The Ins and Outs of Starting A Blog For Free! | Leona Woolfolk | Skillshare

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The Ins and Outs of Starting A Blog For Free!

teacher avatar Leona Woolfolk, Illustrator, Graphic Designer, & Blogger

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction: The Ins and Outs of Starting A Blog For Free

    • 2. Part One: The Boring Stuff aka The Planning Stages

    • 3. Part Two: Choosing A Platform That Works For You

    • 4. Part Three: Unifying Your Brand

    • 5. Part Four: Now It's Time To Get Started

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn many tools that will help you start your blogging journey and work as a foundation for establishing yourself and/or your brand in this digital world.

We will first go in depth into what the planning stage of setting up a blog looks like. We will then figure out which blogging platform works best for your niche and brand. Continuing on we will begin to accumulate tools that will unify your brand to your audience beyond your blog. Lastly, we will incorporate everything we've covered in this class and get you prepared to publish your first post on your new blog.

If this sounds like a skill that you feel is needed in the next stages of your business; Or if you are wanting to start a new venture and you think blogging is it, go ahead and continue on with me to part one of this course as I begin to take you through each step of learning the ins and outs of starting a blog for free.

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Meet Your Teacher

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Leona Woolfolk

Illustrator, Graphic Designer, & Blogger


I am a St. Louis digital illustrator and creative influencer currently. My early work was influenced a lot by the doodles of my imagination that I later turned into sticker designs.

Unbeknownst to me, I tapped into a hidden passion and talent.

Lately, I’ve become very aware and curious about how far I could take my passion for digital illustration. Plus, the direction my art style seems to be going in has begun to bleed over into traditional art. So, I don’t know what’s in store for the future of my creative endeavors.

Since I’ve just recently begun to take my passion for digital illustration seriously I’ve progressed into several drawing styles. Instead of switching between each one, I seem to be on a journey seeking the art style that... See full profile

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1. Introduction: The Ins and Outs of Starting A Blog For Free: hello and welcome to our newest class, the ends and outs starting a block for free. In this class, you will learn many tools that will help you start your blogging journey and work as a foundation for establishing yourself and or your brand. In this digital world, we were first going down until what? The plenty stage of setting up a block looks like who will then figure out which blogging platform works best for your niche and brand continuing on, we will begin to accumulate tools that will unify your brand to your audience beyond your blow. Lastly, we will incorporate everything we've covered in this class and get you prepared to publish your first post on your new block. If this sounds like a skill that you feel it's needed in the next stages of your business, or if you are wanting to start a new venture, you think blogging is it? Go ahead and continue on with me. Two part one of this course is I begin to take you through each step of bringing the ends and outs of starting a block for free. See you there 2. Part One: The Boring Stuff aka The Planning Stages: hello and welcome to part one of our skill share class. The ins and outs was starting to block for free. Now the part want to this course is what is the planning stage for creating a block. When I started my first block ever literary treasure chest back in 2014 I knew that I wanted to use it as a book diary of sorts. So I have that in mind. When I went to create Pablo and I did start off using it as a book diary. I would journal my thoughts. I would talk about the things in the book that intrigued me or or interest me, and it went from there. But I knew I wanted more, so I did some research. And if you go on the website on Internet and you search for how to start a blawg, they'll have thousands and thousands of pages or websites that are pop up to help. You know you need to have a niche, which is a topic that you want to talk about on your block. You need to have a host or you need to have a blogging platform or you need to have a schedule to stay consistent, need to start up a email newsletter. This you need to have a social media presence. You have your find countless websites that will give you a run down of what you actually need to do. And I'm not here to say any of that is wrong. I'm here to say that the planning stages need to be unique to you. Because what I learned when creating not only my first blood but the many blocks after Waas , I could have good intentions going in and starting a blogger. And I can have a great a great vision for what I want my block to be about and what I wanted Teoh remain in the future. But the end game is always what overall purpose behind this love. What would this look like in my everyday life? Is this is gonna be a hobby to actually make money from it. Is it something that I want to have as a companion to my my main business? Or is this just something that I'm using to get things off my chest and thinking of those many different things? You really need to sit down, possibly grab a sheet of paper or a few sheets of paper and just write down. What is this blah gonna be about? If it is an extension of your business, how do you want it to look as an extension of your business? Do you want it to just be behind the scenes block? Do you wanted to be, um, tutorials? Or if you do tutorials on YouTube and that is your business, do you want to have the written version of those tutorials on your block? How do you want it to be a companion for your business? Or if this is something that you are just starting out with, This is something that is You just thought of it and you want to start it and don't want to have to spend any money for because you don't know if it's going to be a lucrative venture or not. You still needed have those same type of questions to ask yourself. Why am I even doing this? Where do I want this block to go? And in axing those questions, it will long term help you eliminate many problems at your face. You know, when it comes to scheduling, when it comes to brand management when it comes to just figuring out the future. Next steps along with accomplishing whatever great go you have for starting to venture because nobody starts anything for no reason. There's a reason you want to start a blood. There's a reason why you're taking this class of learning how to start a block for free. What you have that written out. I have it mapped out. Or however you brainstorm things you needed. Then start breaking it down. You need to have the discipline to have a schedule, to have the desire to learn more than what you know, starting out. When I started my blawg, I didn't know anything about HTML. I don't know anything about CSS. I didn't know anything about domains. I don't know about WordPress. I don't know anything about anything dealing with the Internet, I know by social media and that was the extent of what I knew. But since I have started my blood in 2014 I have becomes well versed in HTML. See is us. I can construct the entire website. I know all about hosting. I know everything pretty much that there needs to know that you need to know to start a website or started block or to start a brand now and saying that I don't want I don't want you guys. I think you need to know all that started off because you don't because a lot of these platforms that we'll talk about in part two deal with all that. All you have to do is have the front end done. I remember I followed a blogger who can't remember his name, but his entire website was tweet like Block Post. His block post would be less than 500 words, and he will post multiple times a day, and he would get of crazy amount of traffic on a daily bases. And I enjoy following him because it was as if I was reading his journal. He treated his block like a journal, and he tweeted on Twitter corresponding messages that will coincide with his blood posts. Basically, that's what the planning stages about plenty stages about you sitting down or standing up, or however you go and do brainstorming and mapping out what you want your block to be about . Take some time and map out what it is you want from your block? Because when I first started blogging a lot of the websites, a lot of the pinches fees that I will find will say that you need to know what this is and how to find this and figure out that and you go into it because you know it can't possibly be a money maker, but that will burn out quick if you do not know exactly where you're going. If you start this and not know what the end game is, you will run into many roadblocks, many problems that will not only college your stress and anxiety. But we're also just let your audience know that Oh goodness, something's going on. So take that time before you go to collect part two and just map everything out and I'll see you all in Part two. 3. Part Two: Choosing A Platform That Works For You: his vote and welcome to part two of our ends and balance with starting a block or freeze future class. My name is Fiona, and I guess I forgot to introduce myself in Part one. But I am the owner, creator and blogger for crafting by the pound, And this particular part of this course is what I'm most excited about. This is actually where we get our hands starting. You actually get to touch on the things that would help you get started on creating your block and taking your brand or your hobby or this new venture. It's the next level. So I have here on the screen six different platforms that I know of, that I have actually experienced that Judy used to create a block presence. Now, first up, you have WordPress, which is known all across the globe. You have blogger, which is known. I don't think it is popularly known of simply because this is the most basic of the blogging platforms. You also have wicks, which you can create websites and blog's. You have squarespace, which is more on the lines of WordPress. It's more professional style, a style of blogging or website building. You have weebly, which is is not as popular escrow sprays or WordPress, but it is something you used to have a lot of creative freedom. And then, lastly, that I know of his tumbler. People think that Tumbler is not a blogging platform, but it actually is. People have people and businesses have created thriving blog's on Tumblr and have engaged with a lot of their audience here on this platform. So out of these sick, I will explain my experience with each one out of the information that I give you. Hopefully you'll find the platform that works best for you. The startup, Um For each of them, it's slightly different. This isn't a class that will teach you how to create a block on WordPress or creative block on Blogger or Weeks or squarespace for weebly or tumbler. This is not that technical over video, so starting off with wordpress dot com not dot org's but dot com you do have free options. Starting is completely free, just like it says here. You could create a beautiful, simple website in minutes, so well, we use wordpress dot com quickly for us for the door, a treasure chest we don't talk about in part one. Shortly after we got gang some momentum and got more audiences and started networking some or and getting more context in the book book community, we needed to move on to the self hosting whips out which you did in 2015. Jane were 2015 to be exact. So from June 2014 to December, we were on wordpress dot com. We were using it. It waas great for what we needed at that time. And when we did upgrade, you have the option of exporting everything from your free blawg onto yourself. Hosted website. If you choose to use WordPress as your website builder, so that was just wordpress dot com. You, of course, you can see there's many options, but even with these many options, you still have to adhere to their terms of service. On wordpress dot com, Where breast are or you are master and creator of all that you have on the website, nobody can shut you down. Nobody can take you off the Internet, but where President calm, you have to adhere to their terms of service, and they're sometimes pretty strict determine depending on what you're using your block for Now, let's go over to blogger. You have more freedom on blubber than you do on a wordpress dot com blogger you have. You can build an entire website and imported into a blogger and that be your website. You can add a free domain, even though you get the same books inside to keep that block spot dot com. That doesn't roll off the tongue like a word with wordpress dot com. Domain. But you can't import a free domain and pay for it through blogger. You can earn money through essence without any type of purchasing on your own, so you get our money with a free block if he wants. UM, you can add multiple widgets. They have an endless amount, a widget, you can add you can you create your own, and it's like I said, it's tied into Google so everybody uses Google in our day. So if you were to use Blogger, you will get a lot of the Google capabilities. You have an easier time on being seen on Google than you would in any other venture, because I know for a fact on WordPress. You have to at plug ins to, you know, sort of help your help your brand or help your block get seen on Google. When you're using Blogger you already have. Google is backing because they own Blogger Wicks again. It was not our was not a good experience for me simply because, um did their plans. I don't think for I don't think that they're free one. It was it was hard because it was You start to create things on Wicks and then before you know where you're running into, you needed by this you needed by that, and you need to buy this and so you can't. I won't say that you can completely use Wicks 100% free because a lot of the capabilities that you'll give a blogger or wordpress dot com for free. You end up having to pay forward on Wicks so you won't see it here because it talks about the premium plans and pretty much that's what you run into. So let's say that you decide to get started, and just like it says here, you can start creating. You can start downloading and started doing all this stuff. But you'll have pretty much you'll have a domain of books inside the keep that would start calm. And while you can start the website for free publishing, it is a different story, and that's where you'll run into problems of. You'll want this and you want that. But then you'll find out those things that you want aren't free, and I know that sucks. And but that's why I don't recommend weeks so much for blogging for free. And then you have squarespace, which, if you watch any of their commercials, it is almost impossible to do anything on square springs for free. But you can play around in square space, and you can Jess attempt, you know, save it up for when you do want to decide to if you get if you decide design your website the way you want to and you like the way looks and you want to go ahead and purchase the subscription service with squarespace, then go forward. But squarespace isn't necessarily a great platform for you to be 12% free because, as you can see, these are their price points or their contracts, I should say, so you could sit Like I said, you set up your site and pick a plan later, but you can't sit up your site and then hit. Publish on Lee WordPress and Blogger and Tumblr are the three that you can actually sign up , create your blawg and start publishing. So squarespace and we we I believe the exact same way is Wicks and squarespace. You can set up everything and it says, is a free website builder. Oh, I'm a stick, and really you actually can use it for free and you only get 500 megabytes of storage and you get a domain with weekly branding, and that's basically it. You don't get much at all. You can create a free website and that's it. Publish it. But it's not going to be as decorative or as extensive as you can get with blood And where Prince, I'm going to exit out of those because I don't want to cut confused you guys anymore doesn't want to give you a wide range of platforms you can choose. Maybe you do wanna play around on Wix, squarespace and Weebly and see exactly how you want to structure. Your website used third capabilities since you won't be able to really hit. Publish until you park to something. You can play around with it, see how you want to create your website, and then you can just delete your account and then go to WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr and created from there. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I've done it multiple times just to get my feet wet, just to see if that platform works for me. I've created accounts with all six of these, and I have played around with their capabilities just to see if they will work for me. So what that being said, I've cautioned you about where press dot com But the average user who is putting out original continents and we'll a see if you use HTML that's original continents will, but I guess they're more. If you're on WordPress, you're focusing on the words and your own graphics. Um, do not try to import graphic using HTML completely uploaded to your website that will work better. Don't try to customize the thing any of that stick with what you're there to use it for all the intricate and complex things say before when you get itself hopes the website. So where press is great, I love that I love them and I When I went off to myself hosted website, I went to where President work, and I am now well versed and everything. WordPress. I love the platform blogger is, moreover free for Do what you Want. You can create as many blog's you want. You can post whatever you want to use a shame on you. See, it says she can do anything you want on. Blogger is just not as pretty and clean cut as where press ends up looking. Once you're finished and Tumbler Tumbler, you are dealing with a social media block hybrid. That's pretty much all I wanted to let you all know, because platform is a pure of your choosing. I know this class is all about ins and outs of starting a block for free, but I want to give you as much information as I can to help you make an educated decision. Because where press isn't for everybody, Blogger isn't for everybody. Wicks. We believe in squarespace and tumble are aren't for everybody, but if you are one to just go in and just write words and don't really care about that The way it looks, then definitely go for Tumble, our blogger and just right pick a theme and just rights and post and published. And then, if you want to automatically share things, just remember to post it on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and just right. That's what you if that's your only go, it's just right, and I focus on any of that steady X Now the complicated behind the scenes things WordPress is more of a longevity thing. If you want to write words what you wanna have, you want to tell a story with the graphics and quotes and titles, and you want everybody on your social media to know about the block posts and you wanna encourage them to comment and you want interaction and you want somebody to come and you want them. You want employees years of potential partners to come and to see your work and think that a great you'd be a great asset to the company of their brand, then WordPress, squarespace and possibly weeks are your better options because they're more professional. There mawr, um, structured than the other platforms I mentioned I hope I gave you enough information to make an educated or informed decision because those are the platforms I know for sure that would help you take will help take you to the next level, will help you take help. Take you to wherever you're trying to go with your block. And since you did the planning process in part one and you were able to map out the the foundation of your blog's Hopefully this part gave you some idea in which direction to go in choosing your platform. Because the planning process isn't just for part one is it continues on through the rest of the score. So actually continue on through the longevity of your block. So I believe you here and I'm Hopefully I gave you enough information that you can sit down and continue to brainstorm of Not only good title with your blog's gonna be about, um what color schemes of your blog's on B about how you want to structure it. But just also what platform work best for you. So I'll see you all in part three. But 4. Part Three: Unifying Your Brand: hello and welcome to part three of our ins and outs of starting a block for free. My name is theon, and I will hopefully be helping figure out how to create unity between your blawg and you're a social person. So I have compiled a few blogging tools that I personally use. If you don't have to spend money, then that means you can budget for things. So in order, Teoh know what you'll need and why you'll need it is best to have a plan is best know what it is you're going towards? So that's why I had the planning stages first. To start off, I use camera as a companion to photo shop elements. Camera is a great tool to use to get access to stock photos that you can use without any copyright infringements. As a lot of great qualities. If you are looking for a medium grade graphic designing software, you can create logos, posters, business cards, fliers, resumes, infographics, just everything you can think of that that could be part of your branding or your marketing strategy for your blogger, for your business can Va is the way to go the next up on the talk about its buffer buffer is a social media scheduling application that you use both on your phone and on their website. I used buffer right now for my instagram to keep up with the instagram scheduled to keep stay consistent, help with traffic. So we buffer on the free plan. You can have up to three accounts and you can only share up to 10 post at a time. But with this plan in motion and the way I have everything scheduled Buffer Helsinki say consistent on my social media for jetpack free, free for life. You get a brute force attack protection. You get downtime monitoring, but you get you don't get any backups. And one of the things that I was able to get around when I had where birth dot com was on a weekly basis. I just exported my entire block. I did that on that on a weekly basis. I exported everything and I saved it in a foul on my extent, a hard drive, and that gave me the security that if anything were ever to happen to my blood, then I could always start up another blow and import whatever it was that I exported. So that was my own version of backing up. Now won't back up any of your customization options and won't back up any of your things. But it will back up your media and it will back up your block post, which I think personally are the most important part of your block, which is your content. Everything else can be rebuilt and re modified. Then I also decided that I wanted to give you all different tools possible. Maybe that's was that I'm talking about are all that civic to you and your brain? Maybe you want to be able to choose something different or C was out there. I went to Google and I just typed free blogging tools. You have so many websites that you could choose from on the first page and beyond. That is kind of ridiculous how much, or how easy it is to find free blogging tools. So you have multiple avenues in which you can have free tools to help with your business. I mean, there is no limit to what you can actually find free to use for your business. And this this class is pretty much just to get put you in the right direction to know that whatever you're wanting to achieve with your blog's, it is achievable and it's a two for free. So I'm just gonna leave you out this part of the class and I hope that you can see you on to part four. I'll see you there by 5. Part Four: Now It's Time To Get Started: hello and welcome to part four of the ins and outs starting a block for free. Oh, gosh, I'm so happy you all made it to part four. And I know this has probably been a mind boggling information overload class, and I'm sorry. That was very tart. Talk heavy instead of work heavy. This class was purely to hand you a tool kit or tool said to create a block for free. I don't know if I said this in any of the previous course of previous parts of this class, but this is fabulous in the making. I have compelled this information and try to express it to you in the easiest way I knew how. Additionally, if you've made it to part for that means that you have gone to the planning stage, you have possibly picked a platform to create your block on or no, Tate, what tools you want to use their will reflect your brand in the best light. And now you're ready to actually sign up for a platform if you haven't already and start publishing the blocos. And I hope that I've given you all the tools and all the motivation and all the worries, the wisdom I have in my river tour to do that effect effectively and efficiently. So I'll talk to you all in my next place by