Are you wondering exactly what is required to start a blog? Before you dig into the technical side, make sure you cover the requirements and foundation first!
When people learn that you can work from home by starting a blog, the first asked question is, “Can anyone start a blog?”
Sure! Anyone CAN start a blog, but not everyone can have a successful blog.
In order to have a successful blog, you need a PLAN.
I started my blog from the corner of my couch. You do not need fancy equipment, skills, or much money (I’ll share free resources and paid later) but there are a few requirements you DO need in order to start a blog.
Before we dig in, did you read the first step in this series? If not, read: How To Start A Blog The Right Way For Beginners: No Experience Needed.
Requirements For A Successful Blog:
To start a successful blog there are a few requirements you need.
1. A Computer & Internet:
You will need a computer (or one blogger I know uses a tablet but I would lose my mind trying to work on that!) and access to the Internet.
While you do not need technical or computer skills, you do need to be willing or stubborn enough to figure out how to make things work when you hit a snag.
Because you WILL hit those snags.
You will want to throw your computer out the window.
You will end up hiding and eating your hidden stash of chocolate.
You will get stuck. You will cry. You will get frustrated.
^ Yet, no one talks about that, so *I* am talking about it. Heads up – Blogging is HARD emotionally!
BUT the skill you need: Willingness to come back and try again. And to keep trying until you get it.
Which brings us to the next requirement.
2. Desire & Drive To Learn:
Doing something new requires you to learn. Blogging is always changing which means there is always something to learn.
People don’t like it when I say that because they tell me they have read those “quick start guides to blogging” that promises quick returns for little effort. *sigh*
Then, they go for the quick win and when that doesn’t happen and when blogging gets hard, they quit!
Although there are a few internet successes that seem to happen “overnight”, the truth is blogging takes hard work and time.
Those big bloggers? They busted their butts and worked hard to get to where they are today. And they put in the hours to get there.
Whatever “successful” looks like to you, whatever dream you want to reach with blogging, whatever that image in your head looks like, it takes WORK to get there.
Do you have what it takes?
3. Investment Time & Money:
Blogging takes an investment in both time and money. You can get a good host under $4/Month and you can invest in a theme to pretty it up for $60-100 if you want.
Blogging takes time, especially if you decide to go with mostly free resources as I did at first.
A lot of time. Even to date, I can easily log 30 hours on top of my “other” jobs and homeschooling.
Invest in education when you can but don’t stress it for now.
I only paid for my hosting and used free resources for the first few months. I don’t recommend this because it took so. much. time. but I was broke and it worked. So there’s that.
Still with me? Good.
Starting a blog is one of the most risk-free businesses you can start at home on your own.
I truly believe with hard work, you can start a successful, money-making blog.
Building Your Blog Foundation:
Before we jump into the technical side of the blog, there are two requirements you need to consider:
- What is your “why”
- Your topic (niche)
Just like a house that has a strong foundation can weather the storms that hit, your blog needs a strong foundation to weather the storms of blogging and life.
1. Have A REASON: What’s Your Why?
While I don’t think blogging is for everyone there are reasons I think you should start one while working.
I shared my personal reasons here along with other great reasons to start a blog as a working mom.
Blogging without a reason or plan is great if you are blogging as a hobby.
BUT if you are planning on making your blog a successful JOB you need to treat it as one.
You need to be willing to put in the effort, time, and hard work, just like any other career.
You need to know WHY you are blogging.
“Why” is what will get you through:
- the rough days
- stressful days
- the times you feel like nothing is going right
- the crazy days
Trust me, you will have days like these at one point or another. Let’s just hope they don’t gang up on you and you end up getting them all in the same day!
Therefore, your “why” needs to be solid.
2. What Should You Write About: Niche Selection
Figuring out what you want to blog about can be a struggle.
A good rule of thumb is to combine what you know with how you can help others to choose your niche.
Persuasion Nation defines niche as “clearly defined topic (or topics) covered by a particular blog, and written with a specific audience in mind.”
There seem to be two basic viewpoints on this:
- Super focused niche often referred to “narrowing down”
- Lifestyle blogging which is a wider topic and covers multiple areas
For example: My topic here on Practical, By Default is “Working Homeschool Moms”.
You might say that is pretty specific. All the resources here are specifically designed for moms who work and homeschool.
But, if you are a working mom, you’ll still enjoy the recipes, time management tips, and parenting articles.
If you are a homeschool mom, you’ll enjoy the curriculum reviews, book lists, and hands-on projects I share.
However, if you are not a working homeschool mom you may not connect to my writing.
You may not understand the feelings of leaving your kids to do their homeschooling as you head to work. You may not understand the struggle of handling a demanding boss while trying to teach your kids and homeschool. Or leaving a bad work day behind you when you get home.
That’s okay. I’m not talking to you, no offense. 😉
My point is you can still have a successful blog if you write about multiple topics because the truth is all of these topics are connected in one way or another. Simply put, it’s my life.
As you write, your focus may change. It’s part of the learning process.
Before choosing your niche, ask these questions:
- What am I passionate about?
- What can I talk for hours and hours about?
- What do I love to research and share about?
- What skills do I have?
- Is there a need for this topic?
- What problems do I have solutions for?
- Can I monetize it?
- How can I make money?
When I started this blog, I knew homeschooling was my “thing”. My family and friends were sick of hearing me talk about it.
But when I searched for “working mom that is homeschooling” I found very little information about it. I felt the need was there.
Now, I will confess I am horrible at using Google. Time has passed since I started my blog. You will find a lot of helpful information out there now as many are willing to speak up and share.
Don’t skip the last question, “How can I make money?”
Blogging is fun. But if you want to really want to stay home or quit your job in the future you need to be able to make money from your blog.
There are a few ways to do that from affiliate marketing to ads, to sponsored posts and reviews, to making your own products and courses.
Don’t forget to grab your workbook by signing up below if you haven’t already. You’ll want to use pages 2 & 3 for this exercise.
A Few Favorite Resources:
Remember I said learning is part of being a blogger? Here are a few resources to help you with the process of laying a strong foundation for your blog.
Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog shares how to find your perfect niche here.
Free Brainstorming Worksheets (email required) I used these free brainstorming worksheets to figure out and track my blogging stuff.
How to Blog for Profit without Selling Your Soul comes highly recommended. It was written by Elite Blog Academy creator Ruth Soukup.
It is designed to give you a great foundation in making money with your blog for a much cheaper price tag than EBA.
I snagged the e-book for $10, Canadian. Even though I’ve been blogging for a while, I am still learning something. It’s great!
Once you get the answers to those questions you are ready for the next step, choosing your blog name and domain.
I promise it is easier than you think 🙂
In the meantime, if you have any questions please leave a comment below. Let’s chat!
PS. If you are ready to move on, please read: How To Start Blog: How To Choose The Best Domain Name