I hope you all had a great week and are ready to tackle another one! The past week for me was pretty eventful. My family and I did some more yard work and I finally got to unpack some more of my things from the apartment. There’s still a ton left to do in preparation for my sister’s graduation party (in 25 days) so it’s been a race against time.
Today I wanted to go into depth about blogging and everything that goes into it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but I’ve always brushed it off hoping that one day it would just write itself. But here I am, bundled up and comfy in bed, ready to take on this topic once and for all.
Making a Website
There’s a bunch of different ways that you can make a website for your blog. A lot of people think that making a blog is expensive, but that’s not always the case.
The first thing to do is to choose the hosting site you want to host your blog on. You can either self-host or use a free hosting option. A web hosting provider is basically a helpful hand for making your website. They provide their own tools as well as templates to create your website. By self-hosting, you can have much more of a say in what your website looks like by coding.
My very first blog was through Blogger. As a newbie in the blogging game, 12-year-old me didn’t know much at all. Blogger was super simple for me, so even though the site wasn’t that special content-wise, it still looked really neat. Now I’m using WordPress, which has given me so much more control over my website. I pay annually for my website, but don’t worry frugal friends- there’s a free plan too!
Another important step is figuring out a name for your blog. This shouldn’t be taken lightly. The name you choose for your blog is what people will recognize you as. You want it to be easy to remember and preferably short, sweet, and to the point. Think about it- when was the last time you remembered a long URL and typed the whole thing into the address bar correctly? It’s a rare occurrence.
Planning posts ahead of time is a great stress reliever. I like to use Google Calendar to schedule my posts. I love the color coding and overall layout of the calendar. It helps a lot to be able to jot down ideas and then drag them around until I find the perfect fit for the month.
I usually try to plan my posts around pre-existing categories that I have for my site. These categories are what I want my blog to be centered around. When I’m scheduling posts for the month, I like to look back at the recent categories I’ve written about. I monitor which do well with my audience as well as myself, and most likely those will be the categories I base my new posts around.
Whenever I can’t think about anything to write about, I ask other people for their advice. Sometimes I go to my Instagram story to ask my followers for ideas directly, and other times I will ask random questions that inspire a post.
I don’t recommend blogging to people whose main goal is to make money. There’s a lot that goes into making money from a blog. If you aren’t motivated by putting out great content for people to enjoy, your fire will die out quickly when you see how much time and effort it takes to make even a dollar from blogging.
I run ads on my site in order to pay off my yearly subscription to the plan I use to keep my domain and host my website. With the plan that I have through WordPress, I cannot use Adsense to my blog, but I can allow ads through WordPress’ ad system. These ads don’t pay much at all, unfortunately, and their rates are always changing. I know it’s taboo to talk about your earnings, but I want to be transparent about this. I can’t even calculate my average income through ads because it fluctuates so much from month to month. One month, my site displayed 1,041 ads and I made one cent. The next month, my site only showed 322 ads and I made one cent again. If you’re hoping to make better money through ads and you use WordPress, I suggest spending the extra money for the Business plan, where you can connect Google Adsense to your site and make more money at a steadier rate.
Another way you can make money through your blog is with brand deals. Brand deals are usually presented to blogs with a good online presence. Some brands will do deep dives into your site to make sure you are a right fit to represent and promote them. Before reaching out to brands, it’s important that you have a media kit to provide them. As we speak, I’m working on my media kit to be able to present my blog to brands. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes of brand deals, so if you’re interested in the process, let me know and I can write a separate post all about that!
It’s important to promote your blog, especially if it’s a source of income for you. Social media helps a lot with promoting your site. I personally like to share links to my new posts on all of my social media platforms after they’re posted. That ensures that different people will see the link and some will even see it more than once.
I get a lot of traffic through Instagram stories, Facebook posts, and tweets when I share links to my posts. Another way I share my posts is through Snapchat stories with a swipe-up link embedded. But each person is different and I encourage everyone to take a stab at promoting on social media. It’s a shameless plug.
One of my favorite parts of blogging is meeting new people. I’ve met a lot of fellow bloggers through WordPress, and their support is amazing! It’s so fun to talk to people who share the love for writing that you have. It’s also nice to bounce ideas off each other from time to time.
Like I mentioned earlier, you make money through networking with brands. Media kits help a lot in the networking process by providing stats and other important information regarding your blog to brands to show them who you are and whether or not it’s worth it to collaborate.
Never Turning Off Your Brain
This is one of the hardest parts of blogging at first. You can never turn your brain off of blogging mode. At first, you have to teach yourself to keep your brain turned on for ideas. You have to train yourself to be constantly listening to conversations, watching the news, and monitoring social media trends to draw inspiration for posts. Now it’s a habit. It happens naturally. My brain won’t shut off even if I try.
Out of all of this, I’ve learned that nothing with blogging is set in stone. Things are always changing and evolving, and it’s my job to ride those waves.
If you’re interested in starting a blog or you’re in the early stages of blogging, I’d love to help answer any questions you have about the platform. Message me and let’s get your site going strong!