5 Must-Know Beginner Tips for Starting Your Blog
by Rachel Rhee of Just Dimple It
The beauty of starting a blog is that it can truly be anything you want it to be. Whether you want it simply as a creative outlet (that’s what I did first!) or intend to build a business, here are some foolproof guidelines for getting started.
Show up authentically
Blogging to me is one of the most authentic professions in which you can show up in your life. Who wants to write consistently about something they don’t know or show up as someone other than themselves? This is a place to truly express yourself in whatever way you would like. A best practice is to show up by always honoring your core values. What do you stand for? Your values will ultimately define your beliefs and actions. It can help shape the type of content that you write about.
For example, if you identify one of your core values as compassion, you can write about how to start giving back in your community. That’s just one personal example of mine but there are so many ways your values can give you content ideas.
If you are in it for the long haul and want to create a business out of your blog, expect to hit some creative blocks. When this happens, turn to your values and see how they can translate into ideas taken from your life. Using that same example of compassion as a core value, imagine you’re a beauty blogger. Perhaps you can write about more accessible brands or how to achieve a look for less because you understand not everyone has the financial flexibility to purchase expensive products. Get creative with how your values can show up for you and your audience.
Pick a domain
You can use a site like WHOIS or any website hosting company to see if your domain name is taken. A domain is important but also make sure this step doesn’t stall your progress! People can spend months, even years, spinning on certain ideas but ideas will remain ideas if you make them so. Come up with a shortlist of domain names, survey your friends and family, and make a decision.
I chose The Dimple Life as my blog name in part because it was in line with my values. One of my core values is resilience and having the ability and courage to show up as the best version of myself each day, despite going through hardship. At the time when I was in a state of low self-worth, I told myself I was going to try and do one thing every day to make myself smile, to pick myself back up and rebuild my confidence. Today I’m determined to smile—and show my dimples—and do what I can to take one step forward.
Pick a hosting company
I’ve been a long time GoDaddy user but there are other options out there too. (BlueHost also has a great reputation.) Pro-tip: start with a smaller hosting plan. Chances are you won’t require a ton of space in the beginning, so no need to make any upgrades for now. A hosting plan can start as little as $10 a month.
Choose your blogging platform
I love WordPress because it includes so many customization options. You’ll also find most templates are already WordPress-compatible, in addition to the thousands of plugins available that can help create the user experience of your dreams.
Choose your theme
The selection of built-in themes from WordPress don’t disappoint either. I test-drove a few at the start of my business but about a year ago, I invested a small amount of money into purchasing a template. Research to find a template that works for you too and make sure your top choice comes with ongoing help support from the template’s developers and designers.
I’ll share a secret with you: Empress Themes is my go-to. They are a small, female-owned business and I love supporting them! Any time I have a question, they are always there to help. Plus, they have an ongoing help desk that they regularly update. Lucky for you, I reached out to them and they are offering 15% off of your total purchase when you use the code BLOGHER15, which will be applied at checkout.
Can’t get enough of Rachel? Check out her panel at our last event, BlogHer U!
about rachel rhee
Rachel Rhee is a wellness coach and the creator of The Dimple Life, an online resource covering a variety of topics around wellness, personal growth, food, and clean beauty. TheDimple Life is a guide to healthier living combined with elements from Rachel’s own personal journey. She is also the founder of You Are Here, a membership community to meet you where you are in your well-being journey. The community offers connection, mindfulness, and a digital library of content to help you thrive.
As a cancer survivor, Rachel’s mission is to help educate women on the importance of intentional living – mind, body, and soul. She thrives on creating community in both online and offline experiences to continue to foster relationships and open up conversations around areas that affect women today.
Rachel, a former management consultant, shares her journey from living a high-stress corporate lifestyle to leading a life filled with more purpose and passion. Through Rachel’s authentic voice, she has attracted partnerships with brands such as Bank of America, Hyundai, Whole Foods, and more.