I have had a few people ask me how to start a blog. I can tell them “oh, it’s really simple,” but I remember being that person wondering “how DO you start one?”
I decided to take the time to do a little tutorial on how to start a blog. Why? Because I have been there – I know what it’s like to have an idea in your head, but unsure how to carry it out.
Where do you begin?
I think one of the best places to start is to ask why?
Why do you want to start a blog?
What do you plan to blog about?
What is your passion? What gets you excited?
What do you want to share with others?
Why do you want to share that passion?
Not that you have to have answers to all of those questions right away, but I think they are good questions to think about.
Why did I start my organizing website? I am taking this straight from my “Contact” tab and then the “Organizing Life With Less” sub-tab:
Organizing and simplifying has not only been a passion, but has become a way of life for me. Joy, contentment, peace, and time are all things that I value and have been able to accomplish through living a simpler and more organized life. In finding ways to organize and simplify, it is through living with less that I been able to feel a sense of simplicity and contentment. So why this website?
1. My goal through this website is to help you look at your own life. Every person, family, and house is unique, which means the ways in which YOU organize and simplify will be unique as well. The ideas I post on this website are only suggestions, so take what you want from this website and ignore what doesn’t apply. The topics will vary greatly, but all will be relevant to organizing life with less.
2. Practical ideas. I am ALL about practical. We live on a small budget because we desire to. Therefore, the ideas on this website are REAL and PRACTICAL. Some of the ideas I have tested myself and live out daily. The other ideas? Well, I wouldn’t post them unless I felt they too, are a practical and very real way of learning how to live an organized life with less.
3. On a personal note…I am a REAL person. I do not want you to think that I am a girl who has this website and is far off in another land. I want to hear your suggestions! Please feel free to contact me (under the Contact Tab) or even submit an idea about a topics you want to learn more about. I want to hear your tried and true ideas on how YOU organize life with less. I also want to hear about your favorite recipes – you can submit a family favorite or your go-to recipe under the Recipe Tab.
4. I am starting a series called “100 Days of Less.” I want to spend 100 days, looking at my own life (and my hope is that you in turn look at yours), learning how feasible it is to live with less. At the end of each posting, I will do a Confession of the Day comment. Why? Because I am not perfect. I want you to see that though I post about living with less, I too, struggle. I too, need to work on my own life.
4. Have fun. Don’t take this too seriously. Some topics may be on a more serious note, but I mostly plan to talk about subjects that pertain to living an organized, simplified, and content life, WITH LESS.
You may not have known that about me or about this blog. Ya learn something new everyday, right? Well, I too, had to start where you are at – at the beginning. I decided to use blogspot because it is free to use and quite easy to set up and use on a daily basis. It owned by Google and is through blogger.com. I know that many bloggers/website designers use wordpress. I tried. Boy did I try. I ended up getting so frustrated because there were many things I wanted it to do, but couldn’t figure out how to do. I then reverted back to blogspot. I know people would probably disagree with me on choosing blogspot, but I chose it and I am very happy with it!
Here is a tutorial on how to start a blog using blogspot:
1. Go to www.blogger.com. Screen will look like this:
2. Create a Google account if you do not already have one set up, by clicking the top right red sign called “sign up.” Looks like this:
3. Sign into Google.
6. Click New Blog (on left side)
7. Choose a title (this will appear at the top of your blog) I called this blog “test”
8. Choose an address: start typing in an address and it will tell you just below “sorry this blog address is not available” if it isn’t available. Once you find one that works, your address will then be www.yourblogname.blogspot.com. Mine does not say “BlogSpot.com” because I chose to create a domain name. You do have to pay for a domain name, but it is SO cheap and for me, it was well worth it. In this example, I named the blog “createablogbykristin”
9. Click “Start Blogging” to create your first post or click the orange box with white pencil which means “create post.”
10. It will bring you to this screen (below). Here you can start to write your first post! Choose a title and click inside the big white box – start typing away!
11. The toolbar at the top is very helpful! The “f” stands for your font, the two “t’s” stand for the size of your font. “Link” means if you want to attach a link to the word or picture in your post, you just have to copy the URL that you want the link to go to, in the screen that pops up. Give it a whirl! If you want to add a picture to your post, just click the “(picture)” and you will have the option of downloading a picture from the source you desire.
12. To the right of the compose post screen you will see these 4 icons. Publish means publishing to your blog for the world to see! Save means you can save your work and come back to it later (it’s saved as a “draft”). Preview means you can look at it in full form on your blog, without it actually posting. And close, well, that means “close” the screen you are on.
13. One thing I enjoy doing with my blog posts is labeling them and also scheduling them even if I have written it before the given day I want it posted. You can “label” or categorize your posts so that if someone was wanting to look at all of your recipes, you can label all your recipe posts under this title so that they all come up on one screen. It is nice for fellow blog readers to have all the information they are looking for, in one place. Plus, it helps YOU keep your blog organized!
Schedule – LOVE this tool! Some days I sit down and have a whirlwind of information or thoughts in my head, that I need to get out. I end up writing 3 posts in a day, but obviously don’t want to publish them all at once. You can Choose to “schedule” your blog posts to whatever day you want and even choose what time. Make sure to click “Done” when you have set the date. Then when you are done writing the post, click “schedule” or “publish” (like the picture above) to “schedule” the post.
13. This is the “overall” picture (below) when you go to blogger.com to look at your blog. This toolbar will show up on the left-hand side. The main ones I use?
Posts – this is where you can see ALL of the posts you have written in chronological order.
Layout – Here you can move around how you want things set up – the “look” of your blog. It is easy to change items around, so have fun with it!
Template – Want to do some cosmetic changes? Click “Template” and then click “Customize.” In Customize, you can change all SORTS of things – color, font size, display, you name it. I am not going to get into it because there is just WAY too much that you can do with it!
The other options are GREAT – I just don’t use them as much. Of course “settings” is something you want to check out fairly soon after starting your blog so head on over there and get some things “set” in place!
That is a little bit about setting up a blog. Of course there is MUCH more, but these are just the basics. Now onto the nitty-gritty:
The joy of blogging? Being able to say what is on your heart. I have a personal blog that I also keep up on, which I find much enjoyment in. There I am able to share more of what is going on in my personal life, but also share more of my passions (outside of organizing). Blogging is a great way to connect with others, share a bit of your story, and is a way to “journal” about your life.
Is it hard to think about what to write some days? Yes. You would be surprised though, what comes to your mind throughout the day. You might see something outside that inspires you. You might be talking with a friend or family member that sparks an idea. Be on the lookout One of the biggest things to remember is that you are writing for the whole world to see it – so just be aware. I wouldn’t share any family secrets on a blog (not that we have any) – you might be getting some upset phone calls from fellow family members.
Biggest thing? Have fun. If it is a chore, it is not worth it. If you dread keeping it up to date, don’t blog. At the same time, no one is telling you when you can and can’t update. There is so much freedom and enjoy it!
If you have ANY questions about starting a blog or have questions about blogging in general, feel free to comment or send me an email! Of course there is much more that goes into setting up a blog, so if there is something you are wondering, PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask! I will do my best to answer your questions.