I read numerous posts with a similar title prior to starting Glamour and Giggles and after several years of blogging, I think I can share my experiences and what worked best in my scenario that will help you start your own blog.
First thing first, creating a blog is a process, and quite a lengthy one if you’re incredibly detailed oriented and picky like me so don’t expect to have one created and ready to go within a day or two. Below I’ll list 6 steps to start a blog and my experience going through each step.
Note: These steps aren’t specific to creating a beauty blog. My goal is to help every person out there who wants to start a blog, no matter what your niche is!
Step 1: Choose a Niche
It’s important to narrow down what subject or category you want to blog about such as beauty, lifestyle, finance, photography, fashion, health, etc. It’s may even be more beneficial if you narrow down to something specific within that niche, such as beauty reviews and first impressions or comparing subscription services.
This step will help you stay focused and organized from the start! I knew I wanted to blog about beauty but ultimately I wanted Glamour and Giggles to be a place people can come to find useful information such as reviews, swatches, resources, and more.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform
There are quite a few platforms to choose from but the top 4 I see bloggers use are WordPress (what I currently use), Blogger (blogspot), Tumblr, and Weebly. I have the most experience with the first three so if you have any specific questions regarding those, I’ll be happy to assist you!
I know many people who are on the fence between Blogger and WordPress, I was in the same boat as well. Ultimately I found Blogger more user friendly than WordPress so if you’re someone who’s looking for something simple I’d suggest Blogger. If you’re more hands on and willing to teach yourself new things as time goes on, I’d suggest WordPress.
Choosing a platform was a tough choice for me because I wasn’t sure how dedicated of a blogger I was going to be back when I first started, which lead me to bounce from Tumblr to Blogger to WordPress. Tumblr was super easy for me to use but it was also the most limited so within my first year of blogging, I switched to Blogger. I LOVED Blogger, I used it for over two years and it served me well, however, my needs changed the last couple of months leading me to migrate to WordPress. I wanted to become more hands on with my blog and was finding it difficult to do with Blogger. I did tons of research and educated myself a lot on WordPress and self hosting and now we’re here!
Something to keep in mind is that you can always switch to another platform if you feel the one you first choose doesn’t work for you! There are great websites and plugins out there that make this super duper easy.
Step 3: Choose a Blog Name
I put this as step 3 rather than 2 because it’s way more fun and you’ll need a break after trying to figure out what platform best fulfills your need..or at least I know I did!
When choosing a blog name, try to think of something fun, unique, as well as something that caters toward your niche. The possibilities are endless with this step!
So, I have a confession to make. I lied. Choosing my blog name was not as fun as I hoped it would be, in fact, I was much willing to do more research on step 2 after I started thinking of a name. Like I said before, I’m incredibly picky and to have people on the internet more likely know me as my blog name rather than my real name really freaked me out. Thankfully, I came up with something I liked that wasn’t taken!
Step 4: Decide Whether or not You Want to Purchase a Domain
This is definitely something to think about. If you already know you don’t want to self host, feel free to skip this step!
I went over 3 years without self hosting and purchasing my own domain and was happy at the time. Frankly, I didn’t want to spend money knowing I wasn’t dedicated to my blog as much as I hoped to be.
Now I’m completely self hosted and Glamour and Giggles is ALL mine! I have so much more control over my blog and it feels great. I think the biggest factor in me becoming self hosted is that I wanted to be more hands on.
Choosing where to purchase your domain and host your website is a difficult choice because there are so many options and many of them will seem to fit your needs. I did a crap ton of research, read post after post, and talked to several blogger friends that are self hosted before making my decision.
Ultimately, I went with GoDaddy for both. You can be fancy and purchase your domain one place and host elsewhere but I wanted to keep it simple. I’m happy with GoDaddy and purchased 3 years of hosting, making it just a few dollars to host each month.
Step 5: Choose a Blog Template
No matter which platform you choose, there will be a number of free templates to choose from. If you’re willing to spend a little money, you can get a more appealing layout by the countless number of designers who create and sell templates. The best way to find a template that meets your needs are searching on Etsy or visiting the creator of a template you’ve seen on someone’s website.
Step 6: Start Creating Content
Once you’ve completed steps 1-5 it’s time to start writing!
These steps are a bit basic and broad but they will definitely get you going. Some things to think about as you start publishing more content is creating pages describing yourself, disclaimers, services (if you choose to offer any), contact, etc.
The possibilities are endless with blogging! You may think of new things to add/update daily or you may want to keep it simple. The beauty is that it’s completely your own and the only say that matters is yours.
You do you boo and happy blogging!