If you have been thinking about starting a blog and trying something new, I was in the same boat not long ago as well. I had dreamed of letting my creative side free and exploring my true passions but always found a reason not to. What if my friends and family think I’m silly, I’m just from a small town this type of thing is only for big city people, I will never make anything out of this. I had so many reasons as to why I shouldn’t go after my dream. Until one day, after a long discussion with my best friend and soon to be blogging partner, decided to just go for it and it was one of the best decision we’ve made! So how do you know when to start a blog? How do you go about it? Why would we want to do something like this? We had all of these questions when we first began this journey but decided to stop thinking about it and just dive right in. While we are still brand new bloggers and may not have a ton of experience, we thought it would be important to share our story and hopefully inspire other new bloggers to follow their intuitions and just go for it!
Why start a blog?
I have been an avid blog reader for a quite a few years now. One day I stumbled upon Gal Meets Glam’s blog and had been hooked on reading them ever since. Go check out her site, it is the most elegant, girly and beautiful space on the internet. (http://galmeetsglam.com/). Julia’s site had always inspired me to want to create my own blog and share my own ideas, I just wasn’t quite sure where to start or if it was even worth trying. But, if I have any advice at all it would be to be afraid and do it anyways! I had wanted to start a blog for over a year but let fear of failure and judgement stop me. While our blog is still very new and we have SO much to learn, this process has changed my life for the better. With the support of my best friend and blogging partner, we decided to create Life with Alycia and Sarah. We both had no experience with blogging and didn’t really know what we were doing, however after some research and diving in and getting our hands dirty, we now have a site that is up and running! We have gained so much from this little site in a short period of time, Sarah and I now see each other even more than before, we have a creative outlet and I have let go of so many insecurities and realized just how silly they were.
So when should you start your new blog?
START NOW! Just do it! We swear it will be one of the most exciting, challenging and fun endeavors you take on. Our blog is still so new and we still have so much to learn, but already we have opened doors we never thought possible. Over the past few months we have won $200 through Chapters (they had a contest running and we were one of the lucky chosen winners, thank you again to Chapters!!), been featured on Hunter Boots website, had our photos reposted by Marshalls and recently were asked to participate in a blogging campaign. While these may seem like small victories to most, for us, we are just so excited that anyone would want to check out our page and even if we are able to inspire one person, we will have considered this blog a success!
Well how do you even go about starting a blog?
While we are still brand new bloggers and are learning everyday about the blogging world and how to go about improving ours, we wanted to provide a couple pointers we have learned so far that may be helpful to others!
If you are thinking of starting a blog, I’m sure you have read many articles that address this topic, which is starting by creating a self-hosted website. While you can begin with a free website through different blogging platforms, paying for a self-hosted site from the beginning allows you to open up many more opportunities, including making some cash in the future. While we are not rolling in dough right now, we do plan to hopefully turn our blog into a business one day so we opted to start with a self-hosted site. So what exactly does that mean? Self-hosted means you pay for your “spot” on the internet by using a web hosting service. For us, we chose to go with Bluehost as do many other bloggers. This was the best option for us as they are reasonably priced, (as low as $3.95/month), include a free domain when you sign up with them (your domain is the URL for your website, so for us that is www.lifewithaands.com) and offer wonderful 24/7 online support! If you are thinking of starting your own site, we highly recommend them! Check out what they have to offer here*.
We use WordPress as our blogging platform, Bluehost includes a one click install to WordPress, another reason we love them! WordPress is the fun space, this is where you design your site and create your content. We opted to purchase a theme, this is not necessary as there are many free designs available, however we found the perfect girly design with the layout we had envisioned and decided to invest some money in order to get the look we wanted. Unfortunately, the company in which we purchased our theme from is no longer available, however Etsy has many other wonderful options. With a simple search for “WordPress themes” you will find a ton of beautiful options!
This may all sound very confusing as it did to us when we first began creating our site, however the best way is to just get started and get your hands dirty. There was definitely a lot of trial and error, googling and watching countless YouTube videos to get our blog up and running, but I promise if we can do it so can you!
Another tip we have learned is to narrow your research and find a few good resources to avoid becoming too overwhelmed. When I first began looking into blogging, I became so overwhelmed with the amount of information out there. I clicked hundreds of pins and began reading dozens of articles, but then I became too overwhelmed and would end up giving up. That’s when I discovered Abby Lawsons Ebook. I had seen her blog and resources circulating Pinterest many times and decided I would dig a little deeper and look into what resources she had available. After some discussion with Sarah, that’s when we made the plunge and purchased one of her E books, Building a Framework. It was the perfect resource we were looking for as it covered all of the major components of starting a blog in one book. Rather than trying to piece together a bunch of articles we were able to flow through the chapters and get our site up and running in no time. Check out what the “Building a Framework” course is all about here*!
So from two brand new bloggers to another, we hope that after reading this post it has given you enough encouragement to take the plunge and get started on your own blog! We had absolutely no experience in blogging or even really understood what it entailed. But, after some research and trial and error we were able to manage to get our site up and running and have been enjoying the adventure ever since.
Disclosure: *Some links may contain affiliate links however all opinions are our own and we only share products we truly love!