For the fearless creative.
HOME IS WHERE THE WI-FI CONNECTS. THIS IS A BLOG BY AND FOR ONLINE CREATIVES, DIGITAL NOMADS AND ENTREPRENEURS. WE TALK ABOUT THE HUSTLE BEHIND THE CREATIVE: LIFE, HEALTH + BUSINESS.
We are the creatives your parents warned you about. We live to travel, work outside the 9-5, and we crave experiences over stability.
BY AMIE HAMLING – OWNER OF WORKSHOPS BY AMIE. + HARVEST STUDIOS.
This is the blog post for you if:
You’ve always wanted to start your very own blog or business.
You don’t have the tech skills to get up-and-running solo.
You have an hour or two to get sorted & started.
The Creative Blog Co. was born to help creative people lean in to the world of blogging & online business, and get up-to-date with those techy skills that may not come naturally.
You need an upgrade from your Instagram account & the free blog publishing websites, like, yesterday. Here are the basics to get you on the road to creative freedom. We’re talking all things finding your niche (yes, necessary), buying your own domain, how to plan your online presence, and blogging best practice.
Let’s get into it, friend.
STEP 1: YOUR BLOG
Usually the hardest part, for someone without an idea, is finding that light. What do I want to blog about? Do I have anything to blog about? And the big one: What if no one reads my blog?
Eeeeek! So much stress before you’ve even begun.
Take a deep breath. It doesn’t have to be complex or new, it just has to be you and your original take on your niche. Most importantly, it has to be something you know you can be persistent and passionate about. Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life, said some very clever person.
Most new bloggers experience self-doubt and even shame when starting out. They want to keep what’s theirs online, hidden from their personal life. Fair enough, but it may help to build confidence through asking yourself: can I answer my audience’s burning questions or fill a digital void in their lives?
Here’s a clever tool for finding your niche or creating a whole new community (that ultimately is asking to be created):
Some examples may be:
✓ An animal photography blog (a love of animals + photography)
✓ A health & craft beer blog (how drinking creative & delicious beer can correspond with a healthy life)
✓ A feminism & craft beer blog (women in a typically-male industry; busting stereotypes & offering a new perspective)
✓ A candle making blog ft. entrepreneurship tips (How to start your own candle making business)
✓ A healthy baking website (combining health, wellness & a typically-unhealthy hobby of baking)
Start thinking about your blog as a brand and a business.
It can be helpful to do a quick Google search of similar blogs out there before diving into buying a domain. Try a blog name generator — that will show you what domains you can play with — such as NameMesh.
STEP 2: YOUR PLATFORM
The age old question for new lifestyle bloggers: what platform do you use?
I’m going to go ahead & say I wouldn’t use anything other than WordPress. I say this as a veteran of the platform & because my experience with SquareSpace is limited (though I’ve heard good things). Strictly stay away from Wix, because the websites look incredibly unprofessional & they have a reputation for terrible SEO.
Spending a few dime on hosting, a domain name & even a simple theme will do your blog a world of good. Invest in your success.
So for the remainder of this tutorial, we will be focusing on all things WordPress.
STEP 3: YOUR HOSTING & DOMAIN NAME
With your blog topic and domain name top of mind, it’s now time to get into the technical side of things. Starting with your domain name. Head to CrazyDomains* and see if your chosen domain is available.
So now that you have your snazzy new domain name, you’re going to need hosting. This is the part where most first-time bloggers get confused. So pay attention. On a free blogging website, such as Blogger or WordPress, your site is hosted on their account. You don’t own these websites, you share a space with millions of other free users — and that’s the reason you have a subdomain. To own your own domain and space on the internet, you need to purchase hosting. Lucky for you, our friends over at SiteGround have an epic deal for The Creative Blog Co. community.
Once you’re all signed up, either by entering a domain name purchased via Crazy Domains or from SiteGround (I tend to find CD is way cheaper as SiteGround typically has a flat rate), head to My Accounts > Go to cPanel (make sure to access cPanel securely).
It’s time to Install WordPress. Simply scroll down to where you find this lil’ icon:
The next part will look a little something like this:
Fill out the prompts & get going. Your new dashboard will be accessible via yourwebsite.com/wp–admin — how freakin’ exciting!
STEP 4: YOUR DESIGN
Just like the free version of WordPress, you can access thousands of themes for free. But free often means boring and unable to be fully customised. Plus, many free themes ‘deplete’ over time, meaning they aren’t updated anymore & sometimes don’t function with your version of WP.
So, here’s the ULTIMATE solution. The best solution. Literally ask any designer or non-designer who frequents wrangling a website template & they will tell you: DIVI IS BEST!
Divi is the most powerful of themes for any business. It was made by the wonderful people over at Elegant Themes, check them out here:
STEP 5: YOUR CONTENT
Your content is the crux of your blog. Here’s a few handy internet-friendly tips to work towards a successful creative online business:
✓ Plan your content — An editorial calendar will save you from stagnancy. Keep motivated and consistent. It’s a fail safe plan to ensure you’re continually publishing and engaging your readers.
✓ Write from experience — there’s some statistic, somewhere out there, that states bloggers who start with a story in their posts generally get more engagement. Connect on a deeper level, it might just surprise you.
✓ Don’t be afraid of writing lists — this may seem like it’s done time and time again, but it’s easy to write and people will read it.
✓ Keywords — Install Yoast SEO and find out how your posts are scoring up against your blog post’s topic. It’s a really handy tool if you want to get recognised on Google for top content.
✓ Be responsive — this is important. Take the time to get to know your readers, it’ll make for better content and you’ll soon find yourself part of a blogging community.
✓ Give it your best shot — even if no one reads your blog, or you get a few readers here and there, it’s truly a creative outlet. Just give it a try, you never know where it’ll take you, both personally and professionally.
Feel free to reach out with any questions about starting your own lifestyle blog. There’s more to it, obviously, but here are the basics. More tech tutorials coming very, very soon, my friend.