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Do you enjoy reading blogs? Do you have great ideas, stories, recipes, crafts or just thoughts you want to share with a wider audience?
You should totally start a mom blog! Come on, all the cool kids are doing it 😉 .
Starting a blog is not all that difficult, but if you want to start it off right there are a few things you should do to set yourself up for success from the start!
First off, if you have any hopes and dreams of ever making money with your blog…you’ll want to be self hosted (you can scroll to the bottom of this post to find out why I don’t recommend starting your blog on a free blogging platform and YES this includes Blogger custom domains).
Even if you don’t care about making money with you blog, if you want your content to be safe and owned by YOU, you’ll want to be self hosted.
Click here to find out my 3 reasons why you do NOT want to start your blog on a free blogging platform.
Now that we’ve established that we don’t want to start our blogs on a free platform, let’s talk about what I DO recommend.
A self hosted WordPress blog with a premium theme.
√ Complete control.
√ SEO out of the box (search engine optimized)
√ Possibilities are ENDLESS! (this includes income potential! )
How Do You Start a Mom Blog?
It’s super easy. You can get started in just 4 quick and easy steps once you know what you want your domain to be named (I might do a post on domain naming one day if y’all want me to!)
1. Buy your domain
2. Purchase hosting and change your name servers to your host (not as scary as it sounds)
3. Install WordPress
4. Pick a theme
Step 1: Name That Blog!
I buy ALL of my domains from GoDaddy! Why? Because they always have good deals and coupon codes (just go Google “GoDaddy Coupon Code”, I’ll wait. Okay…got it? Let’s proceed!) and because it’s easy.
1. Go to GoDaddy via this link
2. Enter your desired domain
3. Follow the directions until you are registered! (you’ll have a choice to register your domain for a year or more. Totally up to you, but you’ll have to renew yearly or when your domain expires so just keep that in the back of your mind)
Step 2: Give your Blog a Home! Purchase Hosting.
My blogs are currently hosted on Wired Tree which is also a GREAT choice but a bit pricey for your beginner blog needs.
I originally used Host Gator though and it was very reasonably priced and was a good fit for my site (PLUS get a $9.94 discount when you use the promo code FamilyFriendlyFrugality).
Here’s how to sign up for Host Gator and how to switch your nameservers from GoDaddy to Host Gator (easy! Not as scary as it sounds!):
2. Sign up for whatever plan suits your needs. The smallest plan is fine, but if you have the slightest inkling you might ever want another blog (I’m telling you, domains are like potato chips…addicting!) I’d sign up for the baby plan. Remember to use the promo code FamilyFriendlyFrugality
3. After you sign up, you’ll get an email with your log in info. Go ahead and log into your Cpanel (the link will be in the email you receive).
4. Go back to your Go Daddy Control panel and pull up your domain information.
5. Take the nameserver info from Host Gator (on the left sidebar of your Cpanel) and paste it into the nameservers on Go Daddy. This might take about 24 hours to switch over so don’t be surprised if you don’t see your blog for a bit while everything switches over!
(if this is confusing, check out this helpful video I found on YouTube)
Step 3: Install the Most Powerful Content Management System EVER…for FREE!
Installing WordPress onto your domain is easy peasy with most hosts.
Step 4: Make ‘er Purty: Purchase Your Theme
First off, this step is optional. You can get plenty of free themes for your WordPress blog. In fact, a few come already packaged in with your WordPress Install. You can also try Atahualupa which is another good free theme.
I’ve had both and they are both awesome. I’m generally on whichever theme my designer thinks will work best for my site from an aesthetic standpoint (which at the moment is Genesis for the majority of my sites).
You really can’t go wrong with either.
Installing a theme is simple.
2. Once you receive the download zip file from the developer, log into your wordpress blog.
3. Go to Appearance—-> Themes—->Install Themes—->Upload and install the file to your site.
4. Activate your theme and have fun!
(Optional) Step 5: Get a Professional Design
You can make your blog look good just using a premium theme. Taking advantage of it’s out of the box features, googling tutorials for how to make it fancy, uploading your own pictures or purchasing ClipArt or iStockphotos to make it visually appealing…OR you can hire a professional designer and work on the part of blogging you started a blog for. To blog!
I recommend Laura from PixelMeDesigns. She does ALL of my web design. I seriously don’t touch it anymore, she takes care of all of it! The best part? Well, if you know me you know I am FRUGAL (um, cheap). Laura has great prices and is very reasonable. I highly recommend going with a professional web design from PixelMeDesigns!
Get To Blogging!
It’s time to get to work! Start writing and filling up that fun blog with all kinds of awesome. I can’t WAIT to read your blog so be sure to leave a link in the comments so I can add it to my Feedly Reader!
1. You are on someone else’s turf. Kind of like when you go to someone else’s house…they can kick you out at any time for any reason and when they say ya got to go…ya got to go! I’ve seen SO many bloggers have their free blogs taken away. Sometimes there is a valid reason, mostly (from what I can tell) there is not. There is rarely any recourse either.
2. Free platforms often have restrictions that might prevent you from taking your site to the level you might eventually want to take it one day. Design restrictions, structure restrictions and even terms of service restrictions.
3. Future advertisers and PR companies might not want to work with you if they know you are on a free platform like blogger, typepad, tumblr, etc. It shows you might not be as serious or as knowledgeable about blogging and it can seriously hold you back.
I also don’t recommend starting off on a free platform with the intention of moving to self hosted in the future. Now, that’s what I did with Family Friendly Frugality…but it did actually cost me more money in the long run. I don’t like to think about just how much 😉 .
Want to learn more about blogging? Check out the blogging resources I think all bloggers should have AND my blogging category.
Here are all of the Blogging Posts on FFF:
Blogging Resources All Bloggers Should Have
Monetizing Your Blog: Building Traffic
Bloggers: How Do You Monetize Your Blog?
How to Start a Successful Money Making Blog
Bloggers: Why Email Subscriptions Are Hugely Important (Plus a How To)
How to Link a Clickable Image to A Document or PDF?
How To Monetize A Blog Without Selling Out
3 Myths About Making Money With A Blog – Yes, You CAN Do it!
How to Set Up A Test Site for Your Blog (Self Hosted WordPress Blog)