Becoming A Blogger

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Starting up a blog is a big deal. It's exciting, it's fun, it's real. I love blogging. I love connecting with others through my writing as well as my life stories. Blogging has opened up so many new wonders for me. Blogging gives me a place to call my own on the internet, and I love that.

I get asked almost daily, "How do I start a blog, Rebecca?" And I always tell people that it's not as hard as you would think. However, it is a lot of time and dedication. Those are the two biggest components involved when you are first beginning.

I first began my blog back in 2010 with no knowledge what-so-ever of how to blog or what to even do. I knew I loved to write and would write my thoughts and feelings down in an online diary. I thought to myself, "isn't this blogging?" And yes, it really is. I thought if I could do this, I could share my world with the world and find like minded people out there who blogged as well.

Thus began my journey into the blogging world. I spent countless hours researching different types of blogging platforms, how to use HTML coding to make my blog unique and my own. I also found another important thing. Connecting with other bloggers. This was a huge step to becoming a long time blogger. It's hard to be motivated when no one is reading or commenting. But it takes time, and trust me, you will get there. Like I said in the very beginning, it takes a lot of time and dedication. But it's so worth it! At least, it has been for me.

So I'm going to help you with a few blogging secrets to get your blog started.

Step One: What Do You Want To Blog About?
The first step to becoming a blogger is figuring out what your niche is. Are you going to blog about your love for food and become a food blogger? Are you going to talk all about your travels and become a travel blogger? How about a business you run and want to promote it more with a blog? What about making money while blogging? That is very popular these days. Making an income through your blog. Are you an author and just want to share your stories with the world? Are you a crafter and love creating tutorials? Or do you just want to write about your everyday life and share those moments?

There are so many options out there. Sometimes it's hard to just choose one. But if you don't know where you want to start or fit in, that's ok too. Just write down some ideas and see what you come up with the most and you can start with that. I can tell you so many bloggers have changed their style up through the years. I am one of those. It was hard to just keep focus on just one sort of subject matter for me. And that's ok. You don't have to commit to one thing and stick to that. The number one problem bloggers have is they get burnt out and no longer blog. Always blog about what you want to. It's your blog after all. There are no rules on how you should run it. Be you. That's the most important rule. People love reading blog posts from those they feel a connection with or can relate to. You don't have to be fake or make everything 100% unicorns and rainbows. The best bloggers are those that are relatable, friendly, and make connections with each other.

Step Two: Select A Blogging Platform
So once you have decided what you are wanting to blog about, now you need to figure out which platform to house your blog on. There are several options. Some are free, but they are limited to what you can do. And others do require a fee, but you have more control over the content because you own it {where as other platforms own your content published}. So research which one is right for you and what you are the most comfortable with.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. It is self hosted meaning that you run the entire blog and all content belongs to you. I'll be showing you how to start up your blog using WordPress and Bluehost together to get your blog started. Bluehost is a great Wordpress hosting site because it is affordable, reliable, and trusted by millions of bloggers.

Go to Bluehost and click on the green "get started now" button to begin your setup.

Step Three: Selecting Your Plan
Choosing the right plan to fit your budget is important. Bluehost offers three affordable plans at this time for bloggers to choose from. Check out which ones suit your needs and budget and choose that one. The Plus plan is the most popular because it gives you more features that will allow your blog to do more. But the Basic plan is also great for those just starting out too. All of them are great to start a blog with. Just choose which one you want to start with and you can always upgrade later if needed. Each one of these also comes with a free domain as well.

Step Four: Decide On A Domain Name
This is the fun part. Giving your blog it's own URL {or Domain name}. This gives your blog it's own identity. You want to make sure it fits your blog and your style. Afterall, it will be your link to give to everyone to stop by and read your posts. You can be as creative as you want. Mine is and my blog's name is xoxo Rebecca. It goes together so you will want to make sure you find something that matches well so people can relate the two together.

Once you have thought of a URL choice, make sure you think of a couple of others, just in case your first choice is taken. If this is your first time registering a domain name, you'll choose "new domain".

Step Five: Registering Your Account
The next screen has you fill in all your basic info to register your new account. Bluehost bills the full payment upfront so the best deal is to get the 36 months hosting package. You save more money doing it that way. However, if that is not in your budget, you can select the 12 month package as well.

You will also notice some extras you can add onto your hosting package if you would like to. These aren't all too necessary so you are able to do without them if you wish. However, the one that everyone says is pretty much a must is the Domain Privacy Protection. This helps keep your info safe and secure. 

Once you are finished, hit the blue "Next" button to continue. You will be taken to another screen that will ask if you want any more add ons but you don't have to if you don't feel the need for them. You can skip over those.

Once you are done, congratulations, you have successfully set up hosting for your new blog. Be sure to now check your email for all the important info about log in and password information. Go back to Bluehost and now add in your information to get started. You are now ready to setup and install WordPress.

Step Six: Installing WordPress
Make sure you click on "Install WordPress" to get started. Then go through the steps to apply your new domain to be connected with WordPress.

Once WordPress has been successfully installed, click on "View Credentials" and this will be your infor for your blog. Screen shot these or write them down and keep them in a safe place to remember what they are. And then you are done! You finally have a blog to start up. Once you have completed all the steps, log into WordPress and begin your blogging adventure. 

Now you can start learning your Dashboard and getting familiar with it all. Try a test post to see how to post and insert images. You can also start to play around with the template and theme to make your blog pretty or unique. There are also several sites to help with templates and design if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself. You can choose between many free themes, as well as paid themes. Everything is up to you. This is your site now and there are so many open doors that can come from it.

Welcome to the world of blogging! Enjoy your new blog and the fun blogging has to offer. You will be a pro in no time! Congratulations again!