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.
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!
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!