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Blogging. It’s the new hotness around the internet parts. Well, not that new but it sure does feel like it’s been blowing up recently. Everyone and their mother has decided to start a blog now which begs the question, should you start blogging too? And if you decide you want to, how do you even get started blogging in the first place?
It’s both rather easy and inexpensive to get started blogging. What you really need to figure out is if blogging is right for you. There are many benefits that come with blogging, a creative outlet and income potential for starters, but there are also several potential downsides as well. I will describe some of both for you and if at the end of it all, you decide that blogging is something that you NEED to try, I’ll also include a quick start guide for you at the end to help you get set up and on your way.
Why start a blog
You love to write
Surprise surprise, blogging is all about that written word. If you don’t enjoy writing then blogging is going to be a bit of a struggle for you. (An alternative I would suggest is vlogging instead. All the upside with a greatly reduced amount of writing. You do need to learn how to record and edit though. You can’t have only upsides.)
The good news is that if you simply don’t feel confident as a writer, blogging is actually a great way for you to get better over time.
You want a creative outlet
Blogging is an amazing creative outlet due to not only the writing but also to all the other background stuff you don’t think about. You’ll be writing, yes, but you’ll also be designing graphics for your posts and for pins on Pinterest. If you have the skills set you’ll be designing your website or working with a designer to create your vision. You’ll also be creating products (if that’s your jam) and all of the materials that go with that.
You like learning new things
When most people get started blogging they start out by writing what they know. As you progress on your journey you’ll need to find new ideas and concepts, explore changes in your field, and also learn new skills to improve yourself as a blogger.
If you are the type who LOVES to learn new things then there are few professions out there that could beat blogging.
You want to showcase your work
By putting your work on the internet you are basically opening up a gallery with access for the entire world to see. If you want to showcase your skills and find potential clients and customers, a blog will help you launch past your competition.
You want to earn an income from home (eventually)
Blogging is a great way to earn an income while working at home. Eventually. At the start, it’s a lot of hard work while getting very little. Once you’ve built up your site and started to find a stable readership though, you can earn a solid income on your terms.
Reasons to NOT start a blog
You need money NOW
As I said above, earning an income of a reasonable amount can take time. Most bloggers won’t see a dime for several months after they start. Some take years. Some never earn a thing. That’s totally okay if you are blogging as a hobby for fun, if you need a solid income quickly you may need to look at other options.
You are easily overwhelmed by change
Things change frequently and quickly with blogging. What works today may not work tomorrow as Google changes its algorithm, tech is no longer supported or updated, and reader preferences shift.
For the most part, these are easily manageable things that you can take care of yourself. Some things may take a quick call to a tech helpline or even hiring a developer. If you are easily overwhelmed by a changing landscape, then blogging might be hard for you.
You don’t have the time/mental energy to put in the time necessary
Getting started blogging, especially at the beginning, is HARD work. There is a lot to learn and a lot to do if you want to gain traction and turn it into a career. On top of that, it takes a not-insignificant amount of mental energy to come up with creative and unique topics to write about. And then you actually have to have time to sit down and write about it!
Bloggers wear many hats and have quite a lot to do outside of writing as well.
- Creative graphics for posts and Pinterest
- Social media
- Responding to reader emails and social media comments
- Drafting newsletters
- Contacting sponsors and researching affiliates
- Creating products
The list goes on and on! Sometimes it feels like there is always something else that needs to get done. That’s not to say that people with limited time can’t blog. One of my favorite bloggers got started by only working 10 hours a week in between her duties as a stay at home mom. You can find her whole 10-hour time block strategy here which I highly recommend (I follow a modified version of this myself!)
How to start a blog
Decide what you want to write about
The very first thing you need to do before you even consider spending any money is to decide what it is that you want to write about.
Pick a Host and Domain Name
Siteground is my preferred host and domain name provider. I’ve used them for FI Adventure since almost the beginning. They have world-renowned customer service and some of the lowest prices around for people just getting started blogging.
Sign up with my link here and get up to 3 years of hosting for just $3.95 per month!
One of my favorite features of Siteground is that they save you the trouble of downloading, installing, and configuring WordPress manually by offering a simple click-and-install option. Their system takes care of everything right at the beginning so you can start customizing your WordPress site faster. All the features you select are automatically installed on your site, turning the standard default WordPress installation into a beautiful and fully-functional website in minutes – no technical knowledge required!
Pick a theme
WordPress has hundreds of free themes for you to choose from and customize. You can also find many free and low-cost themes online through google and places like Etsy.com
Get started writing!
The most important part! It’s time to put all your great ideas to paper and get started writing.
Blogging is an amazing opportunity for people to improve their writing, have a creative outlet, and showcase their work to the world. It’s also not a bad way to make some money on the side! Although there are some downsides (it takes a while and a lot of hard work to make even a few dollars at the start) it is an incredible first step to making your mark on the internet.