So you want to start a blog in 2023? 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. )
Table of Contents
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.
So my best advice, before you can start a blog, you need to choose your hosting plan and domain name. You should look for a hosting plan that meets your budget and provides the features and tools you need (like blogging platforms like WordPress). Once you have selected your hosting plan, you will need to select a domain name for your blog – this is the address where users will find your website.
I tried a few web hosting sites and I’ve settled on Green Geeks as my favorite place to host all my websites, Green Slice of Life, Twin Bees and luciepalka.ca. They are inexpensive and they have EXCELLENT customer service. HEre’s my affiliate link to -> Green Geeks
The Right Blogging Platform
After you have registered your domain name, it’s time to install WordPress. This is the blog platform we will be using to build our site. To do this, login to your control panel and look for a “one-click installation” app or service (like Softaculous) and select WordPress from the list of available apps.
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. Don’t make the same mistake I did!
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 Framework
.Once WordPress is installed, you can pick out a theme that suits your needs. A lot of themes come with basic customization options like colors, fonts, and features so it’s easy to create a unique website.
Once you are up and running on your hosted WordPress site, you need to select a theme. I decide on using StudioPress’s Genesis Framework with the Farmhouse Theme by Restore 316 as my Child Theme.
I picked Genesis Framework”>Genesis Framework because it is optimized for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Genesis Framework” target=”_blank”>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 Farmhouse Themee. I stared at it for months before I splurged and bought the theme.
Not am I only obsessed with the looks of Restored 316” target=”_blank”>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.
Configure Your Settings and Add Plugins
Now that the theme is ready and configured, it’s time to look at the back-end settings. Go to Settings > General and change your site title, description, tagline, and more. We also recommend installing plugins like Yoast SEO which can help with on-page SEO optimization. With this plugin, you’ll be able to analyze a post for its required search engine optimization components including meta titles, descriptions, keywords, etc. Installing these plugins will make sure your blog is indexed correctly by search engines.
Here is a list of my favorite pluggins to get you started:
- WP Rocket – To make your blog load fast
- Pretty Links – To make those affiliate links prettier
- Google Site Kit – To view your blog stats in one place
- WooCommerce – To add turn your blog into an e-Commerce Site
- Broken Link Checker – Self Explanitory
- WP Recipe Maker – For making recipies or how to posts
Begin Blogging With Quality Content
With the foundation of your blog now set, it’s time to start blogging! A great place to start is by crafting quality content that explores topics related to your area of expertise or your selected niche. From there, focus on creating compelling titles and engaging text that both inform and entertain your readers.
When possible, include keyword phrases so visitors can more easily find your blog when searching for topics online. I love using Ubersuggest, Pinterest and even Google to find relevant keywords or even frequently asked questions for my posts.
Where to find hungry readers?
Once you’ve set up your blog, made it look amazing and write 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 wonder 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 on 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.
Use all other social media sites you feel you can keep up with, Facebook Pages, Instagram, TikTok and even Twitter. Find where you target market likes to hang out! That’s where you’ll want to promote your blogs.
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 live a healthy and more sustainable lifestyle.
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.
Green Slice of Life is not a significant source of income yet. I’m focusing mostly on gaining traffic. I know that going forward, 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 2023. And when you do, drop a link in the comments and I’ll make sure to read it!