5 Steps To Start A Blog Today

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Not all that long ago, I shared how I make a full time income as a stay-at-home mom.

 

As a stay-at-home-mom-and-blogger, to be exact.

 

I’ve been blogging now for over six years (c.r.a.z.y.), and while I still feel like I’m learning every single day, there are a few tricks over the years that really have helped it go more smoothly. And, while I love clipping coupons and saving big at the grocery store, being able to earn our family an extra income through blogging has been an incredible opportunity.

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And seriously one of my favorite accomplishments besides being wife to my cute husband and mom to three super fun kids. 

 

If you’ve been looking for a way to earn real, legitimate income from home (and are a decent writer ~ that’s kind of a requirement!), this might just be for you. 

 

Curious how to get started? Here are the very beginning basics . . . if you’re willing to really work (like really work) this may just be for you!

 

1. Decide what you’re going to blog about.

Do you love home design? Kids? Cats? Dogs? Saving money? Laundry? Cleaning house? Christmas?

 

If there’s something out there that you love and you think other folks would just love to read about too, you  might just be able to write a blog about it 

 

Determine one main focus for your blog, and stick to it. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you get started:

  • Is this something I can write about for an extended period of time, and never get tired of talking about?
  • Is this something other people care about?
  • How can what I’m sharing help someone else? Will it be something people want to read every day?
  • Is this something I’m passionate about?
  • Is this something other people will be passionate about too?

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2. Start your blog with Blue Host.
  • Go HERE to start your blog with Blue Host.
  • Blue Host charges just $3.49 per month when using my link (otherwise you’ll pay more!), and will give you a free domain for 12 months when clicking through this link.
  • Included in your Blue Host account is WordPress, which is the very best program out there for starting new blogs. I was clueless about all this stuff the first few years that I blogged and started out on a platform called Blogger, and it took forever to move everything over to WordPress. It’s so worth starting out using the right program, and will make blogging easier for you in the long run.

 

 

3. Choose your blog name and set up hosting.

As soon as you register with Blue Host, you’ll need to create a domain name. I chose Publix Penny Pincher back when I started (before realizing I’d want to share deals at other stores), then swapped to Passionate Penny Pincher a few years in.

 

To make your life easier, choose a domain name that’s broad enough to work with you no matter what you want to write about, but focused enough to make sense for your audience. For example, my friend Michelle over at I Heart Publix runs an amazing site talking about nothing but Publix, and having a clear focus for her site has been very successful.

 

But, if you’re a little more willy nilly (like me!) and need some variety in your life, you may want to consider a name that can work with you no matter what you choose to write about.

 

Choosing Blue Host makes your domain name free for one year, so it’s a great way to start out with minimal fees up front. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to decide which plan to use – I’d stick with the basic plan for now and you can always upgrade later if your needs for web hosting change.

 

Quick tip – if you’re curious what web hosting even is (like I was when I started!), it’s a place that basically “hosts” your blog’s content so that people can access it. Think of it as your little room on the internet where folks can come read what you have to say!

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4. Create your WordPress account.

Once you sign up with Blue Host and have your domain name and hosting all set up, you’ll need to actually create your WordPress site.

 

Quick tip – WordPress is basically the program you use to make all the content you want to share with people “pretty” and accessible for them to see. 

 

This may sound overwhelming (it did to me too!), but basically once you set up your Blue Host account you’ll get an email that includes information about the “MOJO MARKETPLACE”. Once there:

  • Click “one click install” button
  • The choose the WordPress icon under blogs
  • Choose the “start” button to start installing WordPress.
  • Decide which domain you want to install WordPress on – there will be a drop down menu including your new domain.
  • Under “advanced options”, update your username and password (be sure to choose something secure – hackers OFTEN try to get into websites so you need to make sure your name and password are difficult to figure out.)
  • Check “automatically create a new database for this installation”
  • Click “install now”

 

5. Start blogging.

Once your site is up and running, you’ll want to start blogging, right? Here’s my suggestion and what I did when I first started:

  • Decide your blog “schedule.”
  • Blog for 2-3 weeks before sharing so that you have some content to share (and so that you know that you love it before putting it out there – I blogged for about a month just for myself to see if I really loved it – and obviously 6 years later I did!)
  • Once you know you love it (I bet you will!) start sharing with friends and family.

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When I first started I literally just emailed it out to a few folks I knew (I was TERRIFIED), and now get anywhere from 1.3-2 million pageviews each month (seriously, it’s nuts!)  Honestly though there’s no other job I could ever love as much as this one (I get to be home with my kids, work on my own schedule, and decide exactly how much I want to work each day), and goodness, I love it so much that I have a hard time walking away at the end of the day. It’s so fun to wake up each morning, set down to my desk and figure out what to share with you each day!

 

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While it has been a lot (seriously, a lot) of work, I love (almost?) ever minute of it and am just amazed that your really can make a full time income blogging. It blows me away every day!  It’s not easy, but so worth it, and might just be a great way for you to earn an extra income too.

 

 

Would you love to know next steps on blogging? There are so many more tips out there and I would love to share them, so leave a comment here or send me an email if you’d like more and I may do a full series on blogging over the next few weeks. I love hearing from you!

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Looking for more about how blogging works? Here you go!

 

This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure policy to learn more.

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Comments

  1. Interested on how you actually make money blogging?

    • Hi Amanda! Read this post to learn a little more – http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/09/why-i-do-what-i-do/

      My primary revenue sources are ads on the site (which make money because I have decent traffic), as well as Amazon (so if people buy a product from Amazon using one of my links, I make a small commission.) I also make a small amount of income from people printing coupons, as well as buying things through other store affiliate links (stores like Kohl’s, eBay, etc.) Each little amount adds up, and while it takes a LOT of work, it’s worth it! (Definitely is worth focusing on traffic primarily, because with decent traffic your potential to earn income grows – hope that helps!)

  2. How do you find advertisers who will pay you?

  3. I am glad that when I started my blog, I went with Blue Host and WordPress. If I ever have an issue, Google can usually help me, because there are so many bloggers on WordPress, so it has a huge following.

  4. Hi Laurie, I found your website via facebook and love your advice. I too am interested in starting a blog but get bogged down with the details. Perhaps bluehost would be the easiest way to begin. When you talk about wordpress are you suggesting .org or .com? I think what I have to do is take it one step at a time. Also, what do you use for camera and did you take a class on photography? I love the fact that you are giving your money to a missionary family! Amazing! God will definitely bless you for this!

    • Hi Robin! I use wordpress.com if that helps. 🙂 I did eventually move up to a DSLR camera (although it took me several years to get there!), and didn’t take a class but slowly am figuring it out (although a class would be amazing!!) Hope that helps- good luck as you get started! 🙂

  5. How do I link Facebook and Pinterest to my blog?

  6. AMY COLEY says:

    Hello☺ Could you help me out love to do what you are doing. My email is amyandjames98@gmail. Give me some points on how to blog. Thank you. Amy

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