**This post contains affiliate links, I may be compensated if you purchase through my links**
The idea of starting a blog can sound Awesome or maybe even scary to some! Many people ask me how I got started, so I figured after about 6 months in and going strong there was no better time than now to give you a little “How To Guide” on starting your own blog!
When I got started I knew I did not want to be a blogger who poured my guts out all over the blog with personal stories about love and parenting advice because lets me honest, Thats just not me. I am also not a fancy makeup loving mom or up on all the latest trends either so I wasn’t going for the beauty or fashion blogger idea either. My diet and fitness was not something I could even give a dead person advice on so I was going to be able to put passion into a blog like that either. One thing I do love though is spending time with my kids and making memories with them. So what better to base my blog around than making memories with my kids and giving ideas to other local moms on things to do with their kids to make their own memories! Now I had my “niche” as these bloggers call it, I am going to base my blog around local things to do with kids and traveling with kids!
Now that I had all these ideas swirling in my head I had to figure out where the heck to start. I did a lot of research and read a lot of information on the internet about “starting a blog”.
I decided to use BlueHost for web hosting. The set up was very easy. I ended up paying for 3 years in advance for less than a hundred bucks! I suggest the basic plan, you can always upgrade later on down the road. Thorough BlueHost.com you use the WordPress platform for your actual blog writing and it is honestly super easy to use and set up if you have little to no experience as I did when I started up.
I think the most challenging part of setting up BlueHost was picking a domain name. You want to have a name that is catchy but also kind of simple and the hardest part is thinking of something no one else has taken yet. I knew I did not want to use my name. So after thinking about what came to mind when I think of the idea of my blog I came up with : Make A Mom Smile. When I am doing fun things with my kids or traveling with the kids it always make me smile. So sharing these adventures I hope to make other moms smile as well hence the name for my blog : Make A Mom Smile! A good amount of business I review and work with love to put as the start to their social media posting : We made this mom smile! The name of my Blog has worked out for me well so far!
The rest is super simple. You will enter your account information to set up your new account and your payment information. Once you log into Bluehost you will be promoted download your WordPress account. This was also very easy. I had no experience whatsoever with web hosting or WordPress and I was just fine!
Sign up for your own Bluehost.com account HERE
Once my account was set up I started to work on blog’s design to make it my own.
First things first was to find an Awesome theme to make my site look Pretty!! I ended up using Studio Mommy, I purchased my theme through her Etsy Store: Studio Mommy on Etsy! April has so many awesome themes and designs and best of all her Customer Service is beyond AWESOME! I still to this day bother her with questions because lets face it, I am not all that comfortable on the site design part!
Next up was starting to work on posts for the site. I put up a few post about recent cruises we took to get my travel section started. I also reviewed a few local places I found on Groupon to get my “South Florida Fun” section started.
How to Market Your Blog & Develop Business Partner Relationships:
Once I had a few articles posted I started to use the Blog to reach out to local businesses to see if they were interested in working together! Most of my success on free travel and attractions have been with direct contact not through a third party website. I make sure to sell myself with lots of detail and I make sure to over deliver in what I promised!
So far we have taken a free trip and have two more booked – yes hotel and all attractions and even some dining experiences included! I have also partnered with over two dozen local attractions! Just remember make sure you can deliver what you are promising. Free things are nice and all but you want to make sure the relationship will benefit you both not just you!
Websites for New Bloggers to Make Money And/Or Get Free Products :
US Family Guide – They offer tickets to local attractions in exchange for blog reviews. Sometimes they have things in my area, sometimes they do not but it is worth joining and checking out your area often. **I got Cirque Du Soleil ticket here as well as a local attraction** – They also pay you money to refer them business contacts!
Tomoson – I have gotten numerous free products off this site. A lot of the campaigns are new blogger friendly. I have also got a few paid opportunities through this site.
Activate – I have not done any campaigns through this site yet but I did join and earn .10cents so far for a twitter share!
Linqia – This site also offers paid campaigns
Pinch Me Box – This site is fun, they send you boxes of free samples in exchange to answer surgery questions within 30 days of receiving the box.
Groupon – Anyone who knows me know I love Groupon! I signed up to become an affiliate with groupon
All this sounds fun right? Don’t forget, blogging is a lot more work then it seems. A lot of time goes into marketing yourself and your blog. NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE, JUST LIKE IN ANY ASPECT OF LIFE YOU MUST WORK EXTRA HARD FOR YOUR BLOG TO BE SUCCESSFUL!
**This blog post contains affiliate links which means I make a commission if you purchase from my links**