**Affiliate links are used on this website. If you make purchases after clicking on one of the links on Growing Up Greens, I will make a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). This helps keep Growing Up Greens running and helps support our family–win, win! To see our full disclosure click here.**
How do I start a blog? What even is a blog? Where do I get my domain? What about hosting? How do I make it look good? How do I make money blogging?
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me these questions over the years since I started my very first blog–Green Lunches, Green Kids (which morphed into Growing Up Greens) over five years ago. Now do I consider myself an expert? Definitely no, but I have learned a lot over the years and I feel like I’m fairly qualified to share some tips with you at least. So let’s get going.
How do I start a blog?
Well your going to need hosting and a domain first thing. I blog on the WordPress platform (which I highly recommend to everyone), and I’m self hosted.
I always suggest being self hosted and here’s why:
- You absolutely 100% own your site: you are free to customize your website as much or as little as you want
- You can upload custom themes, plug ins and more
- Custom domain name, if you aren’t self hosted your domain is going t0 have WordPress.com added to your site’s name (i.e. blogname.wordpress.com)–boo!
- Ability to edit your website’s PHP code
Your domain is you websites URL (i.e. http://growingupgreens.com) it’s the first impression you give the world of your website so pick a good one! 🙂
What even is a blog?
It’s different things to different people. I use Growing Up Greens to share our #LifeLoveandLunches with you fabulous people, also to keep our family updated on our life here in Hawaii, to share cute ideas, and our journey. The dictionary defines it as “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style” and I think it’s pretty darn perfect definition.
Where do I get my domain? What about hosting?
I get both of mine from GoDaddy. I’ve been using their domain service forever because they’re generally the best place to find the domain you want and they give it to you for a great price.
I started using GoDaddy for my hosting when I made the big switch from Google’s Blogger to WordPress a few years back. For most bloggers, especially brand new bloggers, the lowest hosting tier is more than enough bandwidth for you–it’s what I use myself.
How do I make it look good?
StudioPress also offers some really great child themes but if you’re wanting a truly beautiful website, I would definitely look into Pretty Darn Cute Designs premium WordPress themes. I use PDCD themes exclusively and I could not love them any more. Lindsey from PDCD creates her themes with female bloggers in mind, making them feminine and beautiful while at the same time fantastically functional and completely customizable! Plus Lindsey is super fun and nice and an all around awesome person too!
Why do I recommend premium themes and hosting? Well, if you are going to want to make any sort of profit off of your blog–treat it like a business. Get in the business mindset (and out of the hobby mindset) right away, and know that you have to spend a little money to make money! Is anyone going to want to pay you to blog about their product if your site is messy and doesn’t look amazing? Probably not.
How do I stay on top of things?
I really try to stay on top of all my planning, (INFJ problems) I have to write everything down, or else I will definitely forget about it. I plan my holiday posts out a month or so in advance, so having a good blog planner is key. I totally recommend these blog planning sheets from Pretty Darn Cute, to help you stay on top of everything!
I also use this printable calendar from PDCD to help me manage my whole life 🙂
So, how do I make money blogging?
A question with many answers… here’s a couple:
- Affiliate Marketing- You place affiliate links where appropriate on your website (i.e. in this post), banners in your side bar, on social media and more– you get a (tiny) percentage of the sale back in exchange for promoting a certain retailer or product. But don’t be slimy about it, okay?
- Sponsored Posts- Company’s pay you money to write about their product. Pretty simple, sometimes they will contact you directly, but the easiest way is to go through a website like Social Fabric they work out the pricing with the brand, you apply, you get approved, you do the post, you get paid! Easy and awesome!
If all of this seems like something you aren’t comfortable setting up, I actually do website set up and customization as my day job! Check out Sarah Green Social, and my signature Business Builder package.
So that in a nutshell is my answer to “How do I start a blog?” I hope it helps you get started, and if it does leave your shiny new domain in the comments! And don’t forget to save this post to your pinterest boards to reference later!