I feel like this is getting to be a series about becoming self-hosted. I don’t mean for it to be but I do want to help my readers and visitors who aren’t self-hosted yet find some peace when making the decision to become a self-hosted blog.
*This post contains affiliate links but is NOT sponsored by any of the brands/company’s listed. To see my full disclosure, click here.
Have in mind what type of self-hosted plan you need.
There are currently three plans to choose from at SiteGround.
The StartUp Plan: 50% off at $4.95 (Renew price is only $9.95)
- One Website
- 10GB Web Space
- Suitable for ~ 10,000 Visits Monthly
- Essential wordpress features
The GrowBig Plan: 50% off at $7.45 (renew price is $14.95). This is the one I’m currently under.
- Multiple Websites
- 20GB Web Space
- Suitable for ~ 25,000 Visits Monthly
- Essential WordPress features
- Premium WordPress features
The GoGeek Plan: 50% off at $14.95 (renew price is $29.95)
- Multiple Websites
- 30GB Web Space
- Suitable for ~ 100,000 Visits Monthly
- Essential wordpress features
- Premium wordpress features
- Geeky wordpress features
Buying your domain
I used to purchase all of my domains(I’ve had a few) through GoDaddy because it’s the cheapest out there. It still is as far as domains go, however, I recently purchased my new domain through SiteGround. I decided to make the switch because SiteGround is very helpful in everything I do. I have gone to them many many times with simple questions and they are always so happy and willing to assist me. Even though I am self-hosted through SiteGround I still feel like I have a backup team working with me to ensure my site stays fast, reliable, and up to date.
I cannot mention enough how wonderful the customer service is. It’s a bit more expensive than GoDaddy or HostGator but I’d rather pay a few bucks more and have a great reliable company backing me up than have stress and worries because I chose to go the cheaper route. Please be cautious of this when making your decision. I made that mistake and went through hell because of it.
Affiliates & Sponsored Posts
I’m going to go ahead and assume that you want to earn income from your blog since you’re now self-hosted. That’s a good thing. Your goal doesn’t have to be “I want my blog to be my full-time job” in order to sign up for affiliates.
These are some brands I’m currently affiliated with:
FabFitFun and Siteground were the only company’s I didn’t necessarily have to apply to become an affiliate. Once I joined FFF and SG, I was offered to become an affiliate.
I joined ModCloth through ShareASale which I signed up under another blogger who recommended it as a beginner affiliate for bloggers. It was relatively easy to sign up and apply for both ShareASale and ModCloth, which I’m thankful for.
Want to learn how to approach brands for sponsored posts? Here are some of my favorite links on how to do that.
Morgan Timm – How Much Should You Charge For A Sponsored Post
Jade & Oak – Blog Disclosures Extremely helpful for making sure you don’t get in trouble! Her blog is all around helpful. Please bookmark it if you don’t already have it saved!
One more special thing to know about affiliates and (mostly) sponsored posts: Your Media Kit.
Melyssa Griffin (one of my favorite bloggers) offers another tutorial and a free template!
Regarding Brand designs, I think they are super useful for when you want to sell things from your blog (be it coaching, products, books, food, literally anything) and have your brand consistent with what’s on your blog. I created mine after weeks of figuring out what I want my brand to look like
and weeks of admiring other brand designs.
My first brand design was…messy. To put it simple. The colors weren’t well incorporated and the flow of things were rocky and all over the place. Once I finally decided what I wanted and after I got my logo, done by ELI, I knew I had my design ready for work. Here’s the finished product. I’m so in love with it *heart eyes emoji*
I got the editable template from Sharifa Wynne. You have to subscribe to her email list to get access but I promise it’s worth it.
If you don’t already have a big or satisfying following on your blog, you should think about joining Facebook groups. Honestly, you should join them anyway because they can become your support group when things get hard. There’s been many times where I’ve ran into a blogging concern or problem that I assumed was a mistake on my part, just to find out that many other bloggers (new and seasoned) had the same problem or the solution.
Some groups I’m a part of:
Uniquely Women’s Facebook Group. This is one of the support groups that I was talking about. The girls here are so friendly and supportive. I also adore her website and posts! You can find her FB group at the top of her website.
Everything and Nothin‘s Beauties On Fire Facebook Group. One of the first groups I joined on Facebook for blogging support. Elisabeth, the owner of Everything and Nothin’ became my first blogging friend and has helped me when things got hard, as well as introduce me to other great bloggers. This group is beauty based but still covers other ranges of blogging.
Bloggers Social Media Support. I check and interact with this group daily. They are highly organized, and loyal on getting you out there and shared through as many outlets as possible.
Learn Email Marketing & Google Analytics
I’ll be completely honest and admit that I’m still learning these two. Especially Google Analytics. Here is a tutorial that I followed, that might help you.
I’m currently with MailChimp for my email list. I’ve seen many many good and bad things about this. Because I’m new and have a limited budget, I enjoy using mailchimp as it’s free up to 2000 email subscribers. I’m only at 15 right now, so I have some time to go before I’m forced to pay or switch to a new service. However, I enjoy mail chimp. It’s pretty easy to make your campaigns, design your emails, etc. There’s also ConverKit if you want to check that out. This compare & contrast post from Just A Girl And Her Blog, is the reason I decided MailChimp was good for me.
Okay, so that was pretty lengthy. You know I just want to help you out and give you my experiences, knowledge, and been-throughs so you have more confidence when building your blog.