How to start a Blog in 2024

Blogging doesn’t have to overwhelm you. It’s meant to be fun.

written by Irene

Why blogging as an Etsy seller? Is it necessary in order to grow my business? Will it make a difference with my Etsy sales? Or is it just a waste of time and energy? If you are wondering about any of the above, this post will answer all your questions.

Blogging can be an invaluable tool in the hands of an Etsy seller. It can raise visibility for your shop, no matter how competitive your niche is. Your readers have the chance to know you and become familiar with your work and personality. Therefore, you have the chance to earn their trust, which is the key to making sales.

Surely, a beautifully designed shop and high quality products, can get you buyers. But having a blog, you get in front of your audience without having to promote directly your products all the time.

Thus, answering to the question ‘Is it worth investing in a blog for my Etsy business?’, the clear answer is definitely ‘Yes’!

Before you continue reading, make sure to download the free 5 Step Guide to start a successful Etsy Blog in 2024. It will help you organise your thoughts and start blogging the right way.

Now, let’s move on.

The five steps you need to take before starting blogging are:

  1. Choose your niche
  2. Build a website
  3. Create worth reading content
  4. Take SEO seriously
  5. Make the connection between your Esty shop and your blog

“What subject interests you, How much you know about it, What is its search volume”

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1. Choose your niche

As you probably already know, a niche is a focused, targeted area in a business. It’s a field you are familiar with and can serve well in it. Many people say the smaller the niche you chose the better. To understand this, we will use an example.

‘How to build an online shop’ is a very broad niche. Sure you can write about it, but have you considered how many blog articles on that topic already exist? It is way too broad.

Let’s make it a little more specific, or niche down as you will often hear. ‘How to build an Etsy shop’ is a niche also but it will attract only readers who are interested in the Esty platform. Not on Amazon or Shopify. Just Etsy. On the other hand, there are Etsy sellers who offer DIY products, while others sell vintage items. Others, including myself, sell digital products. See how you can niche down?

Guess what? You can write a pillar post, which will be more generic and then analyse each of your ideas extensively in single posts. (You can make it even more specific. Digital products can include art printables for home décor, nursery art printables, digital family planners and the list goes on.)

The question that arises here is how broad or narrow your niche should be. Well the answer is not always clear. While some bloggers prefer writing about more popular subjects, others keep it very targeted. There is no correct or wrong answer. It is up to you to decide. For me, being somewhere in the middle is the safest solution.

You do want to pick a niche that interests more than a few people, but not something too competitive. It would lessen the chances for you to stand out. Like many things in life, use common sense and be somewhere in the middle. There are three factors you must consider before making your choice. It is what all successful bloggers do. They write about topics that both interest them and other people as well. Think about the following: What subject are you interested in? How familiar are you with it? Finally, are there enough people to care about it as well?

The first two questions are the easiest to answer. You know what interests you. Maybe you have academic background with it, maybe you haven’t. It can be a field in which you have worked for years, but it can also be a hobby. Something that fascinates you and you could talk about it endlessly. 

Then you have to ask yourself: How much of an expert am I? You will often hear that you don’t need to be an expert in your niche and that is true. Partially. Because let’s face it. If you don’t know what you are talking about, it will show. So as to help your audience you, knowledge and experience are basic. Furthermore, educating yourself, doing constant research and staying up to date are essential if you want to gain trust and establish your self in your niche. Blogging is not writing random stuff. It’s about writing the right stuff in a way that you provide value for your readers and help them achieve their goals. 

Lastly you want to make sure what you are offering is actually being searched for. What is the point of starting a blog if only a handful of people is going to read it? Of course not everyone is going to take an interest in what you have to say. That’s why you pick a niche. But before you start, try to figure out the market. Do some keyword research. Some great tools for keyword research are Google Keyword Planner. Another one for understanding what people are searching for at the moment is Redditlist. I cannot stress enough how important a part keywords play in your success. I am covering the subject of keywords in a post of its own. 

Once you’ve figured out the above you are all set to go. 

2. Build a website

A website for bloggers is like their offic. It’s where you readers (and maybe potential customers) will find you and evaluate your work. It’s your business itself. So you have to be careful with it and make it as professional as possible. Is it necessary to hire a web designer for that? For someone who is just starting out, my answer is no. There are so many tools (many of them for free) that can help you build an awesome website, that even if you are not a tech savvy person, you will be able to get the job done without any external help.

I like designing things, so for me creating this website was a pleasant experience. It was fun picking a theme, choosing fonts and colours, adding photos. There were  moments when I got carried away with all the design elements I could use! But even if that person is not you, it’s still OK. You can work with the basics and build a clean and easy to navigate website, that will represent you properly. 

The CMS (Content Management System) that I used to build ‘webwithirene.com’ is WordPress. I’m sure you are already familiar with it, since it’s the most popular CMS. It’s all you need to create a professional website without being a web designer or having coding background. Without doubt there are other platforms you can use and maybe they seem easier to get started with, but the truth is in the long run your needs as a digital business owner (yes your blog is your business!!) will outgrow these platforms. Eventually, the odds are you’ll need to transfer your site to WordPress, which can be kind of a nightmare!

I am going to talk a little bit about technical details, but not going into too much depth. Creating a website with WordPress and other tools I will mention here, can be a post of its own and as a matter of fact a very long one! Now let’s move on.

There are two options when it comes to WordPress: Self-hosted and free. Since this post appeals to people who see blogging as a business, I won’t spend any time time on the free version. If you are serious about blogging and you can see yourself making a income out of it, then self-hosted wp is the way to go. 

WordPress does have a bit of a learning curve but in the long run, it’s the best decision.

I will divide the process in 5 small steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed. 

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1)  Choose a domain name

First thing you need to do is pick a domain name. This will be the name of your blog and you can also use it as the name of your Etsy Shop (it is recommended that you do). I struggled a lot when I had to choose my domain name, partly because I wasn’t confident about the niche I wanted to represent and partly because any good idea I had was already used by another person. So I went for something simple and to be honest, a little broader than I hoped for. Today the chances are I would choose another name. The reason I’m sharing this with you, is to emphasize that sometimes you have to settle for less than perfect and move on. What if I had stuck too long to the choice of that name? I would have lost so much precious time with all the other steps I needed to take. 

Now a tip about choosing your domain name: Either you choose a name based on what you do, or you choose it based on who you are. 

In the first scenario, what you write about will determine your name. Use your creative and -why not- humoristic side of you and pick a word or two based on what you offer through your posts or what problem you solve for your readers and combine them in an easy to remember -in other words ‘catchy’ name.

Tip: if you have trouble finding a domain name to represent your business but no one else is using, adding an article or a preposition can save you (add ‘a’, ‘and’, ‘the’, etc.)

The second solution as I mentioned above is to use yourself as the name and face of your blog and/or shop. Your brand will be you. It’ s simpler and you don’t have to spend hours thinking about what the perfect name would be. Also, there are almost zero chances for your full name to be the exact same as someone else’s, who happens to build an online presence in the same niche as you, right? There are numerous bloggers who have done just that, like the famous Neil Patel, who helps people succeed with online marketing. Or Gillian Perkins, who has built her entire business around herself, by helping regular people become digital entrepreneurs.

If you want your audience to identify your business with your name, the second solution is the way to go.  

Lastly, as blogger or any kind of digital business owner, your audience haw no geographical limits. They can live anywhere in the world. So get a .com domain. I do not advise use net. or .co.

 2)  Get Hosting

Now that you’ve picked a domain name  it’s time you pick a hosting for your Blog. There are a lot of hosting companies for that job. Having done my own research, I can say with confidence that Site Ground is by far the best option. It is recommended by WordPress.org and that alone speaks for itself. 

I host this very blog with Site Ground and have got my domain name from them as well (when you sign up you get that option). If you intend to buy a domain name from a different provider then you will have to transfer or point your domain name to SiteGround, using its nameservers.

There are three hosting plans for a user to choose from: 1) StartUp, 2) Grow Big and 3) GoGeek, the cheapest being the first one. I strongly recommend the GrowBig Plan as it offers a bunch of extra features compared to the StartUp, with the main difference being the unlimited number of websites, on demand back-up copies, staging and ultra fast php. The GoGeek plan is more suitable for WebDesigners. No need to pay the extra money for Bloggers and Etsy shop owners. 

Extra Tip: if you choose to pay in advance for more than a year, you get a discount. This is what I have done, paying in advance for three years for this webwithirene.com. 

One final step before we move on with WordPress installation: setup your SSL Certificate. In case you are wondering what SSL is let me explain. The SSL Certificate ultimately provides a secure environment both for the site owner (you) and your visitors. After installing SSL your URL will be https:// instead of http://

Now, you are ready to log in to your Site Ground account. After logging in, click on ‘Websites’ –> ‘Site Tools’. Then, click on the three lines next to the SiteGround logo on top-left to show more options available to you. From the list, click on ‘Security’ –> ‘SSL Manager’.
In the next page, select ‘Let’s Encrypt’ option from the drop-down menu and click on ‘Get’.

Of course there are many plug-ins you can use to install SSL after you have installed WordPress, one of them being iThemes Security. iThemes Security is a plug-in that allows you not only to enable SSL, but also offers overall protection of your site from malware, brute force attacks, and hacking attempts. Log in to your WordPress account, go to Dashboard and add this plug-in. Then install and activate it (as simple as that). Go to security –> security check and click on the button ‘secure site’. In the iThemes Security page you can enable the SSL Certificate only if when you signed up for your website it came with an SSL Certificate included (Site Ground offers that for free) or if you purchased one separately. Either way, next to the URL of your site you can now see the padlock symbol, which means your site is safe and you are ready to go.

I won’t go into more technical details in this post, as it is beyond the scope of this post.

3)  Set up WordPress

As you are already logged in your Site Ground account, go to dashboard and click on the ‘App Manager’. In the next window choose App to be installed from the drop-down and choose WordpRess. Fill out the fields required and click ‘Install’.

After having completed the installation you will be taken to a page which will have the link to your WordPress Dashboard. This is where all the fun starts! You are ready to design you website as you prefer, publish high quality content and work on your SEO so that you become an established business in the online word!

4)  Install a Theme and a Page Builder – Add plug-ins

Now is my favourite part, the actual process of designing!

Not being a professional Web designer myself, I can assure you that this is not an obstacle to creating your site on your own. There are numerous themes to choose from, both free and paid. Some of the most well known and beginner friendly themes are Astra and Ocean WP.
For installation you go to Dashboard → Appearance → Themes → Add new. Choose the theme that appeals to you and click Install → Activate.

My favourite WP Page Builder is Elementor. I use the free version since one or two websites are the most I will have to manage and maintain for my business. If you have the money to spend and you are a designing enthusiast, you can always buy the Pro version, but it is not essential for your business. The look your site will have, will be the result of your personal aesthetic and the time you are willing to spend for this step. You can always seek inspiration on other successful sites.

As to how you will use all of the above, I built my site by following a couple of YouTube channels, like ‘Darrel Wilson’ and ‘Create a Pro Website’.

Make sure you do not get overwhelmed by the countless options. Create an easy to navigate site, pleasant to the eye and most importantly pack it with valuable information, which brings us to step 3.

3. Create valuable content

When you are done with building your site, it’s time for you to gather all those ideas that have been popping up for so long and transform them into well written articles! It sounds easy, but there are a few tips you should definitely know before starting.

First of all, you have to organize your blog post ideas and write them down.

‘But what if I don’t have any ideas? ’ some of you might say.

Well, I doubt that, but if you feel like you have no clue where to start, the solution is research. Pick some keywords related to your niche, google them and see what articles appear on the first page. Then click on them and read them through. What are they talking about? How long are they? What is the layout they use and what type of language?

A few common things you will notice amongst successful blog posts (and by successful I mean the ones that rank high on Google), are :

– They are not short.
– They analyse the subject their title suggests.
– They go beyond the surface and they are not vague.
– Usually there are numbered tips, like ‘5 steps for a successful blog’.

People who actually take the time to search on google about a topic, are people who enjoy reading. Otherwise they would go straight on YouTube, or listen to a podcast. You have to take advantage of that and offer them valuable information whilst making the experience of reading enjoyable.

Get straight to the point. You don’t write an essay for school or university. Use the language correctly, but not as if you are talking to students. People read your post not necessarily because they want to get educated on a subject, but because they are looking for a solution to a problem. You need to provide them with all the information but in a simple way so that they understand what you are saying, without them being the experts.

To achieve that, you need to have a strategy and follow it all the way. Make a content plan. And stick to it. Don’t get overwhelmed. You can’t write about everything from day one. Start with a ‘core article’ and move on from there. For my blog a ‘core’ article is the one you are reading right now. It covers a broad subject for all aspiring bloggers. However, I am not talking about specifics of WordPress or Google Analytics here. I can write other posts about its topic separately. On the other hand I’m not being too broad or vague. I do give you the exact tools I used for building my blog (WordPress, SiteGround, Elementor, etc.) and when you are ready, you will go deeper with those tools.

Conclusion : don’t be too broad but don’t overanalyse everything in just one blog!

4. Work on SEO

As you probably already know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It consists of all the steps you need to take in order for your site to rank high in search engines results (Google). When you post an article on your website, you want it to be easily found by your potential audience, which means you want it to appear on the first page of google search results. The higher, the better.

Writing for a blog is very different from writing an essay. First thing you have to keep in mind, is to write in a way that helps your SEO. Pay attention to the structure of your post, what titles you use, which and how many keywords your headings and body of your post contain, how long your post will be, how many paragraphs you will be using. All these little things and much more can make a post friendly to SEO or not.

Just like you can build your site on your own, you can do SEO on your own. SEO can be overwhelming and complicated, but there are many tools that can help you get it done the proper way. Two of the most well known SEO plug-ins for your WordPress site, are Yoast and Rank Math. Of course, using an SEO plug-in won’t get you to the top of search results on its own, but it is a good start, since it will show you the steps you must take.

Going deeper on SEO, is way beyond the scope of this post. SEO is a huge chapter for anyone who is serious about building an online business. As an Etsy shop owner and blogger, you will need to do SEO both for your shop and your site.

You can educate yourself online about SEO and use free or paid SEO tools, but as I said above this can be a blog post on its own and I won’t get into more details here.

5. Blogging and Etsy Shop work together

This part is useful for any owner of an Etsy Shop who also wants to grow a Blog and create income streams from both. It is the last but most important step that will make your business profitable.

However, nothing can be achieved without time, effort and resilience.

There are many different ways with which you can start making money from your blog. I’m sure you have heard before about affiliates and ads. But can you actually make money from the above when you are just starting out and have little to no audience at all? The answer is probably no. That being said, I’m not suggesting you should not consider promoting products through affiliate marketing or getting paid to display a few ads on your site. Just don’t rely on it to establish an income stream, before you grow an audience.

A way to monetize your blog, which has become very popular lately, is by creating your own product or service and offering that to your readers. Products can be both physical or digital. For example, I create and sell on Etsy platform digital downloads. Having a blog about passive income and in particular, writing articles relative to Etsy, is a way I can get people to pay attention to my shop and buy from me.

Other bloggers, sell e-books, workbooks, online courses, membership sites and even couching sessions. People reading a blog post, are usually people who are dealing with a problem and are looking for a solution, or people who want to get education on a topic. So they are likely to buy a workbook from you, or attend one of your courses if they feel they can trust you and if you prove to them that you provide valuable – worth paying for – information!

Blogging is just the beginning. It can open so many doors for you if you are dedicated to make it work. If writing is something you enjoy, you can write for other bloggers as a guest and get paid for it.

Not all bloggers follow the same path to economic independency. I can offer you my knowledge, answer your questions, save you time and prevent you from making the mistakes I did.
But you have to keep in mind, I won’t be the one doing the work.

At the end of the day, it’s you the one who will put in the time and mental effort to build and grow a successful blog and make it a thriving business. So treat it as a business from day one.