Starting A Blog

Things You Need To Know When Starting A Blog

So, you love sharing your thoughts online and you wanted to have an online space for your adventures and lifestyle. And you thought, ”Okay I want to start a blog.” Well, that’s a great idea!

 

But how much do you know to really get started? Yes, it’s just a few clicks away to sign up and voila, you’re done you now have a blog. That wouldn’t be enough if your brand and contents will start to get bigger. It might be a hobby for now or an escape, but when you look on the bigger picture, soon you’ll want to earn from it. And you have to be prepared for that.

 

With so many information on the Internet, everyone seems like telling you to do different things and it’s getting too confusing to even start in the first place. I totally get you! I used to be a blogging newbie too (I still am) and I had the exact same problems.

This post will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about having a blog. I’ll talk about the basic things that you need to know when starting and I will share my real-life experiences that I have learned throughout my blogging journey. If you thought about starting a blog, you might want to read this first.

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Introduction

When I started, I wish I have known all the things that I have learned today about blogging and maybe, just maybe, I could’ve built a better blog and run it properly. But I’m still pretty thankful because if not for those experiences, I wouldn’t realize the passion that I have for writing.

 

Now that I know a ton about blogging, you can benefit from almost a decade of my experience and my blog is doing pretty well today, which makes me consider myself as someone you could listen to and learn from when it comes to starting your own blog, have it as an escape to relieve your stress and hopefully, make money from it.

 

Yes! You’ve read it right. You can actually earn money from blogging. I’m not some sort of a guru, but I certainly do know the basics. I promise, it’ll be simple, relatively easy, and definitely easy to understand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a blog?

A blog is a type of website that focuses mainly on written content. Published contents are called blog posts that are typically written in an informal or conversational style. Aside that it’s a good stress reliever, one of the main goals is to attract readers.

 

What I personally love about a blog is the way I could express myself to you guys and make you feel like I’m just actually talking in front of you as I share information about what I know since I’m that someone who sucks at keeping an actual conversation going. I think, that’s how a blog should be—raw, comfortable and informative.

Should I start a blog? I’m not a great writer

YES! Of course. There’s no other time to start than right now. You know, one of the misconceptions about starting a blog is you need to be a great writer to be successful. Sorry to burst your bubble, but nothing could be further from the truth. Most people who read a blog site is to actually get personal perspective on things, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style. With regards to the language, use whatever you’re comfortable with. But the great thing about writing blog posts in English is you get to have a wider audience of readers. Also, you don’t need to be an expert on your topic in order to have a successful blog. People just want to read a real life experience about a certain topic. That’s how simple it is.

Can I start a blog without any technical experience?

Starting a blog can seem overwhelming and intimidating especially when it comes to being technical. But even having just a basic computer skill, you can start a blog right away. If you know how to browse in the Internet and use a mobile phone to take photos, that’s a pretty great skill to start! That’s why I created this post to walk you through every step of the way for you to understand the basic and learn what you need to know so you can decide properly.

Is it possible to earn money from blogging?

Well, if you’re ready to take the leap and learn how to start a blog that can grow into a real source of an online income, then yes it’s possible. But let’s first dive in to the things that you need to know before setting up your own blog.

3 Reasons To Start A Blog

I am going to outline exactly the things for you to get started and hopefully be able to explain the details. Before we dive in though, I really want to talk about why you should build a blog. You need to have a solid idea in your head of the whys and clearly identify your goal. Here are mine:

I love to write and share things about my life in the hope to inspire othes.

  • If you simply just love writing or you want to share your experiences online as a hobby, like taking photos about your day, the food you eat, where you went, and a lot of things that inspires you to get through in everyday living so you can look back to it in the future, then these are enough reasons to start a blog.
  • It’s a great way to express yourself and share information with others. It’s pretty the same thing like having a Youtube channel, only you’re writing your contents. But guess what, you can actually have both if you want to attract more viewers.

To have a blog is like having a home that connects everything that I share online. It’s a personal, yet professional identity.

  • Having a blog can be like a center magnet of everything that you do online; like, connecting your Youtube channel, Instagram, Facebook Page, Pinterest that would drive traffic on both ends. Most influencers today, who started as bloggers are now on Youtube and they make it so easy to attract subscribers because of their blog. The most interesting part here is that their blog and Youtube channel are both earning while it opens opportunity for them.

It makes me want to become better and dream more everyday.

  • You’d become a better person, better listener to others and a better conversationalist. At least, that’s how blogging has made me. I never wanted to stop dreaming. I am hoping that I could inspire and motivate people who read my blog to continue pursuing the things that they love and dream no matter what.

With all the reasons, the best is you can make money doing it!

Having a clear goal is a key to having a successful blog. You should at least know it for yourself first, so you can create a plan, decide properly, and really work hard on it.

Start A Blog

Understanding 5 Things When Starting A Blog

On picking up a good Blog name (DOMAIN), Blog Title, and Niche

To give you a clearer understanding, you have to know first the difference between a blog name (the one we call as domain name), blog title, and a niche.

What is a blog name?

Blog name is basically the URL of your website. For example, “google.com” or “facebook.com”, these are the domain names. Got it? However, “.com” “.org” “.net”, these are the domain name extensions. You have to be very careful in choosing your blog name because it’s the name that you want people to remember.

What is a blog title?

Blog title on the other hand, is the descriptive phrase consists of a few words that describes the entirety of your blog so that potential readers can instantly tell what your blog is about. Usually, titles can be found in the title bar of your browser and bloggers use this as their blog headers as well. You should know that a blog title is optional because you can use your blog name as your blog title. That way, it will be easy to remember. For example, “makeupbyjem.com” as a domain name can have “Makeup By Jem” as a blog title.

What is a niche?

A niche is the general topic that you’ll be focusing your content. Examples include topics like travel, food, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, technology, motherhood, and etc. It should be a general topic so you can break down a specific niche to create more contents as sub-topics.

How to pick up a good blog name

A good blog name should be descriptive so that potential readers can easily tell what your blog is about. If you are blogging about a specific, yet general topic or what we call a niche, like travel, fitness, fashion, then you definitely want to include a keyword in your blog name. But you don’t have to be hung-up in one word, though.

 

For example, a makeup blog doesn’t necessarily have to have the word “makeup” in it. You want to make it even more general since makeup is part of “beauty”. A beauty blog can have a various topics that you can talk about including makeup, skincare, nails, hair, or how to whiten your butt area topics, and etc.

However, if you are planning to create a more personal blog where you discuss about your tons of interests, then I recommend using your name. Your name is highly brandable because you know yourself better than anyone else.

 

Although if you want to have a bit of privacy like, keeping your real name hidden since being a blogger means going out there and market yourself, then just make some variation of your name instead and stick to that brand or image. For example in my case, “Misskhae” is the brand name that I have created for myself. It’s a variation of my name that starts with letter K. I spelled it out and added a “miss” in it. So, I am Misskhae when I was a model, a DJ, and now as a blogger. It’s a brand image that I want the public to remember about me.

5 Important Factors In Choosing A Good Blog Name

  1. Shorter is better
  2. Brandable over generic
  3. Easy to type, spell and pronounce
  4. Avoid hyphens and special characters or numbers
  5. Use a keyword that reflects your blog

On choosing your preferred blogging platform

This is the most important thing that you have to know, understand, and deeply think of since choosing where you want to build your blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. It’s what confuses me before because I thought it’s just as simple as signing up to any blogging platform that I could find. It turns out that I was wrong.

 

I am going to take a leap and assume that you’ve heard of WordPress. It is massive. It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world with countless plugins and almost has infinite ways to design and layout your blog the way you want to. It’s honestly overwhelming!

 

But the truth is, I never started with WordPress. I started my blog way back in 2012 with Tumblr. It’s a half social network, half blog so, it was more of a diary where I keep my rants and personal issues online just to help me to get through with my anxiety and early stage depression. 

4 Reasons Why You Should Still Go With WordPress

  1. It’s way more professional in terms of how your blog will be presented. There are tons of themes and layouts that would perfectly fit on your liking and has a massive support forum in case you get stuck.
  2. Super easy to promote, connect, and share to other social media platforms that you will need to drive traffic to your blog in case you’re ready to make it as a business.
  3. Ready for monetization. If one day you want to make blogging as your job and your brand is already stable, WordPress is ready for whatever upgrade that you want to make. Like, having an online shop or market your own business on your blog. That’s pretty insane, I would say. But that’s possible.
  4. You would never outgrow it because of the infinite possibilities that you can do with WordPress.

Difference Between WordPress.Com and WordPress.org

 

 

If you really want to start a blog and make it a hobby or just an escape for now, and eventually make money from it as you build your brand in the future, WordPress is your only smart option. 

 

One thing you need to be careful of is that WordPress comes in two very different platforms. There’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

 

They have almost the same name but there are very big differences between the two. It’s a free blog and a self-hosted site, which I will be talking about on the next topic.

com versus org

On deciding between having a self-hosted blog or a free blog alternative

This is the biggest decision you’ll have to make before you go any further in creating a blog. You need to decide whether you pay for your blog or grab a free one.

3 Things About Free Blogs

Free blogs are perfect for those of us who aren’t very serious about blogging. The ones, who just wanted to have an online diary, not promote it much, let it sit there, and don’t have any interest on earning money from their contents at all. Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger offer free blogs for anyone. I know that sounds awesome because it’s free. If you have a short-term thinking when starting a blog, then it’s time for you to think it through. Here are some downsides:

  1. A free blog isn’t your blog at all! You won’t be able to get your own domain name and if you’re aiming for a professional site for your professional brand, you wouldn’t want to have these web addresses:
  • yourawesomeblog.tumblr.com
  • yourawesomeblog.wordpress.com
  • yourawesomeblog.blogspot.com

I mean, do you really want to promote your blog like you’re promoting another site along with it? No, you wouldn’t.

 

  1. You can’t fully monetize it today or in the long run. There are limits and more limits to free blogs. Worse still, free themes and plugins are limited. You can’t run your site the way you want to because technically, it doesn’t belong to you. It’s hosted on someone else’s web property and they can delete it if they want to. Oh yes, that’s possible. Which means all your hard work on your blog, all those countless hours of writing and making your own content might have gone into thin air.
  2. You have no control on your intellectual property. On a free blog, your original content can be stolen and you can do nothing about it. And you wouldn’t want that, right?

3 Things About Self-Hosted Blogs

  1. You can have your own domain name. You’ll be able to name your blog whatever you want. For example, “yourawesomeblog.com” Also, you can end it with .com, .co, .ph, .org or any other web suffix or domain extensions.
  2. Massive and unlimited options of professional themes that you can use to have a professional site depending on what blog you would like to build. There are for travel sites, personal sites, beauty blogs, magazine blogs for news and media contents, or even portfolio themes for artists, and etc. Also, the possibilities that you can do is limitless and you can always upgrade for more that would suit your needs.
  3. You have every right of all the content you posted on your blog. If your content gets stolen, you can actually file legal actions. Okay but let’s not think about that. I’m just saying that you can legally protect what’s rightfully yours.

Comparison of a free and self-hosted blog

Free blog vs self hosted

Think about this! You started a blog as a hobby, but in some fortunate event, one of your content has trended. Now you got crazy traffic but your blog isn’t ready to monetize. It’s too late to think about upgrading because every visit, views, shares from your readers is valuable. This is why I’m saying that you have to be prepared for a long-term goal when starting a blog.

So how much is self-hosted and a domain name anyway? For starters, it’s less than $5 to $10 per month, depending on your hosting provider. I got mine with only $2.75. You can already build a professional, e-commerce ready site with that price.

Click here to read my experience from having a free blog to purchasing a self-hosted site

  1. I started blogging with Tumblr. I know less nothing about blogging then, but slowly I have grown to love writing. I realized it’s something that I love to do. That’s why I came up with the decision to pursue a serious blogging. Since I had no idea how to start, I tried converting my Tumblog to a Lifestyle blog. I bought the domain “misskhae.com” and started promoting it on my other social media accounts. However, I feel uncomfortable doing it because my archived posts on that blog aren’t meant to be shared with others. So, I thought about switching to a different blogging platform.

 

  1. I finally switched to WordPress.com to pursue my blogging hobby. I started from scratch! No one has ever told me that there are two types of WordPress that’s why again, I have build another free blog. It was okay at first. I feel like everything was running smoothly as how I want it to. But over time, I have outgrown it.

 

  1. I started digital freelancing, so I purchased a personal blog plan, still under with WordPress.com worth around $27 for a year. The plan consists of one customized domain extension so I was able to have a more personal domain name, which is “ohmisskhae.blog” instead of “ohmisskhae.wordpress.com”. On the same year, I started marketing my graphic designing hobby, so I build a graphic design studio that needs to have its own social media accounts as well. My brand is getting bigger. I want to start selling graphic templates and Lightroom presets. Also, I started Youtube. I laid out a plan for more blog projects and I have totally outgrown it. The features offered by my plan are holding me back from doing all of it. If I upgrade my plan, it will cost me around $160 for a year. Being a freelancer, it’s too expensive and I can’t afford it.

 

  1. After much thought and countless sleepless nights of research, I finally transferred to a self-hosted site. I am with Bluehost and now with WordPress.org. It only costs me around $68 with a free domain name for a year. It’s honestly the best decision I have ever made and I am now enjoying my own blog to the fullest with a professional portfolio page for my graphic design studio, mailing list, and a shop where I could sell anything I want. It’s very professional and I simply love it.

Again in simplest explanation that I could think of, free blogs and just relying on a plan upgrade will be more expensive in a long-term goal. Meanwhile, with a self-hosted blogs, you might be paying now to run a blog but it will make a passive income for you in the future if you really work hard on it. Both require effort to create content, but the latter one will pay your hard work.

I strongly recommend setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog as it’s the most sustainable and long-term platform there is. It’s actually free to use (you just need a web hosting plan) and really the best option worth considering if you’re starting a blog with the eventual goal of making money in some way.

On purchasing a web hosting plan

When selecting a web hosting company, you need to make sure that it’s fast, reliable, and has the amount of flexibility, control, and long-term growth potential.

What is hosting?

Hosting is basically the company that puts your website on the Internet so everyone else can see it. Think of it as a computer hard drive on the Internet where your blog will be saved. That’s awesome, right? This is only what you’ll be paying to run your own blog.

 

And WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) where you’ll be writing, designing your blog, and publishing blog posts. It’s FREE, easy to use, lets you organize your content, upload images and videos, and have control over how your blog looks using themes.

Personally, I use Bluehost for my blog domain and hosting and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it. I got my hosting for $2.75 per month with a free domain name for the first whole year. I tell you, it’s a great price offer to start compared to having a free blog with WordPress.com and upgrading to around $8 per month, yet still having limited access.

 

If you still looking for more hosting providers, here are alternatives worth considering as well that allows you to pay for the cost of your hosting each month, which helps if you’re starting a blog on a budget, with no strings attached because Bluehost only offers annual billing.

  • Dreamhost
  • HostGator
  • Siteground

Once you get through this major stage and crucial phase in starting a blog, we’re moving into the fun part of getting your blog fully setup and running. Soon enough, you will publish your own blog.

On designing your blog: Should you buy premium themes?

 

If you’ve never worked on a blog before, designing your blog might start a little friction with the process, but I promise you this won’t get too technical. Mostly it’s just drag and drop. 

 

When you’re just getting started, I don’t recommend buying a premium WordPress theme right away. There are tons of free themes to choose from so, start with one option you like. Once your investment is finally kicking in, then you might want to consider buying a premium theme already. You can always come back and change it later.

 

Remember, your blog design should reflect both you and your personality, but also what the blog is about. On top of that, it should be easy to navigate.

 

Good blog design builds trust with your audience. It tells people that you care enough to actually make it look nice and presentable. It doesn’t have to be a complicated design wherein you need tons of fonts, colors, animations and graphics. In fact the best design are simple, clear, and easy to read.

Are you in Pinterest? You can pin it for later.

things to know when starting a blog

Overall Thoughts

Starting a blog is easy and maintaing it is really hard. But you will get the hang of it as long as you’re focus on your niche and work hard to make it grow. It’s frustrating that you give all the effort to create content, build your brand then end up starting on a wrong platform. That’s why it’s very important to have a clear goal and know the basic things that you need to know before starting, so that you have the full control of your content and site. Today, with all the challenges that I’m facing as a blogger, I never stopped l exploring and I haven’t stopped learning.

 

Once you’ve come up with the decision, I’m sure you have along way to go in the industry. I am more than confident that your initial blog setup should be smooth sailing and all that should have been really damn easy unlike my first time.

 

If by some unfortunate circumstance that you get stuck or have any questions, just get in touch with me or leave a comment below.

Happy blogging!

Read More Blogging Resources

How About You?

  • Do you have a blog? How was it the first time you’re building it?
  • What’s your preferred blogging platform? Are you on a free blog or a self-hosted site?

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Comments

  • November 27, 2020
    reply
  • September 10, 2020

    Thanks for sharing sage advice for newbie bloggers. It’s not always easy but for those who persevere, it can be quite rewarding.

    reply
  • August 2, 2020

    I have so much to learn. Thank you for this Misskhae. Please help me soon huhu. I’ll try my best to analyze everything.

    reply
  • July 9, 2020

    Thanks sa post na ito! Matagal na ko gumawa ng blog pero free blogs pa gamit ko at this year lang ako nag self-host blog. Hirap pa din sa pagfixed at pag maintain pero hopefully masanay din ako. Gumawa ako ng personal blog para lang siyang online diary ko at may babalik balikan akong mga alaala.

    reply
  • May 28, 2020

    I love coming across content that help me build my blog. I’ve only started building my blog again, and I could use all the help I can get. I’m so glad your article gave a thorough explanation of mostly everything I need to know about blogging. Thanks for this!

    reply
    • July 8, 2020

      I started a blog when I was 16. I stopped because I got discouraged. So a little about myself, I came from an all girls school. It’s not as scary as what the movies make them appear but it’s a very competitive environment. I grew up in that. Wherever I look, people were excelling in something and I didn’t identify myself as a writer. When a few girls found out, they really made me feel dumb? Like I felt really judged. They even asked me what I was blogging about in a not good way. Idk or maybe I was just overthinking. But that’s how I felt. So I stopped my first blog because of that. Now that I’m 22, I’m back again and no one can stop me 🙂 so thank you for all your guides and tips! I can’t wait to post my own personal tips when I get better in blogging or whatever digital marketing related 🙂 sorry for the long comment haha

      reply
  • May 27, 2020

    Anyone can blog, but not everyone is cut off to be a blogger. Even on my 5th month as a blogger, I still have many questions and discoveries about what I do. This blog takes me back to a very crucial time – deciding my blog name. haha!

    reply
  • May 27, 2020

    Yay! Thanks for this blog ate. It means a lot since I started blogging last year and I only did it for fun and now that I wanted to take this on another level your blog just gave me really helpful tips ♥️

    reply
  • May 23, 2020

    I started my blog because I was depressed that time when I failed my exam and I looked for another way to ease that pain and sadness. Blogging became my comfort zone but now I wanna earn too.

    I’ve learn a lot from your post and it’s a good one to read especially for those people like who’s starting from blogging.

    reply
  • May 22, 2020

    What a generous post! Ang daming takeaways, thank you. I just started my blog and a lot has to be fixed pa din, so this post is very useful to me. Thank you.

    reply
  • May 20, 2020

    I’ve been blogging since 2012 and I hope you would’ve posted this before I decided to post my blog. This is super helpful and has the basics of starting a blog. Awe I really hope this was something I was able to read when I started my blog. Thanks for sharing!

    reply
  • May 20, 2020

    I started blogging way back when I was in highschool. I was using Multiply.com and Xanga.com both are free flatforms and are now part of the internet history. I moved to blogger recenttly but I encountered an error each time I upload my photos and videos. I tried to fix it but a lot of my friends from the blogging world encouraged me to switch to wordpress and that was the best decision ever. I love reading your blog and the simplicity of your website:)

    reply
  • Tala Martinez
    May 6, 2020

    Woah! Na-overwhelm ako. I’ve been thinking of this, kaya lang baka hindi ko mapanindigan, hehe. Plus more on poems ang sinusulat ko, and I’m an introvert ??. I’ll get back to this again, re-read and internalize, hehe. Thank you po, helpful talaga ‘to sakin ??

    reply
      • May 15, 2020

        This is very informative and interesting for those who are interested in blogging field, such a great information and very effective for a new blogger…its really helpful. thanks for these Miss Khae..❤?

        reply
        • Kristel Yamzon-Oliva
          May 22, 2020

          So much learnings ang blog mo Ms.Khae. Ako naman walang talent when it comes to writing, but I love reading blogs that inspires me a lot.
          I totally agree on how you give advice on how to start blogging, first of all dapat mas maiintindihan ng nakakabasa at syempre yung nakaka relate sila. Mas naaattract sila para basahin to lalo na kung title palang lakas na ng dating. ?

          reply
    • Christian Foremost
      May 21, 2020

      Awww. I wish i read tgis way back when I started my own blog. I rushed into it and used wix because i got carried away by their drag and drop option. I ended up not gaining increasing traffic more than a year of blogging and wasting two full years of payments for them. Huhuhu. Choices. Anyways, hoping better luck now that i transfered my site to wordpress. Huhu.

      reply
  • Arlene S. Atienza
    May 4, 2020

    Super informative. Actually i want to start but i really don’t know how. Salamat dito at medyo naliwanagan po ako kahit papano. Hihi salamat po miss khae. May bago akong tatambayan na blog ?
    IG: @arlinaaaax
    YT: Arlinaaaa S.

    reply

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