August is a special month around here for a few reasons. My little Allie girl just turned 2 years old, I hit the big 3-0, and it’s officially been one year of sharing our home and my DIY antics with all of you fabulous people. It all started on Instagram actually, where I first shared photos of our fixer upper journey, home renovation projects, and my obsession with vintage decor. I was having so much fun and before long I started to gain some followers. As the weeks passed by my account continued to grow. And grow. And grow. It was during that time I began to realize that people actually liked what I was doing–which was sort of shocking to me and honestly still is! But even more, I realized how happy I was sharing our little nest and all of my projects. I was truly loving every minute of it. Here’s one of my first Instagram posts of our living room on August 28th, 2015.
It was during those first few months that I started to let myself dream about the possibility of starting a blog. I was inspired by blogs like Liz Marie Blog, Love Grows Wild, and The Wood Grain Cottage. And it was exciting to think about having my own little space on the internet to share my DIY projects and love for all things home. But like a lot of things in life, that dream was quickly overcast by fear. Boy, do I wish I could drop kick fear and never see its ugly face again. Anyone with me? The sad truth is that fear often plays a more powerful role in our lives than we even realize. I hate to admit it, but the fear of failure, embarrassment, and criticism has kept me from a lot of awesome things over the years. And honestly, I’m fed up and tired of the same old cycle, so I made the deliberate decision to say screw it. No more time wasted letting fear control what I do in life. I couldn’t stop thinking about starting a blog, so I knew it was something I had to try. And so that’s what I did. I kicked fear to the curb and convinced myself that I could do it.
My first blog post happened in December 2015. It was scary for sure. Heck, it still is at times, but it’s also so, so awesome. In just eight short months of blogging, I’ve already had so many amazing opportunities come my way and I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to God to have this happy little spot as my creative outlet. One year ago, as I was just beginning to share our home on Instagram, I never could have predicated where this journey would take me or that I’d even have a blog. All I knew at that point is that I was having fun and doing something I loved–and that’s the seed that started it all.
I’m just glad I decided to go for it.
And really, that’s why I’m telling you this today. Because I believe life is too damn short to keep yourself from taking chances, following your passions, and letting yourself dream about new adventures. Recently I’ve received several questions about how to start a blog. And honestly my answer is JUST DO IT. In fact, this applies to whatever it is that has you on the fence today–whether it be starting a blog, a photography business, or launching into a new career path, just ask yourself these two simple questions:
- Am I truly passionate about this? Am I dreaming about it all the time?
- Does the mere thought of going for it put giant butterflies in my stomach? (the good kind)
Ok, that’s technically 3 questions, but if the answer is YES to them all, you should do it. Stop questioning it and do it. And don’t even give fear and self-doubt the opportunity to vote, because we both know they’ll only try to keep you from awesome things.
Great, I’m glad that’s settled. Moving on!
Now if starting a blog, or a website of any kind, is what you’re dreaming about, I have 5 super simple steps to make it happen TODAY. Yes, today! (Remember we decided this already?)
1. Choose a Platform
For many bloggers, this choice comes down to building your blog on WordPress or Blogspot. I went with WordPress.org and honestly, this was a super easy choice for me. I’ve had previous experience with WordPress, so I knew it would give me total freedom and control to design my blog (we’ll talk more about this in a second, don’t panic). So if you want to create a snazzy blog layout, I’d definitely recommend WordPress.org.
2. Choose a Host
This decision is actually more important than you might think. Imagine your blog as a house and the foundation of that house is the host. Make sense? Your site’s host supports your blog. It’s the foundation of the whole shebang. It’s where you’ll turn to for technical support, customer service, email service for your blog, etc, etc. Personally, I went with Bluehost for Little Vintage Nest. I’d heard great things about it from blogging friends, plus it’s the only hosting service officially recommended by WordPress, so it was a no-brainer. So far I’ve had a flawless experience with them and their 24/7 customer service is AWESOME. Plus it’s only a few bucks a month, they’re usually running a special of some kind. It literally takes just a few minutes to get started–the sign up process is very simple and straight forward. I highly recommend Bluehost, especially if the whole tech side of starting a blog stresses you out. I promise, you can do it!
3. Choose a Blog Name & Domain
Deciding on what you want to call your blog is a big step. I suggest finding a name that suits what kind of brand you want to build, but that’s also versatile enough to give you some flexibility in what you write. Sure, you can always go back and change it if necessary, but choosing a good name from the get-go will make your life easier. Once you have settled on a blog name, you can register the domain through Bluehost when you set up your account. They’ll walk you throughout the entire process. Easy peasy.
4. Choose a Design
This is the fun part my friends. Did you know there are a ton of blog themes you can buy and install yourself? And they’re actually affordable. I purchased my blog theme from 17th Avenue Designs. Overall I really like my theme, it came with step-by-step instructions to install it all from start to finish, which was great. I think it took me maybe two days to get it installed and designed the way I wanted it. However, over the past few months the technical support hasn’t been stellar. I’ve definitely had some issues and many questions have gone unanswered, which isn’t cool. So I’d say shop around, do your homework, and choose a company that seems to be very engaged with their customers. I haven’t worked with her personally, but I’ve heard Lauren at Restored 316 Designs is fabulous. If I ever redesign my blog I’ll probably do it with her.
5. Get to Writing
Once your blog is designed and ready to go, it’s time to start writing! This is where the magic happens. If you’re writing about things you love, it will come easily for you–at least that has been my experience. I’m still very much a newbie blogger, but I absolutely love it so far. Sharing my passion for all things home and DIY is truly is a gift. This is my happy place! I hope your blog can be the same thing for you. And remember: YOU CAN DO IT! Be confident in who you are, your passions, and your abilities. Now go rock it.
I hope this was helpful to all of you on the fence about starting a blog or making any big change in your life for that matter. I’d be so happy to hear what dreams you have cookin’ or what awesome and gutsy things you’ve done lately–I love reading your comments! And please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. As always, you can find me at all hours of the day on Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram. Thanks so much for stopping by my friends! xoxo