I set up this blog about 5 years ago and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Blogging and publishing blog posts / articles regularly means I can combine my passions (helping people when they apply to teach abroad) and my expertise (crafting appealing CVs and cover letters). Follow my advice below to set up your own amazing blog!
This post may contain some affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy.
5 steps to setting up your own blog
1. Coming up with a blog idea / niche
A blog’s purpose is to help, motivate or inspire readers, so to help you come up with an idea for your blog, you should list all your passions in life. Then make a list of what you’re good at, i.e. what do your friends, family, and colleagues ask you for help with? Don’t be modest! If the same topics/ ideas appear on both lists, that is a good starting point in determining your niche/ speciality. Once you’ve done this and have a few ideas, you should join relevant Facebook groups and carry out some market research by posting questions. You could also ask for some feedback on your ideas. On Facebook groups, you can also see what kind of questions members are posting so you have an idea about what people need help with.
2. Deciding on a business / brand name and logo
Once I had decided my niche/ topic, I came up with a business name and bought this site’s domain (www.sorchacoyle.com) straightaway, so no-one else could copy me! Some popular domain sites are GoDaddy, IONOS, and Name Cheap. Personally, I have bought all my domains (sorchacoyle.com ; https://teachabroadtransformation.com/ ; https://thefinanciallyempoweredexpat.com/) using IONOS 1&1 – check it out here. I have always found their prices competitive and their customer service is very good.
After that, I started designing my logo for this website. I used Fiverr which is where you can find lots of freelancers offering your services at such great value. Fiverr is great to find freelance professionals because you can look at their profile, you can check out their portfolio of work and you can also read their reviews. You do not submit the full payment until you have agreed that you are happy with the work so it really is a great option with minimal risk. I looked at a number of logos whose designs I really loved and I communicated my ideas to the designer from Fiverr and he created a logo for me. More recently, I’ve designed logos for different products and services I’ve created (including The Financially Empowered Expat!) using Canva on its pro subscription which allows me to create endless logos and social media graphics. Check Canva out here.
3. Setting up the website
The next step is to set up your website. You got a few options for this. For my original website, I used Fiverr to find a freelance website designer who created the WordPress website for me. I came up with my website design by looking at websites that I really liked and then I compiled all their features to create my own, which I then sent on to the designer who made it for me for less than $150. I didn’t have a clue about websites or WordPress at the time, so for me, the best option was to employ an expert or professional to design and create the site for me. Some other bloggers use site builders like Wix, but from my research I’ve heard that it’s always best to use WordPress because it has a bigger selection of functions and plugins to really tailor the site to your preference.
As I’ve become more confident with WordPress, I’ve started using a service called No Hassle Website, which is a $99 plug-and-play WordPress website that is all set up, ready for you to follow a library of tutorials to learn how to adapt the website and add your content.
4. Promoting my blog
When you spend time researching and writing a great blog post, you want to make sure that people can find it and read it easily! Therefore I recommend building up your social media following by setting up a Facebook group and an Instagram account, where you can promote your latest blog posts. it is also very helpful because in your groups you can actually do some market research and see what your members need help with!
Because readers are inundated with different social media posts, it is easy for them to miss your blog posts, so you might want to set up a newsletter? Each week/month, you could do a roundup of all your blog articles and send them to your members to ensure that they don’t miss any helpful information. To send out my monthly newsletter to stay in touch with my members, I love Mailerlite! They have great features and you can sign up for a free account to try everything free up until 1,000 subscribers. If you have more than 1,000 subscribers, their paid accounts are very good value. Even better- if you sign up to Mailerlite out here on my affiliate link, you will $20 credit and so will I.
5. Monetising my blog
When you start a blog, you will have a certain amount of one-off set up costs (e.g. logo and website) but don’t forget that you will have monthly and annual bills too (e.g. annual subscriptions for your domain name, the monthly site hosting, your mailer service provider). In order to cover these recurring costs, I highly recommend you monetise your blog. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as featuring ads on your site, adding affiliate links to the products you recommend, and writing sponsored posts. Michelle from Making Sense of Cents recently released a free 36-page ebook that you can sign up for. She has earned over $1,000,000 through affiliate marketing on her blog, and really knows what she’s doing! Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to monetise your blog because it’s somewhat passive, and it’s something that can truly help your readers when done well. This ebook will teach you all about how affiliate marketing works, as well as give you 26 affiliate marketing tips so that you can get started. You can sign up for free by clicking on my referral link here.
Once I published quite a few articles and had a bigger following, I enrolled on the “Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing” course, which was absolutely brilliant. I easily made back its cost in no time at all and one thing I wish I’d have done is to enrol on it before I set up my blog, so I’d have had a better marketing and monetisation strategy!
So what will you set your blog about?