This is a sponsored post and may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine. When I was in nursing school in 2009, I thought I had the world by the tail. I was “this” close to working in the career of my dreams and was anxious to get started. And then I was injured while working at a local hospital. I wrenched my back while assisting a patient. And so my 4 year road to rehabilitation began. With a nursing career off the table, I had to find another way to not only make money, but to have something to fill my days. And then I answered an ad that would change the course of my life.
When One Door Closes…
The ad was for a product reviewer on a popular lifestyle blog. I answered the ad and got hired! The world of blogging was completely foreign to me, but I had an excellent teacher. Soon I was contacting companies to work with me on product reviews. The cool thing was I got to keep the products I reviewed! I could not believe my luck. Over the years, I learned about the back end of blogging.
Me, A Blogger? Who Knew?!
Even though I was pretty technology challenged, after almost 4 years, I was ready to start my own blog. The question was, “How in the heck do I start my own blog?!” After a lot of research, I figured it out and have had my blog for almost two years. Are you interested in starting your own blog? Here are my top tips on how to start a blog for the tech challenged:
Simple Steps To Starting A Blog
- Choose Your Reason To Start A Blog: For me, I was searching for a way to spend my time. I was a stay at home mom with two kids in school. I had time on my hands and bored. Blogging is a creative outlet to share my passion for cooking, crafting and stories of being a mom. When I first started blogging, I was unaware you could even make money at it, so that was not my driving force. If that is yours, rethink your plan. It is not easy to make money blogging. At least not enough to be the primary breadwinner in the family.
- Choose A Niche: If you want to reach a receptive audience, you need to have content they will read. What are you good at? Cooking? Crafts and DIY? How to travel on a dime? Figure out the niche you want to write about. Make sure you are passionate about it. That is what drives you, even on those days you aren’t sure blogging is right for you!
- Choose A Platform: Next, you need to choose your blogging platform. Although there are several to choose from, I recommend going with WordPress. With over 72 million users, I feel it is the top platform for bloggers. I have found it easy to work within, even though I am not the most tech savvy person on the block.
- Choose A Name: Have you ever been in a bookstore and picked up a book because it had a catchy title? Blogs are much like a book. Your potential audience may or may not choose to stop and read yours based on your name.. I would be more likely to stop and read a blog named “Kicking it with Kelly” than a blog named “Kelly’s Blog.” And unless you want to have a big fat headache, choose a name and stick with it. Changing a blog name is not the easiest thing on the planet, so don’t unless you absolutely need to.
- Choose A Hosting Provider: A hosting provider is like a landlord. You pay them rent and they allow you to live on their property. Another important aspect of a reliable hosting provider is they have your back. If my blog goes down, I know I can trust my hosting provider to get me up and running. Choose a crappy hosting provider and you are in for a lot of headaches.
- Choose A Theme: With WordPress, there are several themes to choose from, many of which are free. I chose the “Genesis” theme for it’s clean, modern look. I suggest trying a few themes until you find one that speaks to you.
- Choose A Design: Now you are ready to choose how your blog should look. Do you want a colored background? Do you want a nice logo? All these are fun to choose and should reflect your personality. Unless you are a graphic designer, you should find someone who can help you with this step. I was clueless, so I asked around and found someone with experience. She created the perfect header and logo for my blog. It wasn’t cheap, but it was worth every penny. If you have a header or logo that looks like your kid designed it, you are going to turn off a lot of potential readers.
- Choose Your WordPress Plug-Ins: If you are not familiar with WordPress, find someone who is. I had made several friends in the blogging world when I was a product reviewer. I reached out for help and they were more than happy to give me some pointers. Think of plug-ins as accessories for your home. You want to decorate your home to make it inviting, comfortable and not too fussy. You want your guests to be able to navigate their way around your home without a map!
- Choose Your First Post Idea: My first post was a recipe. This was the area I was most comfortable in. I also felt I would find an audience who was interested in learning budget friendly recipes and crafts. If you don’t have a decent camera, I suggest you get one. Have you eve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” In blogging, it is worth about a million! A photo that is crisp and clear and nicely composed will draw in readers. An out of focus photo of a plate of food is about the most unappetizing thing I can think of. I will click right out of a blog with crappy photos. Once you write your post, insert your photos and hit publish…you have become a blogger! Congratulations!
If I had to choose the most important thing about setting up a blog, it would be finding the perfect hosting provider. You want a provider who offers a fast page load time and high up-time percentage. If you have a provider who had anything less than 100% up-time, move on. You cannot afford to have your blog down even 1% of the time. You also want a hosting provider who offers a variety of plans. This ensures you there is a plan that fits your budget. You also want a provider who has a solid reputation. For all of the above and more, I highly recommend Bluehost.
I love Bluehost because they take care of you! Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned blogger, they are there for you! They offer:
- FREE Domain
- FREE Site Builders
- 1-Click WordPress Install
- 24/7 Support
And will more than two million satisfied customers, Bluehost is a provider you can rely on. They also offer a variety of plans, so finding one to fit your budget is no problem. Their revolutionary Cloud solution is powerful, simple, and surprisingly affordable. Their 10 year relationship with WordPress is another draw for me. It gives me peace of mind knowing they understand my chosen blogging platform so well. And with over 750 strong tech support people in place, they are there when I have a question…24/7. I have the pressure off of me in knowing everything there is to know about my blog. If I get stuck, Bluehost is there to help me out of a jam!
If you are a blogger who is interested in choosing, or changing their hosting provider, Bluehost is for you! With plans starting at just $3.45 a month, can you afford NOT to explore their possibilities? Chatting with one of their experienced personnel is just a click away! You can chat or call. Either way, they are ready for all of your questions! Be sure to like Bluehost on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Are you an experienced blogger? What piece of advice would you offer a newbie?