How to Start a Blog in 2018: Three Steps to Success

how-to-start-a-blog-in-2018

If you want to start a blog as a way to quickly gain fame, free products, and money then sorry sister, blogging is not for you. If you want to make money, trust me there are much easier ways to do so. Honestly, you will make WAY more money working part-time at Starbucks for the first year, maybe two of blogging.

However since you are reading Citrus & Gold, I feel like you are a person who has bigger and better desires than chasing after fame & fortune. I think you are looking for ways to express yourself creatively, to claim your own little piece of the internet, and to connect with other like-minded people.

If that’s the case then great – I hope we can be blogger friends! But let me warn you again blogging requires MUCH more than a taking a few fancy pictures, writing a handful of words, and then clicking a button to publish.

There’s a lot to learn on the creative, technical, and strategic side of things. You are literally running your own business by writing a blog!

I’ve gotten quite a few requests from C&G Girl Gang members to share a bit more advice around blogging so today I want to start out with the basics which is setting up your blog.

How to Start a Blog

Self-Host with your Own Domain!

First, I’ve been using WordPress ever since I had my personal blog back 2012 so I am ride-or-die WordPress fan. I know people say you have to know how to code with WordPress but that is simply not true. It’s so easy to customize the site with a premium theme and free plugins!

I highly recommend buying your own domain and self-hosting your own blog using WordPress through Bluehost. Not only does your own domain name look nice (I mean how ugly does citrusandgold.wordpress.com look?) it also gives you more control of your brand, SEO, and site-look!

I know a lot of people use Squarespace nowadays, but if you are concerned with SEO, WordPress is the best option.

Once I decided to stick with WordPress, I purchased hosting through Bluehost and the domain name came free! I opted in for the “Plus” plan for 3 years and I have no complaints! Their support team is super helpful too in case you need help setting up. If you want to try it out, you can use my Bluehost affiliate link at no extra cost (I appreciate the support!).

Pick Your Niche!

Once you have the back-end set up it’s time to start writing! Because the blogging market is already so saturated, I recommend sticking with a particular niche in the beginning. If you are going to write about life, travel, fitness, food, fashion all at once it’s going to be hard to attract a loyal audience.

For example my focus is wellness and to niche it down even more, I chose wellness from a South Asian perspective. Technically this post doesn’t really fit my niche but I know a lot of members of my Facebook community are interested in learning more blogging.

Claim your social handles!

It’s super important to claim social media handles match your domain name nowadays. If you don’t know how you will use all channels such as Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube I would still claim them now in case you do find a use in the future. First of all it’s free and second, it would suck if your desired social media handles are taken once you decide you want to use them.

Actually I would recommend checking to see if the social media handles are available before buying your domain! If you want more help in choosing a blog name I would check out my post Blogging 101: How to Choose a Blog Name.

Whew, that was a lot. Hopefully I didn’t intimidate you too much by the process of blogging, If you are in it for the right reasons, it’s seriously so worth it. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on how to start a blog!

*This post contain affiliate links. Affiliates help keep this blog running while providing you value for free! Thanks for the support. If you are interested in Bluehost for hosting, check it out here.

Author: Akansha