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First Things First
You have to have a place for your website to live. That is called a host. When I started last year, I wasn’t sure how it would all go so I didn’t want to invest a lot of money. Siteground is where I host my WordPress blog and I have not had one single problem with it. I went with the cheapest and most basic plan. The speed is always fast and it serves its purpose well, especially when you still don’t even understand its purpose…. Haha! As far as the website to use to actually make my blog, I went with WordPress. It seemed to allow the most customization and is actually the most prevalent site when it comes to blogging out of many others. Siteground is actually officially recommended by WordPress.
Social media is not nearly as intimidating as I thought. Making pins for Pinterest ended up being a piece of cake, and pretty fun when you have the time. Pinterest actually is super helpful, not only to be informative for learning how to blog but also to promote your own blog posts. Just make sure to focus on keywords for searches and pinning. I was making it way harder than it had to be. A Pin is literally just an image you create and upload to your blog and Pinterest.
Facebook is a huge platform. This is where you will make connections and promote your work. There are tons and tons of writing groups and blogging groups you can join. This allows you to let your work be seen by larger audiences. You can make your own page just for your blog and fill it with all your articles and the things that inspire you.
Instagram is another great way to promote and connect. It is an awesome visual space to express yourself and your work. It’s just a little harder to get people to your actual site because you can’t connect websites directly to posts. You are able to set up a linktree account though and connect it in your bio to direct people to your site. You get to really utilize the #hashtag there. That helps your posts be seen by everyone else that follows those hashtags.
I also use Twitter, although not as much. Then there is Linkedin for making work portfolios, this is helpful if you are looking to get freelance work, ghostwriting, and copy-editing jobs.
When I was researching, I kept hearing about the importance of a mailing list. But not just like your regular email providers. This is a special mail subscription just for your blog. Social media gets you follows and a platform but you do not own it! Your email list, you do! You are totally in control with your subscribers this way and do not have to fall victim to social media algorithms. So it is extremely beneficial.
You connect some codes from your subscription service to your blog and then it does the work for you. It collects the names and emails of those that actually want to subscribe and get updates and newsletters from you. I use Mailchimp for this, again because it is free. You know when you start out you really are afraid to invest in anything that costs because you don’t know how it is all going to play out. Mailchimp has been perfect for me since I began this endeavor. It took some time figuring out how to make “campaigns” to send to my subscribers. Campaigns are just another word for emails. But again, YouTube didn’t fail me. You can set up a Mailchimp account here.
I know it’s a lot, and it can be confusing. There is still a lot I am trying to figure out even after being at this for a year now. But I don’t want to discourage you. The information is out there if you search for the right things.
It takes time, lots and lots of time! Time to write, time to look up information, time to promote and connect. If you are not in a hurry and your heart’s desire is to truly write and have your own little corner on the internet to showcase your work, there are wonderful opportunities that await.
Writing has a way of helping you make beautiful connections with other writers. You will also find that it opens up this whole new world you knew nothing about. Occasionally, you come across some wonderful unknown crafted writer’s website and will be in awe.
Seeing other aspiring writer’s websites has always been encouraging to me, and motivated me to be true to why I started this whole thing in the process. There are plenty of others out there NOT playing by the “money-making blog” rules and writing because they have a gift and a desire to, so trust that you are not alone if you too just want to write.
You will slowly start to come into your voice and come across other websites that want to support you by publishing what you are passionate about. Opportunities will come. You’ll find those rare sites with people spilling their hearts out onto the page, not following all the blogging rules and it will give you encouragement to push through. You will start to realize that you are definitely not the only one out there just wanting to inspire. Don’t be afraid to go at your own pace, that is when your work is the most influential.
“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”-Dr. Seuss
If you have any questions about any of this complex world of blogging mumbo jumbo, ask away! But also, if you have your own helpful tips, tricks, and insight, hit me up!
Did you miss part 1? Catch up HERE.