(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)
Starting a blog is easy–growing one is another story.
How To Start A Blog
Starting a blog is as easy as 1. 2. 3. 4.
- Pick a domain name (blog name) and register it: I personally use Go Daddy. This is so simple and inexpensive to do. Go Daddy often runs sales where you can register your domain name (blog name) for as little as $0.99.
- Pick a Web Host: I started out with BlueHost. It costs as little as $5.95 a month.
- Get started on WordPress.org: I started with a free WordPress template and saved up money until I could afford Genesis with the Prose child theme.
- Start blogging: I simply jumped right in (Yep, that is my first post. It makes me cringe, but I did it!). I learned as I went and I don’t regret it.
(and if you want to earn money from your blog, check out this post)
My Blogging Story
I am not one of those people that remembers where she was when life changing moments happen and yet I remember where I was the day I decided to start a blog.
I had been painting the badly damaged floors of our old home black so we could rent it out (we later sold it). I had an old outdoor furniture cushion under my knees and was rolling the black paint in the stubborn cracks.
This was the last job I needed to complete on this project and since I had been carving out 10 to 15 hours a week to renovate I was wondering what I could best do with that time now that it was no longer needed for painting.
As a Christian I had been praying to God for a few weeks an answer. Somehow while my mind was wandering as I was painting I thought about blogging. Could I start a blog? What would I blog about? Who on earth would want to read it? Could I really make money to help my family with a blog?
On and on went the questions for weeks as I researched blogging. I was filled with self doubt and one day it spilled out to my husband in ugly tears as I said–well let me give you the short version–“what if I fail?” My husband who heard the very long ugly cry rant turned to me and said, “You are not going to find that out unless you try first,” and then gave me an ultimatum: I had two weeks get my first blog post up–otherwise I had to stop talking about it.
And so I jumped in knowing very little about what I was doing. I learned and improved along the way.
Now I am almost finished 5 years of blogging and I love what I do. Blogging is the flexible job I hoped it would be. I am not one of those 6 figures a year bloggers. I am not even a 1/2 of 6 figures a year blogger, but I do make more per month than a full time minimum wage worker and I do it in less than 40 hours a week around my family’s needs.
If you have been on the fence about blogging for some time, I want to encourage you to give it a try–but don’t expect an immediate pay back for your time invested. Sure, some bloggers out there do earn amazing incomes their first year, but the vast majority do not…although there is a way of increasing your odds of succeeding.
If you have been blogging a short while and feel like you are getting no where–hang on. You can succeed if you give it just a bit more time and apply the tip I am sharing today.
How to increase your odds of succeeding at blogging
Blogging is one of those careers where improving your skills will pay back over time. I rarely leave a blog post unchanged from the day it is published. To me this has been vital to my success. I have dozens of articles that were once getting little traffic until I changed the picture, re-worked the SEO, added value to the post with more research and helpful links, then re-shared it on all my social media platforms to finally have it take off and get thousands of visitors to it in a matter of days.
Some of those re-done posts are my biggest traffic drivers now, but they were traffic flops until I applied what I learned since I wrote them.
So how do you learn what you need to improve your skills?
With a bit of time spent searching you can find all the information you need for free on the internet to improve your blogging skills. Going this route costs you time, but no money. Search for bloggers helping bloggers, blogging advice podcasts, and attend free webinars covering areas you wish to improve in (warning: most webinars end with a sales pitch for a paid course, still they do give away great tips at the beginning for free).
Pros--It is free.
Cons–It is hard to give depth to a topic in just one blog post or just one podcast. for that reason free help often leaves you having to fill in the gaps on your own.
Normally paid courses go into greater depth than any free materials you find on the internet. I learned this when I spent $99 to have an in-depth blog review. What they showed me in their report about my blog helped me more than hours and hours of researching free blog help on the internet.
I made my $99 back in no time once I started implementing their suggestions.
Pros–You get in-depth help that can help you grow your blog faster
Cons–Paid courses often cost hundreds of dollars each and if you are not earning anything from your blog yet or even if you are, shelling out that kind of cash can be hard.
That is why I like to watch out for great deals on blogging courses like the one I recently got with the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. I was able to pick up 62 blogging courses for just $97. That is like paying for one course and getting 61 more for free!
So how do you find out about such sales? Sign up for my weekly newsletter and when one comes up I will be sure to share it with you. Deals this big don’t come up often but when they do they are worth grabbing.
Some inexpensive eBooks to jump start your blog’s growth
If you simply cannot afford paid blogging courses, but you do have some money to spend then eBooks on blogging topics can be a great option. They will be more in depth than a blog post but generally under $10 and can be as low as .99 cents.
I have read each and every eBook on this list and found them helpful for growing my blog. Some like Blogging For Profit caused my blog to grow by leaps and bounds.
psst….. Before my blog started generating an income I would used gift cards for Amazon earned through point programs like these ones to fund blogging eBook purchases.