So you’ve decided to start a blog. Now you are faced with a million choices and so much conflicting advice that you don’t know what to do. Well, allow me to add my voice to the cacophony. I’ve been blogging for four years, and I’ve learned a few lessons along the way. Are you ready to start a blog but currently feel overwhelmed by your choices? Read on for 4 choices beginner bloggers make and advice from my blogging experience.
1) Choose your medium.
I started out on Blogger, and it was actually really great for getting started since it was free. But there were a lot of things that I just couldn’t do on the site. More importantly, I didn’t have control over my content. Google can (and has) shut down a blog for many reasons. It’s rare, but it happens. If you are looking to have control over every aspect of your blog and the security knowing that you really own it, go with WordPress.org. It’s much easier to start where you want to end up than it is to transfer your entire site from one medium to another. I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress.org in October, and it has been amazing! But if I could do things all over again, I would have just started on WordPress from the very beginning.
2) Choose your host.
There are other hosts out there, and you should be very careful when making this decision. Generally, you get what you pay for… but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money to have a well-functioning site – especially when you don’t have a lot of traffic in the beginning. HostGator is the host I currently use on the site, and I have been very happy with their ease of use. Hostgator includes a domain with the cost of your hosting, which is really great. They also have one-click WordPress installs. In other words, they make it really simple to get your site up and running in no time at all. Most importantly, their prices are very affordable. When you are just getting started out, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on your hosting. Hostgator is offering 30% off on all of their hosting plans to my readers too… which is pretty awesome.
3) Choose your theme.
A good theme in the foundation for a great website when you have WordPress. I strongly suggest Divi by Elegant Themes. I use it on all of my sites, and it makes it so simple to build beautiful pages without knowing any code at all. The theme is really customizable too. When you sign up for Elegant Themes [This is an affiliate link. If you click it and sign up, I do receive a percentage of the sale. However, I only recommend Elegant Themes because they are what I use myself.], you get access to all 87 of their themes for one annual price so even if you don’t like Divi, there are a lot of other options. I have also heard people speak very highly of the Genesis framework. There are free themes available for download all over the internet. Once again, be very cautious with these. If your theme is coded poorly, your site will be slow and unmanageable.
4) Choose a schedule (and stick to it…).
I hate being tied to a schedule! That’s one of the reasons I like this whole working for myself thing. It means I wake up when I want to, go to bed when I want to, work when I want to, and play when I want to. But when it comes to blogging, consistency is key. You can post every day of the week, once every other week, or anything in between. Just remember that your readers will be expecting to hear from you. Don’t let them down. You can always schedule content in advance to cover any days that you might have to miss for events and/or illness.
So what’s your best advice for each of these choices? Do you have other tools and resources that would be helpful to beginning bloggers? Comment below.
And don’t forget to learn more about Hostgator’s hosting and take advantage of the 30% offer for my readers.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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