How to Start a Blog
Blogging is a key component to marketing your teacher store. We've got five easy set-up steps for you and even more reasons why it's a game changer. Blogging helps you build trust and establish your credibility with your audience. It helps your audience to connect with you on a personal level. You've been in their shoes so they'll be able to relate to the stories that you share. Blogging gives you the opportunity to have conversations and share more personal information about your brand, which will help you build stronger relationships with your audience. Blogging will also help drive more traffic to your store. The more traffic you are able to drive to your business, the more people you will be able to convert into paying customers! So keep reading to learn all about how to start a teacher blog in five easy steps!
What should you blog about?
Teach them everything that you know! Focus on your key audience. If you create math products for kindergarten, then you should be writing about topics that kindergarten teachers would find interesting and helpful. You might decide to write about the strategies that you and your students have found helpful when you're teaching certain math concepts. Think about the challenges you've faced and the solutions you've devised. It could be how to keep your math manipulatives organized. Or, you could write about various math-related apps that teachers can use with their students.
You might decide to branch out and write about all topics related to kindergarten such as strategies for teaching reading, how to organize a stress-free field trip, or how to spend less time lesson planning while still creating amazing lessons that your students love and really learn from. There are so many options! So, take a minute and think about what it is that you want to share with your audience.
Take ten minutes to brain dump as many blog post ideas that your audience would find helpful and that you could write right now. Only write down ideas that you feel you have something to share about. Don't write down any ideas that come to mind that you think would be great blog post ideas but you're really not sure what you would say. We still come up with great blog post ideas then have to remind ourselves that, while they're great ideas, we're not the ones to write them! Next, see if you can group the blog posts into about four or five categories. These categories will be the areas you will focus your blog posts on to begin. Remember that you can always adjust them later as you and your audience get to know each other better.
How often should you blog?
That depends on how often you can consistently write blog posts. Ideally, it would be great if you could post five days a week every week but for most of us, that's a lot more than we can handle. The key is consistency! Whether you decide to post every day, twice a week, once a week, or once every other week, it doesn't really matter as long as you are consistent. We recommend that you post at least once every other week as your audience may forget about you if you are posting less often than that. The more often you are able to post, the more quickly you will be able to grow your blog and your store!
You've decided to start a blog. Congrats! Now what?
We are so excited that you are going to start a blog! First things first, you need to decide what platform you want your blog to be hosted on, for example, WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Blogger... and the list goes on. We began our blog in 2014 on Blogger but switched to WordPress in 2015. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of the platforms but we have been really happy with our decision to move our blog to WordPress because we like the customization features that are available on this platform. Unlike the other blogging platforms that we listed above, WordPress requires you to also choose a web host.We have been using Bluehost for years and absolutely love them! Bluehost is one of the top rated web hosting companies in 2018 and they're really affordable.If you're just starting out, we recommend starting your blog on Bluehost. Bluehost will give you more options for diversifying your income (advertisements, affiliate links, and direct advertising) than beginning on Blogger and some of the other platforms. Some advertisers and companies shy away from blogs hosted on Blogger as they don't view them as professional. Bluehost will help you to create a professional looking blog that gets taken seriously. Plus, it's cheap and you get a free domain! You can start your own blog on Bluehost for as low as $3.95 a month! If you sign up through our link, you will get your domain for free when you sign up for a 12 month or longer hosting plan (a $15 value)! We signed up for a 36-month plan when we began because it gave us the lowest monthly rate.
How do you create a WordPress blog on Bluehost?
Register Your Domain Name
The first thing you will need to do is register your domain name. Hopefully, you will be able to use the same domain name as your store name to help keep things simple for your audience. If you are just starting out, check out our previous blog post where we discussed how to choose your teacher store name and domain name.
Purchase Your Hosting Plan
Create your account: If you already created a Google account for your teacher store, then you may want to sign in with Google otherwise, fill in the "Account Information".
Select your package: Choose the Account Plan that best fits you and your business. You can choose between 12, 24, 36, and 60-month plans. Remember that the 36 and 60-month plans are the best deals. We chose to sign up with the Basic 36 Month Plan.
Select which add-ons you would like: Domain Privacy Protection hides your personal contact information (name, address, and email) from being accessible through the public whois information. SiteLock Security provides extra security for your website including malware and spam monitoring. Codeguard Basic provides daily backups of your site to make sure that you don't lose everything should disaster strike (like if your website crashes or you make a major mistake). Bluehost SEO Tools Start provides weekly reports on "how your site is progressing and recommendations on how to optimize your site further" to "improve your search rankings and increase visitors". It is completely up to you how many add-ons you would like at this time. When we signed up, we selected only the Domain Privacy Protection as we did not want our home address listed. We covered several other of these add-on services through other plug-ins after creating our website.
Enter your payment information
Read and agree to Bluehost's Terms of Service and Cancellation Policy
Install WordPress on Bluehost
Don't freak out! This is one of the easiest steps. Bluehost will guide you through exactly what you need to do to get your blog up and running.
Pick a theme: This theme can be changed later so don't spend too much time on this now. We recommend that you purchase a premade blog design. The design that you choose will dictate what theme you will use on your blog. Most seem to use Genesis so you may want to begin with that.
Click "Start Building"
Finally, choose "Business" or "Personal": We recommend that you choose "Business" if you are planning on using this blog for business purposes and creating this blog to promote your teacher store.
Design & Begin!
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a WordPress blog! Before you get started blogging, you will want to work on the design so that it reflects you and your brand.There are many different options when it comes to designing your blog but most people tend to either purchase a premade blog design or hire a website designer. We purchased a premade blog design by Hello You Designs. We have also purchased blog designs by Hello You Designs for our other websites (last we counted we are up four different websites on a variety of topics all hosted on this one Bluehost account and two of which were designed by Hello You Designs). If you decide to purchase a premade blog design, we recommend that, unless you are super tech savvy and maybe even if you are, you pay the extra fee to have the designer install the theme for you so that you can focus your time on tweaking the design and get to creating and sharing your content!
Get started creating your WordPress Blog on Bluehost today! Let us know if you need any help with Bluehost: choosing a domain name, picking a plan, pricing... We're happy to help! Shoot us an email at email@example.com!