Are you considering starting your own parenting blog but don’t know where to begin?
The internet is a noisy place and information overload awaits almost anyone doing research on Google.
We’ll give you the low-down on what you need to know. This simple guide is tailored to complete beginners and should provide you with the essential know-how within just 15 minutes.
Step 1: Pick Your Niche
Whether you are gunning for the top 1% and intend on making a living through blogging, or if you simply want a platform to express your opinions and document your family life over the years, the starting point is pretty much the same. If you want to bring something fresh to the blogosphere and attract visitors, then it’s a great idea to pick an ‘angle’. Being honest, there are a ton of mommy and daddy blogs out there. So Another Parent Blog won’t cut it. You want an original (or at least non-saturated) niche. For example, WeTheParents.org is a ‘mom and dad together’ blog. It’s all about getting both sides of the parenting story.
To bring something fresh to the blogosphere, and attract visitors, it’s a great idea to pick an ‘angle’. Being honest, there are a ton of mommy and daddy blogs out there. So Another Parent Blog won’t cut it. You want an original (or at least non-saturated) niche. For example, WeTheParents.org is a ‘mom and dad together’ blog. It’s all about getting both sides of the parenting story.
How to choose your niche:
What are you passionate about?
It helps to follow your passion. This will make your journey more enjoyable. If you intend on making money, then you’re going to have to put in some hard work. If you love what you write about, then it’ll never feel like work.
So what’s your passion: Nerdy, Christian, Working Mom, Scuba Diving Crazy…
Is there an audience to be served?
From your own experience as a parent, have you come across situations where an authority to advice you have been helpful? Or at least, having some encouragement from other parents going through the same thing would have been useful? If so, this may be a great place to start.
Could you help: Homeschooling children with autism? Single Working Moms?
Traffic and Money
If you are going into this with your entrepreneurial hat on, then you’ll want to do a bit of research around how you can potentially make money through the site.
There are lots of different ways that websites can be monetized:
- Sponsored articles
- Affiliate marketing;
- Selling services and e-products
- Many more…
Search blogs in your niche. See what they are already doing. Do you spot gaps? Or can you see yourself using similar tactics, eg, writing and selling an ebook? These considerations might help to steer you towards or away from a certain niche.
Step 2: Choosing your blogging platform
We’ll keep this section very brief. We recommend WordPress. So do 50% of the world’s top blogs (Technorati-Top-100).
If you want a compelling argument for why, then check out a quick guide and comparison of the best blogging platforms.
Let’s move on.
Step 3: Pick your domain name
You don’t need the perfect domain name. Just avoid terrible ones!
- Something short and easy to say
- Ideally, it will reference your niche (not essential though)
- Keep the spelling simple
- Too much word trickery (people will get it wrong if they try to enter your domain into their address bar)
- Hyphens (this is outdated and looks cheap and amateur)
- Special characters
Step 4: Get hosting
Your site needs to ‘live’ somewhere. Using web jargon, it lives on a “server” and this server will be owned and managed by a “hosting company”. Now there are tons of different hosting companies out there, so how do you choose?
Here are some tips for picking a web host:
- Don’t just go for the cheapest. Smaller companies come and go. It’s a headache if your host goes bust and you need to relocate your site. Also, cheaper companies may have poor “uptime”. Meaning that your site goes off-line from time to time;
- Look for positive customer reviews.
- Customer support is one of the most important factors. If something goes wrong (and it will from time to time), then you want friendly proactive support staff who will sort it out for you.
In our experience, there isn’t too much that separates most reputable web hosts. We say don’t worry about a few $$ here or there, instead settle on a host that has good customer feedback, particularly with regards to their customer support.
We recommend Blue Host (affiliate link). We’ve used them for about 10 years now. We like them and find their support friendly and prompt. They are also very affordable and will normally throw in a free domain name. If you use the link above to visit and join up with them, then we will get a small commission. Just so you know!
Blue Host (and most decent web hosts) do a “one-click” WordPress installation. This means it’s easy to set up your WordPress site.
Step 5: Customize your blog design
To begin with, you’ll need to pick a WordPress “theme”. You can pay for a “premium theme” or find a free one. You can always change the theme further down the road, so don’t get too caught up on it.
Once your theme is in place, you will usually have customization options where you can change your brand colors, logo and images. To get you started with making your theme your own, here are some cool links:
Now you should have the basics down. Of course, do a bit of research on the topics we’ve listed, but if you follow this general process, then within a day you can have your own personal, fully customized blog, online and ready to receive visitors. Have fun and let us know how your blogging adventures go; we’d love to hear from you.