Thanks again to ashleyelladesigns.com for the pretty picture! I would be lost without you today…
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A few very important things to do before you actually start blogging!
You have purchased hosting and installed WordPress. Then you chose and installed an awesome theme. You are almost a blogger!
I’m sure that you are down-right impatient, at this point, to get to the blogging. But trust me, do these things before you start writing, and you will never regret it. Do these things before you even start clicking around in your WordPress dashboard.
Set up a blog email account (or two)
(And not with gmail, there are funny new gmail rules about email marketing that you don’t want to have to deal with.) If you purchased your hosting with Bluehost then you also get a free email address at that domain name. So I have an email address that is firstname.lastname@example.org. It looks professional and it’s super great to have a separate email for your blog, because trust me, the blog email will take over.
So set up the email in your cpanel. Login to Bluehost.
→This time, click the create your email account button. They will show you where to click next!
→Then click create email account.
→ Create an email and a rock solid password & click create.
→ TADA! Email. You can use this one for all things blog! I personally find this email a little clunky and tedious, so I just use it for all my readers. I have a second one (just an outlook.com email) that I can use for my personal blog use. I use that one for brands to contact me, making accounts with different marketing companies ect.
Get Blog Organized
You might not believe it now, but over the coming months you are going to have more ducks to keep in a row than … a momma duck with a big family of ducks. Create a blog binder that will contain all your super important information in one place. (Maybe you’re really techy and you just wanna have a file on your computer, that’s fine too. But I’m computer confused and there is nothing better for me than having it written down. In one place.) Have a page for user names and passwords, a page for ideas for future posts, a page for which link parties you are linking up at (and what you linked there). A page for expenses, even if you haven’t spent much. Every time you do something on the blog that seems important – WRITE IT DOWN!
I have FREE printable blog organizer pages available for you!
Set up your social media accounts
If you are computer confused, this could take you a few days right here. But burn this into your brain: without social media, you are just standing on a corner, yelling into the biggest crowd you’ve ever seen. NO ONE is finding your blog without social media. (And you need traffic, if you’re going to make money. At least SOME traffic). Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, You-Tube (if you’ll be making videos).
Get them all in a name coherent with your blog. If you can’t imagine ever using all the social media platforms, then Pinterest it is. Pinterest is so important, I’ll be doing a whole post on it later. But for now, get it set up.
Here’s a great tutorial from borntobesocial.com that will walk you through exactly how you should set up a Pinterest business account.
Fine tune your niche
Before you write a single post, make sure you know what you’re gonna be writing about. Maybe you know it’s going to be about sewing, but that’s pretty general, you’ll want to be able to direct people a little better than that when they get to your blog home page. Try to break your topic down into a few categories, and try to brainstorm a few posts for each category.
So my topic is “living on purpose” (I went very broad). My categories are money, health, home, reflect and travel. (Travel doesn’t fit and I’ll be changing to budget travel and moving it over under money – but I was being stubborn when I created them because I really wanted the travel category.)
If you take the time to organize your ideas in your head it will be much, much, easier for you when it’s time to organize your ideas on the computer. You will save countless confused hours if you have a plan for what will go where. And save all those post ideas – you’ll want them when you start writing!
Do some serious Blogging learning
Please do this. I know you want to blog, and it’s painful to have to wait. But take it from me, it’s more painful to have to re-do all your hard work because you made a stupid tiny mistake. For the computer confused and the technology troubled, this is KEY. I can not tell you how many hours I have wasted re-doing. If you can afford to invest anything in blogging learning, I would check out the following:
Amy Lynn Andrews Knowtbook – it’s her own personal collection of online business and blogging how-tos, and it’s amazing (and cheap!). You literally could not go wrong with this one. Amy Lynn Andrews is the first person I look to when I have a blogging how to question.
I also think, if you are new to blogging, that you will benefit from Abby Lawson’s Building a framework: the Ultimate Blogging Handbook. She walks you right through from step one, how to build an amazing profitable blog.
Once you have your blog set up and running, I love love love Lena Gott’s How I went from 17k page view to 350k page views in 9 months – It’s one thing to create a blog, and whole ‘nother thing to get people to come TO your blog. Lena has some awesome strategies that I would absolutely never have thought of. I LOVE this book. I’ve read it twice, and will be going through it a third time.
(If you aren’t sure that it’s worth it to spend a little and invest in blogging learning, read my October 2016 Income report!)
Phew. There’s alot to starting a blog
When you get stuck somewhere, google google google. (Or just do what I do, and look up the answers to your questions in Amy Lynn Andrews Knowtbook – she updates it regularly, so the information is always current!)
And do some blogging learning. Seriously. (If you bought a theme membership with Elegant Themes, and you intend to use Divi, you should start watching the Divi module tutorials as well!)