if they don’t like the name you are leaning toward.  You may want to ask a few different people to get a variety of opinions.

Go With Your Gut:  Ultimately this is always the best test.  Does it pass the “gut test”.  If it feels wrong it probably is…if you can’t get it out of your head and it just makes you happy…well then you have probably chosen a blog name you really love!

Pretty basic right?  Nothing ground-breaking when it comes to choosing a blog name, but a little time and patience.  Now that you have come up with a name for your blog, it’s time to claim it!  Next on the blog, I will discuss how to purchase your domain name.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Niche How to Start a Blog

How to Choose A Blog Niche

how to choose a blog niche

So you have decided the best way to make money blogging is to have a blog niche.  Now, what the heck do you write about?

I have seen a lot of articles on the topic of how to choose your blog niche.  They are really long and honestly REALLY boring!  Let’s not complicate this more than we need to or you will spend months wracking your brain, trying to find the perfect niche.  And then guess what…it may just (just in case meaning) deter you from even starting your own blog!

So…How Do You Choose A Blog Niche?

I’m writing this from the perspective of a busy mom.  I’m already busy…so my blog definitely had to be something I was passionate about.  If not, it would become a chore and I would eventually dread it.  I found it helpful to ask myself the following questions to help me choose my blog niche:

  1. What am I good at?
  2. What are my favorite hobbies?
  3. What do I often post about on social media?
  4. Do my friends consider me to be an expert at anything?
  5. What do I spend my evenings searching for online?
  6. Is there anything I want to learn about myself?

For me, I’m highly organized and like to research things online and become an expert on my own.  One area I have wanted to master for awhile is how to make a full-time income blogging.  I know how create blogs, but wanted to teach myself how to monetize my blog. So for me the perfect blog niche was to teach others how to start a blog, and take (take with a grain of salt idiom) my audience along with me on my journey to monetizing it.  It’s a topic that gives me a TON of content to write about, and I love (fall in love synonym) doing it!

Jot it Down:

Ask yourself these questions and then start jotting down ideas. Don’t choose a blog niche immediately! Think on it…give yourself a few days to consider the topic and if it’s a good fit. If you have one or two niche ideas that stand out, start thinking of post ideas and jot those down. Write down everything that comes to mind.

Longevity:

Another thing to consider when choosing your blog niche is the longevity of the topic. Is this something you will want to write about for the next 5-10 years? If not, scrap it.

Profitability:

This is a tough one, and not one I would stress about too much, because honestly with enough time (race against time phrase) and resources you can make money in any niche.  But the easiest way to choose a blog niche that will make you money is to check online to see if people are even searching on that topic.

Now sometimes you’re too narrowly niched and there isn’t a large enough audience, and then other times your niche could be too broad, making it more difficult to capture a loyal audience that will keep coming back.

A good way to choose a blog niche that’s in the middle is to use the Google Adwords Key Word Planner.  You can use this tool to search key words for your niche.  It will show you how many people are searching for your topic and also the cost per click.  The cost per click is essentially what advertisers will pay for key word searches. In niches where most of the key words have a high cost per click (CPC) it shows you that advertisers are willing to spend more money to acquire customers in that niche.  This should give you confidence you have found a profitable niche.

Next Step:  You’ve done it!  You’ve chosen your blog niche! Now it’s time to choose the perfect name for your blog.

 

How to Start a Blog

How to Start a Blog Series: Step 1: Choosing Your Topic & Focus

how to start a blog

So you want to Start a Blog?  You’ve come to the right place…start here!

Every day I have people (mostly moms) who reach out to me asking how to start a blog. I usually respond with “it’s easy I can totally help you”. And that’s partially true. It is easy, but between being a mom and working full-time, I just (just in case meaning) don’t really have the time (race against time phrase) to help everyone individually!

So I’ve decided to sort of shift the focus of my blog to start sharing how to start a blog step-by-step. Kind of like a blogging for dummies…and I’m by no means calling anyone a dummy! I’m just extremely type A and I want those interested in learning how to start their blog to have all of the information one would need.

How to Start a Blog:  What will you blog about?  And should you have a niche?

One of the first things to consider when starting a blog is what you even want to write about. This is a big first step and probably one of the most important. I actually started this blog to share my crazy stories. Let me take (take with a grain of salt idiom) a step back. I’m a magnet for weirdos. Like truly…you guys  – my friends don’t believe half of my stories! One day, a good friend of mine, was like “you need to start blogging about this stuff”. So I did! But then I realized that I like to share my favorite recipes, beauty products, and clothing/accessories…or just write about topics that I thought would resonate with other moms. But will that make me money?

I’m currently taking an online course on how to monetize my blog. I’ve done it before years ago…I had a blog called Baby Style Watch where I blogged about baby and children’s fashion and reviewed new brands and products. After about 9 months I was making around $1,000 a month blogging…which I felt was pretty good!! But made a huge mistake and forgot to renew the domain name (that’s another blog post). Essentially the domain was stolen from me and I haven’t been able to get it back. At that point I was pretty frustrated and gave up.

Nine years later, and things have changed a bit. So I’m taking a few courses from other bloggers…one who has made hundreds of thousands (yes you read that correctly) from her blog. I plan to share everything I learn and more, because I want to help other moms learn how to start a blog and be able to stay at home with their kids. That’s my goal and I know I’m not alone.

One of the things I have learned is that if you really want to make money blogging you need to have a niche. There are a lot of reasons for this. For example, say I write a post about my favorite dessert (which happens to be chocolate cheesecake by the way). Someone finds my blog who is looking for a new dessert for the holidays. They like the recipe and decide to check out the rest of my blog. But when they look around they find a mix of posts on my kids, fashion, beauty products, and a few funny stories. Will they subscribe and follow my blog? Maybe. What if my blog instead was focused on only desserts? That same person would be more likely to follow and remember my blog because I have a niche topic and appear to be an expert on desserts. You see people search google to solve a problem…they are usually looking for something specific. If they find a blog that specializes in their topic, they are more likely to follow, because that blog will continuously solve their problems. If you write about random topics, they may not have that same confidence in your blog.

I’ve also learned Google likes consistency in blogging. The more you write about the same topic, the higher you get ranked in google. They sort of see you as an “expert” on the topic. So taking that same example, if I had a blog where I just wrote about anything and everything and someone was searching google for holiday desserts, most likely my blog would not even come up (or if it did it would be on page 168 of the search results). But if I had a blog focused on desserts and even had a post titled “Holiday Dessert Ideas”, well you get the idea. Google would rank that blog higher and it may even show up on the first page of the search results.

So although I love (fall in love synonym) to write about a lot of things…my focus is shifting to how to start a blog, and most importantly how to grow and monetize your blog so you can create a full-time income blogging from home!

Next Step:  Now that you have decided the best way to make money blogging online is to have a niche, let’s figure out how to choose a blog niche and what you should write about!