How To Start A Blog And Work From Home
So you want to start a blog, yay!!!! Starting a blog is the best (and probably one of the most important) decisions I’ve made for myself as an adult.
It’s no secret that blogging can be incredibly lucrative. You’ll probably read articles of people telling you “if your only goal is to make money, you won’t make it.” I personally think that’s a load of garbage. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely can’t make money blogging if you hate writing, hate social media, and hate the internet in general.
But if you have a topic (or topics) you’re passionate about and a dream, then I say get it goin’!
Let me just say that I’m so excited for you, and you are about to begin one of the greatest journeys!
RELATED: How To Make Money Blogging
Why You Should Start A Blog ASAP
Let me tell you a little bit about myself and why I started a blog. I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in something I knew I couldn’t make a living off of. I also wasn’t that passionate about it but at the same time, I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to do either.
All I knew was that going to college was expected and the norm to be successful in life, so that’s what I did. Soon after, I found myself at a crossroads, $30k in debt, and working jobs I hated. I left a job within my degree and worked in different management positions in retail settings. I worked weekends, evenings, and holidays while living across the country from all my friends and family.
I had zero financial freedom, zero ability to travel, and zero confidence in what I was doing.
I had many sleepless nights and anxious thoughts wondering what I was going to do with my life. I had heard about blogging and tried blogging in the past, but I never stuck with it long enough to see the payout.
Until one day when I had finally had enough. I told myself, “you put four years into a degree you don’t care about, you put 3 years after that in retail jobs you hated, what are you losing if you put your time into starting a blog for profit?” Spoiler alert, the answer was NOTHING!!!!! So, that’s exactly what I did, and now I’m here to guide you there with me!
Step #1: Pick A Niche
A niche is basically a blog overall theme. Picking a niche can be one of the most difficult parts of starting a blog. There are different opinions about whether having a broad niche or a super-specific niche can be beneficial, but my advice is to pick something you are passionate about and go from there.
No one says you can’t switch it up as you go. The direction my blog has gone in changes pretty much every month (although this probably isn’t suggested, lol), but the great part is YOU own your website! You make the decisions! It’s not worth committing yourself to another thing you don’t like, so pick a niche that makes sense for you.
Popular Niche Examples Include:
- Personal Finance/Frugal Living
- Mommy Blogs/Newborn
- Home Decor
- Sewing/DIY Crafts
When picking a niche, think about the things you find yourself searching on Google or Pinterest. Most importantly, try to pick a niche that solves a problem. A great blog with awesome content is wonderful, but to make money blogging, you need traffic. Solving a problem = traffic.
I.E. “5 Ways To Start Saving Money Now” is better than “How I Saved Money Last Year,” does that make sense? Take your passion and make it reader focused.
Step #2: Choose A Blogging Platform
Common blogging platforms include WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or Ghost. Think of a blogging platform as one type of social media account. For example, there’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Choosing a blogging platform is choosing the platform you want to use to get your message out.
WordPress is currently the #1 choice for blogging platforms!
Free Hosted vs Self Hosted
Look, I hate to say it, but you gotta spend money to make money.
It will cost you some money upfront to start a blog and get everything up and running, but after that, the cost is very minimal. If you are serious about starting a blog for profit, then these next steps are very important. If you are more interested in blogging for fun and NEVER FOR PROFIT (*emphasis on never*), then I would suggest free hosting. You can do this through wordpress.com.
However, if you think that at any point, literally ever, that you may try to make money from all the hard work you will put into creating an amazing website, then you basically have to choose self-hosted.
The most popular self-hosting option is WordPress.org.
They power over 25% of the websites IN THE WORLD! How cool is that?!
You pay a small fee every month, but in exchange, you truly own your website. You are in charge!
Disclosure: When you purchase via links on this site, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I have tested and tried all products recommended in this post.
Step #3: Choose A Web Hosting Account
I have used a couple of different web hosting options. In the past, I used BlueHost, but in this current blog, I use SiteGround.
SiteGround is literally INCREDIBLE. They’re so incredible that I only recommend them. They have great package options with awesome price ranges. They have a customer chat that is there to solve any issues you may have. And most importantly, they make starting a blog easy.
Their website is so user friendly!
They take all of the intimidation out of starting a website. Let me show you how:
First, you choose a plan. I chose to start with the GrowBig as recommended so I had room to grow before needing to upgrade my plan, and I absolutely love it. And, for only $2 more a month, it’s really worth it with the difference in premium features.
GrowBig is also the best seller because the benefits are unmatched:
- Unlimited Websites ****
- 20 GB Web Space
- ~ 25,000 Visits Monthly
- Unmetered Traffic
- Free WP Installation
- Free WP Migrator
- WordPress Autoupdates
- Free SSL *****
- Daily Backup
- Free CDN
- Free Email
- WP-CLI and SSH
- Unlimited Databases
- 100% renewable energy match
- 30-Days Money-Back
- On-demand Backup Copies ******
- Speed-boosting Caching
- Add Collaborators
For starters, many bloggers end up creating more than one website once their first website takes off. It gives creators multiple topics to be able to speak on when they decide to go more niche in the beginning! Although it was a feature I never thought I would use in the beginning, I am currently planning out a new website and love that I will be able to access both through the same host.
This is also super beneficial if half of you is obsessed with gardening and the other half wants to talk about fashion. Two websites are better considering those audiences may not always overlap, meaning that people searching for fashion tips are usually not searching for gardening tips in the same second. Make sense?!
Free SSL is also incredibly important if you plan to make money from your blog! This may sound advanced, but don’t let it freak you out. SSL basically protects your site and your users. It helps them feel safe on your site!
On-Demand Backup Copies
Finally, on-demand backup copies aren’t something you know you need until you need it. For example, I once accidentally password protected my website. Meaning: you literally couldn’t look at my website without a username or password. I thought I was being hacked (don’t worry, it was my own stupid doing).
I immediately forced a backup of my site in case I lost it all. While I was panicking, I also used the customer service chat through SiteGround and they fixed my site in less than two minutes. Not even joking.
The moral of the story is, you will make mistakes while you’re starting out! It’s way better to have solid support behind you to help you get back up when you mess up.
Step #4: Choose A Domain
I said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll KEEP SAYING IT!!! SiteGround makes it so easy for us y’all. After choosing your plan, you can register a domain with them.
When choosing a domain, try to choose something that is easy to spell and easy to remember. For example, my name isn’t actually spelled Kate like in Lifestyle Kate. In real life, it’s spelled Kait. Unfortunate, I know. But when choosing my domain I wanted to make sure it was easy to remember and easy to pronounce. I know based on real-life interactions that Kait just doesn’t work that way, so Kate was born!
That may be a silly example, but you get what I’m saying.
Step #5: Review And Complete
I chose a 12-month period because I knew I was serious about blogging and sticking with it. This part is totally up to you!
You can also choose extra add on’s.
When I was starting, I chose to add on domain privacy ($12.00/yr) to protect myself and my information. I also chose to add on SG Site Scanner ($19.80/yr) which helps me know my site is clean without any threats.
You can also add other things like a drag and drop builder to help you design your website, a CDN to improve site speed or a dedicated IP address for your website.
Step #6: Choose A Theme
WordPress offers tons and tons of free themes to get you by while you’re starting and trying to cut startup costs where you can.
If you have a little more of a budget to invest in a theme you will use across all of your websites forever, I HIGHLY recommend 17th Avenue Designs Themes! They are SO easy to customize.
Their themes are absolutely gorgeous and make you want to browse a site forever. That’s where my current theme is from and I couldn’t be more obsessed.
When choosing a theme, make sure it is responsive.
This means it will auto adjust to the correct format whether your user is visiting on desktop, tablet, or mobile. This is crucial! Most of your traffic will likely come from mobile, so it’s important to have a site that looks great on a phone.
Typically, you can see a live demo of the theme. Definitely check this out to see how it looks in real-time!
Step #7: Get The Appropriate Legal Documentation To Start A Blog
Yes, you read that right. Legal documentation on your website is non-negotiable. If you take away anything from this post, it really should be this!
There really is no free way to get the appropriate documentation for your blog. I opted to purchase this legal bundle.
She is recommended by pretty much every blogger for a reason! I highly recommend her. I had trouble downloading the bundle after purchase, and she personally fixed my issue in minutes. I found her purely through word of mouth in the blogging community and cannot recommend her enough!
While there is no “wrong” way to start a blog, there absolutely IS a wrong way to keep your website legal. You are better off protecting yourself and being worry-free as you grow your site knowing that it’s legal.
Step #8: Create Content & Hit POST!
Heck ya ladies and germs!!!!!!!!!!! You made it!!!!!!! Start a blog!!!! Start writing what you came here to write and get that message out there!
If you start a blog from this post, leave me a comment when it’s all set up so I can stop by and give you some love! Blogging is an AWESOME community, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without it.
Starting a blog can be a really intimidating process, we’ve all been there. All it takes is a dream, some determination, and sometimes deep breaths!
When in doubt, google, google, google! I learned almost everything I know from googling. Create a list of words you don’t recognize or topics you don’t understand, and choose one thing to master each week or each month. You will get there! It’s so much fun, and it’s SO worth it!
My only regret blogging was wishing I started sooner. Don’t be like me!
How To Start A Blog And Work From Home