want unlimited free access to our blogging resource library?
A totally 100% optional (and did we mention, free!), library of resources for you to start or grow your creative business.
Spend your time doing what you love; we’ve created the editorial calendar spreadsheet, brand strategy and style guide template, digital copywriting eBook and so much more for you.
Formatting is, like, the worst part of starting anything ever (think: essays and budgets). So before you dive into how to start a creative blog, take all the resources you need to sell your creativity online. Not interested? That’s fine too, just skip to the info below to get the party started.
How to Start a Creative Blog
If you’ve stumbled across this page in your daily browsing, you’ve probably got two questions:
1. How do I start a blog?
2. What do I blog about?
They’re not uncommon; as a creative person, this is often the ‘final leap’ into establishing yourself as a business owner. Or, you just simply want to dip your toes into the blogosphere in the name of fashion, beauty, fitness, or whatever your creative pursuit may be.
Before you doubt your abilities, get frustrated with themes and ask yourself “why am I even doing this?”, know that it is absolutely possible to have no tech skills and start a blog that not only fills that creative hole in your life, but also earn you an income. Truth.
This post is completely free, because blogging should be accessible to everyone (it does contain a few affiliate links, please keep that in mind if that’s not your jam).
Step One: Your Niche
Get ready to learn a whole new lingo. As a blogger, you’ll hear the word niche or ‘niching down’ a lot – it basically means targeting your blog to a specific audience. Although the audience may be smaller, it’s the only way to build a community of raving fans who know you for what you do, i.e. vegan recipes, craft beer blog, fitness videos for solopreneurs. The more specific, the better.
Ultimately, your creative blog or business should be about the life you lead. To write a vegetarian recipe blog but not eat vegetarian food yourself is misleading to your readers. Your audience is also important to your blog’s topic — can you answer their burning questions or fill a digital void in their lives?
This is the must-know, must-do formula to follow to find your niche.
Interest 1 + Interest 2
So really, you can lump anything together and someone out there is feelin’ you and what you’re about too. Stuck on what one (or both!) of your topic(s) could be? Refresh your imagination with these popular blog topics:
— Travel (in your hometown, living in a new city, a year abroad)
— Design (DIY, craft, art, architecture)
— Health & Fitness
— Fashion/Personal Style
Start thinking about your blog’s brand, essentially, it all boils down to your purpose. Of course things like SEO come into play, and if you’re trying to target a specific niche, having your keyword/s in your blog’s name can help. Try a blog name generator — that will show you what domains you can play with — such as NameMesh.
STEP two: your platform
WordPress vs. Squarespace is the current debate, but who knows what’s next? Blogger and Wix pop up now and again. Find a platform that works for your needs; self-hosted WordPress is our suggestion at The Creative Blog Co. It’s a platform that is limitless when it comes to your growth. Turn to your ‘blogging idols’ and see what platform they’re using for their site, a quick way to make a decision if you’re tossing between WordPress and Squarespace. The good news is, whatever platform you decided to go with, it’s more than possible to create a beautifully branded website fit for your needs.
STEP THREE: HOSTING AND DOMAIN NAME
With your blog topic and domain name top of mind, it’s now time to get into the technical side of things. Starting with your domain name. Head to CrazyDomains* and see if your chosen domain is available.
So now that you have your snazzy new domain name, you’re going to need hosting. This is the part where most first-time bloggers get confused. So pay attention. On a free blogging website, such as Blogger or WordPress, your site is hosted on their account. You don’t own these websites, you share a space with millions of other free users — and that’s the reason you have a subdomain. To own your own domain and space on the internet, you need to purchase hosting. Lucky for you, our friends over at Bluehost* can offer you a sweet, sweet deal.
To get started, sign up for a hosting account with Bluehost by clicking here (or below):
Once you’re in your Bluehost account — or your cpanel, you’ll find a lot of fun stuff to play with. First, you’ll need to add your CrazyDomains* domain name to your Bluehost account. You can either follow the guided tour, or simply click through as outlined below:
Bluehost will send you a nice email telling you “YAY YOUR DOMAIN IS HOSTED!” and then you’re pretty much good to go. Time to install WordPress! On your hosting homepage, scroll down to the Website header and install WordPress (as below). Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to access your dashboard via a link just like this: www.myblog.com/wp-admin
Voila! Now you’re ready to start designing.
Step FOUR: DESIGN
Just like the free version of WordPress, you can access thousands of themes for free. But for a lifestyle-type blog, one of your key aims should be an attractive website. The reality is, if your website isn’t in top shape, people aren’t going to read your content, no matter how amazing it may be. Think visually — what do you want your blog to look like?
Write out a plan. Yep, just scribble it on a bit of paper. Work out the layout of where you want things to go, your website infrastructure (titles, menus, etc.) and find a theme that matches that. We’re avid Divi users here at The Creative Blog Co. (pretty lovely site with have, hey?) and we partner with Bluchic, another awesome option for ‘pretty’ designs, that won’t cost you all your savings.
For a custom designed website, pop us an email.
Step 5: Your Content
Your content is the crux of your blog; without good content, there’s no blog.
Here’s a few handy internet-friendly tips to work towards a successful creative online business:
Plan your content— An editorial calendar will save you from stagnancy. Keep motivated and consistent. It’s a fail safe plan to ensure you’re continually publishing and engaging your readers.
Write from experience — there’s some statistic, somewhere out there, that states bloggers who start with a story in their posts generally get more engagement. Connect on a deeper level, it might just surprise you.
Don’t be afraid of writing lists — this may seem like it’s done time and time again, but it’s easy to write and people will read it.
Keywords — you’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it. Install Yoast SEO and find out how your posts are scoring up against your blog post’s topic. It’s a really handy tool if you want to get recognised on Google for top content.
Be responsive — this is important. Take the time to get to know your readers, it’ll make for better content and you’ll soon find yourself part of a blogging community.
Give it your best shot — even if no one reads your blog, or you get a few readers here and there, it’s truly a creative outlet. Just give it a try, you never know where it’ll take you, both personally and professionally.