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Starting a mommy blog can be a great hobby that over time you can build into a source of passive income. It isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but if you put in the time and dedication over time you can build it into a steady stream of income. I’ve recently gotten quite a few questions/messages from bloggers-to-be or new bloggers about how to get started. So I wanted to create this helpful “How To” Guide for you!
1. Select a Name
First things first, you will need to select a name. You will want to have this picked out for setting up your blog. So identify what topics you plan to cover on your Mommy Blog and choose something relevant for you. You’ll also need to then do some quick research to ensure the name isn’t already taken if you plan on registering your own domain. If you aren’t a super creative type, no worries, you can use a Blog Name Generator (it even has an option to check which domains are available). I recommend choosing something simple, yet creative enough to grab people’s attention.
2. Select a Blogging platform.
Before you choose a blogging platform, you may be asking what is a blogging platform? And what is the difference between a platform and web hosting? A Blogging Platform is a software or a service that allows you to publish your content as a blog on the internet. It is a specific content management system designed for common blog formats and features. The most popular platform for blogging by far is WordPress, and it is the most popular platform for blogging worldwide. However, there are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is free and similar to other free blogging platforms such as Blogger and Tumblr. You are fairly limited in what you can do, there are no plugins, and very limited customization options. The advantages are that everything is essentially done for you. All you worry about is creating a login and writing up your content.
WordPress.org on the other hand is where you can download the software (wordpress) onto your own site. This gives you much greater control over everything. You can edit and upload themes, install plugins, and even edit code (if you so desire, don’t worry…you can do everything through point and click if coding isn’t your speed). If you are serious about blogging and have any intentions of commercializing components, I would highly recommend using WordPress.org and Self-Hosting. This gives you total control of your site because, well you own it! Don’t worry the process is not super complicated, just a few more simple steps to get started.
3. Set up your Web Hosting and your Domain (if Self-Hosting)
To build a website, you will need both a web host and a domain. Before I dig into my recommendations on Web Hosting and Domain services, lets first define what these things are so that you know what you are getting into. Web Hosting is a hosting service that makes your website available on the web – this is what actually puts your site out onto the internet. Your Domain name is the address (i.e. what you type into the URL bar) of your site. Buying a domain gives you the right to use that address for a certain period. You can purchase these 2 things separately, but since they are so related, many service providers offer both. Whoever you select, you will want to select a provider that allows free installations of WordPress if that is the platform you have chosen.
I personally use SiteGround for my Web Hosting and Domain Management. I prefer the ease of managing my site and my domain in the same place, and I think they provide superior services that are stable and perform well. Another popular option for many entry level bloggers is BlueHost.
To set-up your blog, set up an account through your chosen host. You will have to setup an account and select a plan. Then you can register your chosen domain name. If you choose to do this through the same provider, you can do this all together. Once you’ve done all this, both SiteGround and BlueHost have a guided installation of WordPress.Org. If you are on SiteGround, when you login, you will see a screen with an option to ‘Set up Site”. Click on this then choose “Start New Website” -> Select “WordPress” as the application -> Set up your WordPress login -> Click Continue to select any enhancements you may want. Then you will be done! From there you can navigate to YourDomain.com/wp-admin/ to begin setting up your site.
4. Design your Blog.
The first step to designing your blog will be selecting a Theme. This is a visual style layout that will apply to all of the pages of your website to keep things looking consistent and organized. You can choose a free theme or pay for a premium one (usually the free themes are more than sufficient starting out). I would recommend choosing one that is mobile friendly, well-reviewed and has good performance. I have seen a lot of bloated themes that slow down websites. Simply install your theme and then click activate. You can then select ‘Customize’ to set up things like your header image, your title and tagline, and how pages will display.
5. Write your First Few Blog Posts.
This one is simple, get started writing! I think it is helpful to have a few blog posts written before starting to share with your friends and on social media so that there is some content to look at when people first come to visit you. You will add individual blog posts under the post option and once you are done editing and ready to publish, you will see an option to ‘Publish’. While you are working on posts, you can always save as a draft and come back to write more later.
6. Create Additional Blog Pages (About Me, Contact, Etc.)
It is also common to have a few standard blog pages as part of your website, such as a ‘Contact’ page where people can submit inquiries and an ‘About’ page where you can share some information about yourself and the purpose of your blog. Go ahead and set these up before officially launching to make your blog complete.
7. Launch your Blog!
It’s time to share all of your hard work and be proud! While your website is already live, and your posts are live once you hit publish, it’s time to go get some visitors to your beautiful new website! Go ahead and start sharing your blog out with your friends and family and on social media. There will be a lot more to learn from here, but now you have all of the foundation set up. Continue posting to your blog and aim for publishing high-quality content once a week. Where you go from here is up to you.
Let me know if there are any other topics related to blogging that you would like for me to address in a comment down below. Thanks for stopping by!