Whether you are looking for a new hobby, side business, or career, blogging is a great option to consider. Within this post, I’m going to explain how to start a blog business.
We will discuss the following, so that when you’re ready to get started, you know exactly what to do!
- Why you should or shouldn’t start a blog business
- How to choose what you will write about
- How to decide on your domain name
- What hosting company you should use [Spoiler Alert: it isn’t Bluehost!]
- What your goals should look like
Before we get into that, I want to note there is a difference in approaches to starting a blog only to write with never wanting the chance to earn an income of any kind and starting a blog business. If you never wish to make money on your blog, THIS IS NOT THE BLOG POST FOR YOU. I’m specifically discussing what you need to do to start a blog that earns an income.
How to Start a Blog Business
First and foremost, you need to know that a blog business requires an investment. This can be a couple hundred dollars or several thousand. The beauty is that the investment level is up to you. This post will discuss the bare minimum you need to invest to start your blog business.
If you want to know what additional resources I suggest for your business, you can check that out in my Blogging Resources I Recommend blog post.
Why you should start a blog business //
Obviously you need to love writing, because that is what blogging is all about. Beyond that here are a few reasons you SHOULD start a blog business:
- Teaching people about what you know is your primary focus, because you want to help others.
- You want to be in control of the content you release.
- You don’t mind putting in several hours for one blog post, because they do take time to create.
- You’ve found a hole in the market and know how to fill it.
- The different ways of earning an income excite you!
- You know it is going to take a while to earn income, but you’re in this for the long haul.
- You love working hard.
That’s right! It takes a while to earn a decent income with a blog. It varies from blog to blog, but know it will NOT be an overnight success.
Why You Shouldn’t Start a Blog Business //
I’m not going to lie. Blogging is HARD work! It isn’t for everyone, and that is OKAY! Here are a few reasons I believe you SHOULDN’T start a blog business:
- You’re only in it for the money.
- You expect instant success and don’t want to put time into something that isn’t going to instantly reward you.
- You don’t care about helping others.
- Writing is something you despise! [This should be obvious, but if you don’t like the writing process, you most likely won’t like blogging…]
- You’re not disciplined to put in the effort it takes to turn this into a business.
I’m not trying to scare you with these reasons you shouldn’t start a blog as a business. My goal is to help you not waste time or money doing something you wish you hadn’t.
There is so much behind the scenes that isn’t seen. The hours it takes to produce a quality piece of content may surprise you. I average 3-4 hours per blog post. Some take less time, while others take much longer.
If I haven’t scared you off, let’s start working through the things you need to process before committing to starting your blog.
How to Decide what You’ll Write About //
First of all, I want to tell you that no matter what you decide to write about, you have a unique perspective to provide the world! You have something to say and people want to hear it.
Second, you need to know that you don’t need to write within the blogging business niche in order to be successful with blogging. Any topic or niche can be successful, you just have to put in the effort and hard work to make it happen.
It honestly isn’t enough to start a blog discussing ALL THE THINGS. You need to have certain topics you discuss, so that you attract the people you know you can help and turn off the people who will never be your loyal community members. I know that sounds crazy, but that is how you grow the greatest community in the online world.
[P.S. Every blogger has the greatest community in the online world, but MY community really is untouchable with how great y’all are! 😉 ]
Let’s go through an exercise to help you determine which topics you will discuss on your blog, and which just seem like a good idea. Know that this maybe something you revisit every so often, and that is normal. It means you’re evolving and getting to know how to help your community in a better way.
Exercise for Honing in on the Content You’ll Write About:
- Write out everything that makes your story unique. I want you to write out at least 30 things!
- What are you fascinated with in your life – beauty products, animals, exploration, writing, etc.?
- Are you at a place in your life you’re trying to navigate through and blogging about it will be beneficial?
- Do people ask you about certain aspects of your life all the time and you want to write about that?
- From your list, what is connected in similar ways and what isn’t connected at all?
- For example, do you love talking about beauty products, self-care, beauty tips, etc. with your friends?
- Another example, maybe you love animals, but nothing else on your list is related to that.
- Thinking outside of the box: Maybe your story is that you love traveling and helping people with their writing skills and you want to help people do both?
- Are you excited about what is on your list and want to include it on your blog?
- What are the broad categories each of these things include?
- I suggest having 3-4 main categories that are related in similar fashions, such as those I’ve already mentioned. You don’t necessarily want to write about beauty, animals, and finances in the same space, because these topics don’t flow well together.
- Within the main categories, you can include subcategories that dive deeper into what you want to discuss.
- An example, Beauty Products can have subcategories of Drug Store Dupes, Quick Makeup Tutorials, Glamour Makeup Tutorials, and High End Products.
- Another example: The category animals is extremely broad, so I don’t suggest using that as a category at all actually. Dive a little deeper into it. Are you a vet and want to discuss animal care? Do you have a homestead, like I do, and want to discuss different things about your livestock? Once you decide on a more specific category, then you can dive into subcategories.
- So let’s say you have a homestead and want to discuss all the things about your livestock. You could have Livestock on the Homestead as your category, and each animal as your subcategory: Chickens on the Homestead or Caring for Cattle.
- Another thing I suggest is to have 2-4 subcategories for each main topic, BUT if you don’t have any subcategories for your main category that can work, too. There honestly is no right or wrong with what you do. Just make sure it is user-friendly for anyone wanting to browse your blog.
- For each category and subcategory you create, write out as many blog post ideas as you can. This will tell you what has longevity for your blog and what just seems like a good idea.
- Note: You’ll also see what you’re excited to actually write about doing this. The more you hone in on the topics that excite you, the easier it is to attract your new best friends!
How to Decide on Your Website Name //
This is an extremely important step, because this is going to be the name people learn before they learn your name or what you’re all about.
ALSO, you don’t want to pick something that you’ll have to change later. Trust me, it is not a fun nor easy thing to tackle.
Tips for deciding what to name your website:
- Could you use your name? A lot of people rebrand to their name once they grow so big. If you have aspirations of growing into a very large blog, using your name maybe the route you need to go from the beginning.
- Do NOT pick something so specific that you’ll have to change your name if you change what you write about. For example, you start out writing about beauty products and you name your blog ‘The Beauty Expert’. After a while, you figure out later that you want to blog about travel and being a mom, which has nothing to do with being a beauty expert, so you need to rebrand your name and website to match that better.
- I personally did a rebrand in the middle of 2018, because my name had nothing to do with what I talked about. I rebranded to ‘The Tannehill Homestead’, because it allows me to discuss anything within living a simpler lifestyle. Pivoting is possible with my new name, because I can pivot to many different things without needing to do any future rebrands. I’ve also blogged long enough to know what topics I may want to write about in the future and all fit within my current name.
- Search any names you’re considering. Search on Pinterest, Google, Bing, all social media platforms, etc.
- Do you like the search results?
- Are there a lot of household names, like Wikipedia or Amazon, popping up in the search results? If so, adjust the name a little, because it is super hard to compete with those websites. You want a name where other blogs are showing in the search result, because those are easier to compete with in comparison.
- When you have narrowed down the names, see if your names are available for a domain name purchase and on all the social media platforms. [You can click this link that goes to the host I recommend, start the setup process, then the next screen will have a place for you to check if the name is available.]
- If they are available, narrow down to which one you like best or is easiest to spell.
- If they aren’t available, it is back to the drawing board.
Once you have your website name picked out, secure it on all the social media platforms! This is vitally important!
The hosting company I recommend for EVERYONE! //
GreenGeeks is an amazing hosting company. They saved my website from my previous host’s attempt at my rebrand, and helped me create an amazing website I could have only dreamed about before moving.
GreenGeeks is focused on giving back 3 times the amount of energy they consume, which is amazing to me! I love that I’m supporting a company that supports the planet. They can explain it better in this video, if you want to hear it explained better.
Another reason I love working with GreenGeeks is because they are always there to help me with my website. Their IT department is very knowledgeable about the little details that help your website perform better, as well as when you accidentally do something to break your website. I respected by them, because their professionalism is unparalleled to other companies I’ve worked with in the past.
For the quality experience they provide, their hosting pricing is extremely competitive at only $2.95 per month! That is seriously an amazing price for getting started with your blog business!
Once you open an account with them, they will walk you through how to setup everything you need. Plus, they have a lot of tutorials and staff waiting to help you whenever you need it!
How to Start a Blog Business: Quick Tips //
I do have a few quick tips to share with you on how to start a blog business that will help you start off stronger, without additional investments.
- Start with a FREE theme from WordPress that you like. It won’t be anything fancy, but it will help you determine what you like and don’t like about themes.
- Before you launch, it is best to have about 5 posts written and ready to publish. This will allow your readers to go through a few posts, and encourage them to want to be in your community.
- Start an email list right away! I recommend setting up something through MailChimp or Mailerlite [they are free to get started]. If all you do is start out with letting your subscribers know of a new post being published, that is GREAT! No pressure to do more than that getting started.
What Your Blogging Goals Should Look Like in the beginning //
Blogging goals are different based upon why you’re starting a blog, but there are a few goals that everyone should have on their list.
- Post X times per week. Being consistent with how often you post is extremely important. There will be seasons in your life that shift this goal, but whatever season you are in, consistency is key.
- Connect with X people per week. Each week, you should seek to build a connection with other bloggers and people in your community. This can include commenting on social media posts, blog posts, emailing, etc. The connection should be genuine and not about self-promotion. You are seeking to build connections, friendships, and trust with people.
- Share X times on X platform per day/week/month. Set goals for how many times you share something on Pinterest that is your own content and someone else’s content, how often you will post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter. You don’t have to be on every platform in the beginning, but you do need to have goals for the platforms you do want to focus on to build your community.
- Consistently learn something new. You grow by continuing to learn new things. Just be careful not to get consumed with learning. Take it one step at a time, and implement each thing you learn to see if it works for you.
Hopefully you noticed that I didn’t include growing your community to X amount of people or getting your traffic to X amount of views per month. Honestly, in the beginning you most likely won’t have a lot of traffic, but keeping your focus on reaching out to others and teaching those who do show up will help you grow the quickest.
It is when you pour into others and keep your focus on building a connection that you truly make a difference.
I realize this advice maybe a lot different than most people giving advice, but I want you to take one more piece of advice that will propel your growth in the process of starting a blog business.
Focus on nurturing those who show up in your community, because those are the people who become your loyal, raving fans! It is best to have 100 extremely loyal, raving fans versus 1,000 people who do not really care about you within your community.
Hopefully, I’ve encouraged you and provided you the very steps you need to start your blog business today! If you’re ready to jump in, GreenGeeks is ready to help!
Now that you know how to start a blog business, check out my blogging resources recommendations post where I share all the little things that will help your blog grow!