Start a Blog

Welcome to my page about how to start a blog.  I get contacted several times per week from people who are interested in launching their own blog.

I figured I would create a page on this website to answer some of the common questions people ask me and share some valuable resources to help you get started with your own blog.

Let me begin by telling you that blogging can be a great way to make some extra money, start a new career, share your thoughts, or start an online business.  It isn’t fast, free or easy, but it’s worth it.   It’s also one of the best business models I’ve found to create a part-time income, while you keep your day job.

You have no overhead.  You can get started for less than a couple hundred dollars.  You can work from anywhere in the world.  And you can live your dream and do something you love!

I’ve been blogging since 2009.  I started part-time and have been doing it full-time for the past four years.  I’ve had ups and downs, trials and setbacks, but it has been very fun and rewarding. My wife and I both work from home and don’t have or need jobs.  We’re not rich by any means, but we live a great life.

start a blogWhat is a Blog?

This is the most frequent question people ask me.  Think of blogging as something similar to an online journal or diary.  It is organized by category or in chronological order.  It’s normally updated several times per week, and sometimes several times per day.  You pick a topic you are passionate and knowledgeable about and you write about that topic frequently.  On the other hand, a website is something static that doesn’t get updated very often.

Who is a Good Fit for Blogging?

I believe that anyone can be a good fit for blogging.  It does take lots of hard work especially the first few years.  TONS.  It takes time to succeed.  You don’t have to start out as a great writer, although that is a huge advantage.  Basically, if you are looking to express yourself, create an online presence, work from home, or write about something you love, you would be a great fit for blogging.

Why You Should Start a Blog?

Here are the biggest reasons to start a blog of your own, as I see it.

  1. To make extra money
  2. To share your knowledge with others and help people
  3. To create a laptop lifestyle
  4. To create residual income
  5. To do something you love

How to Start a Blog

Listed below are my 8 steps to start a blog of your own.  I have also provided links to some YouTube videos with instructions on how to do it.

Step # 1: Pick a Niche and USP – Simply put, what will your blog be about?  What is the subject of the blog?  Most people make the mistake of picking a niche that is way to “broad” in its sjubject or theme.  As a result, they end up competing against the big companies and never get noticed online. You can’t be all things to all people.  You need a targeted niche.  Your goal is to become a big fish in a small pond.

More importantly, what makes your blog different from everyone else’s blog in the same niche? Why should people spend their valuable time on your blog, and not on your competitors?

This is easily the most overlooked step when people start a blog, yet it is also the most important step.  To give you an example, my target market for this blog is anyone serving in the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, or Defense Force.  I also target veterans and military dependents.  This video should help you determine your target audience.

Step # 2: Pick a Domain Name – You want a catchy domain that ends with a dot com.  You want it to be three words or less, easy to remember, with no dashes or hyphens in it.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have picked a different domain for this website, maybe something like parttimesoldier.com, instead. I regret using hyphens.  I regret picking part-time-commander.com.

The reason I don’t change it is because it is already established online and I have no desire to start over again with a new domain and have to re-create that authority.

Put a LOT of thought into your domain name.  Brainstorm at least twenty to thirty ideas and share these ideas with a few of your trusted friends.  This video should help you pick a good domain name.

Step # 3: Purchase Your Domain and Hosting – You can get your hosting here at Blue Host. This is who I use myself.  I highly recommend them.  I have used several providers through the years and these folks have provided my best experience, and at the best price.

You can get a domain and hosting for one year for approximately $100.  It’s a great deal.  They also have services where they will set up everything for you, or offer coaching to help you through the process.

Step # 4: Install WordPress – The next step is to install WordPress onto your hosting account. This is free to do.  It’s also very easy to do.

Step # 5: Order a Custom Theme – Once you install WordPress the next step is to get a custom theme.  You can choose from one of the free themes, but I highly suggest something custom so it looks even more professional.  There are theme options within NameCheap you can pick from.  A good theme will cost you $50 to $200.

Step # 6: Set Up Your Pages and Layout – Next, you need to set up your pages and layout. This would include your about me page, contact page, privacy page, welcome page, etc. on your website.  Here is a video on how to do that.

Step # 7: Create Your Content Blueprint – The next to last step is to create your content blue print.  This means you make a list of at least 300 topics you will write about.  These are known as keywords.  Each one of these “keywords” will be a different blog post on your blog.

Step # 8: Start Publishing Content – The final step is to start publishing content.  Content is king. I suggest posting daily, or minimum twice a week.  You can outsource this if you don’t want to do it yourself.  Here is a video with tips about providing great content.

Let Me Do It for You

If you want to hire me to do all of this for you, feel free to give me a call or send me an email.  I can install WordPress on your site, set up the layout and initial pages and help you get started. I’ve helped a lot of people do this through the years.

Suggested Books About Blogging

  1. How to Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job with a Blog by Bob Lotich
  2. How to Blog for Profit without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
  3. Pro Blogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income by Darren Rowse

Final Thoughts

Thanks for visiting my page about how to start a blog.  I hope you found the information helpful.  If you have questions or need help with anything, feel free to reach out to me. You can send me an email to chuck@part-time-commander.com or call my home office at (352) 503-4816.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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