Since the launch of this website, I have had a few people approach me on the subject of starting a blog and what are the necessary steps in creating one. Although this particular blog is new, I have blogged throughout the years in which I am comfortable giving myself the title of a “blogger” with enough experience to give some general advice and tips on how to design your very own blog website for the first time.
For starters, why even write a blog to begin with? I am the biggest advocate that just about everyone should create a blog and that everyone is fully capable in doing so. There are countless reasons to blog! You can write about a specific hobby that you are most passionate about because chances are, there are people out there like yourself with the same hobby and who want to read about it. You can write about your day-to-day life and think of it as a digital diary. If you want to take the more professional route, I think that is especially wonderful because you can utilize a blog as an outlet to write about your expertise on your profession–no matter what you do for a living. This allows you to educate your prospective clients while also building a reputation as an authority within your field. There is always a purpose behind blogging whether it is on a personal level or a professional one. Whatever it is that most interests you and that you feel you have a strong voice or mastery of, then I say with 100% certainty, go for it.
Now that we have established that you are ready to move forward and create one, the main question is how?
Brainstorm Ideas and Determine the Main Purpose of Your Blog – This can take some time but the planning part is a beneficial preliminary step before you can actually move on to the actual design and writing process. It is important to think about what you want to write about, who your main audience will be, and what is your specific niche and/or theme behind your blog.
Think of a Domain Name – The domain name is the name of your actual website and what will become your web address. This step is one of the most important steps and one that you should really think about long and hard. Once you choose a domain name that best represents your subject matter, brand, and/or what it is you are looking to promote or represent, it will pretty much be your domain name for life. It is possible to come up with more than one domain name that can directly go to one main website but you do want to think of at least one really good one that is in direct relation to your content and essentially the title of your website.
The trickiest thing about this step is that most likely you will find that almost every domain that you initially come up with is already taken and belongs to another person or business. I would say that any one word domain name is probably off the market so you will definitely have to think of something that has a minimum of two words. Many bloggers often times like to use their first and last names to name their website which for many works out unless their name is a very popular one.
[For me personally, it took me weeks to come up with the name of this website. There was never a shortage of ideas but I found many were already taken or the name did not fully represent the main theme behind the blog. I wrote lists of words and tried pairing them up but nothing was clicking enough to my liking. One day, I thought of “makeupyourlife.com” and saw no one had a website with that name but it turned out that someone purchased the domain name and when I asked the domain title company what the quote was to purchase it, they got back to me that the owner was looking to sell it for $3400 but was open to negotiations. Needless to say, that was a huge ‘no thank you’ so after further thinking along the lines of this original name, maybe 24 hours later, I came up with the title phrase, “Make Up the Life You Love.” Although it was a much longer title than I anticipated, I thought this was creative enough to capture the essence of what I was all about and knew there was no way that anyone else would have it].
Create a WordPress Account – I would normally say, do your research and choose a blogging platform to start up your blog but I am going to save you that step altogether and just tell you to go with WordPress. WordPress is by far the best out there technologically speaking and for many years has been classified as the most popular blog software. [There is actually both a wordpress.com and wordpress.org. I personally have always used the .com version although I have read that there are many benefits of using the .org. That is something you might want to take further investigate on your own time but I can tell you from all my years of using wordpress.com, I have always been pretty happy with the outcome. Aside from using it to create a blog, I designed both my actual professional makeup artist websites using WordPress].
Once you create an account, this is where you will register your domain name in which WordPress will allow you to register with them directly unless you have already purchased your domain name elsewhere and you can then link it to WordPress. You will also be expected to choose which membership you want. You have the option to start one totally free but I would recommend purchasing an actual monthly plan (when you pay for it, a one time yearly fee is charged on the spot and it renews each year) because you are given more options and design tools. I have always chosen the Premium plan and find that this is just enough to suit my basic blogging needs.
Design Your Website – Depending on how creative and/or tech savvy you are, this can either be the most fun part or the most arduous step for you–or perhaps a little combination of both. Honestly, this is definitely the most tedious part of the whole blog project. Not only do you have to create the design pretty much from scratch, you also need to come up with some general content (such as your biography if you choose to write one or whatever sections that will be the main components of your blog other than your actual daily posts). The good news is that with WordPress, it is fairly user friendly with plenty of templates to choose from so you are not required to have to know any major coding although any little bit you do know will be helpful in making the design process a smooth one. There are many design tools along with online resources and live support to help you get to your final design.
Write and Post Some Articles – This part is really up to you in terms of how much content you want to initially present on your blog before having the website go up live (FYI, while you are working on the design, you can do so privately so it is not up publicly on the internet upon creating a WordPress account meaning that only you can view it until you launch it publicly). Personally, I wanted to post a month’s worth of content before I posted it live just so that readers had a little bit of content they could read first to get a general sense of the material and get acquainted with myself as the author.
Launch Your Blog on the Internet – Once you go through my checklist of the steps above of what is needed to create your blog along with writing some initial posts, it is time to launch your blog website publicly for the world to see. Now that it is up, you can start by sharing it with friends/family and depending on how much traffic you want to generate, you can begin to market your blog to build your audience. This can be done by signing up for a separate social media account that you can link to your blog and every time you write a post, you can create a social media post that directs people to go to your blog to read it.
Congratulations! If you have made it to the final step, then it is official, you are a blogger now! 🙂 Keep in mind that blogging is a writing commitment that takes time, dedication, and consistency. It requires hard work but at the same time it is enjoyable and incredibly rewarding on so many levels.