The moment I started college, I wanted to document my experiences growing up, how it’s like living miles away from home, experiencing things for the first time and everything I do as a college student. I knew that it was a new chapter of my life and documenting it will be memorable and fun.
I have been keeping journals since I was 16 years old. I write every day, 365 days a year. No misses.
I’m not quite sure why I like to write. I don’t like the subject English, my grammar is not good, my vocabulary is not as wide as others, and I often misspell the words I write. But still, I keep writing. Because I don’t like dead stories. Like what they say, It’s better to tell it to yourself than not telling anyone at all. Otherwise, it would be a story that has never been told.
I said it before on my very first post in this blog that I like to share things including my thought. Whatever it is. So here’s what I thought. In today’s generation, they say that a blog is a new journal for every millennial. I believe this is true. It is a great way to share your own unique stories and maybe, you might inspire other people through blogging.
Never did I know that from this, I could find jobs online or remote jobs that can help me earn money.
Benefits of Having a Blog
It will be your Portfolio
Like applying for a job, you need a resume. Your blog can be that resume (a better version of it if you ask me).
For example, if you’re a writer, you can put all your write-ups in your blog. If you’re a photographer, your blog will be the exhibit of your best shots. If you want to be a virtual assistant, having a blog can teach you a lot of things such as managing a website, social media marketing, and SEO knowledge. These things can help you land a job in the future.
As for me, my blog is where I put my creative activities that I enjoy doing such as writing, photography, and video making. It is also a way to improve my marketing skills using social media.
Always make sure that your blog can show your skills and things you can do.
Your online presence will be better
We all know that we search for everything online. Recruiters will investigate you online too. Your clients can see your online presence and what have you done so far.
That’s why having a website or a blog is a great way to show your personality and your professional traits. You can control what content you can show in your blog and make sure that your content align with what you do or what you can do for your future clients.
It helps you build a network
In blogging, you can connect with your readers, fellow bloggers, digital nomads, and even future clients. Having a good amount of connections can lead you to a lot of things, including having a remote work.
It is also good that you attend events, or join an organization to help you make your blog better and to make your connection wider.
In my case, I have friends who blog as well and gave me some online jobs. You can even get some jobs from your friends too.
Connections do matter in the digital world and in the real world.
You can have your Personal Brand
For me, I treat my blog as my personal brand, my business (not earning much though. HAHAHA). I treat my blog with pride.
Your blog is more than a place where you can put anything you like. It is a place where you put your personal thoughts, visual and intellectual creativity.
It is a part of you!
I just want to let you know that it will not come fast as you want it to be.
It is better to make a blog that you enjoy doing and everything will just follow (including earning money from it and having an online job with the help of it) as long as it is your passion and you put all your efforts into it.
I want you to start a blog. Yes, you! Since you’re reading this post you may want to start a blog but maybe you don’t know how, or you just need a little push to do that. Don’t worry. I will help you with that. Here’s a quick guide on how to start a blog.
STEPS ON HOW TO START A BLOG
Step 1: Find a niche and decide what to blog
It might be about travel, lifestyle, photography. Maybe a mix of everything.
No matter what you want to write, you should pick a niche in order to attract the right audience. If you have a very specific topic, that would be great since it will be unique. This is important if you want your blog to be known.
Before I settled on a travel blog where I share my crazy adventures and silly misadventures, I started sharing about myself, what I was doing, and what I was thinking. I didn’t care if anyone was reading it. I was just simply sharing my own story.
Do not be afraid to do the same. Always remember that you should be passionate about what you blog about. You can always share anything under the sun as long as it true, good, and helpful.
Step 2: Pick a name
This is the most difficult step ever. Brainstorming for a blog name is very challenging. This is because you should treat your blog name as your brand, regarding what kind of niche you will choose.
Your blog name should represent you and what you will blog about.
Here are a few tips on how to pick your blog name:
Keep it short and easy- Your name should be easy to understand and remember. Example if you are planning to create a travel blog:
- Avoid creating a blog name with a lot of words like “Trip around the world with [Name]. It is hard to remember.
- It will be also good if it will stand out from the rest. Do not copy other people’s blog name especially when they are already well established. Like Nomadic [name], and Adventurous [name]. Most likely, your name will not be remembered.
- I know names are unique and it represents who you are. BUT. If you can avoid it. Kindly do not add your name to your blog name. Like mentioned earlier. Remember that you need to create a brand. However, if you really want to include your name. I’m not judging you. I’m just giving you a piece of simple advice.
- Also please avoid using numbers and hyphens since it will be difficult to write and to remember.
Do not put a limit- Think long term. Do not limit your blog name with a specific time, number and place. It should be timeless and without boundaries.
- Do not name your blog “A year of travel” when you are planning to travel for more than a year.
- Do not name your blog “College traveler” when you will eventually graduate and will still continue to travel after college.
- If you want to create a travel blog and you’re from the Philippines. Do not name your blog “My Philippines Travel” when there is a possibility you’ll write about your travels in other countries.
Check if it is available- It is good to check if your name is available. Do not forget to do your research.
- Go to Siteground to check if your domain is still available.
- Check also if it is available across social media. You can visit KnowEm.com for that.
How did I get my blog’s name?
I was trying to pick a name for my blog and asked a friend if it sounded okay or if it fit my personality. Every suggestion that I gave her was not good enough. Since she kept on telling me that I’m fickle-minded. I sarcastically said, ‘I guess I have to name my blog fickle-minded’ then she suddenly said with a big smile ‘The Fickle Feet’. And so the fickle feet it is.
Step 3: Start a blog with WordPress and Siteground
This is really good for beginners because you do not have to pay for hosting. However, you have limited options for plug-ins, themes, and other ways to customize your blog. And, your website address will be yourblogname.wordpress.com.
If you want to monetize your blog in the future. It should look professional. This is the reason why you should buy your web domain and web host which you can get in Siteground.
For more information:
- Web Domain– Is the name of your site. For example, my domain is theficklefeet.com.
- Web Host– This is a service you need to avail in order to have a space on the internet.
NOTE: If you choose to blog with the free platform WordPress.com, and you will decide to buy hosting in Siteground later on, you can easily import your posts to your new domain. Just contact them and they will help you.
Siteground is the only hosting I tried since I created theficklefeet.com. I’ve done a lot of research before purchasing any hosting and I’m very happy that I chose to settle with Siteground. Here’s why:
- Very affordable price and quality hosting- For almost 2 years with Siteground, I never had any problem. They have the best security protocols, and a ton of free options to make your website better. And what I love is they also offer affordable prices for beginners. For the basic plan in SiteGround, it can only cost $3.95 (Php 175+) per month!
- Beginner-friendly- Their interface is easy to access especially for beginners. Additionally, they have a large resource on how-tos that are very easy to understand.
- Amazing customer service- I love their customer service. They have a 24/7 Live Chat feature which I always use if I have questions. Very accessible and fast. You can just ask them anything and they will really be happy to assist you.
Steps on How to Buy Domain and Hosting Plan with Siteground
1. CHOOSE PLAN – Go to Siteground and sign up through this link. It will give you up to a 60% discount off the regular price! Then pick a plan. For beginners, you can choose the ‘StartUp‘ plan that costs $3.95 (Php 175+) per month. There’s always an option to upgrade to ‘GrowBig‘ and ‘GoGeek‘ later on. Then click the ‘Get Started‘ button.
2. CHOOSE DOMAIN – Here you can buy the domain name. First, make sure that you select ‘Register a New Domain’. Type in your blog name without spaces, and in the dropdown beside it, ensure that you have selected .com. You can definitely select other extensions like .info, .net but I recommend that you use a .com since it is the most popular and it will be easy to remember. Now click ‘Proceed’. (NOTE: If you have a domain name or an existing website, transferring it to SiteGround is also FREE once you sign up with them.)
3.REVIEW AND COMPLETE – The next page will be the billing section. Fill the boxes with your account information under Client Information and then input your credit card details under Payment Information. At the bottom, you will see the Purchase Information section:
NOTE: Regarding the ‘period’. This is the mistake I did. I did not choose the maximum plan. So if you have enough money to spend, I suggest that you go for the 36-month option where you can enjoy the 60% discount.
Also, You can order the Domain Privacy and HackAlert Monitoring to secure your website better.
Finally, click ‘Pay Now’.
How to Install WordPress
After purchasing your domain and hosting, you will receive an e-mail notification confirming your registration with SiteGround. It means that you already set up your hosting account. There will also be a separate email that will give you the username and password details. In each of these emails, there will be a ‘My Accounts’ link where you can log in. You can also go directly to Siteground to log in.
P.S. When I purchased my hosting, I didn’t receive the email immediately. I asked their customer service and they helped me have it quickly. You can always contact them if you have any problems.
For installing WordPress, you can check this step by step guide from Siteground.
If you do not know how to use WordPress yet, you can check this link for tutorials.
Step 4: Customize your Blog
This is the fun part. You can customize your blog according to what you want with it.
You can get a lot of free themes on WordPress. First, you can go to your WordPress Dashboard. On the left side, click ‘Appearance > Themes > Add New’ and a list of free themes that you can install for your blog.
Header or Logo
Since your blog is your brand, a logo or header should represent it. It is very important in the long run. But you can create this when already you have an established blog. However, it is also a good practice to have it in the early stage.
If you want to create a logo of your blog. You can check:
- Canva – the best easy way to create a lot of banners on social media. Also to create your header and logo. You can just sign up and then you can play around with it.
- Ask a friend – The Fickle Feet’s header and logo are created by my friend. Since I believe that friends should support one another, I paid for it wholeheartedly. You can also do the same.
WordPress plugins will help customize and improve the functionality of your site. Go to your Dashboard then ‘Plugins > Add New‘. In the search box, you can type the plugin then click ‘Install‘. Here are some of that you need to have:
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – This is a must. It helps optimize your google ranking. It helps you manage your SEO.
- Akismet – Comments spam is really annoying and this plugin helps to protect your website from that.
- Jetpack – This plugin offers a lot of features, such as Site Stats, top views, and Related Posts.
- Contact Form – This will add a form to your contact page so that people can email you.
Create Basic Contents to your blog
Before creating any articles, you should create the following:
- About Page– It is one of the most visited pages in your blog in the future. It is because new visitors will always check the about page. It is important that you put what is your blog about and who is the author of the blog a.k.a about you.
- Contact– Where you can be contacted. You can add here the plugin I mentioned earlier in the Contact Form. You can also add your social media accounts.
- Disclaimer/ Term of Use/ Private Policy– To protect your rights as a blogger. It is also important if you want to apply for monetization in the future.
- Others – You can add other pages in the future as your blog grows.
- About – It shows a brief sentence about you. Make sure to add your photo.
- Social Media Links – This is a great way to promote your social media accounts.
- Popular Posts – To show your popular articles that your blog’s visitors might want to read as well.
- Newsletter – This is for people who want to subscribe to your updates. You can create an email list in MailChimp.
Create an email list
As mentioned above, an email list is important. People who subscribe to your email list are your most avid readers.
In the email list, you can send updates, contests, giveaways or even products you want to promote.
Most popular is Mailchimp which has a FREE with a maximum number of 2,000 subscribers.
Other FREE options:
- BenchMark – Free for Sending up to 7 emails a month to 2,000 people
- Awebener – With a free 30-day trial.
- GetResponse – offers a 30-day free trial
Secure your social media accounts
It is important to secure your usernames. Make your username is the same as your blog’s domain. For example like mine @theficklefeet. I am happy that my social media have the same usernames. But, in case someone already has your username. Make sure to make one almost the same for example @the_ficklefeet.
Sign up for all the most popular platforms like:
Social Media is also a great way to promote your blog content. So make sure to grow your following.
Creating your own content
Important things to remember:
- Always remember that quality is always better than quantity – Always make it something valuable and meaningful.
- Try to post regularly – Some bloggers post at least 3 times a week or even every day. Others only post on a specific day like every Friday. But for me, I try to post at least once a week. Don’t be too hard on your self if you can’t post regularly, eventually, you can find your own rhythm.
- Learn and Read other blogs – Blogging has tons of skills to grow. May it be your writing skills, how to promote your blog post on social media, Google rankings, and a lot of skills that you’ll need to run a successful blog in the future. Always find time to be curious and learn.
As a reader, I always seek a kind of contents that are:
- Engaging – Create content that would let your readers to be engaged. A good way to do this is to let yourself open up and let your readers know you well. May it be a conversational, or a dare that can be a challenge to someone. Let your imagination explore the possibility, and let your personality shine.
- Helpful – Helping and giving useful ideas is also the best way to attract readers. We all want something in return, and readers might stumble upon your blog because you give them something beneficial.
- Honest – Be authentic to your own truth. Give the correct facts.
Promoting your contents
Let the world know about your blog post. Sharing it just simply means “Hey, I have a post that you might want to read”. This is a good way to find readers and promote your blog.
- Join a community or a Facebook group – Having a community that will support and helps you promote your content is really helpful. If you’re a travel blog this post of Facebook Groups is really helpful. If you’re from Cebu, you can join Cebu Blogging Community or Cebu Content Creators.
Hope this post can help you take the leap to start your blog and share your own unique stories with everyone! Feel free to comment and ask in the comment box below if you have any questions. I will try my best to answer them. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post does contain affiliate links that I earn a small commission for, but they come at NO extra cost to you! Any purchases you make through my links help keep the site running (and help me feed to survive ? ). Still and the same, as I’ve mentioned above, I only recommend brands that I personally use or believe in. Thanks in advance for your support!