How to Start a Weight Loss or Food Blog

 

4 Steps to Starting a Weight Loss and/or Food Blog. How to Start a Food Blog. How to Start a Weight Loss Blog

It might seem kind of odd to find a “How to Start a Blog” page on Organize Yourself Skinny. Well, one of the most common questions I get after “How did you lose weight?” is “how do I start my own blog?” followed “how do you make money from your blog?”. So instead of sending you all over the internet trying to point you in the right direction I decided to put together a page dedicated to helping my readers start their own blog. I will try my best to answer those two questions. The  question about my weight loss is what Organize Yourself Skinny is all about so if that’s all you want to know then grab a cup of coffee and start reading.

How to Start a Blog

In March 2011, the Organize Yourself Skinny  blog was born. Since then my life has changed in so many ways. First, and foremost, the OYS community that has morphed out of this blog was (and continues to be) a much welcomed surprise. Sharing my experiences on my blog and facebook page with all my wonderful readers has been one the main factors in maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I know I can always turn to my community of awesome OYS readers for accountability, motivation, or if I need some encouragement. I love sharing my knowledge with everyone and more so I love learning new things from them. I truly believe that if it was not for writing this blog and the OYS community I would have give up a long time ago.

Another benefit to writing this blog has been the opportunity to bring in an extra income. I recently quit my full-time cushy state job to pursue my new career as a FULL – TIME PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER. Read all about that here. It takes a ton of work but it can be done. Dreams do come true is you are willing to work for hard for them!

I encourage everyone to start a blog even if you are not interested in making money from it – although it is good to know that as your blog grows making a extra cash is an option. Starting a blog is a great way to hold yourself accountable, build your knowledge, and document your progress. I love blogging and I know you will too!

4 Steps to Starting a Blog

A lot of people drag their feet with starting a blog because the technical aspect makes them nervous. I understand it can get a little nerve racking if you are not sure what to do. Let me try and demystify it for you with 4 easy steps.

Organize Yourself Skinny is a healthy lifestyle and food blog. Regardless of the topic (food, weight loss, design, your pet turtle) you want to write about these are the 4 basic steps all bloggers take when starting their blog. Also, please keep in mind there are many products and services out there but the ones I mention below are what I have or currently use with my blog and what I have the most experience with.

Okay let’s get you bloggin…

Starting a blog takes 4 steps.

  1. Domain {address of your blog}
  2. Hosting {your home or space on the internet}
  3. Installing WordPress {blogging software and content management)
  4. Theme {the look and design of your blog}

1. Domain name

Your domain name is kind of like your address on the web. It is what people type in to get to your blog. For example my domain name is www.organizeyourselfskinny.com.

Picking out your domain name is fun but it can get a little stressful. Take some time to think about your domain name because once it is purchased and you start writing on your blog it will be difficult to change. People will start to know you as your blog name so you don’t want to switch it up and confuse everyone. On the flip side don’t spend a ton of time thinking of the perfect name because really it comes down to the information you share.

Here are some of my suggestions to help you with the domain name process:

  • Keep it relatively short and easy to remember
  • Try to get a .com
  • Don’t use dashes or other symbols
  • Don’t dwell on the perfect name because at the end of the day your content and bubbly personality is what will bring people back.

Once you have it pick out then check to make sure it is available. This can be done by typing the name into the domain search engine at Bluehost. If it is available, and your are ready, then purchase it. There are 1000s of blogs and websites starting everyday so try to purchase the domain name you want as soon as you can because if you wait it could be gone when you want it – don’t ask me how I know.

Note: If you are going to go with a free blog platform (mentioned below) you don’t necessarily need a domain name although I HIGHLY recommend still getting one because you never know. Domain names are inexpensive and it is better to get one right from the start then wait and have it not be available – again, don’t ask me how I know.

2. Hosting

Self Hosted Blog

Self-hosted means you rent out the space on web where your blog sits. Besides giving you complete ownership over your blog and all of it’s content self-hosted gives you much more options as your blog grows. Organize Yourself Skinny is a self-hosted blog.

I started out with Bluehost and was very happy with them. However, once my traffic started to significantly increase I had to switch to Synthesis Hosting which is a virtual private server. Going the virtual private server route is more expensive so I reccommend starting with blue host then moving to Synthesis down the road if you need to.

Bluehost is a very popular hosting company and used by many bloggers.  If you are just starting out then I recommend starting with Bluehost. You can purchase both your domain and hosting package through them for an awesome price.

3. Installing WordPress

WordPress is the blogging software or content management system that makes it possible to write on your blog. It is what I use for Organize Yourself Skinny. There are others but I have only used WordPress. It is very easy to use and provides tons of options for functionality.

If you host your blog with Bluehost then you will have no trouble installing WordPress because they make it a cinch to get up and running very quickly. In fact, I think when I first started Organize Yourself Skinny I had it up and running in less than 10 minutes!

Here is a video from bluehost that walks you through the process.

4. Design

Now the fun part starts! It is time to design your blog! WordPress comes with a bunch of free themes that are easy to download and use. However, I HIGHLY recommend purchasing the Genesis Framework and a StudioPress Premium Theme. They are reasonably priced and in my opinion the best!! If you are confused by what the difference is between the framework and theme, don’t be. The Genesis framework is like the vehicle for your blog basically it what keeps it functioning and moving forward. The theme is the paint job for your vehicle — basically it what makes your blog pretty. You can read all about both here. Or you can click here to download The Genesis Guide for Absolute Beginners (PDF – 1.4 MB)

Organize Yourself Skinny runs on the Genesis Framework and when I first started out I used the Prose theme. Recently, I had the StudioPress theme Innov8tive theme customized to be what you see today.

If you are unsure or want more control over colors, fonts, etc then I highly reccomend starting with the Prose theme. It comes out of the box a clean slate then you add all your colors on the back end. If you would rather have it turn key out of the box then go with one of there other themes. They have so many gorgeous themes to pick from.

Some favorite studiopress themes among women bloggers are:

Inspired Theme

Adorable Theme

Decor Theme

Cre8tive Burst Theme

Modern Blogger Theme

How I Make Money Blogging

I wrote an entire post about how I quit my cushy state job to pursue my dream working as a full-time blogger. Read it here.

I also highly recommend Kiersten Frase ebook How to Monetize Food Blog. This ebook is amazing! Kiersten talks about all the different revenue streams and how to make money from them. She is very detailed! I think if you are just starting out or even have been at this blogging thing for a while you will find her information very helpful.

How to Make an Income off your food blog

 

The second resource that played a pivotal role in taking my blog to the next level was Food Blogger Pro. This website is filled with video tutorials that walk you through every step of blogging. Lindsay and Bjork the owners are awesome too! They have been so helpful to me in building my blog. Thanks guys!

Food Blogger Pro: Video training and blogger community helping you to start your food blog.

Starting a blog has been such a wonderful experience for me. I hope you find this information helpful should you decide to start one of your own. Please note some of the links in this post are affiliate links. You are by no means obligated to use them when making a purchase but if you do then thank you for supporting Organize Yourself Skinny.