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If you’ve been sitting on the idea of starting your own blog, I highly recommend it! The beauty of having your own corner of the internet is you can share whatever you are passionate about. This means if you have twenty different interests, you can share all of them because it’s truly your space. Plus, it’s so easy to start!
Starting a blog was a big decision for me. I had been reading blogs for a while and noticed that the bloggers not only seemed to be really enjoying writing, but they were able to work with brands and companies.
I finally made the decision to start this space when I read about Julie from PB Fingers’ comped trip to Hawaii. It was fascinating to me that she was able to spend some epic time in Hawaii while documenting her experience all for free. Combine that with us being in Vietnam and already writing Tall Tales Abroad, I wanted more. As a casual blogger, there are a few things I recommend you do to get started.
1. Start writing! You will see a lot of sites recommending that you decide on your niche right away. They will ask if you are focused on things like lifestyle, fitness, fashion, mommy, business, etc, and then suggest that you only write on those topics.
I say, write about what you want and don’t worry about your niche. You’re a casual blogger after all and your niche will flush itself out over time as you discover what you most enjoy writing and sharing about. Some of the most successful blogs I know of are just general life happenings.
2. Brainstorm ideas to write about. I highly encourage you to start keeping lists and rough drafts of ideas to write about in a space you can access on both your phone and computer. I adore Google Docs and the Keep app for just this purpose. With those, I have an arsenal of topics to choose from and rough drafts ready to be refined.
3. Pick a blog host company. When I first started, I picked a name (that took a while!) and then set up a free WordPress URL. It was perfect because it was free, but I eventually wanted to drop the wordpress.com and just be .com so I could customize a number of things on my site and run ads and affiliate links. The free version of WordPress doesn’t let you do that.
Bluehost has been the perfect host for me. Their customer service is beyond excellent, their dashboard is easy to use, and I can add all the features I want! The hosting site runs at $5.95 per month, so it is not a huge commitment to make even as a casual blogger.
I recommend that you start with Bluehost from the beginning because if you ever decide to monetize or add affiliate links, you will be ready to go. It was also a bit of a hassle to move everything over, so starting with it outright will eliminate that nightmare completely. And if you never monetize, at least you have the comfort of knowing you are in amazing hosting hands!
4. Tell people you blog! The rule in blogging is not the same as in Wayne’s World. If you build it, they will not come unless you share your posts and tell people about your little corner of the world. I struggled a lot in the beginning with being embarrassed about my blog (I thought it sounded totally nerdy), but now it is just the way of the world. Let people know about your space and be confident in the things you have to share!
5. Explore working with companies you love. Yes, I know, you’re a casual blogger. But, casual bloggers can also enjoy talking with companies about partnerships, however small. When I first started, I accepted products for free in exchange for a blog post and some social media sharing. Since I was just starting out, I felt comfortable doing that. Now that I have more of a following, but still not huge, I make anywhere from $150-250 per sponsored post.
Not to put dollar signs in your eyes, but professional bloggers make upwards, and over, $1,000 per sponsored post. That takes some serious hard work to build their following, take high quality pictures, and write amazing content.
Here are two examples of posts I wrote for free in exchange for a product:
Here are two examples of paid sponsored posts:
6. Have fun with it! This is the number one suggestion if you are casual blogger (or a professional one for that matter!). If you aren’t having fun with your blog, then why are you writing it? Post what you want, write what you want, tell who you want, and just enjoy having this space.
RQ: If you don’t have a blog, what would you consider blogging about? If you do have a blog, share a link to it in the comments!