Getting going on a new blog can be both liberating and daunting. You’ve got a whole blank canvas in front of you, just waiting to be filled full of your ideas. Once you’ve followed my ace guide to working out what to blog about, and have a new niche to discuss, it’s time to start writing.
Only, actually, it’s not that time. Not yet. First, it’s time to take care of the admin. The so-called boring stuff. Trust me, though; get this right and and make the right choices and you won’t have to worry yourself over this side of the blogosphere again.
Here are my three tips to getting started on your new blog.
Buy a website domain
This one is huge for me. You’ll have spent hours coming up with a killer website name, and you’ve chosen your website provider. For me, it was WordPress, but there are loads of solutions out there. Regardless of which you choose, one thing is clear: you should claim your website domain as soon as possible.
Through WordPress, I think I paid £45 in my first year of blogging so that I could gain access to more of the blog builder’s features and use my own URL. As a result, I was only saddled with hardlyhamilton.WORDPRESS.com for a couple of months. Buying my own website domain gave me a greater sense of ownership over this corner of the internet. WordPress might host, but this is mine to do with whatever I want.
One exception applies: if you’re not sure if you want to turn this whole blogging gig into a regular thing, then I’d opt for the freemium version until you’ve made a decision. Just be prepared to lose your awesome website name when you eventually try to claim it, as chances are high that it could be gone.
…just not yet. If you go into the world of blogging with the idea of making money, prepare to be disappointed. Set your expectations too high and, with every post that you spend hours toiling away on, you’ll only see sadness. You’ll lament to friends and family, ‘why haven’t I had my breakthrough?’ and they’ll soon tire of you. Worse still, you’ll tire of your new-found hobby, and probably quit. Uh-oh. I guess the website domain wasn’t worth it.
So, don’t go out of your way to set up affiliate links, like with Amazon, or to find sponsored posts, until you’re ready. Then, if the right opportunity comes along, pounce on it and make some cash from your side hustle. Why not?
There’s nothing wrong with earning money for all of your hard work as long as you don’t make it the sole reason that you’re writing.
Build around the social media that you already enjoy
Not so long ago, I spoke about the dangers of getting sucked into social media. If you’re not careful, it’ll take over your life. Social media will start using you, and nobody wants that. That’s not to say that social media is bad, though. I’ve also written about the positive experience that I’ve had of embracing social media or – more specifically – Instagram Reels.
Reels are really similar to TikTok, which I could have chosen to use instead as a means of expressing myself and growing my platform. However, the reason that I went for Reels is because I’m familiar with Instagram. I like using it. I’ve never used TikTok and don’t have any desires to make an account. My advice is that you should use social media if you’re planning to write a blog – especially if you want people to read it – and use it well.
Just don’t spread yourself too thinly (I stopped using Pinterest for this exact reason), and stick to a platform that you already like to use. That’ll minimise the learning curve and make you a lot more likely to keep using it, rather than getting frustrated and giving up.
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