You are thinking about starting a blog or maybe you already have a blog. Actually starting a blog is relatively easy, you can read about it here. There are a few things related to the business end of owning a blog that you might want to be sure that you covered. Here is a checklist for blogging as a business. Some of these things are just suggestions and others may actually be required in your state. Be sure to read the list carefully. I have talked to a couple of bloggers that missed these steps and their states had stiff penalties so better to fix this stuff now rather than later. If you missed a step sometimes you can take care of it before it becomes an issue.
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Here are the things that I did when I started a blog. If you think you might have missed an important step be sure to Google the information for your state. Usually you can simply take care of it now.
Here is the checklist for blogging as a business that I used when starting a blog. You can pick and choose which ones you want to do but this was my personal list and I thought it might help.
- Think up a name. Your name should be something your reader would search for to find the information on your blog. Rather than Theresa’s Recipes you might use Easy Step-by-Step Recipes.
- File fictitious name paperwork with your state. (If you operate a business under any name but your own you will need to do this.) It is super easy and won’t take more than 5 minutes online.
- File LLC papers with your state. (If you choose to. It does offer some protection. In most cases, if you get sued your personal assets are protected.)
- File your town occupational papers to work from home. This one usually has penalties if you miss this one. All towns are different be sure to Google your town’s requirements.
- Sign up for domain name. You can get one free with Bluehost but I recommend always keeping your domain name with a separate company than your host. If you ever need to move hosts this makes you life much simpler.
- Register for shared hosting with Bluehost.
- Open a business checking account. (There will likely be a fee of around $8.00 a month unless you keep $1,000 in your account at all times.)
- Make an email account with your domain name. I have actually been told before by a sponsor that they chose me for a campaign over someone else because I didn’t use a free email server. I made enough on that one campaign to pay for 3 years of G Suite.
- Make a Facebook page. Seriously consider taking this course about growing your Facebook. I did after 20 months in business and I wish I it would have been around when I started.
- Make a Twitter page.
- Make a Google Plus page.
- Make a Instagram page.
- Make a Pinterest page.
- Make a YouTube page.
- Make a spreadsheet for expenses.
- Make a spreadsheet for income.
- Make a password list. Trust me by the time you blog for very long you will have a lot of passwords.
- Apply for Business license, this is separate from occupational papers to work from home. This will be in your town. Your town may require both, just one or none at all (rarely).
- Make a logo. Or have one made through Fiverr.com for $5.00 or Upwork probably for around $25.00.
- Set up Paypal business.
- Install WordPress.
- Pick a theme. You can look at other websites themes with this link. If you see a website that you like and they are using WordPress it will usually tell you what theme they are using. Keep in mind that many people have their own theme designed. http://whatwpthemeisthat.com/ Hint: Sometimes it will tell you at the bottom of a website what theme they are using.
- Install Plugins on your site. Akismet, SEO by Yost on WordPress, Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, Broken Link Checker for WordPress, Pinterest Pin It Button for Images on WordPress, W3 Total Cache, Wordfence Security, Shareaholic, Easy Social Share Buttons, Contact Form 7, WP Ultimate Recipe. (You can choose which ones you want, these are what I used.)
- Join Facebook groups that deal with the same subject as your blog.
- Monetize your blog after you have about 10 posts. See my post Monetizing Your New Blog for more information.
- Consider business insurance. We live in a world where people think of suing over the littlest things. When I checked I was told insurance would be $1,000 for the year.
- Use something to check for spelling and grammar errors. Many people will critique your writing. Be sure to get Grammarly to help eliminate grammar mistakes, check for plagiarism and simply to help you chose the best words for your project. This is so important because you will lose part of your following if you don’t care about these things. The World’s Best Grammar Checker
- Image editor and resizer – I use PicMonkey most of all. If you are just starting out you probably don’t even realize how often you will use an image editor. You will need to make graphics and also resize images to fit on the various social media networks. I think it is safe to say I use it daily. Canva also works well and I do use it sometimes.
Not all of the tasks in this checklist for blogging will pertain to every person. You might not think that it is important to have accounts on all of the social media networks but then along will come a sponsor that requires exactly the one you don’t have. Of course, I am sure you understand how important it is to follow city, state and federal regulations to avoid any future problems. I wish you the best of luck with your blog.