HOW TO START A MOM BLOG? OR ANY BLOG ACTUALLY.
When I decided to start a mom blog I knew nothing about blogging and therefore I made a couple of crucial mistakes.
Luckily I learnt from them and thus have compiled a step by step guide together with the mistakes I made so that you don’t have to go through the same path. So, how to start a blog?
THE TOOLS YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AT EVERY LEVEL
HOW TO START A BLOG?
CHOOSE YOUR TOPIC WISELY
If you are reading this I assume you already know what you are passionate about and what topics you want to talk about in your blog so I will not go into great detail. General rule is that you should choose a topic you love because otherwise you might run out of ideas, lose interest or blogging will become a chore. And we don’t want that to happen.
2. CHOOSE YOUR DOMAIN NAME
Choosing a domain name for me was quite easy. I have been using @Raising_little_travellers on Instagram for over a year and as I mostly write about travelling and places to go to with young children I thought this domain would suit the topic well.
3. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE COMMITTING TO A BLOGGING PLATFORM
When I started out I did not do enough research about which blogging platform to go for. I did type ‘how to start a blog’ into Google and read a bunch of articles. However I thought that what mattered the most is that I have a lot to say and share and it would be fine.
WordPress did ring a bell, however my sister who already owns a blog, told me about Wix. So I read about this platform a bit and what I found appealing was an easy navigation and design building, no need to be tech-savvy, no coding or other complicated things.
Basically you set up your desired design and focus on content, no need to select your own hosting, complicated SEO things, or coding which sounded perfect for someone so not tech-savvy.
I am not saying Wix is bad. If your goal is to keep a simple pretty blog, Wix is a great and very user friendly platform.
Initially I was also quite happy with it. However once I started expanding and growing I quickly realised there were many limitations to Wix.com platform as opposed to wordpress.org
For example, I couldn’t do rich pins as Wix does not have the required plug in. So while Pinterest is a great source to drive traffic to your website, Wix limits your performance. Then again and again I couldn’t implement other features that I needed/wanted to grow and then I knew it was time to switch platforms.
MOVING AN EXISTING BLOG TO A NEW PLATFORM
But, how do I change a platform when Wix hosts my domain name and a bunch of content?
I googled my options. Some guy offered a step by step guide on how to transfer everything from Wix to WordPress, however judging from the comments under his article, all users who attempted to do so had failed.
Luckily for me, a friend of mine who happens to be an IT guru helped me out. Basically we had to recreate the website on WordPress and select hosting provider which took over my domain.
4. CHOOSE WORDPRESS.ORG
Please note I recommend WordPress because I think it is the best blogging platform on the market today. I have no financial gain whatsoever if you decide to choose WordPress.
Because I experienced limitations of another provider, I can compare and recommend.
5. SET UP HOSTING FOR YOUR BLOG
Hosting may sound daunting at first but actually is not that complicated. While Wix did host my blog, when I switched to WordPress I had to choose my own hosting provider. Basically what a hosting provider does is keep our data in a safe place on the Internet.
Initially I went for Bluehost because I’ve seen it being recommended by many other bloggers. However, I was more than disappointed. Loading time was a disaster, and customer service… well, it took ages to get something done.
My IT friend told me about Hostinger I left Bluehost and never looked back.
If you have any questions about hosting, let me know, I’ll do my best to help you out.
5. LEARN HOW TO USE WORDPRESS AND DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE
After switching to WordPress I realised that it’s not that complicated as I initially thought. It’s really easy to learn once you practise a bit and the good news- no coding knowledge needed!
However what I found helpful was educating myself about the use of the platform as well as completing an online trainings about blogging and especially driving traffic to my blog.
These are the learning resources that I found very helpful:
- Free WordPress lessons
- Online course ‘Ready Set Blog for Traffic‘ which is packed full with information on how to set up your new blog and various ways to drive traffic to your site. This course was an eye opener for me and I highly recommend completing it.
- Another online course that I think is amazing is called ‘Pinterest Perfection Masterclass‘. Pinterest is a powerful tool to drive traffic to your site. In fact for many bloggers the vast majority of traffic comes from Pinterest. So it is super important to take advantage of this social media platform.
- ‘Create Content for Blog Traffic Masterclass’ is a great course that explains understanding your audience and writing optimised blog posts.
- Build a Successful Creative Blog. I just loved this course at CreativeLive packed full with so much useful information and effective strategies. Basically upon completing this course you will possess the perfect foundation for better copywriting and creating powerful, traffic generating blog with high quality content.
6. IMPLEMENT USEFUL PLUG INS.
What are plug ins? Basically they are like apps for your phone. There are thousands to choose from actually.
The ones I find the most useful are social media share buttons, that allow readers to quickly share your amazing content on their social media.
Also Yoast SEO should not be overlooked as it will help you with SEO which will help Google fall in love with your blog. Another benefit of Yoast is that you need it to create rich pins on Pinterest. For example Yoast plug in was not available on Wix hence I was unable to share ‘cooler’ pins on Pinterests.
7. IDENTIFY YOUR IDEAL READER
What I found useful is sitting down with a cup of coffee and noting down some ideas about who my ideal reader is. It will really help you create, write and find your voice when you have an ideal reader in mind.
Some of the questions that I answered before I started blogging were the following:
- Who do I imagine reading my blog?
- What would my ideal reader like the most?
- Who would find my blog funny, useful, entertaining?
- Why should my ideal reader care about my blog?
- Who would my blog help the most?
- How can I combine what I enjoy most with what my ideal reader would enjoy most?
- What problem does my blog solve for her? What does it give her?
Don’t forget to set goals for your blog! Ask yourself and write down:
- Where do you see your blog in 3 years?
- How often are you blogging? Who is reading it?
- What are you blogging about? Do you enjoy it?
- Do you make money from your blog? If so, how much and how?
- What does your blog look like?
Important! Don’t fall into research, learning and planning procrastination cycle. It’s good to prepare, but remember that the best way to learn about blogging is to blog.
8. CREATE YOUR CONTENT AND SHARE WITH THE WORLD
Now is the best and my favourite part! Create high quality content and let EVERYONE know about it.
Share new blog posts on your social media channels. If you are not on social media yet, be sure to sign up and use the same branding so that people can easily recognise you. Create rich pins and share them on Pinterest. This platform is amazing at driving traffic to your blog.
9. TOOLS THAT WILL MAKE YOUR BLOGGING LIFE EASIER
- To make your blog posts awesome high quality content is not enough. You also need to use attractive visuals. If you don’t have any or do not have enough, there is this great place called www.unsplash.com Basically that’s where you can download high quality photos for free. It’s like Shutterstock, just that Unsplash is free. Yay!
- Tailwind. I can’t emphasise the importance of this scheduling tool enough. It’s pretty much a life saver when you start promoting your blog posts on Pinterest and Instagram. Tailwind is a social media scheduling tool which posts on your behalf at the times when your audience will most likely be engaged. You only schedule posts in advance and Tailwind does the rest.
- Free platform with photo editing tools for managing photos in bulk: www.iLoveIMG.com I use it to resize the photos that I upload to my blog. The quality of the picture is the same, just that it takes half the space.
- If you are curious to know how fast does your website load, how it performs and discover optimisation opportunities check out www.GTmetrix.com It’s another great tool which is also free.
That’s about it. If you have any questions, suggestions or have something to add to the list, please reach out.
Have fun blogging!
Because I like and trust the products and services mentioned in this article I feel confident to recommend it to you. Some of links are affiliate marketing links, meaning that if you choose to purchase the product/service I will earn a small commission fee at no extra charge to you. Thank you so much!