Welcome to day 1 of Start Your Own Blogging Business! Today we’ll be covering your NICHE, DOMAIN and HOSTING. If you’ve been wanting to start a blogging business, but haven’t known how to get started this course will get you well on your way. As always, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments or post your questions in the Facebook group. If you haven’t already joined the Facebook group, please do so you can participate in the community.

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There may be links in this blog post, some of them might be affiliate links for which I earn a small amount if you click on them, a really small amount it turns out. Still, full disclosure and all that…

Today we’re going to pick a niche, sign up for hosting and choose a domain. Don’t worry if these terms sound confusing, we’ll go over them and you can always ask questions in the comments.


If you’re taking this course you probably already have an idea about what your niche will be. A niche is what your blog will specialize in, or what its main focus will be. Whether you’re starting up a lifestyle blog or selling the bracelets you made while on lockdown during Covid, you probably have a pretty good idea what it is your blog/website* will be about – that’s your niche.

Like most of the OG bloggers back in the day, I didn’t choose a niche. I just started blogging and my niched evolved – lifestyle/humor blog. The bloggers that probably put more thought into their niche than most of us did ended up being The Pioneer Woman, The Oatmeal, Perez Hilton, Problogger, and TMZ. All of these well known websites started out as a blog. So if you put some thought into your niche, and remain focused on it, you could end up like one of them.

If you haven’t settled on a niche, that’s ok, your blog will evolve over time. However, having a chosen niche will keep you focused. If it is your goal to make money with your blog, choosing a niche and staying true to it is key. It is also hugely helpful when it comes to SEO. Without a niche you’ll flounder around writing about whatever shiny things catches your attention. If you’re a skilled writer, that can work for you, but most bloggers who do this end up abandoning their blog within 6 months.

Some niches will run its course and be done – weight loss, something with an end goal. That’s ok because if you’ve got great content it will continue to draw traffic and you can move on to another niche.


Blogging is inexpensive for the most part. You can sign up for a free blog at Medium, Blogger, Wix and even WordPress. If you sign up for a free blog on Blogger or Medium you don’t really have to worry about hosting. Your blog and its content is on their server. For the most part you can do pretty much all of the same things on a free hosting platform that you can on a self-hosted blog. However, you have little control over the platform. I started on Blogger along with many other bloggers. We all made the move host our own blogs when Blogger did an update and all of our content was lost. If you’re serious about blogging invest in hosting. It’s not very expensive – a few dollars a month – and you have complete control over your content. Why would you build your house on someone else’s foundation?

I highly recommend Bluehost. I’ve been with Bluehost ever since I moved from Blogger 11 years ago. Bluehost has never lost my content. I love Bluehost. They are located in Utah and always have someone highly knowledgeable available to help if you have an issue (and you will). Their technical support is outstanding. When you sign up for Bluehost they will give you a free domain for the first year (you’ll have to pay for the it after that, but it’s only $10 – $15 a year). You can have as many domains on your account as you like and each one comes with 10 emails. So you can have yourname@yourdomain.com which looks slick in the signature of your email, on business cards and on the decal you can make with your Cricut that you slap on your car. Right now Bluehost is offering a free domain for a year, free SSL certificate (that’s what makes your site secure), 1-click WordPress install and 24/7 support for $2.95/month. It’s a slick deal.


Once you’ve signed up for hosting you can choose your domain. Choosing a domain can be one of the most exciting parts of building a blog. It can also be one of the most frustrating parts of building an online presence.

Before you get your heart set on a name, make sure the domain is available. Odds are the one you want is not available with a .com at the end.

I’ve seen many new bloggers lose it because they couldn’t find the perfect name.

It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Back in the olden days of building a blog, domain names were chosen to describe the blog or website – KarensCaramelCorn.com is a perfect example. Karen has a website and it’s all about caramel corn, she probably even sells it. Not only does it tell the visitors what the site is about, but it also lets the search engines know.

Today, most of the short, concise and descriptive domains have been taken, at least with a .com. You can still likely get .net, .info, .me, .us, and a whole slew of other domain extensions, but most people assume a website is a .com and will have a hard time finding you if you have something else.

So, you’ll have to play around with the name and do a lot of checking using a domain finder like the one in the sidebar over there ->

You’ll still want to use something short, easy to spell and memorable. You can use made up words, or search the dictionary or thesaurus to find a word or phrase that resonates with you and your readers. My web design website is called Ghostworks. When I first built the website the domain wasn’t available, but I’d already started marketing it with that name so I used the domain – notscaryjustcreative.com for the URL. After a year they added several new extensions including .us so I bought ghostworks.us and dropped the notscaryjustcreative.com. While I don’t recommend that, because ultimately it created some confusion, it was a workaround.

I’m a big fan of alliteration, but any catchy name works. If you want your name to be part of your domain name you’ll have a better chance of its availability if your name is unique.

Play around with your domain. I suggest finding at least three that are available and then asking friends which ones they like and why. Use the domain finder, don’t waste time coming up with a name that won’t be available. When you find one that is available with a .com, you may want to also purchase the .net and redirect it to the .com. This way your competition can’t camp on the .net and take business from you.

To recap:

  1. Use the domain search tool
  2. Try to get a .com
  3. If possible include your blog’s keyword
  4. Keep it short and simple
  5. Avoid hyphens
  6. Make it easy to spell
  7. Use original spelling unless it is a made up word

That’s it! If you’ve completed all of these steps, congratulations you are now officially a blogger!!!

Feel free to share your brand spanking new domain in the comments, and on the Facebook page (leaving your domain in the comments will be helpful SEO down the road, something I’ll explain in more detail on Day 5).

If you have any questions about today’s lesson, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below, on the Facebook page or you can email me directly at jen { at } redheadranting.com (use the @ sign and no parentheses or spaces).

* I use blog and website interchangeably. A website can be only a blog, and you can have a blog on your website. Both are built the same way. A blog is a collection of blog posts or individual articles. A blog is a website, but a website might not have a blog on it (though it should for good SEO).