There are a few technical details you need to take care of when setting up your first blog:
Your domain name is one of the most important decisions you can make. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a blog (and domain) name:
— A short domain is better, because it’s easier to remember.
— Spell everything the way it’s expected to be; don’t try to be too clever with the name.
— Choose a .com if possible.
— Check all social media to make sure your blog name is available before committing.
— Use a Thesaurus to find other words to use if your name is taken.
This is the next important decision you will need to make! The host you choose is a big deal, because if you choose a bad host, you’re going to have major issues with your blog on a regular basis.
These are the bare bones basics. There are other optional blog related expenses including design, premium plugins, tech support, and more. Just start with the basics and move up from there.
Why are you starting a blog? So many people think starting a blog will be easy and they’ll make $100,000 a year (or more!) like so many income reports boast. Blogging is a lot of things, but is not an easy way to make money by any means. It’s a long term game, not a get rich quick scheme.
Remember: blogging all comes down to content. Post on a consistent basis, and make sure you deliver value in every single post. If you need help, here are 101 blog post topic ideas. It might seem like a lot of work to spend hours and hours (and hours!) on your blog when it isn’t paying you at first. That’s because it is! Blogging is not easy but if you write what you’re passionate about, you’ll find yourself looking forward to most blog-related tasks, at least most of the time.
Growing Your Blog
This post contains affiliate links.
The next step after setting your blog up is growing your blog. They say “if you build it, they will come”. That’s partially true, but it’s not that easy. You’ll want to make sure your blog is visually pleasing and well-rounded.
Work on diversifying your income from the beginning: ads, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and products/services are just a few ways to make sure all your eggs aren’t in one basket. Always have a plan. Use this free blog planner to stay on track. Anyone who monetizes their blog should also start tracking blog income, even if it’s just a few bucks here and there at first.
Track your stats from the beginning by setting up custom dashboards in Google Analytics. You need to know what is (and isn’t) performing well, so you can change things as needed. You’ll also need to know your blog stats to apply for paid (sponsored) posts. Looking to increase your page views? We really like Dominate, a complete guide to dominating the search engines.
One of the best ways to improve your blog is to learn photography. It might sound intimidating, but it’s simple once you break it down into a few easy steps. Improving your photography will help you get featured on other websites (increasing your SEO from links back), and can drastically increase your traffic from social media.
You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars for photography equipment, but you do need a basic understanding of staging and lighting. I recommend our free food photography course.
Enroll in Click Start Club’s Editing in Photoshop & Lightroom bundle! We have options for everyone!
If you still aren’t convinced or don’t have time to deal with taking your own photos right now, use stock images until you are ready!
Our Favorite Tools
The tools mentioned here are designed to make your life easier. Time is money, and each tool on the list will save you massive amounts of time! It’s not always possible to invest money at first, so don’t freak out if you can’t. However, these are the first tools you should invest in once you’re ready to start making the big bucks!
Tailwind – We use Tailwind for scheduling pins on Pinterest. This saves lots of time but Tailwind also provides detailed insights so you know which boards are performing best.
Grum – Much like Tailwind, Grum saves you a lot of time by allowing you to schedule posts – but for Instagram.
Social Warfare – Remember when we said a domain and hosting were the bare bones basics? Plugins like Social Warfare take your blog to the next level and are worth the investment! The best way to get traffic, besides SEO, is social shares. This plugin makes it easy.
ConvertKit – The “golden ticket” to getting blog traffic to your new posts (before SEO and social shares kick in) is an email list. People subscribe to email lists to get your latest posts delivered right to their inbox every day (or week). ConvertKit is a great tool for this because you can segment your list, among other things.