Starting a blog is daunting task. And if I see just one more post trying to convince me otherwise, my head really might implode. So, do me a favor, keep my head from imploding, and if you really want to start a blog, read this first.
There are approximately 10 steps to starting a blog — but about 1,472 steps if you want to start a profitable blog. Is there really a difference? Yes, yes there is.
First of all, the steps.
Most any blog can be built using the same basic steps:
- Decide on a name
- Choose a host (if self-hosting)
- Choose a platform
- Register a domain (if self-hosting)
- Choose a design or hire a designer
- Decide on a niche (not really required, but really important)
- Figure out your branding
- Work on graphics
- Write the posts!!
- Share the posts
See? Ten steps. Easy peasy, right?
But, even if you get through these steps at lightning speeds, you haven't even started monetizing yet. There's no ads, no affiliations, and no plan for how to get those set up. So how can anyone really tell you that it's that simple to start a profitable blog?
But let's just take a look at these first steps — the basics. We can think about monetizing later.
So, working with just these steps, do me a favor:
Choose your domain.
This alone takes several steps because there are so many things to consider:
- Does it help portray who you are or what your blog is about?
- Does it contain any keywords to help people find your blog?
- Do you need keywords?
- Is it easy to remember?
- Is it easy to type if people want to type it into the address bar?
- Is it available?
- Do you like it? After all, once picked, you're probably going to be stuck with that domain for the life of your blog.
So!! You've settled on a domain! But, what if someone's chosen that? Do you know how to check? And if you plan on sharing your posts with anyone, is that domain name available on multiple platforms? Do you have a plan B?
Are you starting to see why I get so frustrated with people who are trying to say you can start a blog in less than an afternoon? Just choosing a domain name can take weeks. Look at this blog; I had it hosted with a very generic domain over at Blogger for 8 months before I moved to a self-hosted platform… And it took me several (6) weeks to decide on a domain so I could start the transfer.
No, a blog doesn't have to be difficult to set up.
In fact, platforms and website hosting services go out of their way to try to make it easy on you. And there are coaching and design services to help you where the hosts leave off. There are plenty of places available to you to help you get a blog set up, designed, working, and monetized all without you having to pull out a single strand of hair.
The thing is, none of those services are designed to get you rolling in 15 minutes or less. And if you hold onto the idea that you can start a blog, especially a profitable blog, with very little training and support in under 15 minutes, you're liable to be very disappointed.
Those blogs that say you can start a blog in less than an hour? They aren't necessarily giving you bad advice. In fact, most of them are giving you good advice on how to get set up with the first steps of blogging: picking a hosting service and setting up your platform. But they aren't giving you the complete picture. Starting a blog can be exciting and fun, but it is filled with mundane tasks that can seem overwhelming if you aren't prepared. If you want to start a blog and make that blog profitable, you will need to take your time and set up a plan before diving headlong into the hosting setup.