I can not tell you how many people ask me, how can I start a Gwinnett Blog? I like to write, should I start a blog? Well, because of all of those questions, I am going to make a post on it! This post is mainly targeted towards small businesses, young entrepreneurs, or anyone looking to be creative! Therefore, I want to discuss the common question I get all the time, How do I start a Gwinnet Blog?
For this post specifically, we will be going over some of the basics of blogging. In later posts, we will discuss strategies to developing your blog, how to gain more traffic, and how to monetize your blog. Although, the basics are important to start with. Therefore, let’s dive into the basics on how to start a Gwinnett blog!
Although, you might be thinking why Gwinnett?
While Gwinnett has almost a million people living in it alone, most people would not think of it as a marketing opportunity due to its proximity to Atlanta. Although, those people would be wrong because Gwinnett is a perfect place to start a business. In particular, it is the perfect place to start a Gwinnett Blog!
Over the years, I have learned that every single business would like the same exact thing. That is, more business! There is no better way to achieve this than to start utilizing one of the best tools of the 21st century, the internet. Likewise, everyone would like to make a little more money on the side, and entrepreneurs love additional exposure for their projects.
Now that we are all set, lets discuss the basics of blogging. Specifically, I am going to explain domains, hosting, wordpress, and even discuss some of the top themes on the market.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, we need to understand that blogging can increase traffic, but it will take time. I am talking 6 to 9 months of time. That is why, you need to start today and not wait any longer! Also, there are a ton of things to learn involving websites, domains, hosting providers, SEO, Social media, and marketing besides just the basics.
While there may be a handful of you reading who have prior experience with some of this stuff, most people do not. Therefore, we are going to go over each aspect individually and discuss what the purpose is, how to get the best option, and what to look out for.
Buying a Domain
While this might seem obvious, purchasing domains can be quite tricky. A majority of people, including myself, prefer to buy domains off of GoDaddy. I personally have over 50 domains on this platform, and continue to purchase more as I find a need.
GoDaddy, is by far the simplest and most convenient option right now on the market for purchasing domains. All you need to do is set up an account, search for your desired domain, and purchase it.
Although, this is where I must warn you of a few things. For one, domains do not last forever. You must set your newly purchased domain to auto-renew yearly in order to not accidentally lose it.
In addition, most domains are inaccurately priced on the website due to the algorithm set up to price each domain. For this reason, I highly recommend contacting GoDaddy support and building a relationship with one of the representatives if you plan on buying domains frequently. Another good thing about developing a relationship with a GoDaddy rep is domain availability. A lot of domains may not be readily available for purchase but they will be “parked”. Make sure to reach out and inquire on these domains because more often than not, you can purchase them.
If you are looking to just purchase one domain for your shop or blog, do not get over your head. Most people think they need to have the “.com” option of their domain, but sometimes those can be in the thousands of dollars. Do not spend thousands of dollars on a domain. It is honestly a waste of money, and there is no real difference between “.com”, “.net”, or most of the available options. There are a few exceptions like the “.app” option, but that’s not important right now.
Once you have your domain, you will need to get a hosting provider. This is where costs can also add up. To start, I used HostGator which was friendly, easy to use, and cheap. HostGator is by far one of the cheapest options on the market. Although, if you are a serious blogger or serious about growth, you can quickly out grow HostGator. I out grew my plan within the first 9 months of blogging, and they disabled one of my websites due to the high traffic and CPU usage.
I had to spend weeks migrating all of my files to a new hosting provider, which is now NameHero. NameHero is not only faster than HostGator, but it also scales much easier for all of my growth needs. I went ahead and got their largest plan, and so far I am very happy.
Hosting is extremely important for several reasons. First, your hosting provider really dictates your page speed, available traffic size, and the up-time of your website.
You definitely do not want a hosting provider with multiple outages a month, and you do not want one that will take your sites down. Therefore, I highly recommend going with either NameHero or Siteground. Both are great options and easy to use.
For those of you who are brand new to blogging, you will want to use WordPress for the backend of your website.
WordPress is essentially a backend platform for your website or blog that you can use to post, make adjustments to your site, create ads, manage subscription lists, place photos, and many more things. WordPress is a great platform, and I actually still use it for most of my blogs since it is so simple.
A few reasons why I love WordPress:
- Endless plugins (updates and products that you can install or customize at any time to suit your needs)
- Easy to navigate platform for new bloggers
- Did I mention that WordPress is free?
- Endless themes that pretty much build your website for you
- Easy integration for things like Mailchimp to store and collect emails
- Great SEO functions like Yoast SEO to make sure your content is ranked well online
- Basically it does everything you could need a backend to do while keeping it simple and user friendly
Really though, WordPress is a blessing for all beginners. Spend only a few hours on it, and you will easily be making posts, adding photos, and enjoying yourself.
The last thing we are going to discuss for blogging basics is themes.
Themes are pre-made websites or basically templates for your website. I highly highly recommend purchasing a theme you find appealing and using that to start off. There are multiple things to consider when doing this though!
First, you want to make sure to purchase a LIGHT WEIGHT theme. I made the mistake of purchasing AVADA when I started blogging. While the theme is amazing and has a ton of cool features, my website was horribly slow. It would take 10-20 seconds to load. Google and other search engines will penalize you for a slow website, so make sure to use a light weight theme.
My advice is to keep it simple. Find a nice clean website theme that has a decent rating and following. My theme was made by Kresi and it is called Enfold. Personally, I do not like it. It has a good amount of bugs, and it can be difficult to navigate. I have personally wasted hours and hours trying to adjust things like the logo or site colors. You really do not want to waste your time on things like logo size. The good thing is that it comes with native widgets to promote your social media sites on the side of your posts and ways to share posts on almost any platform for people reading your content.
I suggest taking some time to shop around on ThemeForest which is sort of a marketplace for website themes. There are plenty of awesome options for website themes on there.
Most importantly, you need to love your website. Pick a theme that represents your content, purpose, and artistic style. My style is clean and simple, but yours might not be! If you are really creative and want to customize every part of your website, then I recommend checking out DIVI website builder. Divi is currently the best fully customization theme on the market.
Gwinnett Blog Post
Well, I hope some of this helps you start your own Gwinnett Blog! This post was mostly to cover the basics, give you some good places to start, and encourage you. Now get out there and start your own Gwinnett Blog, but make sure to check out part 2 of the post to learn more!