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We are approaching the 3-year anniversary of Short Stop Designs and I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you how it all started, and how you can start your own blog and make money doing what you love!
I have been seriously blogging for 3 years now, and it has been one of the best creative outlets for me! I’m a mom to 3 little ones, and as you can imagine life with kids can get a little hectic. Anytime my kids were asleep I’d use that time to design something for my home, make something for a friend or an invitation for someone in the family. This blog has allowed me develop my skill in graphic design by sharing my projects with readers and help make some money on the side!
I started blogging about 9 months after our second son, Danny, was born and we were on one income. My husband had recently joined the army, and I had quit my job a few weeks before Danny was born. I had been looking for ways to make money without having to go back to work so that I could stay home with my two boys, and I had done different things already to save money and earn money. I tried couponing, the rebate apps, and even tried the online survey apps. That was pretty much getting me nowhere fast. I was terrible at couponing, I believe I spent more money buying things I didn’t need because there was a coupon or a great deal on it, and the surveys were quite frankly, a big joke and waste of time.
I kept looking and looking, and kept seeing that you could make money from a blog. I already had a personal blog, so blogging wasn’t new to me, but what I was unsure of was what I going to blog about that would keep people interested? I kept racking my brain for some good ideas. What was I good at? What was I always looking at on Pinterest? After thinking about what I had learned from college and what I enjoyed doing, I settled on a blog that offered printables, DIY crafting projects and anything else that was similar to those two topics.
If you want to make some money, and you enjoy writing or sharing things with others, you should definitely consider starting a blog! Here are the steps you’ll need to make it happen:
Pick Your Niche
If you are seriously considering starting a blog, this is your first step. This will either be the easiest decision you will make, or one of the hardest when it comes to figuring out what you want your blog to be about. Here are some questions to ask yourself when coming up with a blog.
-What are you passionate about?
-Is it something that you won’t get tired of blogging about?
-Do you see yourself writing about this for a long time?
-Will this keep people interested?
– Are there other bloggers in this same niche?
-Is this something you can make money from?
Pick a Name
Once you’ve decided on your niche, here comes the fun part, picking a name for your blog. You’ll want to make sure it’s easy to remember, and pretty easy to spell. Extra points if you’re able to come up with something catchy!
I had a photography blog for a class in college, and it was titled: “McKissick Creations Photography.” That was a mouthful and not that easy to remember. I remember a friend telling me that it was a little too much for a title, so I only kept it for a semester. My personal blog was “Megan’s Short Stop” pretty much for the same reasons you’ll see in my About Me page. I liked it a lot, and I was bummed I had already used it. For my own reasons, I just didn’t want my personal blog and my new blog to be linked together. Lucky for me, since it was already my own blog, I didn’t feel bad for “stealing” it and using it for my new blog and changed it to Short Stop Designs.
Choose a Host
There are many different options out there when it comes to using a blog host. When I first started, I didn’t want to pay for a host for a couple reasons. The first reason, I wanted to see if this was something I was going to keep at. The second reason, I wasn’t ready to put in money for a blog that I wasn’t sure I was going to make any money on. That was a big mistake for me, mainly because you cannot big make money off a blog that is not hosted. If you want to add pay-per-click ads like AdThrive, BlogHer, etc, they want you to be hosted.
I researched many different types of hosting options and the one I chose was Bluehost, mostly because I had already heard really good things about them, and I knew that it would be easy to transfer my non-hosted blog from WordPress with Bluehost. It has been a great experience overall and I am happy with how easy it was to get my WordPress blog hosted. Plus, they’re technical support is helpful and they’re quick to respond, especially when you’re not tech savy! And the biggest reason for choosing Bluehost, their prices are affordable! You can host your blog for as low as $3.95/month. Here is the step-by-step on how to create your blog through Bluehost.
Go to Bluehost’s website and click the “Get Started Now” button.
Next you’ll need to select your plan. If you’re just starting out, their basic plan is the best place to start. If you need to, you can move up to a different plan later on.
Since you’ve already decided on your Blog Name, you’ll enter it on the left under “New Domain” or enter a domain you registered previously under “I have a domain name.”
This is where you’ll fill out all your account information and choose your package. You get the cheapest monthly rate of $3.95/month by selecting 36 months, but note that Bluehost charges you for the full 36 months upfront. It’s a big commitment, but if you want to build a successful money making blog, this would be a great way to keep you committed to building your blog. Another great thing about Bluehost is they offer a money-back guarantee.
The extras are optional, but the “Site Backup Pro” and “SiteLock Security – Find” are recommended!
Enter your payment information, confirm that you’ve read the Terms and Agreements and then click “next.”
You did it! You took the leap forward and purchased a hosting plan! From this point you will need to create a password to log in to your account.
Once you’ve created a password, log into your account.
This is the exciting part! You get to choose a theme, don’t worry you can always customize your theme or change it through WordPress’ free themes or purchase them later on.
Once you’ve picked a theme, click “start building.”
Before building your site, you will need to choose if you’re blog is going to a business blog or a personal blog.
At this point, your site has not been made public just yet. You can either create blog posts and pages before you launch your blog, or just take the plunge and launch before setting up your blog. Whichever route you decide to take, you will need to press the “launch” button before anyone can see your blog.
And for your final step, add a site title that welcomes your viewers, and a short description of what you’re blog is all about. Once you’ve completed that, click “next step.”
It’s official! You’ve created a web-hosted blog and have overcome the first obstacle of starting a money making blog!
Now the big question, how do you make money on your blog? Keep reading over at Part 2: Tips on Creating a Money Making Blog.