If you’ve already been blogging for a while, and want to know how to take make your blog more professional, you’re going to want to check out my post on “8 Things You Need to Take Your Blog to the Next Level.”
When I first entertained the thought of blogging, I put off starting for months. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know where to begin. But, now, that I’ve been blogging for a little over two years, I’ve realized just how little you need to get your blog off the ground.
Here are the six things you need to start your very own blog:
1. A platform.
First and foremost, you need a website or blogging platform to put your content in a format that’s pleasant to look at, and easy to understand and navigate.
The most popular at the moment is WordPress. WordPress allows you to create a website/blog for free. WordPress does offer paid self-hosting for your website, but that’s nothing you need to concern yourself with right now. You can do free hosting with WordPress to start, then, later on, set up paid self-hosting and fully own your website.
Another option is Blogger. Like WordPress, it makes creating a blog quick and easy. The main difference between WordPress and Blogger is that WordPress allows you to make a variety of different websites, while Blogger is specifically for creating blogs. Another difference between Blogger and WordPress is that you can’t get self-hosting through Blogger. If you want to own your site one day, it is best to start your blog on WordPress, that way it’ll be easier for you to self-host your blog in the future.
Now that you know that WordPress is probably the best way to go, let me tell you why I chose to start my blog on Blogger. I chose Blogger because I found it more user-friendly than WordPress, and, honestly, I didn’t know if this whole blogging thing would pan out for me. I chose Blogger because if I didn’t start a blog the easiest way I could possibly find, I knew I would probably give up on it. But after pouring over two years of work into blogging, I’m finally ready to do just a little more work to get a self-hosted WordPress site so all of my beloved content can be under my full control.
So my advice to you is, start blogging now! Because if you keep putting it off until you learn WordPress; until you learn to write better; until your kids are grown; etc., you may never do it at all.
The equipment list for a newbie blogger is very short and sweet. You need a camera and a computer/smart device.
When you’re starting out, and even as a seasoned blogger, all you really need is the camera on your smartphone.
You’ll also need a device on which to log on to your blogging platform to write and post. You can usually do this from a smart device (e.g., a phone or a tablet), desktop computer, or laptop.
Bonus Equipment: I strongly recommend getting an extra battery or portable battery pack for your camera/smartphone, because bloggers take a lot of pictures, and you don’t want to run out of battery while you’re documenting your next blog post.
3. Social media and e-mail accounts.
Open public social profiles for your blog. This is the primary way you will bring readers to your blog.
The main social media platforms currently being used are:
- Facebook (you should create a Facebook page for your blog)
- Twitter (it’s very popular with writers)
- Pinterest (it’s very popular with crafting and food bloggers)
- LinkedIn (it’s used mostly for business and professional niches)
Different social media platforms are better for certain niches. Make sure to stay active and engaging on one or two of these platforms in order to bring in new readers and maintain the readers you have.
Don’t forget to open an e-mail account! This is how you’ll be able to reach out to brands and how brands will reach out to you in the future. The most widely used free e-mail account provider right now is Gmail.
4. A place to take notes.
You can take notes on an app or a notebook, but whatever you choose, make sure you always have access to it. You never know when you might need to write down an idea or take notes.
Evernote is a great app for keeping notes even when you don’t have reception or internet access on your phone or smart device.
5. A community.
I started off with no community. I didn’t know where to find my blogger tribe, then, I started searching for Facebook groups and was flooded with choices. Next, I started following other bloggers on Instagram and sending messages to my favorites to pick their brains on how they did things that I wanted to do too. And last, I found a chapter of The Blogger Union in my area, signed up for their mailing list, and followed them on social media. Now, I attend Blogger Union events and make connections with other bloggers face-to-face. Meeting new bloggers online or in person will help you become a better blogger and give you so much inspiration.
6. A tough skin.
Not everyone will agree with your point of view, and they may become vocal about it, but you have to have confidence in your message. Be clear about your intentions, be genuine in your writing, and readers will gravitate in your direction.
So now that you have all of the tools you need to get started, go become a blogger!
Best of luck on beginning your blogging journey, lovely!
P.P.S. This post is the result of a collaboration between Stehli Krause and I. Stehli is a travel blogger who writes about budget-friendly travel with kids. You can check out her blog by clicking here. And follow her on social media here.