For the first post of this series, it makes the most sense to start at the very beginning of the process: actually starting your blog. And I know you can find countless posts on this topic thanks to Pinterest, but I am going to focus on the very first baby steps of the process.
I’ve seen in many a blog post on blogging that buying your hosting and domains should be the first thing you do. Well, I say NO! At least not right away. I find it cleaner and easier to start off free, using Blogger or WordPress to start, and not buy the domain as soon as you can. It gives you time to fully develop your idea and plan before dropping money down.
To Niche or Not To Niche
A niche means that the theme and topics on your blog fall into a certain group of blogs, such as fashion or lifestyle. If you idea falls into a specific niche, then you should definitely go into the niche realm. However, if you are like me, you don’t really fit into any one niche, and that is fine too. Sometimes putting yourself into a box of topics can be limiting, so not having a niche may be better for you in the long run.
Find A Name You Like
You might be wondering why finding a name is low on the list. Well, sometimes you have a name right away that you love. But more than likely, you have to brainstorm and come up with a few options. This can go back to why you want to start free, because you could be indecisive on what you want the blog to actually be called. I believe it is good to come up with a few ideas and ask around for suggestions and opinions. That outside opinion can help immensely, because how others view the name will affect your readership.
Check The Popularity of the Name
When you think you have a name down, Google it. Seriously, Google it in a few different wordings and see what is out there. I made the mistake of originally naming A Geek Girl’s Guide as Geek Chic, which is a crazily popular name for bloggers and companies. I didn’t do my Googling efficiently, and then had to do a whole re-brand because of it. Seriously, if there are exacts or super similar titles out there to your idea, rethink your end.
Start With Basic
So you have a blog name, you got your free WordPress account, and now you are staring at the admin pages going “Oh my god what do I do?” I suggest starting with a free theme that looks like what you want and is fairly simple, so you can get an idea of how customizing works and where to find different features. Explore the simple stuff and understand it before making huge design and functionality changes. In later posts for this series we get into the nitty gritty of how to customize your blog with simple design and functionality upgrades.
Are you starting a new blog? Have a well-established blog? Leave a link below and check out others.