Hello everyone! This will be part 1 of a series of blogs that I will post entitled How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business. I’m here to help you establish your very first blog for your Etsy business! You can follow along even if you’re not an Etsy shop owner and you’re just looking to start your own blog. Creating a blog is not as difficult as it seems, trust me. Setting up your first blog can take less than 20 minutes to do, although customizing the blog will take a bit longer. You can set up a blog yourself even if you’re not very tech savvy.
If you’re interested in following along for the entire series, be sure to bookmark this page and check back every Tuesday and Thursday for an update to the series. Here is the curriculum:
- Part 1 – How to Start a Blog for Your Etsy Business
Part 2 – 5 Things You Should Do Before You Start Blogging
Part 3 – How to Plan Content for Your Blog (coming soon)
So, what are the benefits of creating a blog for your Etsy shop? There are so many. For starters, blogging about your products or your specific niche will help attract more customers to your shop. Think about it, you can’t just walk up to someone with your product and say, “here, buy this” then expect them to purchase the item. You’ve got to show them why they need your product, and you can do this through pictures and a few paragraphs of text, aka a blog. Blogging will also help to improve your SEO (search engine optimization), which means you will have better chances of reaching a larger online audience. I’ll explain SEO in depth in a different part of this series. Blogging is also an excellent way of connecting with your customers. By posting new content updating them about new and upcoming products, you can achieve more sales. Finally, believe it or not, you can actually make money from your blog! No, really, people blog for a living! You can achieve extra income by monetizing your website in various ways, which I will also discuss in a later part of this series.
But for now, let’s start by setting up your website.
How to Set Up a Website
The first step for creating a blog is to set up your website by purchasing hosting and a domain name. Yes, unfortunately setting up a website is not absolutely free, but you can purchase hosting and a website domain cheap through Bluehost.com. So, what is website hosting and a domain name? Website hosting is basically like paying for a big computer in the cloud to store all of your website files and a domain name is your website URL (for example, www.christinaceo.com).
To get started, go to Bluehost.com and select “get started now”.
Next, you choose your hosting plan. I would suggest starting with the “basic” plan for $2.95 a month. After you choose your hosting plan you can search for an available domain name. When choosing a domain name, I would highly suggest going for a .com address rather than a .net or .club, just because they are often confusing for some people who are trying to search for your page. Don’t be discouraged if you the domain name that you really want is not available – there are tons of domain names that are already taken unfortunately, so just keep brainstorming different name ideas. Once you’ve found the perfect domain name that’s available, continue to the next step.
Next, enter your account information. You will be asked for basic information such as first and last name, address, etc.
The next step is finalizing the package information. You will notice that the cheapest option for hosting is $2.95 a month for 36 months, I would really suggest going with this plan considering that you will pay more by choosing a month to month basis and you can get a refund if you decide that blogging is not for you down the road. I also really recommend choosing the privacy protection and if you want to save money you can probably skip out on the site backup, search engine jumpstart and sitelock security, these are just fillers that you won’t really need right away.
Finally, if everything looks look then plug in your payment info and click “submit”!
How to Install WordPress on Your Website
Now that you’ve got your domain name and hosting set up, the next thing that you will want to do is install WordPress. What is WordPress? Wordpress is what’s known as a “content management system”, or a CMS. It’s a platform that is installed on your website that makes it easier to post blogs, change the appearance, allow commenting, etc, all without knowing one bit of code! Most websites that you browse online are handled by WordPress including CNN, Forbes, and even Ebay!
To install WordPress onto your website through Bluehost, log in to your Bluehost account. Next, scroll to the section that’s titled “website” and click on the W icon titled “Install WordPress”. Continue through the install process.
When you’re prompted to select your domain name, choose the domain that you signed up with and click on “check domain” (make sure that you leave the “directory” box BLANK!).
Next, check “advanced options” to set up your username and password. The username and password will be used to access the backend of your website. Be sure to choose a username that’s hard to guess. Whatever you do, do NOT use Admin as the username. Sometimes Admin is used by default and hackers will attempt to hack your website.
Once you’ve set the username and password, agree to the terms and click “install now”.
Yay! You’ve officially installed WordPress on your website! Not too hard, right?
Accessing Your WordPress Website
So, how do you access your website through WordPress? It’s pretty simple. Open a new tab on your internet browser and type in www.YourDomainName.com/wp-admin. Next, log in with the username and password that you originally set up.
Welcome to the WordPress dashboard! This is where you will manage your entire website including blog posts, pages, your theme, and more!
To view your website, go to the top left hand corner of your screen where the home icon is and click “Visit Site”.
Don’t be shocked if your website looks hideous. The default themes that are included with WordPress are absolutely horrific looking. To continue customizing your new website stay tuned. The next blog will include 6 things you should do before you start blogging, including how to customize your blog.