The Lavender Hytta is turning 9 months old in just a few weeks. Writing and blogging here at The Lavender Hytta has been a wonderful and fulfilling but challenging journey. Starting a Blog is a lot of work but let me share my tips to getting started.
The Lavender Hytta isn’t my first blog though. I first started blogging back in 2007 but it never amounted to anything. It was more my personal journal than anything else. In 2009 I started Just One More Chapter, a book review blog. It was much more successful. You might be wondering why one of my blogs was more successful than the other? They looked the same, I was writing both of them alone, etc. The difference was Passion… I love to read and I had the passion for writing book reviews. Sharing my love of books was easy.
You may be wondering why I’m sharing my story and its because today I’m going to discuss in 8 easy steps how you can start a blog. Of course I am no expert byt since I started blogging nearly 10 years ago I have learned a few things.
You might be thinking that there are a ton of blogs out there so there isnt room for anymore. This is so untrue. So don’t get discouraged before you even begin. There is no better time to start a blog than now!
Let’s get started making your blog dreams come true.
Note: This is written as a general overview. I will be going in further detail on some of these steps in other posts.
Step 1: Find Your Passion
Before you even get started writing or designing your blog you must find out what you are passionate about. It can be anything… books, travel, parenting, decorating. If you aren’t passionate about your subject matter you will have a hard time continuously writing over a long period of time. This step might be easy for some and harder for others. Starting The Lavender Hytta I knew where my passions were leading me. I wanted to share my journey to create a nourishing life through natural products, delicious food, and a koselig (comforting) home.
Write about what you love, it will make it so much easier. Trust me. To help you find what you love I suggest mind-mapping. You can read more about mind-mapping at Life Hacker.
Step 2: Choose a Domain Name
So you have found the topics you are passionate about and that you want to write about. With that in mind it’s now time to come up with your blog’s name and choose your domain name. So there are two parts to this step choosing your blog’s name and choosing your blog’s domain name. I break it down further here.
I highly suggest once again you use mind-mapping. Once you have picked your domain name the next step is purchasing it. Purchasing your domain name doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. There are several places you can purchase your domain name. The ones I’ve used before are:
It really doesn’t matter where you purchase your domain. It’s yours for how long your term is (typically a year). I now purchases all my domains through RFE hosting. It is easier because my sites are also hosted by RFE but the biggest reason is because the customer service has been incredible and that is really important. So where ever you choose to purchase your domain make sure their customer service is up to par.
Step 3: Choose a Blog Platform
I started off in 2007 on blogspot. In 2011 (around there) I switched to WordPress.org and I have never looked back. It has been the best decision on my blogging career. By far wordpress.org is the most popular choose for a blogging platform. Please note there is a difference between wordpress.org and wordpress.com. Here is a great breakdown of the two. Your other option includes Squarespace. To be perfectly honest I don’t know anything about squarespace but I have heard people raving about it.
I personally love wordpress.org and plan on sticking with it. I can’t recommend it enough. It is fairly easy to use and there are a ton of options to make it work for you!
Step 4: Choose a Host
The next step is to choose where your domain will be hosted. The most popular choice is Bluehost however I don’t know much about them other than they are affordable.
Since I switched to WordPress.org way back in the day for my other sites I have been with RFE Hosting. The number one reason I stick with them is their incredible customer service. Aaron and his team are exceptional. They are incredibly helpful for beginners. They are loyal to their customers and really go above and beyond. They provide me with worry free hosting which allows me to focus on other things all for a very competitive rate of $6.95 a month.
Once you have chosen your hosting you will want to upload WordPress. I will show this in further detail later on.
Step 5: Choose a Template/Design for Your Blog
This is the fun part! You want to choose a template to make your site fit within your needs and your passion. WordPress has a ton of free templates to get you up and running but in the long run you will probably want to purchase a premium template. My favorite places to find beautiful templates are:
Step 6: Install Essential Plug-Ins
Plug-ins can be so much fun. They really help create a customizable site. I will be sharing my favorite essential plug-ins soon!
Step 7: Start Writing
I highly suggest before launching your site that you start writing your first posts. I would have 10-15 written. You can then post date them so when you launch you will have a few posts for your readers to read.
Step 8: Finish Setting Up Your Content
Once you have written some posts its time to go through and finish adding the rest of your content. You really need to have the following:
- About Page
- Contact Page
- Social Media Links
- Disclosure Policy
- Comment Policy
While this isn’t a comprehensive list these are my top suggestions for starting content creation.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Blog
Now your site is up and running but the hard work is just beginning because now you have to keep it up. The biggest tip is forget what everyone else is doing and do what works for you!
Starting a blog is so much fun. It is a lot of work but it is so fulfilling and can be life changing. Blogging as been one of the best things ever for me and I know it can be for you too!
So what are you waiting for?
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