Blogging 101: Why and how I started a blog. The first in a series of blog tips!

Over the last year that I have been blogging, I have received a lot of amazing feedback from you all about my posts. You tell me I’m inspiring, helpful, motivating, and so much more! Getting these messages from my readers really instantly makes my day.

Something that I’ve been getting a lot throughout the last couple of months, however, are questions about how I started blogging and how to start a blog from readers who are interested in starting their own blog or amping their current blog up to the next level. That is so awesome!

I want to introduce to you a new blog series on Dani Dearest: Blogging 101. (Get it? Cause I’m a college blogger.. it’s like a college class? I’m funny, I promise.)

I believe that in order for these tips to helpful in leading you to success, you should know the background about why and how I started my blog.


Why I Began Blogging

How I Discovered College Blogging

The Summer before my Freshman year of college, I discovered Pinterest. I’ve always been a fan of cute DIY crafts, interior decorating, and simple organization.. so needless to say Pinterest was the perfect place for me. Then, I discovered the college side of Pinterest. Did you know there’s an entire community of college bloggers on Pinterest? I didn’t, and it was a great discovery.

Through Pinterest I discovered some of my favorite college bloggers and found myself subscribing to their newsletters and checking in on their blogs for new posts everyday.


laptop1 What Made Me Start Blogging

When I first moved into my Freshman dorm, my roommates and I all threw ideas around about decorations. I sent links to some of my favorite blog posts regarding cute DIY crafts and decor and they love it! We all began looking at these blogs together, and incorporating their tips into our everyday lives.

I’ve always been the kind of person that needs a project. Constantly. I need to be doing something, I need to be creating, managing, organizing.. something. I never felt creatively fulfilled. My main hobby, stage managing for technical theatre, was a hobby that came and went with each show so there was a lot of downtime.

A few days before my Freshman Orientation was even over, I jokingly mentioned to my roommates “I should totally start a blog” and they jumped on it and became super excited, encouraging me to do it!

One of my other roommates, Tori, also started a blog at the same time. Her blog was focused on keeping her family that lived out of the area up to date with her life, but lately she has been focusing on turning it more into a real blog!

When I started blogging I had two goals in mind:

  • To inspire other college students to succeed and bring creativity into their lives.
  • To feel creatively fulfilled.

How I Started

On September 3rd, 2014 I began Dani Dearest. I started my blog on WordPress.com with a free blog template.

A lot of people ask me why I started on WordPress.com instead of immediately going to WordPress.org*. I started my blog completely free, to see if it was something I would want to stick with. To see if it’s something I could actually do. To see if people would actually be interested in what I have to say, to see if I could be able to consistently post while juggling my first year of college, and to see if I wanted to continue it.

* For those of you who aren’t familiar with blog terminology: WordPress.com is the best free blogging tool. Your domain is then blogname.wordpress.com, so it is not your own. You can only choose specific templates and you cannot change things like the colors or HTML. It is very restricted, but is a great free tool. If you want your own domain (the URL), a custom theme or even just a higher variety of free themes, and some more flexibility the best idea is to go with WordPress.org. Through WordPress.org you have to purchase your domain and hosting through an outside company. I will go through this in more detail in a later post!


laptop2

The Next Step

On Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) I took a leap and bought my own hosting and domain from a huge online sale. I’m so glad that I did. (I still use a free blog template though!)

From there Dani Dearest grew like crazy. To give you a general idea: in the month of December I had a little over 6,000 page views total. (I bet you like 3,000 of those views were me, my boyfriend, or my roommates.)

Within the previous month now, from July 18th, 2015 to August 18th, 2015 I have gotten over 100,000 page views. I’ve never been more proud.

I feel like I have really grown as a person through my blog. I discovered something I never really new that I loved until now, planning, and I’m incorporating it into my daily life and jobs. I’m even making some money off of it, which definitely wasn’t my first goal but is a huge help being a broke college student living on her own.

But most of all, I feel that I have reached my goals.

  • I have inspired other college students to succeed and bring creativity into their lives.
  • When I am writing and working on this blog, I feel creatively fulfilled.

If you’re considering starting a blog or you’re looking to grow yours, stick around. I will continue to share some insight into my blogging story, as well as specific and real tips that you can use to benefit yourself and you blog.

I remember what I wanted to learn when I was working on starting up my blog.. and now I’m here to give that help to you!


Do you blog? Do you want to? Share with below or contact me!

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Blogging 101: Why I Started a Blog
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11 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Why I Started a Blog

  • August 20, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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    This is great! Like you I started with WordPress.com and just recently switched over to the org site. Congrats on your many accomplishments and all the best to you in school!
    CicelyRenee recently posted…My New Obsession: Milani BlushMy Profile

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  • August 20, 2015 at 12:53 pm
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    I always enjoy reading how others started their personal blogs. I have had domain for nearly a decade but it started off at a zine, the photography project, 3 years ago I started spotlighting psytrance artists but now I’m making it more person and saving my music posts for music blogs instead.
    Ally Fiesta recently posted…Quito: Aeropuerto Mariscal SucreMy Profile

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  • August 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm
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    You’re certainly an inspiration, Dani! While I was blogging before I found your lovely site, I’m looking forward to this series!

    Reply
  • August 20, 2015 at 7:03 pm
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    I love Pinterest too, I use it everyday is so important to be in contact with my readers and new trends!

    Barbara
    BlocNotes Lifestyle recently posted…TomboyMy Profile

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  • August 20, 2015 at 7:06 pm
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    I love this post! I definitely started my first blog when I was in 8th grade, it was random stuff about my life and some how I managed to have people comment on it. I heard about the blogging world because one of my mom’s close friends had one. It was super neat to read your story of how you started a blog. So excited for you about getting 100,000 page views in a month! Definitely something to be excited about!

    And I completely understand the needing something to do thing. That’s why I started up a blog again!

    –Megan
    http://www.lovemeganjune.com

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  • August 20, 2015 at 8:15 pm
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    Wow thats a massive achievement in such a small amount of time! Congratulations 🙂 So happy for you that you enjoy it so much!

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  • August 24, 2015 at 8:25 am
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    I absolutely love your blog, and for a while I have been thinking about starting a blog of my own. This post finally convinced me to go out and start my own blog, I actually went right from this post to Bluehost to sign up for it! I can’t wait for the rest of your Blogging 101 posts!

    Reply
  • December 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm
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    Hey I really liked your reasons for starting a blog and was thinking about starting one for over a month now but I guess I am overwhelmed with all the options available.

    Reply
    • January 11, 2016 at 1:13 pm
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      I totally understand! I was overwhelmed at first too. If it’s something that you really want to do, it’s worth it! Take a deep breath, and take the plunge. Just start out with something free so that you have the option to change your mind and jump around if you want to. You can do it 🙂 I’ll be posting more Blogging 101 posts soon!

      Reply

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