So you want to start a blog? You’ve been thinking about it for a long time but don’t know where to start? This is your sign to start one now! I’ll outline the entire process from the perspective of a website designer in the hopes that it will be useful to you.
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The very first question you should ask is, “Why?” Why do you want to start a blog? Is it a hobby for you, or do you intend to turn it into a business? Keep in mind that if you want to make money from your blog, you will need to invest, but it will be worthwhile if you are serious about it.
- Research your target audience. Figure out what your blog is going to be about. It could be a fashion blog, a lifestyle and fitness blog, or a blog on technology. Take a look at other blogs to see what they’re doing. Browse YouTube videos and Google any questions you have about this niche.
- Create a Name. Pick a name that tells a story and is meaningful to you. The name you choose will be important because it will be your domain name, your social media handle, your YouTube channel name (if you create one), and it will be what your blog will be known as. You can make sure your domain name is available on Domain.com. I’d also look to see if the name is available on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and anywhere else you intend to share your content. It’s a good idea to keep your name consistent so that your subscribers can easily find you.
- Logo/Fonts/Colors – Choose your blog’s colors and design your logo. A graphic designer is recommended for creating a one-of-a-kind logo. It’s a good idea to go through a branding process if you intend to turn your blog into a business. For your blogs website, I would recommend 2-3 font choices for your blog: Headline, Subheadline and text.
Hosting for your Blog
You will want to create your blog on a self-hosted platform like WordPress. A self-hosted platform will give you complete control over your website. If you intend to make money or monetize your blog, this is important. For example, if you use WIX or any other platform that isn’t self-hosted, you don’t own your content. You are also limited in how you can monetize your blog. If, for any reason, you violate their terms, they can shut down the blog you worked so hard to create. BlueHost, SiteGround and Hostinger are some of the best places to find hosting for your blog. Once you’ve chosen a hosting provider, install WordPress and you’re ready to start creating your blog!
Find a Template for your Blog
You are probably wondering, “With so many templates out there, which one do I use?” You don’t want to let your money go to waste. Find a website template that is created with a website builder. If you have no idea how to code or are just getting the hang of WordPress, I advise you to go with the Elementor Pro Plugin for WordPress. It is a website builder that is easy to customize and edit. It will be another investment, but worth it if you plan on making big design edits to your pages. If you have no idea where to even start when designing your blog, you can use one of the templates I have created for Elementor Pro.
You can view my WordPress + Elementor Pro templates here. If you are looking to have something custom designed for your blog, you can contact me directly!
Create an Email List
MailChimp – The free plan includes 10,000 emails per month for up to 2,000 subscribers. This is a great free plan to start your blog with!
MailPoet – The free version of the plugin allows you to send emails to up to 1,000 subscribers and other limited features. It is a great place to start! You can always upgrade once you have over 1,000 subscribers. You can send unlimited emails and gain subscribers without leaving your WordPress dashboard, which to me is amazing!
Create a Pinterest Account
Now that you’ve spent all of your time creating blog posts and content, it’s time to share it! Pinterest is a great way to get people to read your posts. Why? Pinterest is a visual search engine! You can go on Pinterest to search for products, create idea boards, and use it to grow your brand.
Register your Blog with Google
If you want to control how your website interacts with Google Search, you should register it with Google Search Console. This is great for new website/blog owners, or if you want Google to index your website faster. To check if google has indexed your website search for site:yourwebsite.com. You are not required to do this since Google will eventually index your website, but it will help you get discovered faster. You also get to see how your website is performing. The best part about this? It’s a free tool provided by Google. If you are interested in a detailed blog post about how to add your blog to Google Search Console, let me know!
Useful Resources & Blogging Tools
01. Hosting & Website Builder
- Elementor Pro Plugin for WordPress – You don’t need to know coding to maintain your blog/website. It is so simple with Elementor!
02. Design Programs
- Adobe Creative Cloud – Where you can find Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Premiere and more! There are student and teacher discounts available.
- Canva – If you don’t really understand Adobe, Canva will do just fine.
03. Mock ups & Creative Design
- Moyo Studio – A studio that specializes in creative styled stock photography and digital templates for the style-conscious entrepreneur.
- Creative Market – is a marketplace for design assets like graphics, photos, fonts, website themes, mockups, bundles & more!
- Graphic Burger – A buffet of premium quality design resources offered for free to the community.
- Mockup World – Features a large number of clean as well as photo-realistic free mockups: Paper mockups, picture frame mockups, packaging mockups, and more!
- Pexels – Provider of stock photography and stock footage.
- ISO Republic – Provides free stock photos for creative professionals.
05. Fonts, Patterns & Textures
- Google Fonts – A font directory for free and open source font styles. Can be used for personal and commercial purposes.
- Font Squirrel – A large collection of free fonts, all of which are free for commercial use.
- WhatTheFont! – Allows you to identify fonts from an image.
- The Pattern Library – Patterns shared by the most talented designers out there for you to use freely.
06. SEO & Keyword Search
- Google Analytics – A free website tracking tool and platform that collects information about how visitors interact with your site.
Ahref Keyword Search – Link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking, and site audits.
Semrush – is an SEO and SEM tool developed by professionals in the content and marketing industries that helps in competitor analysis.
- Answer the Public – is a tool that allows one to learn about what their customers are looking for on the internet.
07. Helpful Sites
- PageSpeed Insights – A free tool that shows the performance of a page on mobile and desktop devices and makes recommendations on how to improve that page
- Adobe Color – Create color palettes using the color wheel or an image, and browse the Adobe Color community for thousands of color combinations.
- Quilbot – One of the best paraphrasing tools on the internet.
- Dropbox – The best solution for cloud storage.
- Typeform – Create forms, surveys, quizzes, and questionnaires in a more interactive fun way.