How To Start A Blog

How To Start A Blog

Dear Readers,

Many of you have written to me asking how to start a blog and make money online . I am glad you are here as this post will show you exactly how to create your own profitable blog, (trust me, it’s easier and faster than you think). I will dutifully answer questions throughout this article. I will give you the information I wish I had when I started my blog in 2017.

 How to start a blog

I started  my first blog in 2017 without any blogging experience. I had to Google my way through everything including what a blog is. I have put together this how-to guide specifically for those who want step-by-step instructions in an easy-to-follow format.

The six steps to starting a blog include;

  1. decide what to blog about(this is also called your blogging niche)
  2. choose a blogging platform
  3. find a host company
  4. pick a domain name(the name of your blog)
  5. get started with Shopify(I have included a WordPress section)
  6. design and use your blog

I know it sounds like a lot but I’ll make simple to understand

 

Why start a blog

There are many reasons why people start a blog some of them are is highlighted below

  • Give your established business or organization exposure.A blog is an established company the ability to reach a larger number of people at a very little cost. If you look at any website of the major brands, you will see a blog.
  • Make Money from home.There are many people that make full-time incomes blogging. Although it is hard to make an income as a blogger, it is very durable with very little investment and low entry barrier
  • Publish books.It’s a lot easier to sell books if readers already know you. One of the fastest ways to get an audience is to start a blog. If your goal is to become the New York Times best-selling author, having a blog is priceless.
  • Writing is a hobby. For those that like to write to share their knowledge, bring communities together or just do it as a hobby, a blog is a great place to start.

Do you see yourself fitting into any of these four categories? Then keep reading is more to come!

 

FAQ: how much does a blog cost?

If you use the method described below, that works out to about $5-$15 a month. This is where I started and as my income grew, I started paying for more premium tools and services but you don’t have to have these to get started.

 

FAQ: can I start a blog for free?

Of course you can start a blog for free. If you’re doing it as a hobby then I advise you to start your blog for free. If you would like to make money from your blog then I do not recommend starting a blog for free. Here is why:

  • most of the services limit your ability to make money from your blog unless you upgrade to a higher plan on the blogging platform. This means it makes no sense to start a blog for free because you’ll have to upgrade it
  • there is no company that offers any free blogging platform with all the whistles and bells. The companies that offer the blogging platforms also need to make money hence if you take the option of a free blog then you will most likely not have any support, they can change the blog platform at any time and you will lose your blog. These companies have no incentive to keep you happy and you can wake up tomorrow and the terms have changed
  • most free blogging platforms offer only basic features hence as you grow you will notice that you need more and more customizable features and having a free blogging platform will limit you greatly
  • once you start your blog and you realize that you need more features, you will want to switch from your free blog to a paid blog and this actually proves to be more costly than starting out on a paid blog. For example there are people who have paid a lot of money to developers to switch from the free blogging platform to a paid one. As you can see it costs more to start out free. Don’t say you weren't forewarned.
  • Most bloggers have an idea of what they may want their blogs to look like. It will be impossible reach out to your favorite bloggers if you’re using a free blogging platform, that's because they will not take you seriously.
  • since blogging is hard work, if you are blogging on a free platform, you are less likely to take your blogging seriously since you’re not paying for it. One way to keep yourself accountable is to blog.

 

If there are about six common pitfalls do not convince you and you still want to proceed with a free blog, then go with Blogger.

 Six steps to start a blog

 Here are my easy-to-follow steps to start a  self-hosted Shopify Blog and start making money online.

 Step 1: Decide What will you blog about

This is also sometimes referred to as picking your niche.

If you already have a brand or company then your  blog needs to be tailored towards your company or the cause that you promote. For example, if you work for a nonprofit that takes care of homeless people then you blog needs to be about the particular nonprofit and its activities.

 

If you’re an individual was looking to start their own blog anything be more flexible. Here are some pointers for you:

  • pick a niche that you truly enjoy. If you enjoy writing about traveling or crocheting them that should be your chosen field. If you peek a niche that you do not enjoy writing about, you’ll run out of steam and soon enough that will be reflected in your articles and nobody wants to read boring articles.
  • Blog about something that you can a wide-ranging discussions. For example if I too suitable for dogs there is a lot that I can talk about dogs such as what dogs eat, the best reviews of breeding dogs, how to house train dogs, and many more. You basically want a topic that’s not going on out of steam
  • your goal should be to choose a niche way can be an authority. It’s highly likely that there exists a blog in your niche but just establish a unique perspective and work your way towards being an authority. Read a few blogs in your niche and 60 can write better content.

 

The goal of any blog is to become the go to blog that particular niche.

 

FAQ: what if I cannot decide on a blog topic

Start anyway. You are likely to change would you blog about with time. You may find that you prefer to write 13 articles as opposed to others or that your audience responds to some topics that than those. Whatever you do not procrastinate, get started.

 Step 2: choose a blogging platform

 There are many blogging platforms such as Shopify, Blogger, WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly. They all have their good and bad side. If you goal is to eventually monetize your blog then Shopify is the the only platform that I recommend. If however you are not planning to make money from your blog you can pick any of the others.

 I use and recommend Shopify

 This guide will teach you how to start a Shopify blog, the platform preferred by veteran and beginner bloggers want to monetize their blogs.

 

Shopify is a well kept secret among bloggers who are making money from their websites.

           Alright, let’s get the ball rolling!

Step 3: Find a host

In order for your blog to be visible to people, it needs to be live on the internet. This means that it needs to be hosted on a server. My all time favorite hosting company is Godaddy. For many years, I have  different businesses on the Internet and Go Daddy has been my go to hosting company. (As a long-term thing customer the links below for my referral links in this means that the commission you make a purchase but it’s of no additional cost to you).

click here to->go to Godaddy

How To Start A Blog

Click on Web Hosting link. Don’t worry if yours looks different, Godaddy updates this page often. The process is the same. You may even catch a sale!

 

Select your plan

Choose the plan you want to start with. I recommend starting with the Deluxe Plan because of the  unlimited storage offered.

How To Start A Blog

To get the best discount, select the 36 month plan.  I recommend adding the website back up for 99cents a month because you want to protect your hard work.

How To Start A blog

On the next screen, you will get the opportunity to select your domain name. Pick something catchy and easy to remember. If you haven’t decided on a blog name yet, that’s ok, you will be able to move on without one. 

Step 4: Pick your domain name

A domain is simply your web address. The same way you have a physical address. For example, my domain name is GlamLifeMD.com.

If you feel a little stuck, proceed without a domain name you can always come back to this step later

How To Start A Blog

Enter your account information

On the next page, you will be prompted to enter your account information. Using the dropdown menu, select the plan that you would like. I reccommend choosing a 3 or 5 yr plan. Monthly plans are not only expensive, but I find then risky. Incase you forget to pay, then you would loose your hard work. I chose the 3 yr plan because the discount is great. The 5 yr plan is even more discounted. You have the option to pay via Credit Card or PayPal.

How To Start A Blog

 

Once you have entered the payment information, submit and confirm your purchase. You will then be prompted to open an account and an email will be sent to your account.

Step 5: Get Started with Shopify

Click Here to get started for free. No credit Card required. This link gives you a 14 day free trial!  

Click on get started link

How To Start A Blog

 

Shopify gives you a 14 day free trial period to use their platform. This is totally awesome since you get to try it out for free.

On the next screen, you get to choose the name of your shopify store. Don't worry if yours is taken, choose a name that is easy to remember. This will be connected to your Godaddy domain name above. 

How To Start A Blog

Remember your store name as this will be the name you use to login into your shopify blog.

 The next screen asks a few questions. Select "Just Playing" and "zero revenue" since you are just starting. Since you are creating this blog for yourself, leave the box unchecked.

How To Start A Blog

Keep in mind that you are not just starting a blog, but you are starting a blog with the aim of monetizing it (either now or someday). The next screen asks for your details of how you want to get paid.

How To Start A Blog

 The next screen is going to take you to the Shopify dashboard. This is where you will be logging in to work on your blog and add or sell products(good or services).How To Start A Blog

 

Click on Select a plan. Since you are starting, pick the basic plan, which is $29 a

a month.

How To Start A Blog

 

Once you click on the $29 plan, you will see this screen next.  It is always cheaper to pay for 1yr or more plan.You want to maximize on any bulk discounts.

How To Start A Blog

 

Customize Your Online Store To Match Your Brand

We are going to pick a theme that goes well with our brand. For example, if you are blogging about fashion with the goal of making money by selling clothes that you make, then you want to pick a theme that will enable you to do that. There are several free themes in Shopify but if you want to keep your site secure, skip the free themes. 

 My site is built on Out Of The SandBox theme.I picked this theme due to speed, functionality and ease of customization. If you want to rank highly on search engines, speed is critical. This is the fastest Shopify theme that I have used.

Connect Your Shopify Blog To Your GoDaddy Domain

From your dashboard, click on the online store icon on the left. Go to Domains.You picked up a domain name in Godaddy, this will be the name of your blog. Your current shopify domain is something like www.Myawesomebrand.myshopify.com. You want your domain to be www.MyAwesomebrand.com. 

 

  How TO Start A Blog

 You have the option of buying your domain name from Shopify or You could have got a free one from Go Daddy as illustrated above. 

Once you select your domain name, you will need to connect Shopify To Godaddy.

How To Start A Blog

Click on next.You will be prompted to automatically connect to Godaddy or manually connect. I reccommend automatic connection. You must be logged into your Godaddy Account for this to work.

How To Start A blog

Once you click on automatic connection, the following GoDaddy screen will pop

up.

.How To Start A Blog

Click on the blue Connect button. It may take a few minutes and then you will see the following page in Godaddy.

How To Start A Blog

You Are now connected and your Shopify blog name is www.MyAwesomeBlog.com. 

 

Step 6: Design and use your blog.

Congratulations!You are now the proud owner of a Shopify blog that is self hosted and you can start to monetize it today.