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In the last 10 years, blogging has become a thriving business. Nowadays, a blog may come in many topics such as mom blogs, beauty blogs, natural hair blogs, life coaching blogs, personal finance blogs and the list goes on. It seems people blog about everything. And the kicker, many people are profiting from their blogs.
Look at us, we’ve been blogging for five years – we know a thing or two about how to start a blog. I even taught myself how to create a WordPress website. Once the website was up, we picked a niche and the rest was history. In less than a month, we gained over 1,000 followers and started a black professional movement in New Orleans. We even set a trend in our community. If you haven’t noticed, everyone uses the term “professional” in their marketing. It’s no coincidence.
You can make money on your blog as long as you’re willing to put forth the effort. If you want to start a blog, you don’t have to be a tech buff or website developer. You don’t even need to hire someone to do it for you. All you need is a strategy and a little patience.
That’s where I come in to help. Let’s break this down.
Ready. Set. Go.
1. Come up with a niche and blog name
Before you can start a blog you have to know what you’re going to write about. Think about your niche. As I mentioned above, there are mom blogs, personal finance blogs, and beauty blogs. What is your passion? Do you enjoy cooking? Do you already post pictures of your finished meals? Of course, we’re not talking #struggleplates. If your answer is yes, why not blog on your own website and profit off your viewership. Instagram is cute and it feels good to get likes and followers, but your own brand putting money in your pocket feels better.
Why do you need a niche? It keeps your content consistent. People like consistency. It also will help grow your following faster. And think about it, when you’re looking for something, it is normally a specific need. For instance, I enjoy Creole food, so there are a few bloggers that I have in mind, such as Creole Contessa or Fresh Creole
Is there a need for you niche
Next question to ask yourself, is there a need for my niche? If you were launching a startup, this question would be a bit more time-consuming. When we first thought of our blog’s topic, we googled where do black professionals hang out in New Orleans. To my surprise, someone had already asked this question in a forum. Not to mention, this was a big question for black professionals like myself. The fact the question had already been asked online solidified my theory that there was a need for a website that would pinpoint places where black professionals meet up.
Can you monetize it
Last question, can you monetize your niche? The quick answer is yes. For some bloggers, they use sponsored posts, others offer a service and others hosts events. The best way to monetize your blog is to think outside the box and come up with ways to make money that fits your niche. If you’re a chef, sell your cooking services. Offer private lessons, create a cookbook and sell it or create an apron line.
2. Choose a blog name
This is where your creativity comes into play. When choosing a name for your blog, think simple. The blog name will ultimately be your blog’s domain name. The first thing I do is write a list of potential blog names. The blog name should fit your niche. Rule of thumb, your blog name should be short, simple and easy to read.
Once you have a list of potential blog names, Google the domain name. If the URL is available move on to the next. In my experience, I would suggest trying to find a .com domain name since it’s the most common and easy to remember.
3. Choose a host for your blog, buy a hosting package and URL
We’re finally getting down to the nitty-gritty. When looking for a host, you definitely want to consider the hosting company’s features. Your first priority is to find a host that is secure and reliable. That’s why we suggest Siteground. If you use my special link, you will save 60% off the regular price!
Next step is to choose your hosting package. I recommend the Start Up plan. It’s cheap and affordable.
The last step is to buy your domain name. You can do all this at Siteground. So take the blog domain name you chose earlier and type it in the domain search. If it’s still available, go on and buy.
You’re almost finished!
4. Install WordPress
WordPress is free! Unlike popular platform, Squarespace, WordPress is just a download and install away. All you need to run WordPress is a domain name and web hosting. Another advantage is the versatility of the content management system. You can extend your website with over 30,000 themes and plugins to choose from. Have I convinced you yet?
Did I mention how easy WordPress is to use? If you want to configure WordPress yourself, you can do it! First, go to the My Accounts tab and click on Go to cPanel. Next, click on WordPress in the Autoinstallers section. Click on the blue Install button. After you install, fill in the information on the next screen. I suggest not installing any theme until login to your blog’s backend.
5. Choose a theme
Choosing WordPress has its perks. As I mentioned above, you can install a pre-made theme. There are lots of options and websites to choose from. My favorite website for themes is Themeforest. Once you choose a theme, buy and download the theme and install on the back-end of your website. That’s it! It’s that easy.
THAT’S IT! YOU NOW HAVE A BLOG!
I would love to see your blogs. When you set it up, send us your link. And if you’re not interested in the DIY route and need help walking through this process, feel free to email me at @firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be more than happy to offer you a one-on-one session.