How do I create a blog? If you’re looking for ideas for making money from home, creating a blog isn’t as hard as you think. Find out if you have what it takes to make a successful blog.
We Moms are a scrappy bunch. We’re often in charge of the family budget. So when we see that the outgo is greater than the income, we do what we can to make up for it.
And since you clearly like to read blogs (thanks for checking out Medium Sized Family, by the way!) you’ve probably wondered at one time or another, “How do I create a blog?”
Since this blog focuses on the best ways to save and earn money, I don’t want to overlook the way I’m bringing in money for my family these days. But I’m not going to promise you the moon about blogging like some people do.
Blogging is hard work. It isn’t for everybody. And you probably won’t make much money for one to three years.
If that doesn’t scare you away, then you probably have the right stuff to be a successful blogger!
On the other hand, there are plenty of other ways to bring in money as a stay at home Mom. I personally have tried general transcription, selling Avon, reselling on Ebay, and many other ideas. I was able to bring in money with all of those methods.
But for me, all of those ideas lacked the creative outlet I craved. Only through blogging have I been able to stretch my brain, motivate myself to get out of a ton of debt, an connect with friends I wouldn’t have otherwise met.
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Learn How to Create A Blog
Pick a Topic
What are you great at? Think about the things that friends and family are most likely ask your help with. Maybe you’re a great cook, you give the best advice about parenting, or you are the one sure to make them laugh on a bad day.
Whatever that area of strength is for you, that’s a great place to start when considering topics for your blog.
A word to the wise… prepare to be flexible. I began Medium Sized Family with the idea of writing for medium sized families. You know, people with more than 2.3 kids, yet not enough kids for their own reality show.
Well, that was a fun idea. But as it turns out, my readers were more interested in learning how I keep expenses down while raising my medium sized family. And that was fine by me. I’ve always been super interested in the frugal lifestyle (after all, I live it daily!) and personal finance.
So I went with the flow. These days, my blog still focuses on several parts of raising a family. But my biggest focus is ways to save money.
Choose A Great Name
What’s in a name? Well, in the case of your blog, it’s a lot.
You might be tempted to choose a very cute name for your blog. Sometimes that’s a good idea, but don’t leave your reader confused about the purpose of your blog. You’ll want to choose a name that describes exactly what your readers will get when they visit your website.
Picking a name that gets a lot of Google searches is also a great idea. Sign up for Adwords and type in some ideas to get an idea of how often your title is searched for.
Don’t freeze on this step! Your name should be great….but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Choose something and move on.
Do a search to see if the title you want is available.
Purchasing your domain name will cost around $10 per year, depending on where you buy it from and if you can find a sale. Always be sure to check for coupon codes before you buy!
But do not make that purchase until you’ve decided on the next step, which is….
Decide on Hosting
This step is kind of a big deal. You need to decide how much money you want to put into your blog from the start.Looking for ways to make money from home? Time to consider #blogging. Here's how to get started.Click To Tweet
How Do You Set Up A Blog for Free?
You might be thinking about creating what is called a “hosted” blog. That means you don’t pay for hosting. These types of blogs cost little to nothing to begin.
Some popular free “hosted” blog platforms out there include WordPress.com or Blogger. But there are many other options. Be sure to do your homework to choose the platform that works best for you.
This can be a great way to dip your toes in the water if you just aren’t sure if blogging is for you. Or if you tend to start things without finishing them. (Hey, you’ll get no judgment from me! I have plenty of half-finished project lying around my own house…)
Why Would I Pay For A Blog?
Although I love to save money, I decided that I wanted a self-hosted blog from the beginning. I had done a lot of research on how to blog. I knew that I wanted my blog to earn money for my family and become a business that would eventually help to make thousands of Moms’ lives easier.
And from that research, I realized that my dream was best built on a self-hosted blog.
A few reasons I chose to self-host:
- If you go with the free (hosted) service, you can be limited by the rules they put in place for you.
- Companies may bypass paying you for services, ads, or blog posts due to your hosting.
- If you later choose to move to a self-hosted platform, the crossover can become very messy and expensive.
- Earning money from a blog takes a lot of time and effort. For me, the psychological effect of having paid real money for my blog keeps me going. I’m not going to quit and lose the money I paid!
How to Set Up Self Hosting
If you decide to go with self-hosting, it will cost you some money. But whether you spend your money on education, an office building, inventory, or in this case, a place to park your internet space, you usually have to spend some money in order to make money.
When you choose self-hosting, you also need a platform. This is the space where you work on your blog. You’ll type up posts and determine the look of the blog in your platform.
Like most people, I chose to use WordPress.org. (Remember, WordPress.com is the free choice for hosting. Wordpress.org requires you to purchase hosting, but it doesn’t cost additional money to use WordPress.org.) It’s easy to learn to use and is readily accepted by most companies that you’ll want to do business with.
Who to Host With
I have been with two hosting companies, and I’ve enjoyed both of them.
When I first began my blog, I started with a company called Bluehost.
In the interest of full disclosure, some people have complaints about Bluehost. I’ve not had trouble with my blog loading properly, even when handling traffic spikes. I didn’t have a lot of downtime issues with them.
Notice that all of these options include a free domain name, so you won’t need to purchase one otherwise. That will save you the $10 or so we talked about earlier!
You should know that these prices shown are for 36-month contracts. You can get smaller contracts, but your monthly cost will increase. You’ll want to weigh your options to be sure you get your best deal.
Knowing that many blogs don’t begin to earn a real income until they are between 1 and 3 years old was what made me ultimately decide to go with the 36-month option. If you are less sure or just don’t have the money upfront, choose the cheaper option and/or the shorter length of time. You can always upgrade later.
Last summer I made the switch to Siteground. I absolutely love their customer service. They helped me switch my blog to https (which boosted my traffic from Google).
Once you’ve made your purchase, be sure to check your email for information on completing your set up. These companies will walk you right through the process. (Even a non-techie like me figured it out!)
Once you connect your WordPress to your hosting company, you’re ready to dig into the work of blogging. Most of the work will be done at WordPress. This is where you’ll choose a theme, mess with the design or overall look of your blog, and write those great post ideas you’ve been thinking about.
A lot of behind the scenes work goes into blogging. But don’t be discouraged. Take it one step at a time, and teach yourself what you don’t know. Google and Pinterest are your new best friends!
Want More Help?
One of the first blogs I ever read was Money Saving Mom. She’s been making money from blogging about saving money for a long time, and her advice is always genuine and helpful. Check out this free webinar with more info on starting up your own blog. If you like that, you can also try her course, Blog Start Up 101 for a better start to your blog.
You’re on your way!
There are many things to learn about blogging. It really is a lot of work. But if you stick with it, there are great rewards! I’ve met so many awesome people since beginning blogging.
And it feels amazing to create something brand new from your hard work.
Next week, we’ll talk about how you can make money from your blog.
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Have you ever considered creating a blog? What would you like to blog about?