Have you been wondering how to start a blog? Thinking you would like to make money blogging? Here are some things that I wish I knew when I started out that hopefully will help you get started on the right foot.
How I Started This Blog
I started this blog, Whole New Mom, kind of on a whim. Friends were asking me for recipes since they were on special diets and were having a hard time figuring out what to eat.
So one day, when one friend asked for 3 recipes in one weekend (I think it was my Homemade "Almond Joy" Bars, Silky Bean Fudge, and Moroccan Carrots), my husband said, "You really need to start a blog to get all of this in one place"--so I decide to take the plunge.
It's been a great experience, but also a lot of work and an incredible learning experience.
I'm sharing what I have found, in my opinion, to be some real "gold mine blog resources" that have blessed me in so many ways, that I really can't keep them to myself any longer (that's kind of how I am about all "good finds" :-)).
I suspect that this list will be ongoing, but here is a list of the things that have been the most help to me in my blogging venture.
I think that you will agree that each one of these is top notch.
This post may contain affiliate links from which I will earn a commission.
BLOGGING HOW TO
Amy Andrew's blog is where I started and it's where I keep going for blogging info.
Amy is super knowledgeable but also balanced. She's a mom like me with limits on her time. We can't do everything and she reflects that truth in all of her blogging recommendations.
BLOG HOSTING AND DOMAIN REGISTRATION
For smaller blogs:
I started my blogging journey with Bluehost.
So there are a lot of people saying that Bluehost isn't the best place to start. That can be the case, but wasn't for me.
For me, numerous times they went above and beyond to help me with blogging issues and problems (including the time when some icky person put very undesirable images on my site. :-(. And their service is guaranteed.
I recommend that you go for the longest possible plan available. If at any time you decide to leave or cancel your service, they will refund the unused portion of your plan - no questions asked.
Just make sure your site is backed up there or elsewhere (this is ALWAYS something you want to have done). Just. In. Case.
For Larger Blogs:
BigScoots is my previous host and they did a great job. My speed got a lot faster, and that is VERY important to Google. You. Want. A. Fast. Blog.
Plus they are smart and overall very responsive. And they're not too expensive either. Check them out. You'll be glad that you did.
This is where my site is now. I moved to them for pricing (they had a screaming good Black Friday Deal). Overall my experience was great though my migration didn't go the best, which appears to have been an anomaly. I love that they have phone support.
WordPress / IT Support - IMark Interactive
At first, you might want to try to do everything yourself, but after awhile, likely that will become difficult. Once you can afford it, I would HIGHLY recommend you find someone to help you manage things.
I have tried a variety of people over the years, but most were just NOT up to par--some costing me LOTS of time and money (and doling out very poor advice at times).
Right now I am working with Grayson at IMark Interactive. He's great. I've worked with him for well over a year and am very satisfied with his professionalism and helpfulness and knowledge base as well.
If you aim to have nice photography as a part of your blog, then a good camera is a must. I have a good eye, but there is no substitute for having both.
I ended up just going with the recommendations that my local friendly camera store gave me and they haven't steered me wrong.
I've somehow been able to make it this far without a tripod but that is next on my list.
I have this light kit in my shopping cart at Amazon--great for dreary days or when you just can't get that shot done during the day time.
Genesis Themes by StudioPress Themes for WordPress
I'm with Genesis now :). I had been with a free theme (Atahualpa) since the beginning. Because, let's face it - free is a really good option when you're just starting out!
But I've been researching other themes for awhile now and Genesis has been recommended far and above over all the others. It's not that much money and it has built in SEO helps. Also, their support forum has been touted as being fabulous.
Atahualpa has been good, but they had an update awhile ago that left no spaces after all punctuation on my blog. What a mess! I couldn't figure out how to fix it and last I heard there still wasn't a fix for it. So I never updated. Sometimes you just get what you pay for.
I am very happy with Genesis. I think my design is much more readable and the move has led to more traffic for sure :).
I hope this helps you get on your way.
Enjoy the journey!