So you want to start a blog in 2020? Here are all the resources you will need to get you started on the right foot, whether if it’s as a hobby blog, a profitable blog, or a combination of both.
(Please note that there are affiliate links in this post, meaning if you do purchase something from clicking through these links, I might get a small compensation for the referral, at no cost to you. )
Green Slice of Life is my second blog. I started my first blog in 2014, a health and fitness blog, shortly after having my first son, as a way to document my weight loss.
I didn’t know what a blog really was at the time, or that you could make money from it.
My first blog didn’t make much money. And, it also took years to get traffic to it. However, I learned many lessons during those 4 years of blogging.
I ended up shutting down my first blog during my second pregnancy as I was simply too tired and exhausted to put any energy into it. But just before I shut it down, it was finally starting to pick up speed.
In 2019, I realized I missed blogging. I love everything about it, the writing, the technical aspect as well as the creative space it provided me.
So, I started Green Slice of Life and picked a new niche, one that I was truly passionate about and ran with it.
I started this new blog properly this time and brought in some traffic right away. Here’s how I did it.
Finding the right Hosting & Platform:
I started my first blog on Google’s Blogger, and I blogged there for almost 2 years with very little traction.
When I realized that I wanted to try monetizing my blog, I didn’t feel Blogger would be the right home for my blog anymore. That’s when I started to take things more seriously and started doing some research into blogging. I realized that a hosted WordPress blog was the right platform for me.
The Right Blogging Platform
Switching from Blogger to WordPress was a messy affair. I’m advising you to start with a hosted WordPress site from the get-go, even if you are not sure you want to monetize it down the line. Sure, Blogger is free, but it’s also limiting.
This time around, I started on the right track and launched from a hosted WordPress site.
Just note that WordPress does have a free version as well, accessible at wordpress.com, however, you can’t monetize from this platform.
The Right WordPress Hosting
I use GoDaddy.ca to host my WordPress site. I go against the grain on this one. It seems that most people use Bluehost since it’s the least expensive option, but I have no experience with them myself and I’ve head negative things about their customer service.
When I grow bigger, I’ll consider Glam Theme by Restore 316 as my Child Theme.
I picked Genesis Framework because it is optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Genesis Framework also allows you to customize your site very easily with drag and drop widgets. No coding necessary.
I first stumbled upon Restored 316 when I was browsing the StudioPress Homepage for available themes and was instantly obsessed with the Glam Theme. I stared at it for months before I splurged and bought the theme.
Not am I only obsessed with the looks of Restore 316’s themes, but I really love how easy her setup instructions are. Check them out yourself, but be warned, you’ll want one once you see her beautiful feminine themes.
Where to find hungry readers?
Once you’ve set up your blog, made it look amazing and wrote great content, you hit “publish” and then … crickets.
That’s right, no one is on the other end reading your post.
It takes a few months to start getting organic traffic. That means traffic coming from search engines like Google.
That sounds pretty discouraging when you put that money upfront for your blog hosting and you’ve put in a lot of time setting it up and writing great content.
It’s no wondering many bloggers quit before they even got started.
But not all is lost. You have to start marketing your blog posts and putting them in front of the eyes of hungry readers using Pinterest.
My first blog only started taking off when I focused my energy promoting my content on Pinterest and developing a strategy. Around this time, my blog was finally taking off and I shortly lost interest in blogging due to a difficult pregnancy and I decided to retire it.
However, this time around, I set up my blog with a Pinterest Business account right away and set to work from the first post I published.
In comes Tailwind, a Pinterest Partner that allows you to schedule your pins when they are most likely to be seen by Pinterest users.
As a blogger who is a mom and has a 8 – 5 day job, I like that I can schedule all my pins a week at a time in one sitting using Tailwind. That way I don’t have to sit at my computer every evening to pin content to Pinterest, I can devote my other evenings to creating more content.
Also, the benefit of Tribes within Tailwind is a game-changer. In Tribes, you find other bloggers in your nice that will share your content on Pinterest.
Booya! I got well over 700 users by my second month of blogging using Pinterest as my only marketing strategy. These are my personal results, but Tailwind also publishes the Typical Results of Tailwind Members every year, so you can see exactly what the average growth rate looks like for their members.”
You can try Tailwind for free using my referral code. The trial allows you to schedule 100 pins through Tailwind.
For the most part, blogging, for me, is to get the “green” message out there and try and help encourage others to reduce plastic waste and to be more eco-conscious.
However, making money from my blog is a goal, at the very least to pay for the expenses of owning a blog, but a bit of pocket change would be nice too.
Here are a few ways of making some money.
The first and easiest way of making some money through your blog is through Adsense. I didn’t make lots of money on my first blog. It took years to get my first payout from Adsense, but it’s easy and passive.
Some suggest waiting till you have a lot of traffic before monetizing with ads. I didn’t wait at all. I applied as soon as I got started. Sure, I’m making a few dollars a month at this time, but its better than nothing.
Join shareasale.com, Earn Cash!
Green Slice of Life is not a significant source of income yet. It’s still new and I’m focusing mostly on gaining traffic. I know that going forward in 2020, I will be looking at it more as a business that needs to grow and the income will follow!
Now you know how to start a blog in 2020. And when you do, drop a link in the comments and I’ll make sure to read it!