How To Start a Blog

How To Start a Blog

6-great-tips-to-get-you-started

Before we get started on the whole blogging thing…..I just wanted you to know….

….you have a voice and a story and something to say.

I am a firm believer that there is a blogger in all of us.

Talking blogging is a lot of details and a lot of information and a lot of talk about things that you might have never heard of before and it can all seem so overwhelming…..and there are times when you might think you could never actually do it.

But you can.

Because….well….I mean after all…..you are you….

…and we both know that you’re a rock star.

Farmhouse-Desk

So it’s been established…..you are amazing and a rock star and full of creative ideas and projects and rooms to decorate….

….but how do you begin?

Where do you begin?

How to Start a Blog

Step 1.:  What do you want your blog to be about?

Maybe you like organizing?  Maybe you love crafting for holidays?  Maybe you like recipes or healthy eating?  Maybe you are remodeling a house and you want to chronicle your journey?  Maybe you want to write about all of the above and the kitchen sink?

That’s okay.

Answering these questions may help narrow down your focus:

If my best friend came over to my house for sweet tea….I would talk about _________________.

If Martha Stewart came to my house and I had to teach her one thing….I would teach her how to __________________.

Other people often say to me…..I think you are really good at _________________.

Rock-Star

Step 2:  Determine a name

This is so much more important than it sounds.

No pressure or anything. :)

You want to make sure your name represents what you are trying to say.

It’s also helpful to include a highly searchable term….like farm or diy or decor.

Then you want to check to see if the name is available on the web.  In other words….you want to ensure that no one else has already claimed that name.

You can do that by entering the name on any domain name website….like Go Daddy or Blue Host.  If the name is available….you also want to check all the social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter and Instagram and Google + to make sure it’s available over on those sites as well.  One of the most common mistakes you can make when you are setting up your blog is not keeping your brand consistent across social media.

If the name is available….you want to purchase your name.  This isn’t very expensive….you can look at all the plans and the length of time to determine your price.

I think I paid $12 for my name when I started.

Tulips

Step 3:  Decide if you want to use Blogger or WordPress

This is the million dollar question.  There are pros and cons for both sides.

Here’s a great article that explains a little more about both.

I have WordPress and I love it.

There are two types of WordPress (are you confused yet)?  The free kind and the paid kind.

I started with the free….but it was very limiting….so I graduated to the paid version.

If you choose the paid version of WordPress you can sign up through the same place you purchased your domain name….like Go Daddy or Blue Host.

I think I paid $75 for two years of hosting when I first started.

Hand-writen-lampshade

Step 4:  Decide what you want your blog to look like

Choose your template.  There are hundreds and hundreds of free templates.

Just google blogger templates or wordpress templates and look around until you find one that you like.

Now here’s where it can get a little interesting.

If you are tech savvy and brave and bold….you can install your own template.

I was not. :)

I hired someone to do it for me.

There are several resources listed below of people who can do this for you.  You can also e-mail me and I can give you some recommendations.

the-chapel-market-rockstar.jpg

Step 5:  Decide what you want to include on your blog

Here’s a few suggestions on what I would include if I were starting a blog:

Header                

Footer

Social Media Buttons                

About Me Page

Email Follow Box                  

Search box

Navigation Bar                    

Projects Page

House Tour                      

Facebook Follow Box

Popular Posts                          

Contact Information

 

Step 6:  Write your first post and hit publish

I think this is the hardest step.

I mean….you are sharing a little of your heart with the world.

And you are wondering if the world will listen.

*sigh*

It’s scary….I know.

I understand.

But if you write about what you love and share your heart with authenticity and purpose….you and your blog….

……will find your audience….and your voice. :)

You CAN do it.

Confessions-of-a-Newbie-Blogger3_thumb.jpg

And here’s a little help.

Listed below are many resources to get started.

And I’m here….to help….to encourage….to answer questions…..cheering you on every step of the way.

You can e-mail me here.

I also have a blogging consulting business if you need more in-depth help and encouragement.

For details and pricing….click here.

And today….I’ll be on Facebook and Twitter today from 3-5pm EST along with all my blogging buddies to answer any questions you might have!

Just use the hashtag #bloggingconfessions to follow along.

I’ll be joining these amazing bloggers:
 

Link up to one of these 4 appropriate categories provided:



Blogging 101:In this general category link up everything bloggers need to know to be great at their craft!

Blog Design & Tools:Link up web designers, apps, articles, and tools you have had great success with!

Submission Sites & Feature Opportunities:Please link from your submission page so bloggers can easily find your policies, recommendations, and details for a fab feature!

Photography Helps:Photos are the life of the blog, it inspires and draws our readers. Link helps, tips, and hacks to better photography!










Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Want Thistlewood delivered to your inbox?

It's easy! Just enter your e-mail address below.




Comments

  1. Thanks for the pep talk, info., and kick in the pants to get started on something that seems hard, but maybe isn’t! I hope to be able to tune in this afternoon. Dreamin’ on something with no name yet.

  2. Hi KariAnne! I didn’t mean to photo bomb both sections of the link up. I didn’t realize that there were different categories. I tried to delete my links from Blogging 101 (b.c I want them in Tools), but it wouldn’t work.

    So can you delete them….I do not want to be the obnoxious person at the party who is hanging from the chandelier! Thanks!

    Have a lovely, bloggy weekend!

  3. This is such exciting news! I’m sure I’ll learn lots!

  4. Great information! I just wish this had been around when I started blogging! This is so helpful for anyone considering a blog or blogging! Thank you for sharing this! Have a great weekend!

  5. I remember our conversation like it was yesterday! Your knowledge and guidance is priceless!!!~~Angela

  6. I’m not sure this has a category, my friend, so I thought I’d include it here. This is my hubby’s hysterical look at surviving a blogging spouse! He’s quite the charmer :) http://martysmusings.net/2013/02/how-to-survive-a-blogging-spouse.html

  7. Hi KariAnne,

    Great Post!!! Like Betsy@coastal-colors, I wish I had this information prior to publishing my blog, Williams’ Haven. Thanks for sharing. Love your blog – Thistlewood Farm.

  8. I’m confused about the links. Is that for this afternoon on FB/Twitter? Is it for people wishing to share or wishing to learn?

  9. Your consult at the start ( my start) was worth pounds of gold!
    xx

  10. This is seriously THE BEST post I’ve ever read on starting a blog (and I’ve read a lot of them) – oh how I wish you had written it about two years ago! YOU are the rockstar for sharing this wealth of information! Blessings to you!

  11. Oh thank you KariAnne. I have a dream of starting a blog but I’m clueless. You gave terrific and clear steps on how to start. I’m encouraged to perhaps one day…maybe…give it a try. Cause after all, as you said, we’ve all got some sort of blog inside of us just scratching to get out and bloom. And I am ME…a Rock Star?

  12. YOU have a beautiful voice. What a gift you have to make people feel at ease, to communicate clearly, and your style…well – fantastic. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us. Great, great post.

  13. KeriAnn,
    Thank you for this post. I have been planning a blog for about 18 months. Fear? No. Procrastination? No. Simply life…getting in the way. But … In all things… God’s timing is perfect. As life got in the way, it better defined how my blog would provide a signature service…. And so ….I am eternally grateful. I will let you know when the first series are ready. I will also keep this post and your consulting offer close….should doubt, panic, or crisis erupt.
    Take care. Keep inspiring. And always be blessed.
    Susie

  14. Great advice Karianne!

  15. Great Post! Inkspirational Messages (http://www.inkspirationalmessages.com) uses WordPress, and we love it, too. One of the 10 of us takes care of the management side of it, and we’re currently undergoing a facelift! (If only it were that simple . . . ;) )

    Good advice, great encouragement! I’ve considered doing my own someday, as some of my goals have changed with my writing – but for now, I’m sticking with my group and enjoying blogs like YOURS!

    Happy “snow” day! ;)

  16. Excellent information! I got sidetracked surfing dwellinggawker ;) Can you tell me what settings you use when you are taking your photographs? My house gets great light in the middle of the day, (when I’m at work ) so if I don’t do all my pictures on a Saturday or Sunday, they are less than stellar. I have a nice Canon Rebel T3i and am getting better and better, but I’m trying to achieve that brightness like your photos and it eludes me…

  17. I started on WordPress.com too… Sometimes people ask if I would have gone directly to self-hosting, had I known then what I know now. I am never really sure what a good answer to that is. The community and simplicity were fantastic, switching and rebuilding… Not so fantastic.

    I’d be curious what you would do??

  18. I tend to take the pictures first and then try to figure out something to say about it..Good post..

  19. Hehe! I feel you are talking to me! Really, this is a well planned post- so informative, great people, great minds. This is so good! Sadly, I haven’t moved past #2 on the list for 6 months. And it took me 3 years to get to there! Love the generosity of all those linking up!

  20. Wow, the timing of this is amazing. Two days ago decided to get back to blogging, still new at it and just want to do more with it! Then you post all of this wonderful info and inspiration!! Love it, Love it! I’m on blogger right now, but have been considering WordPress, but just not sure if I’m ready to switch. Thank you again for sharing all this info!!!

  21. What a fabulous post. Hitting publish is just so hard that first time. And then the first time you put yourself out there and take off the moderating comments… You girl, are the rock star.

  22. Great post! I’m looking forward to looking through all the links! I started blogging about 6 years ago, but just can’t seem to find my niche…my ADHD kicks in and I go from posting about dogs to skittles, smoothies, sand, roller coasters…you get the picture. Picture? That reminds me, I need to start organizing my photos ;)

  23. First before I read this, I appreciate the tips.. 2nd,, why is the comment section on top. Alot of bloggers make it so hard to leave comments or how to find how to follow them? 2nd, I would love to hear from you where do you see blogging going into the future,say 2 yr span.. I am trying to learn what the hashtag means.. LOL. thank you

  24. I am beginning to think that you are following me around. When I start thinking of getting started on blogging I read yours and there it is…….a post on blogging in some form or fashion. This was such a great post and it just boils over with information. Looks like I have lots of reading and note taking ahead of me.

  25. This is a great post for folks just getting started. I especially appreciate the link up to other resources and info. Thanks for gathering them.

  26. Hi Kari Anne, Thank you for stopping by Sweet tea N’ Salty Air, it’s an honor! As soon as I realized that many other bloggers wardrobes consisted of Paint doused clothes I knew that I was in a world with people that were like me with like passions such as crafting, decorating and cooking, oh and gardening as well. The best part for me is the inspiration I receive and the inspiration I send. I have been at the blogging detail for a little while and found your post very informative as to what details need to be done to blog at more of a successful rate. Thank you for sharing all of this wonderful information! Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  27. For those of us just dipping our toes into the blogging pool, thank you for this post. I really appreciate the links, too. I have a lot of reading!

  28. Fabulous message. I also think there is a blogger in all of us, but finding what exactly to say can be tough. The hardest part for me with each post is overcoming all of the questions before I hit publish. Will people like this topic? Did I include enough information? Did I talk too much? Are my photos good enough? The more posts I publish the more confident I feel! Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. Thanks for a wonderful linkup. I visited a bunch of the links today and found all sorts of helpful information! I also linked a post up. I wish I had known more when I started blogging, but better late than never, right?! Thanks for putting this together and sharing with everyone!

  30. As a baby blogger (2 mo.) the link section was so helpful. Really appreciate the time you put into it. Although sadly, I just spent the last 2 hours reading rather than writing! I’ve been reading and loving your blog for quite awhile – you inspire me. Thanks!

  31. Thanks so much for this series! Blogging is new to me and I’ve been trying to absorb everything. :) I even decided to be transparent about the process in my year-long peek at building blog income. http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com/how-to-start-a-blog

    Can’t wait to learn more from you!

  32. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you
    would have some experience with something like this. Please let
    me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog
    and I look forward to your new updates.

  33. This is such a great post! Thank you so much for sharing your story, it made me feel much more confident when it comes to blogging. It also completely validated my feelings and made me realize I am not crazy to be nervous about putting myself out there!

  34. Robin Stephens :

    Thank you ever so much for the post. If there is a “Way Below Zero” on the scale of blogging knowledge, I’m way below the Way Below Zero scale. However, I’m going to read….and re-read….then I’m going to read this post again….until my itty bitty brain absorbs it all and I can venture off the dusty dirt road onto the highway of blogging. I’m in….well, my heart is! My lil heart’s been in for a couple of years! Okay…off I go!! Warm hugs and many thanks.

  35. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your weblog.

    You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load off,
    I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please shoot me an e-mail if interested. Many thanks!

  36. thanks for your valuable posting it was very informative. i am working inErp In Chennai

  37. This was extremely helpful!! It gave me the little boost and motivation I was looking for to get my very own blog started!!
    Thank you!!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] reading all the pins that would actually open,  I really enjoyed this one from Thistlewood Farms, albeit a bit cutsie for my style, but I digress. The post was very informative and it said that [...]