{Start Your Own Blog}

Graphics created with Rhonna Designs

Starting a “Mommy Blog” has been one of the most exciting things I’ve done as an adult! I jumped all in, paid my fees, got my blog up and running, posted a few posts, was a freakin ton little confused and then I got cold feet and backed out a couple months down the road. I am not going to lie, I completely winged it! I had no idea what I was doing and none of the gazillion Pinterest Pins really made sense to me. Shoot, I still have trouble some days, but it’s a learning curve and it’s also something that I had to do on my own and not rely on someone else to tell me exactly what to do, step by step!

For nearly a year, I had to figure out life and kept thinking I was going to make this happen again… but I kept giving myself excuses and putting it off. We traveled with my husband from Mississippi to Sioux City, Iowa mid 2016 then back south to Louisiana at the beginning of 2017, and that’s when I realized I really should be documenting our time in all these different places AND I could monetize it so that I could help take some of the stress off of my husband.

So far, I’ve only made pennies… even after reading all the hopeful Pins about “I made $X,XXX or $xx,xxx in my FIRST month of blogging!!!” Lol, It gets really easy to be discouraged when you’re not rollin in Benjamin’s after 8 weeks of blogging! DO NOT let the money part get the best of you! I truly believe that the money will overflow my cup when it’s meant to… and if that’s not this month or my 6th “real” month or even my third year of blogging, well who cares because I’m getting to do something that brings me joy! Blogging somehow makes me feel important and like I’m writing down some fun stuff that I might not want to forget down the road and possibly a helpful tip here and there.

Let’s get started real quick because I know those naptime minutes are precious!

Long Story Short Easy Steps to Start a Blog on WordPress :

  1. Choose a catchy and unique domain / website name. Check it to make sure nobody has that website already, you’ll be surprised!
  2. Decide if you want to go free (Wix or Blogger) or own your website name with a Web Host such as Bluehost [and use a program that’ll allow you to monetize without much fuss.]
  3. Install WordPress through your Bluehost account. It will be the third box down under “Website.”
  4. Combine WordPress and Bluehost.
  5. Select a Theme on WordPress … this can be a free theme, a pricey theme or a theme from a third party site such as Etsy.
  6. Personalize your site and add a photo or two! Make it yours!
  7. START WRITING and PUBLISH your first post! Go to the left hand menu and find “Posts” then select “Add New.” Play with the options at the top of your post to make certain words bold or italic or add a strikethrough for words you want to be seen, but you changed your mind about! Add links to your affiliate sites through the little paperclip looking icon by the “right alignment” icon. Change the text color for certain words so they POP!

Congratulations! You’ve just become a blogger! Woohoo!

If you’re interested on why I chose those steps up above, here’s the FULL STORY …

First off, before starting a blog, you’ll want to choose a catchy and unique domain. Mine is Life With The Clarks, because that’s who we are and this is what we do! All the things you find on my blog will be directly experienced by me, one of my three sons, or my husband. It’s a parenting / wifing / homemaking / diy / lifestyle / essential oil loving / making money from home / complaining / making it through life kinda blog! If none of these things apply to you, then you may not be interested in reading my other posts, but I figured I’d give you a heads up on what I ramble on about!

When you are looking at starting a blog you will want to highly consider web hosting for your domain and you’ll want to use a trusted company. Bluehost is who I went with because I signed up through a very trusted blogger [check out Making Sense of Cents] that I’ve followed for a while as I decided on starting my own blog to make money! I have also tried the Google blogging version, but it was not what I needed in order to monetize my blog.

Starting my blog was more complicated because I had a brand new baby last year when I started, but it’s really easy to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost!

Bluehost will give you a special price of just $3.49 per month if you sign up through this link! I started with the Basic Plan and continue to use just the Basic Plan as it’s the cheapest. I’ve got high hopes that next year when I renew, I will be able to splurge on a more advanced plan since I’ll know more about blogging and since I’ll probably renew for a longer term than 12 months.

Bluehost holds the name of your website while WordPress is the program you actually write. You’ll need to install WordPress in order to get your blog up and running! You’ll install WordPress through your Bluehost page under the “Website” tab three boxes down, look for “Install WordPress.” You will want to combine WordPress and Bluehost together, for ease of use and access!

Once you get logged in on WordPress, you will choose your Theme under “Appearance” on the left hand menu. For the longest, I used the Twenty Fifteen theme, it was sleek and simple and my family’s photo was what brought the pop of color. There are several themes you can download {and pay for} on WordPress, so I suggest you use a free one or go check out Etsy and download a great one for about $10! That’s what I did with my current theme, it came from Etsy last year and I never figured out how to upload it to my website, so I’ll have to do another post on that another day soon. I just figured out how to get it attached to my page this past month! Haha, I’m telling you, this stuff can be as tricky as you let it be!

Once you have your theme in place, you can change colors and personalize it as much as you want to. Otherwise, you will go to the menu on the left and under “Posts” choose “Add New.” From there, you’ll add a title and get to work on your brand new blog! You are able to add images through the “Add Media” tab, which is suggested because nobody likes looking at a plain website! I’ve learned that I can add media straight from my phone, then come to my laptop and move it or resize it however I’d like.

If you plan on being an affiliate for websites and will be posting affiliate links, I suggest you come up with a Disclaimer page {a page will be more permanent and not get lost like a post.} You can go check out my Disclaimer to get ideas, but please don’t copy word for word!

Bluehost is a pretty HUGE deal for me, as it will be for YOU, because it will be the BEST affiliate on your side! They have an amazing referral program once you’re signed up! Joining Bluehost will probably be the greatest thing that happens to your blog from the get go!

ENJOY the progress you’ve just made starting your very first BLOG!!! If you’re as excited as I was, you probably will take a selfie lookin a complete hot mess and post it with pride!

Send me your new blog site that you started after looking at this post! I’d love to see who I encourage to get this party started!

This was my victory selfie after finally figuring out ALL DAY LONG how to get my blog going. If only I had found an easy to read instruction guide haha!

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions at all or shoot me an email from the menu. I hope that this has been helpful! Xo.