on Marketplace Mommies
- Picture Posts
- Busting 5 Myths about Twitter
- How and Why to Guest Post
- Selecting a Blog Name
- Newbie’s Guide to Blogging
First things first you need a name for your site.
Go here to read my guest post about figuring this out and then come back and finish reading.
Once you decide on a name for your site, then you need to decide on the platform. I chose wordpress based on all the sites that I liked that were using wordpress. I also liked the control of having a self hosted site. Other choices are blogger and blogspot, among others.
Next, you need a host to provide service and someone with whom to register the domain. I used Dreamhost for both of these. I followed an ad off the wordpress site that recommended Dreamhost. It was the cheapest one at $9.95 for a year’s registration of a domain name and I think the special they were running was $3 per mo for a 2 year contract. If you sign up with my link and use code MIM001 they will give you a free domain name, but there are lots of choices including Blue Host, Fat Cow, and Go Daddy that are also pretty popular.
You will need an ftp loader to upload your files to your hosting service. The free one that I use is filezilla.
You will also need a photo editing software. The free one that I use is gimp.
Those adds you see on people’s blogs? Those are affiliate programs. As a blogger, you apply to the program and they give you access to various advertisers that will pay you for each lead or sale you generate from someone clicking on a link on your site. The ones I’ve stumbled across and have made money with are:
And yes, if you sign up through these links I do get a couple $’s.
A piece of advice…
Are you starting a blog solely to make money? Quit. Don’t bother.
Yes, there are a rare few that can make a living blogging. They are the very few. You may make enough to cover your expenses…but you better be in it for something more than just $. If not, you will get discouraged quickly and will give up before you get any traction. In my first 2 months, I made about $50 after spending $38 and about 300 hours – net profit? $12 for 300 hours of my time. What is that? About 4¢ an hour? Do you think your time is worth more than 4¢ an hour? I certainly do.
Surprises Along the Way
The rewards I’ve gotten from blogging are extremely surprising to me and like that Mastercard commercial says they are “priceless”.
I joined twitter because of blogging. I have made a handful of good friends because of it. I seriously mean it – these are good friends. I know their hopes, dreams, frustrations and have a pretty good insight into their personalities. I even had drinks the other night after work with a woman I met on twitter. Yep, IRL (in real life)! Also a new skill from blogging – all those acronyms!
Speaking of twitter… learn about hashtags. They are wonderful. In particular, pay attention to #savvyblogging, #sitsgirls #blogchat and #wineparty. Great resources and fun too.
Also, share the love. Retweet posts that appeal to you. Comment on posts someone puts out there. Reach out. Make friends. Influence people.
I have been amazed at the support and sense of community and humor on twitter. It isn’t just for your phone (like I thought). I use twitter mostly on my computer and like tweetdeck and socialoomph for helping manage my twitter account. Other good twitter tools include friend or follow and Twunfollow.
Another reward from blogging that surprised me… it has encouraged me to actively focus on family time more. I am better at doing engaged activities with my kids. Why? Because I take pictures. I write about my day. I want my life to be a better one, because guess what? There are 40 people a day stopping by and reading what I have to say! Over 1,000 people listen to my tweets. Seriously? 1,000 people care what I say in 140 characters or less? Astonishing. And a great platform for accountability.
The first time someone tells you that you are an inspiration? Holy cow. I think my heart stopped. I know I was blushing for sure and looking over my shoulder… who me? Inspired you? Seriously? How did that happen?
I have loved it and recommend blogging as long as you are in it for something other than money.
There are so many things that I’ve left out. Apparently when you are passionate, you have more than enough to say about a topic! So, I didn’t get to these topics, but look into the following too:
- Blog Frog
- Google Analytics
- Google Friend Connect
- Networked Blogs
- Stumble upon
- Digg it
- Product Reviews
- Sponsored posts
- Guest posts
- Blog hops
- Search Engine Optimization
- Google Rank
- NoFollow Links
- Free and Paid WordPress Themes
- Site Design
What are your questions that I didn’t answer? I’ll do my best to answer them in the comment section. If you are already blogging, what resources have you discovered that I didn’t mention?