If you have been thinking about starting a multi-topic or multi-niche blog, DO IT. I can’t emphasize enough just how much of an amazing experience blogging has been for me over the last few years. I know blogging may seem overwhelming and appear like a ton of work (and don’t get me wrong – it sure can be) but at the end of the day it is so incredibly rewarding to have a blog where people stop by, read your work, comment back on it, and occasionally contact you in private informing you how your writing or story impacted them in some way, shape, or form.
If you’re considering starting a multi-topic blog, you may be wondering where to begin. I know the technical details can be super confusing so I created this How to Start a Multi-Topic Blog Guide to walk you through it all step-by-step.
Bloggers all around the web will advise you to select ONE niche before you get started. Today, I’m here to tell you that while niche blogging may in fact be easier, it isn’t the only way to achieve blogging success. It is definitely smart to position yourself an “expert” but let’s be honest: blogging about one sole topic can get very old very fast. How can you expect to succeed if you’re just going to burn out six months from now? I couldn’t possibly imaging keeping this blog alive for years on top of years if all I wrote about was birds. (And yes, at one time, I tried that. And guess what. Two years into it, I got burned out.) For bloggers who have rather diverse interests like myself, going the multi-topic route will increase your chances of success. Again, I think niche blogging IS a great option but the reality is that most bloggers will burnout and get bored at some point down the line. The more options you have, the lower the chance of burn out.
You do not have to settle for a blog about just one topic. A multi-top can be successful if you approach it from the right direction. You want to be broad enough without appearing like your blog lacks purpose as a whole. You simply want to have separate sections to neatly and clearly divide your work. Are you still up for the challenge? If so, let us begin! 🙂
10 Simple Steps to Starting Your Own Successful Multi-Topic Blog.
1. Select a Catchy Catch-All Name
Your name is where your blog begins. This is what you will promote, link to, and share with the WHOLE world. You want your blog’s title to be something people can easily interpret, understand, and remember. The Rocky Safari is a spin on my real name that I came up with just by rhyming a bit. Choose something FUN! Be creative. You don’t want to change this later (it is a lot of work, trust me. I went through it…) so if you can, pick a good one to begin with! If your blog is going to discuss multiple topics, make sure the name doesn’t sound too specialized in one area.
To host your own blog, you can sign up for hosting with Bluehost. For most bloggers, this is where it starts to get a bit confusing. Don’t worry if you feel that way, it is normal. I know I felt that way. If you do decide to use Bluehost – which I highly recommend since it is both inexpensive and easy to use – you can sign up with the link above to get EVEN LESS EXPENSIVE HOSTING. Did I mention Bluehost’s customer service is OUT OF THIS WORLD? Seriously. You can call up with any question and they will go to extreme lengths to help you out. Although I use Siteground now that my blog has grown in popularity, I first started with Bluehost and used them for my first 12 months of self-hosting. (Why I Switched From Bluehost to Siteground.)
Hosting is a necessary step to be able to fully own, control, and create your own blog. Enjoy it while it is cheap because once your blog gains a lot of traffic, it becomes much more expensive to host a website. I can tell you from personal experience that both Hostgator and ASmallOrange are horrible and I will never use them ever again. (I’ll gladly e-mail you the unbelievably rude conversations their customer service representatives have had with me. Those are saved for safe keeping.)
To Sign Up, Follow this guide step-by-step:
First click “Get Started Now.”
Select your plan.
At this stage, I would recommend choosing the cheapest option (currently) at $3.95 per month. At this point, you are just getting started with your blog so it does not make much sense to pay any more than you have to. You can always upgrade your plan in the future.
Then check if your desired domain name is available.
If it is not, return to the beginning and brainstorm additional ideas. Do not rush. Also, there are a ton of new domain extensions like “.rock” and “.ninja” that look awesome at first glance. While they may work just a well as a “.com” or “.org”, society is still a bit stuck in the “.com” phase and using anything else may do more harm than good.
If you already own a new domain name, you can add that one here.
Next, enter your account information.
Finally, complete your package information.
At this point, I would actually recommend choosing the 12 month plan as well as domain privacy. Mathematically, it works out to be a little more expensive than purchasing 36 months upfront but you never know what will happen down the line. Don’t get stuck paying more a website that you don’t want to keep a year from now. If you’re a new blogger, lets test the waters first. You can select more long-term saving options next time around. As far as privacy goes, you don’t want annoying spam mail from anyone so it is better to keep your information locked up safe.
And there you have it! Your hosting is all set up! Great job.
Step 3: Install WordPress
Now that you have hosting, you can install WordPress. When you log into Bluehost you will see the following screen appear.
Scroll down until you see the following: “Install WordPress.”
All it takes is one click. Follow the steps on the screen and you’ll be good to go.
Step 4. Logging In to WordPress.
After that is finished installing WordPress, you will log into your new blog by going to: www.YOURNEWBLOG.com/wp-admin.
Enter your username and password and you’re in!
NOTE – IF YOU HAVE A PRE-EXISTING BLOG ON WORDPRESS.COM, YOU CAN MIGRATE IT TO A SELF-HOSTED SERVER. HERE IS A GUIDE TO HELP YOU WITH THAT PROCESS.
Step 5. Select a Theme.
Now for the fun part! You get to select which theme you would like to use as the foundation for the blog you will soon build. Don’t worry. It takes time to make your site look the way you want it to look like. I have been blogging here for a few years now and I still change the overall appearance rather frequently.
Whether you want to use a free theme or pay for one is up to you and your budget. Once you do commit to one, you will have to install it to your site. Themes usually come with installation instructions so it shouldn’t be challenging at all. In most cases, you will log into WordPress, click “Appearance”, then “Themes”, and finally, “Upload” where you can attach the file for your new theme and be on your merry way to begin blogging!
Step 6. Design a Logo
If you are artistic, feel free to draw something and scan it. If you have any graphic design abilities, create a logo in Photoshop or Illustrator. Even a screenshot of a simple text will do (as I’ve done on my professional website.) You’ll want a logo for your site.
If you want someone to make one for you, you could try Fiverr where you’ll pay just $5.00 for a custom made logo. However, I will warn you, I have not yet had anything amazing come from a sale on Fiverr. It’s like they say: you get what you pay for. Use them with caution and understand that the more you pay, the better the design you’ll most likely receive. Fiverr really is great though. I have friends who have had wonderful luck with them.
Step 7. Search and Install Plug Ins.
Plug Ins make the world of a difference in what you can do for a blog. Want an interactive map? There’s a plug in for that! Looking for a more detailed form on a specific page? You can definitely get a plug in for that. There are plug ins for just about ANYTHING. Honestly, ask and you shall receive. New plug ins appear EVERY DAY.
Step 8. The About Me Page.
Every blog begins somewhere. The first thing you’ll want to write is your About Me page which essentially tells readers who you are and what purpose your blog serves. Feel free to be creative in this stage and show your personality! Tell the world who you are.
Step 9. Grab Your Social Media Handles.
If you want to build a large following, you’ll want to collect e-mails and network on social media. Make sure you set up a Facebook page and Twitter page at the very least. Some bloggers go social media crazy – I think Facebook and Twitter are all you really need so those are the only two services I use. You may find better luck on other platforms – feel free to experiment with this! Click here to see my Facebook and Twitter.
Step 10. Write, write, write!
Of course, the most important final step is to produce quality writing! You’re all set to start publishing your very own posts now. I want to wish you the best of luck blogging because I know you can do it. Dedicate yourself now and you will succeed. If you have any questions along this journey, feel free to reach out to me for help. I’d love for you to also leave a comment below if you found this tutorial helpful. Can’t wait to see your new blog!
GOOD LUCK! 😀
Update 10/22/2017 – My website is now hosted over at Siteground. I explain why I switched from Bluehost to Siteground in this post. Sign up for Siteground hosting HERE.