This post was sponsored by Host Gator and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
So, you’re thinking of starting a blog? I think that’s great! Blogging is absolutely one of my most favorite things to do. It’s a hobby, it’s a little side business, it’s a community, and so much more. Truly being a part of the blogging community has changed my life, and some people will definitely laugh at those words, but it’s true!
I’ve been blogging pretty regularly since Jase was born, before that it was kind of a hit or miss thing. But once we had Jase, and I became a Stay at Home Mom, I knew I wanted to dive into the blogging scene more because of my love for it. So I purchased my first design and went from there. I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey to where I am today, I have definitely learned a lot. But there are definitely a few things that could have made a huge difference if I started right away.
So, since you landed here I’m going to share those things with you, just in case you’re thinking of starting a blog too!
1. Buy your own domain. It is so much easier to start with a URL that is just yours. Having a website that ends in wordpress.com or blogspot.com or anything of the like can get really confusing for people to find your blog. You want your domain to be easy to remember so people can find you and remember you! Not only that, but it’s a big deal to have your space and name claimed early on. You are creating a brand for yourself and you want to start right away with setting the direction you want to go. I wish I would have done this right away, changing old posts and redirecting people was a big job!
2. Focus on Images and Photography. When I first started writing, I didn’t add images to my post at all! I know, crazy right? I don’t know what I was thinking, but images make a huge difference. Focus on finding images or taking pictures that can relate to your posts. It helps break up all the words in your post as well as draw a readers attention. The photography can make or break a post! You don’t have to be a professional.
3. Be active on Social Media. What makes your blog get out there? Being active on social media! If you just write, and never share what you write, then the likelihood of people reading your posts is very slim. Being active on social media is huge when it comes to blogging. It really is 20% about writing the post and 80% being active and diligent sharing on social media. I would recommend starting right away with the same name across all social media platforms. Remember, you’re creating a brand for yourself and you want people to know who you are.
4. Network. Blogging is nothing without the people behind it. Make sure you network with other bloggers! The blogging community can be really amazing and I have met some genuine people from blogging, people I would call friends! Bloggers are amazing at helping each other grow, leaning on each other when no one else understands the blogging world, and truly supporting each other’s dreams. You don’t want to miss the chance of networking with this community.
5. Own your site. This is the biggest one of them all, owning your site means owning your content. When you host through third party places, such as Google’s platform Blogger, you don’t really own your content, Google does. I didn’t make the switch until last year and it was the best decision I made. I decided to go self-hosted WordPress using Host Gator (affiliate) as my website host and if I could go back and change anything, it would be doing that from the very beginning. Because I waited so long to make the switch it took a bit more work to get everything transferred over and make sure it transferred well to the new layout and platform. There were some definite hiccups in the process, but it was worth it.
I put it off for so long thinking it would be hundreds of dollars, but Host Gator (affiliate) offers affordable hosting options, the cost of a domain is minimal, and there are a lot of templates you can purchase on Etsy for less than $50 for your blog design. I even found one that included the Genesis framework so it saved me $60! It’s worth the investment up front!
Starting your blog off the right way can make a huge difference in how it grows!
What is something you did from the beginning that you are so glad you did? What is something you wish you would have done right away?