You’re a proud owner of a new domain name!

Congrats.

But now you’re wondering what you need to do next to get your blog started.

Here’s a list of 10 things you need to do after you buy your domain name.

Here’s What To Do After You Buy Your Domain

1// Purchase hosting

If you don’t have hosting yet, you’ll need it.

Hosting is like buying land for a house in real life. Your website is the house, and hosting is the land. You obviously need both in order to have an online property like a website.

I recommend getting good basic hosting in the beginning. There’s no need to buy expensive hosting until your website demands it (when you get lots of visitors).

Hosting plans vary, but in general, a beginner hosting plan will cost around the same price as a cup of coffee, monthly.

Here are my recommended hosting companies:

Just choose one and go with it. I don’t think it’s something worth over analyzing at this point of your blogging career.

If you want my recommendation, I’ve probably heard the most good things about Site Ground.

2// Install a kick ass theme

A theme is the look and feel of your blog.

Every blog needs a theme. You’ll have endless choices.

What a lot of people do is install a free theme in the beginning. And then when they get more serious they will buy a premium theme.

Premium themes costs money because they look way nicer, make your website run faster, and often come with built in tools that allow you to quickly change things like background color, width of your website, font size and color, and many higher end blogging tools like built in email capture widgets and forms.

If you know RIGHT NOW that you want to give blogging a serious GO, then I recommend getting a premium theme right off the bat.

Because when you start off with a generic theme and switch over to a different theme, no matter what, things will not change over smoothly. Fonts, paragraph spacing, widget placement, etc, can be way out of sync. And it’s a bitch to fix.

If you have dozens of published blog posts already, it could take you days. Worse, you may not even fully be able to get your website looking similar to what you had before.

The other main reason why you want to start off with a great looking theme/premium theme right away is that it makes your website look professional right away. That builds trust and keeps people on your blog. And you’ll have the proper tools to adjust things on your website by yourself without hiring a designer – which saves you money cause those people are expensive.

Which themes do I recommend?

If your goal is to make money with your blog, then Thrive Themes and Elegant Themes are no brainers.

These Theme companies are built with the BEST tools to help make your website as easy as possible to adjust things yourself to get the look you want, and maybe more importantly, these themes have tools and plugins that greatly help you capture emails more efficiently, get shares on social media, and their support is fantastic.

3// Install important plugins

Plugins are extra things you add to your website to give it extra function.

Think of a car that adds a muffler to make it louder or mud flaps to prevent shooting mud everywhere. It’s like that.

There are a gazillion plugins. So that’s the great thing.

However, you don’t want to be installing any old plugin, because they can slow down your website and give you compatibility issues, as well as they are susceptible to being hacked, which could ultimately compromise your website.

So I only use the most important plugins that are essential to blogging, and nothing else.

What are the must have plugins for a blog?

Yoast SEO – A critical plugin that will help you write titles and descriptions that show up on Google. You’ll want to learn basic on page SEO, which you can pretty much learn in a few articles if you Google for it.

Akismet  – A spam filter system. You’ll eventually receiver a crap load of spam comments. You need a plugin that stops them. Akismet comes with your WordPress installation. If you’re not using WordPress, you’ll need to download another spam plugin

A social media sharing/following plugin – When people visit your blog post, they need a way to share it. Social media plugins help you do that. I do not recommend getting a free cheap one. Get a high quality one that looks amazing and works very well. I use Social Warefare and 100% recommend it. It’s not expensive either.

4// Sign up for social media accounts

You will need to sign up at the major social media networks for your blog.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t plan to use a specific social media platform or won’t be using it right now. You MUST secure your account first. You will always have it to use later on.

The thing with social media accounts is that names get taken and you are stuck choosing a different name. The ideal social media handle is your exact blog name.

For example, my blog minthabits.com, all my social media account names are “@minthabits”. I got lucky since this blog isn’t that old. My name isn’t a popular name which is the main reason why I got it.

The website you MUST register with are:

  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram if you have visual content

I don’t think Google Plus is any good at all and I don’t feel it’s worth your time when the other social media networks above are so BIG and will take up all your time trying to grow it anyway. Plus, do you even know anyone on Google Plus?

5// Sign up a gmail account for your blog

You’ll need an email associated with your blog.

ideally, you’ll have your blog domain name @ gmail.com. Hopefully it’s available.

I chose gmail because it’s the most popular one and reliable. But you can use any email provider. I Recommend Google though.

You’ll use your blog email to talk to other bloggers and they will contact you by your blog email as well. Don’t use your personal email for your blog please.

You may consider getting a branded email for your blog. This looks more professional and is more ideal. In my opinion, in the beginning of blogging, that’s not something you really need to worry about yet – unless you are a business from the get go.

A branded email is like hello@minthabits.com, contact@minthabits.com, or jason@minthabits.com. Notice it’s not the free “gmail” version.

Here's what you need to do to set up your blog after you buy your domain name!

6// Write your About page

The first thing you should write is your about page. You’ll also want to create a disclaimer and privacy page eventually. While the other two are important and essential, it’s not something you must have immediately unless you are selling things right off the bat or collect information from your users immediately.

You’re probably just starting out a personal blog to talk about stuff and see how things go, without any idea of what collecting information even is or how to make money with a blog.

If you’re this person, then a disclaimer/privacy page could wait. If you feel better have them right away then create it. It’s just that it takes time and research to create, and it’s hard to know what to put in it because you don’t even know how you will run your blog in the beginning.

Getting back to your about page, for now, just write about you and what your blog is about, and most importantly, how you will help readers with your blog.

I recommend short and concise About pages with a nice photo of yourself. People want to get a snippet of who you are, not your entire life story. Unless your super interesting or a celebrity.

7// Write your first blog post

Your first blog post is an amazing experience.

It will be the first time you publish a live article from your own blog. Amazing!

For your very very first blog post, I recommend writing a blog post titled “my first blog post”. And write whatever the hell it is you want to write.

You can talk about your plans with your blog, how you feel about blogging so far, your life, or where you want to be 1 year from now.

I like the idea of writing about where you are now and where you want to be a year down the road. Kind of like a diary. It’s great to share with your readers (though you have none now but some may read it later) what your ambitions are and it’s fun to look back at it later.

8// Research what to write about, and write more blog posts

Now comes the real work.

Writing real blog posts that gets tons of social media shares, ranks well in Google so you get all that free traffic, and attracts backlinks.

There is a real art when it comes to figuring out what to write about. This will take time to learn.

But in a nutshell, you want to think about the specific types of people you want to read your blog. You want to create content specifically for them.

There are a bazillion blogs that talk about a bazillion things. Whatever you’re going to blog about, thousands of bloggers are already talking about it.

So why the hell should someone read your blog?

You’ll want to think about that for a bit. Or a long time.

It’s really important.

Whatever you come up with, the main thing needs to be this: You need to help readers with whatever problems they have, and do it better than most people, if not everyone else.

That’s how you’ll gain a large loyal audience who can’t wait to see your next blog post.

And the main way you achieve this is to define very clearly who you want as a reader. Because once you know exactly who you want to help, you can write content that is tailor made for them. When they read your stuff, they know their on the right blog. They know they can trust and listen to you. Because you “get them”.

And that’s how you want to blog.

Because blogging is competitive and everyone is already talking about whatever the hell it is you will be talking about.

9// Promote your blog posts

Writing amazing blog posts is half the battle.

It’s a lot of work, but it’s the easier battle.

Promoting it, that is, getting traffic from your blog posts is actually the tougher part about blogging.

Getting traffic is an entire beast of a thing to learn on its own. Traffic is something you’ll get better at as time goes on. Much like everything else in blogging.

But, you want to get as much social media traffic as possible, as well as get free traffic from Google.

I recommend using Pinterest as your first social media platform to build. Just build one social media account at a time. You cannot spread yourself too thing or you’ll never grow anything.

Pinterest is the best social media platform for bloggers because it’s the easiest way to get traffic to your blog with the littlest amount of work (for most blog topics).

As far as getting traffic from Google, you’ll want to learn on page SEO first. And just get that down for now. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s actually pretty easy to learn the basics. Later on, you will learn how to do off page SEO, which is basically link building.

10// Sign up for blogging courses

If you’re serious about blogging you’ll eventually learn that you can’t Google search your way to building a successful blog.

I mean, I guess it COULD work. But the amount of time it would take along with sifting through all the b.s. online would be an inefficient use of your time.

You’ll soon figure out that it’s much easier to build your blog faster by learning from other people who have already succeeded.

There are courses for everything. And yes, you’ll likely eventually end up buying many of them. Because that’s just what successful people do to get ahead in life.

In the beginning, or near the beginning, I recommend buying a Pinterest course that will teach you how to get traffic from Pinterest. You can start receiving hundreds of visitors within a few months just from Pinterest alone.

I also recommend a general blogging course. There are so many out there. It’s really hard to know who’s legit and who’s just looking to make a buck.

I’ll come back with a recommendation later. I have personally taken many blogging courses but they were the super expensive ones (over $1000) and that might be a bitch much for a brand new blogger who doesn’t even know what to do after buying a domain name.

Any questions about what to do after you buy a domain name?

I think the title of my blog post is hilarious.

I bought a domain name, now what? LOL. I figured people would be typing this into Google so that’s what I named my title, hoping I may rank in Google for that search term.

Anyways, if you have any questions about how to do anything that I recommended in this blog post, leave me a comment below.

If you have any questions about blogging at all leave me a comment as well.

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Here's what you need to do to set up your blog after you buy your domain name!
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