How I Started My Blog on a Budget
The post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
When I decided that I wanted to start blogging I did quite a bit of research before I made my final decisions. I started taking down notes while reading some of my favorite blogs. I would jot down things that I liked or disliked about each one. I started paying more attention to what resources and things they used that caught my attention and then I compared them all to see if any of those things overlapped. I made a list of what I wanted and didn’t want. I wanted my blog to have a cohesive feel to it and be visually appealing but I didn’t want it to be too cluttered. I wanted something I could get up and going fairly quickly. While I don’t mind doing the technical stuff and the behind the scenes work, when I get excited about a new project or idea I tend to be a bit impatient and want to SEE results fast. And most importantly, I didn’t want to have to spend thousands of dollars up-front to get started (just in case it becomes one of those “back-burner” projects of mine.)
Once I had my list and notes all organized I made my final decisions. I picked my domain name and made sure that it was available (and not associated or easily confused with another site). I picked my website hosting service. I chose to go with a self-hosted site using wordpress.org. I personally chose a self-hosted site because I wanted to have total control over my site.
I also decided to use the Genesis Framework by StudioPress. I know I said I don’t mind doing the technical stuff but I didn’t really want to have to and with the Genesis Framework it’s is almost like having a little “coder” elf that does all that technical stuff for you. All I had to do was purchase the software and install it on my website. And the purchase came with detailed instructions on exactly how to do it.
And finally to make it all pretty and easy to navigate, I chose a child theme. There are tons and tons of gorgeous themes out there but I use and love the themes offered at Restored 316 Designs. The designs are flawless and their set-up and support will help you get everything running just the way you want it to. I chose the Delightful Pro Theme and I love it.
I won’t say that I didn’t spend any money getting everything in place but using these resources I was able to have my blog up and running and looking pretty for a lot less than if I had hired a service to do it for me. The best thing is that the only recurring payment is for the monthly hosting and yearly domain name renewal. I won’t say there weren’t times I ran into difficulty trying to get things looking just the way I wanted them and it is still a work in progress but with each of these services you are also getting A-Mazing customer support and technical assistance. Each one has a step-by-step guide and forums to help you with almost any questions you may have along the way.
So, here is my list:
Domain Name and Hosting: I was referred to and use Bluehost for my both my domain name and my blog host. This is the best place to start for new bloggers. The price can’t be beat and their support is wonderful. It’s fast, reliable, hosting that is easy to set up. There are tons of videos and walk-throughs available on youtube to help you get started!
Genesis Framework by StudioPress