Starting and running a blog does not have to be expensive. I remember when I started my first blog years ago, I got overwhelmed with how much the costs of just the basics were. Over the years (and many blogs later). I get the most done with the least amount of stuff and let’s not forget these items are inexpensive. I want to break down the list of essentials that I use to run my blog day to day. Keep in mind I am no tech or web expert. I just want to share things that I have learned along the way.

    

Hosting/Domain name
Usually when people tell you how to start a blog the first thing they say is to give your website a name. I recommend registering for a domain name right away (ie. .com, .net etc).
  • My Domains are all registered with https://www.ipage.com/join/index.bml?AffID=829825 and have been for years. They are a bit pricier than other registrars but I have never had an issue with my domains. They also come with dedicated emails (abc@yoursite.com). They are also who I had my hosting through with no issues.
  • When it comes to hosting your blog you can host through a third party or go the self-hosted route. Many blogs pressure into the self-hosted route but it is not for everyone. Contrary to popular belief you can still grow a VERY successful blog without being self-hosted. I personally hated being self-hosted. My blog traffic and engagement went down and it was too complicated. Now, if you are tech-y then go ahead and self-host. Here are my recommended hosting sites:
  • Blogger (where i currently run www.rayfancy.com . highly recommended)
  • Wix (where I run my shop www.rayfancycollection.com)
  • TypePad
  • WordPress.com
  • Remember when choosing your domain name choose something fun, memorable, and something that describes your content. Or keep it simple with just your name!
Starter Content
Content is king! before officially launching your blog have at least 10 post pre-written and published and 10 post scheduled to be published. This is so that your blog does not look dry. To write the best content, start by defining your niche. I recommend that most people, if you’re like me and write about a lot of things, start a lifestyle blog. Many people may tell you that you have to have a very specific niche, but it’s not true. Sometimes niching down too much limits your content and leaves many creators feeling stuck.
What you need (The basics):
Most people who start a blog use pictures. We all want those gorgeous Instagram and Pinterest worthy pictures but let’s face it, we all cant dish out thousands of dollars for a camera and other tech. I have compiled a list of my everyday tech and other items I use for running my business/blog and the free alternatives you can use to get started:
Photos and writing:
  • Iphone 6 plus or whatever phone you have (When I want a quick picture and do not feel like taking out my camera, I use my phone which is 98% of the time).
  • Have a slightly larger budget? Samsung DV150F camera (You can find this camera less than $100 on ebay) it has a front view finder, takes great photos and video. I also use it for filming.
  • Tripod w/ remote from amazon or prop with items around the house.
  • Selfie ring light (Space Saver) (Get it here: https://amzn.to/2LI7VCt) or use natural light.
  • WD external hard drive for storing blog posts, photos, video etc (Get it here: https://amzn.to/312uOEn) or save in google drive for FREE.
  • Laptop for writing, borrow a laptop or write directly from your phone. I have a basic Acer Chromebook that I got from amazon for $100.
  • Friends and family are great to help snap your photos.
  • Design:
  • Website template from Etsy. Many for the blogger platform are less than $10. Use the google Simple template and create your own graphics its free.
  • For graphics I use Befunky, they are free or $6.99 USD per month or $59.88 USD annually. Canva is widely popular but expensive. However, I utilize their free features.
  • Royalty free stock images from pixabay.
  • Fiverr.com is great for inexpensive graphics.
Social Media:
  • Create dedicated accounts for your blog. This is where you will interact with your readers and keep them up to date with your content. Overtime this may become your main personal type account especially if you’re running a more personal blog such as a lifestyle blog.
  • Make it a point to promote a piece of your content each day especially in the beginning when no one knows who you are. Follow blogging hashtags, interact with other bloggers and share their content. Building relationships and community is key in lasting in the blogging world.
  • While there are other aspects of running a blog which I will cover in more posts to come, these are the basics to get your blog established and content creation started without breaking the bank. I hope you found these tips and products useful. This post contains affiliate links to products mentioned that I have already purchased with my own money.
This post contains affiliate links

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