When I first decided to start a Blog I was lead to believe it would be super easy. I did endless amounts of research. I stayed up all night on Pinterest, Google, and various blog websites. I also took some free online classes. (Still doing this, by the way, knowledge is the key to success.) Almost everything I came across was, “Blogging made easy.” or “Just get started, that’s the hardest part!”
In some ways they were right. However, it made me think it was going to be a lot easier than it was. On many Blog sites, they have helpful walk-through’s on how to get started, but many of these leave out important details.
- It’s not as simple as $3/month.
You have to sign up for usually, at least 12 months. Plus the internet is full of hackers, so you don’t want to spend that money just to lose your site. Bare minimal, you only grab one type of coverage. Mine was $1.08/m. Not so bad. But then you may have to buy your Domain name. I did $5 for a year. (Also not bad.) I paid $2.68/m for 12 months. (On a great promotion through Hostgator) My total came to about $48.95 for a year.
Compared to the $107/yr it could have cost me, I really got a great deal. But I thought, from all the reading I was doing, it was only going to be $3 for one month. I thought to myself, “ You know what, I’m gonna do it! I’m gonna try it out for a month and see how it works.” Perhaps I was just too presumptuous. (You know what they say about assumptions.) Anyway, the point is, I was lead to believe it was that cheap and easy.
I’m trying to make money, money is the issue… Well, I got myself worked up enough about starting a blog that I pulled together the funds and jumped in. (Which was a scary leap, having next to no money, to begin with, but I definitely don’t regret it now.)
- There is so many usernames, passwords, and technical web lingo.
If you’re not all that web savvy this process can be pretty confusing. Make sure you write it all down and label it well because by the time you’re done you’re going to have a username and password for:
- Your host
- Your websites control panel
- Your email(s)
- Your Social Media Accounts
- Your Affiliates
- Potentially, (and most likely) much more usernames and etc. you will later have to figure this all out for.
So, have it written down. All of it, this is your business so you will want to treat it like one. (You’ll get the hang of it later.) Following How-to posts for the initial set-up is really helpful too. (I will create one very soon.)
I Self-Hosting through Hostgator. They have great, live, 24/7 customer service for free and helped me through quite a few jams I faced at first. My site has never gone down and they are a pretty good Host. However, I believe in being completely honest with you guys so I will inform you now that I will be switching over to Siteground (another host)(I have spoken with many different experienced bloggers and they have all told me that this is by far the best. They offer tons of benefits for free, have great customer service, etc. I’m confident that they are the place to go if you want self-hosting… which you do.)as soon as my year is up. I will also have a post with my own Affiliate link to them so you guys can set up easy peasy and maybe help scratch my back for the help I’m giving you guys. 😉
(I also want to add, if you just started a self-hosted site through a different host, you might have a guarantee that you can get your money back on. Siteground does free site integration. (They will transfer your site from that host to theirs for you.) This in itself makes them pretty b.a. because most sites would charge you a pretty penny for that. I definitely would have done it had I known sooner in time.)
I will also have a How-to video to set up with them and the pros to signing up with them.
Back to Usernames and such… Make sure to choose usernames that you actually like because they might end up as your identification to the public. For instance, I’m MissJess. IMPORTANT: make sure your domain name is going to fit your niche! (Your niche is basically the main topic your choosing to write about. Like my blog is a mommy blog. Everything on my site is to help mommas.) You don’t want to be IBakeCakes. com and then blog about blogging. You can’t change your domain name for your site after you purchase it. So, take some time and choose wisely. Write down a few choices in case yours is taken.
So now, let’s say you’ve entered all your billing information, and you’re all set up…The first thing you want to do is download WordPress.
- Make sure after you download WordPress you go through each piece of email and check your spam. Don’t miss anything!
I guess it’s kind of a given, but I was so excited I didn’t think about it. I think I briefly got into my email to verify my website host account then was outta there and trying to start my blog website. Big mistake! I spent the rest of my afternoon figuring out how to alter everything and make it just how I liked it with colors, shapes, menus, and pictures…
When I got it all done I was super proud of myself for my day’s work. ( I created it on a laptop.) After that, I got on my phone to check it out. (As if I was just a viewer) It looked totally different and not very good. I shrugged it off like, “Oh well I’ll just figure it out later.” Wound up showing it off to people I know… went to bed excited to start posting more articles the next day and move forward with what needed to be done.
Back to Checking Your E-mail
Well, the next day came and I couldn’t log into things. I wasn’t sure which password and username went where (which is why I said write them down…) and I started requesting new passwords. Eventually, I figured out that I didn’t read and verify everything in my emails. (Like a total Gomer but totally my own fault.) So, I began the long process of figuring out which username and password went where. A little complicated but no biggy. I finally on my host site and start checking everything out, like SEO, emails, subscriptions etc…
On the top of the screen, it had helpful walk-throughs so I decided to try it since really I had no idea what I was doing. It kept telling me to download WordPress… I already did that! So I went through the steps, it was all the same stuff I had already entered and I was scared to enter it again in case it restarted my website and made me do it all over again. (which I had to do anyway.)
I had checked my email several times and finally sent for a new password, but still received nothing in my email. I tried to contact WordPress support, which was a huge pain in the butt.(I wasn’t able to.)
So then… lightbulb! Why don’t I check my spam folder? (This is a new email address, I hadn’t marked any spam and did not think I would have any.) Well surprise, surprise! There it was. I got my password, got back on WordPress and signed in only to figure out I didn’t create my website through WordPress and had to start over! A whole day wasted just because I didn’t go through everything in my e-mail. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
- It’s hard to figure out what theme you want.
WordPress comes with a lot of great free perks, like plugins that can provide free SEO, SSL certificates, optimization, crunching data, google analytics and sooo much more. These make your website run faster, better. They’re important… WordPress has all kinds of great and important perks that you need for your website to get going properly. But I had to choose a theme. I had to start all over. All my work from the previous day was gone!
I got over it slowly but surely and picked a theme. Then I tried to customize it… Error 403. It wouldn’t let me. It gave me suggestions that weren’t helpful to me at all… Having been through enough, I contacted live support and explained everything. We walked through and got it all worked out. They were very helpful and solved everything. Yay! (They had to switch my domain over to WordPress it was still trying to go through the website I set up without WordPress.)
Thank god! Headache somewhat gone now. I got it all up and running, altered my website close to how I wanted. (Some themes don’t allow you much room to work with on colors and decoration depending on the theme you choose. But as it turns out, the more plain Jane the better.)
I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty hard to figure out all the controls at first. Which can leave you feeling overwhelmed, helpless and like, “Dang it! I’m done for the day!” Annnd that’s exactly where I left it. Feeling discouraged and like I shouldn’t have even of started a blog.
- Disclaimers, Copyrights, and Privacy Policies
I started it all back up the next morning feeling fresher and had a much better time figuring out my web design. I created menus, sidebars, social media links… But then it was time to add photos. You can’t just google a photo and take it. You have to find the person who owns the copyright and ask permission, which sounds like a long aggravating process to me. So you can take your own pictures, buy pictures or find free pictures.
You can’t just google a photo and take it. You have to find the person who owns the copyright and ask permission, which sounds like a long aggravating process to me. So you can take your own pictures, buy pictures or find free pictures.
People love good visualization you need good quality pictures, which can be tricky. You can try your hand at taking your own photos but it’s not all that easy. ( On the upside it can help out your Instagram.) Buying pictures can be good if have the money budget to work with. Free pictures seem like a good idea but it can be very limiting. It all just makes things a little harder than you might have first thought.
As for Disclaimers, Copyrights, and Privacy Policies. You don’t necessarily have to add these unless it’s required from companies you’re working with for monetization or analytics. But you definitely should have them unless you potentially want your work stolen or to get sued. You mostly have to write these yourself unless you pay someone else to. Which again, it’s not very easy unless you have previous legal experience and know what you’re doing.
- Social- Media
If you’re already famous, heck yeah! No big deal. But if you are far from, (like me) this is sooo much more work, and a lot harder than you may think. Creating a blog is a lot of work, but now you have to come up with all the details for at least two social media accounts (if not four, which is recommended) and then get people to follow them and keep up your work on them on a daily basis. There are apps and websites that help you manage these accounts but you have to put in quite a bit of work regardless.
Creating a blog is a lot of work, but now you have to come up with all the details for at least two social media accounts (if not four, which is recommended) and then get people to follow them and keep up your work on them on a regular basis. There are apps and websites that help you manage these accounts but you have to put in quite a bit of work regardless.
A good thing to do is get in with other bloggers, subscribe to them, comment on their posts. Create blogger friendships. A plus to this also, is traffic will read it and some bloggers will help you out or follow you. Get on Facebook blogging groups they’re a big help for traffic or any other need. Many people will help you. But the point is you’re now way more than neck deep into blogging.You have to be fully devoted and working overtime to get everything really going. It is an actual job, you have to take it seriously if you want to make any money.
Anywho, the point is you’re now way more than neck deep into blogging. You have to be fully devoted and working overtime to get everything really going. It is an actual job, you have to take it seriously if you want to make any money.
In order to get on with paid ads, they may want you to have a certain amount of traffic flow first. And they have a lot of restrictions. I recommend you ACTUALLY READ the terms of service on these. Even affiliate marketing has an application you must fill out and terms and conditions you must follow, though they are much more lenient and accept you fairly quickly and easily. You may need a PayPal or debit card and your tax information to get paid. You must at least have your Social Security # and a little know-how about tax information.
This one is a bit of a no-brainer but you’re going to have to withhold your own tax money and fill out your own tax forms. You can learn this later but they will report income you make to the IRS so be sure to keep track of all your expenses. Everything you buy and everything you make. Keep them well documented. The last thing you want is to get audited or to get into any sort of trouble.
- It helps big time to have money, to make money
There are free options for many things, but they are on more of a minimal standing if you want real quality and performance then purchasing packages would be the way to go. After all, this is your business and you got to put money into a business. This does not mean you have to start out paying for most things though, just until you really get the feel for things and then you will know what you should purchase and how to get the best deals.
Buying plugins for SEO, cloud servers, branding, SSL certificates and email subscriptions services etc. Will greatly help to get you more traffic, protect your site and your user’s information which is very important. Depending on what you’re doing, a better hosting package may also be helpful.
- It’s not much of a side gig
If you actually want to get somewhere, it’s gonna take A LOT of time and devotion. But it’s doable. I have an Infant and still manage to give her lots of my time and attention, plus a clean house. Yes, I am an insanely busy, hardworking momma, but for me, it’s all worth it and I love it! I face many struggles but getting past them feels good. I like a challenge though. 😉 It can be totally worth it for you too, just don’t give up. But it’s a job. It’s not as easy as 123.
You need to come up with your own Brand if you want to stand out from the crowd and be easily recognizable, which will give you loyal followers. This is important because they will recognize you, subscribe, come back, seek you out, trust your word, and share your work. Branding is one of the things that unless you have money to dish out it can be somewhat difficult to achieve a good brand for your website.
Blogging is a great way to express yourself and make money working at home. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels when people appreciate your work. When you help people and they appreciate it… but unless you’re naturally amazing at everything listed above like I said before, it’s an actual job. You’re the boss but you have to work pretty hard to get somewhere. I hope this helps you before you make a big decision. I wish you the best of luck!
I hope this helps you before you make a big decision. But why not take a chance on yourself? You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t feel something is missing. You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t calling out to you for some reason! Hard work pays off and eventually, it becomes second nature and not so hard. You can really can get passive income! I truly wish you the best of luck!
If I missed anything, or if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me. I do not wish to talk anyone out of this path, I only want to help and give you a clear idea of what you are getting into. Have a great day!