Starting a blog is super fun but also a ton of hard work! When I kicked off my blog I first spent months planning, prepping and building it. In the beginning, I was spending hours each day to kick it off. So be prepared to invest time. That is the #1 thing to know.
Here’s how to go about building and creating your blog. P.S. This page may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
Choose a template and theme
Your theme, also known as a template or layout, is what people see when they come to your blog page. Many sites like WordPress offer templates. However, you may want to consider upgrading templates. I purchased mine through a site called Restored316. I did have to watch a few tutorials on how to install themes too, so be warned it may come with some heavy lifting.
If you aren’t sure what theme you want to use, one piece of advice is to look at other blogs. If you find one you like, right click on the page and select “View Page Source” like this:
It will show you the backend of the page. Here you can search the theme. Type the command ctrl+F to search and look up “style.” My blog’s theme is “refined” which you’ll see here:
A theme/template is important because it’s the whole vibe of your blog, and they can be a pain to change. So make sure you like what you choose before starting your blog.
decide on a focus
Try to write your idea in one sentence. This will help you narrow down your blog’s main focus (aka niche). Keep in mind people will come to your blog to learn something. You want to provide value to others. So make sure your focus is something you know or care a lot about. After you have your one focus, you can branch off.
For example, my focus is: media and technology. Some of my branches are: career, lifestyle, travel. When I write about one of my “branches” I make sure it always links to my main “focus.”
Here are some other examples for a main focus:
Make sure whatever you pick is something you care a lot about because it’s a topic you will be spending a lot of time mastering and teaching through your blog. I recommend writing a list of all of your skills and starting there.
pick a name
Picking a name can be just as important as picking a niche.
A name is often the first thing people see when they come across your blog. They may subconsciously notice your colors or logo, but it’s the name they will consciously see. I spent a long time figuring out Get Savvy with Social. It only came to me after weeks of brainstorming. One trick is to get a pen and paper and just keep writing names or ideas that come to mind. You can look up words in a thesaurus or Google key words related to your niche and see what else pops up.
hosting and Site builder
OK, let’s back up a bit. Two key things to do before you can do anything at all are to purchase your domain name on a hosting platform as well as deciding on your site builder.
Starting with hosting…
Once you know your blog name, you can then decide on a URL. So before you fall in love with anything, make sure it doesn’t already exist! Check the URL (aka google the name, like: www.getsavvywithsocial.com) and look on social media too. You want the Instagram, Facebook, TikTok – whatever! But you want it all and you want it to be the same everywhere.
Once you have the URL then you need to buy that domain name on a hosting platform. I use GoDaddy. But there are others out there.
Now for the site builder…
I build my site on WordPress.com. I like the flexibility it gives me, it has a ton of themes/templates and it lets you install others too. However, it is a bit more advanced than some others. So research what you want to use beforehand.
Once you have both of those things you need to link them up so that WordPress recognizes your URL. I also pay for the business version of WordPress so I can ask them questions and I have more access to things.
SEO is huge
Get Yoast. It will help you a lot when it comes to getting people to see your site by increasing your “search engine optimization” (SEO). This means people will see your blog on Google. Yoast is a WordPress plugin. Not sure what that is? Plugins are a set of features (some free, some not) you can add to your WordPress account. Think of plugins like apps on your phone. They’re great because new ones are always coming out and they often get updated and improved. This is one plugin you will want from the start. One note: you do need a business account to add plugins.
Have a strategy
Spend time on all of the above, plus more. YouTube ‘how to’ videos, read other blogs… learn! And after you build your blog then build your strategy.
Before you launch your blog, write your first three posts. Prep them in your site builder and don’t forget to use SEO and pretty pictures.
Come up with a social media and marketing plan too. You want to build and grow your followers in other places to drive traffic back to your blog. Many bloggers like Pinterest. Use sites like Canva to create visual graphics to share online and to help promote your blog.
Lastly, have fun and good luck!