14 Simple Steps To Create Your Essential Oil Blog

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Blogging can be a fun way to help attract new customers and provide support to current customers. It’s been very rewarding for us and a few business clients we coach. We routinely receive questions through social media, email, and on our contact form that continually provides us with new relevant ideas on what to write about, and gives us additional flexible business plans to bring in extra money outside of our essential oils business that also allows my family to unconventionally homeschool our kids and live in an RV full time.

Starting your own website can feel like a bit of a rollercoaster ride. If you enjoy writing and connecting with people, then blogging is likely something for you. If you’re looking for something you can do to bring in an extra income stream (or more), without overloading your schedule, then blogging may be a great option. Getting started may feel a bit overwhelming with so much information out there, so I’d like to take a moment to share my personal experience as simple as possible.

14 Simple steps to set up your new essential oils blog:

  1. Establish what it is you’re going to write about (oils, studies, uses, who your ideal reader is and what their problems are… etc)
  2. Decide on your blog name
  3. Choose a Domain (the web address) your website will be found at
  4. Choose a website host to host your website for you
  5. Decide on a theme (what you’re website will look like)
  6. Create your Privacy, Terms, About Me, and Contact Me pages
  7. Upload the YOAST and MediaVine Grow plugins to help you with your social media sharing and being found on search engines
  8. Upload your site index (from the YOAST plug in) to Google Console
  9. Begin writing content
  10. Add keywords to your YOAST block so Google will know who to show your posts to.
  11. Create graphics for each blog post to be viewable on social media websites and Pinterest.
  12. Decide on ways to monetize (how you will earn money through your website)
  13. Share your posts on social media and Pinterest as you create them
  14. Recycle sharing old posts on social media and Pinterest to continue serving your audience and driving traffic to your website.
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Domains and Hosting

Before you can get started with your own blog or website, you need a domain name. This can be your name, or a special blog name. There really are no hard and fast rules to choosing a blog name. When you start your initial search, using something like the URL checker offered by NameCheap or BigScoots websites.

(If you use a website like GoDaddy to search for a domain name, I highly recommend against using their services because your page speeds will be slower, and their customer service is difficult to use).

Free isn’t always best

Most websites catering to new bloggers will show free options and the cheapest options. Having started free and moved up to cheap blog hosting to more expensive blog hosting, I can tell you the only free blogging you should be doing is over on LinkedIn’s Articles or as a guest providing articles on someone else’s website.

My favorite free blogging platforms:

  • HubPages
  • Thrive Global
  • LinkedIn Articles
  • EssentialOils.Life (Yes! We offer guest post opportunities for pre-approved content *restrictions do apply, with our members having preferential treatment.)

Free hosting will not allow you to monetize your blog.

In fact, the free host (Blogger, WordPress.com… etc…) they are the ones to own your content. They will and can shut you down at any moment without notice, causing you to lose all your hard work. These free blogging websites do NOT allow you to use your blog to make money in any capacity. (Yes, this is the case even if you’re charging for coaching, are using affiliate links, or have a network marketing company.)

Plus Google and other internet search engines usually will not rank these free websites in internet searches because they aren’t taken seriously.

I strongly suggest hosting your own domain. 

This means having your own .com (or similar) website address, and “hosting” it through a company that provides paid hosting services. This means you own 100% of your content and have the freedom to talk about anything you want with the ability to add ads, affiliate links, digital items for sale, physical items for sale, paid memberships, etc.

I host my websites through BigScoots, and can’t recommend them enough.

Originally I used Blogger through Google because it was free and I wasn’t sure if I blogging was something I wanted to do. It has some massively limiting features that I found to be incredibly underwhelming and almost stopped entirely because I saw no results from it. Then in 2014 I decided to give into the itch to start writing again online, and restarted my blogging adventures with using Blue Host for my website hosting, as most bloggers who blog about blogging recommend.

I left Blue Host after 3 years feeling sick over how much “downtime” my website experienced. Literally, my website was inaccessible more than it was accessible because of BlueHost’s servers not being able to keep it running. I received numerous notifications every day that my website was unattainable for anywhere between a few minutes to several hours. This was not at all acceptable for me, especially for the $400 I spent every year for their services.

I switched to SiteGround in 2017, excited to only have experienced a whopping 2.5 minutes of down time in the two years I’ve been with them. As for cost, they’re very similar. The SiteGround plan I chose cost $3.95 per month for the first year to get started with a WordPress account or to utilize their site-builder program. Unfortunately, after the first year with SiteGround, my bill shot up to $39.93 per month. I thought that wasn’t a big deal… until I looked at my page speeds while working on optimizing my website for Google and taking my blogging more seriously. Some of my website pages took 7-15 seconds to load! That is an eternity in internet time! No wonder few people actually read anything and most stuck around for less than 30 seconds!

In 2019 I decided to do change again to BigScoots. Siteground was very good to me while I had them (with the exception of page load speed), but I knew for the same price after their introductory rate, I could have a substantially faster website load time, which is a major factor in Google rankings and having people continue reading through my website.

With BigScoots, I pay $20 per month for much faster service. You can start with them for under $5 each month too through their shared hosting, depending on the plan you choose (and they don’t increase the prices after your first year). So… I saved money while massively increasing the speed this website loads… plus everything is managed, so I ended up saving a ton of time DIYing everything. Now I just send them a message for what I need done, and they handle everything for me. All I need to focus on for my blog is the writing, Search Engine Optimization, creating graphics, and sharing to social media. This process saved me easily 10 hours a month.

Getting Set Up

When you have your domain chosen and you’ve settled on where you’re hosting your website, it is time to choose what it will look like.

I highly recommend WordPress. WordPress.org provides numerous paid and free themes that will determine what your website will look like. It is very simple to set up… Just click on Appearance in the left side menu, select Theme, and select Upload A New Theme at the top. This will give you a searchable list of themes so you can choose which layout you like the best. The themes are templates where you just plug in what information you want where. This makes it easy for anyone to use, even if you’re not overly tech-inclined. I highly recommend choosing a “light weight” theme so your website loads faster for your readers.

Get your website found

Next, you’ll want to register your site with Google Console. Use YOAST’s site index option to help you create an index page, which Google will scan periodically for new content to rate and share.

Your First Pages

Once you have a theme chosen and applied, I recommend writing your Privacy, Terms, About Me and Contact Me pages.

Most people forget about the privacy and terms pages, but if you plan to do any type of sales, ads, or use any type of tracking (even to see the number of people your site sees), you will legally need a privacy page and a terms of use page.

Privacy

The Privacy Policy page on your website is where you disclose any info collecting (like if you have Google Analytics, use any Facebook integration, require emails for commenters, have an email opt-in form, or run ad programs) so people reading your website can see what information of theirs you’re collecting, and what you’re doing with it.

Terms of use

No, having a Terms of Use page is not required by law, but it does offer some legal protection under situations that are difficult to imagine before they suddenly happen.

Your terms of use page tells your readers what to expect and what they consent to by using your website. This is especially important if you run a membership, allow people to log in, sell anything on your website, use affiliate links, or have an online course.

About You

Your “About Me” page should, have a little information about you, what you do, what you like… etc.

I strongly recommend writing your “About Me” page as a way for your readers to get to know you… but take a different perspective. Instead of just the typical resume summary, really focus on who your ideal reader is, and what problems they have that you solve.

This post by Melyssa Griffin is my favorite resource for how to draft an excellent About Me page.

Contact You

Your Contact Me page should have a way for your readers to be able to connect with you. I suggest adding a form for them to put their email, name, website, and message in.

I removed the Contact 7 forms that originally came with WordPress because it slows down my page speed more than necessary. Instead, I use my email forms. They embed simply and easily, and I receive an email each time someone fills them out. They’re also fully customizable to provide you with exactly the info you need, with a design that fits your branding.

If you would like to see an example of how I use it, head over to my Contact Me page.

Plugins

Plugins are pieces of software you can integrate into your website to enhance your capability, track your posts and readers, and more.

To access them, click on Plugins in the left side menu of your WordPress dashboard. Click the button Add New button at the top. Then search for the following plugins and install them. These plugins are all very well known to honor fast page load speeds, where as most plugins will weigh down your website and cause it to load slowly… which causes people to exit out before even reading your posts.

These plugins are all free, though they do offer additional features for a fee.

Yoast is the plugin to use for being found on Google. Using keywords on there helps Google understand what you’re writing about and who to show your content to. This plugin also helps you to choose which photo will show up with your post when it is shared to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.

Grow by MediaVine isn’t 100% necessary, but it is my favorite for adding social media sharing buttons on your website. Plus, you can choose to show share count numbers and track share count numbers… which I find to be important to see which blog posts are resonating with your audience to know what topics to post more about. Or which topics no one cares about and to stop posting about those. I also love their “hidden pin” settings that allow me to have additional Pinterest Pins without them being everywhere all over my site. They have a free option, and aren’t very expensive for the paid option. I feel it is definitely worth having.

“GA Google Analytics” is the best option to use for tracking and providing a ton of info that you probably never knew would end up becoming useful. It is incredibly helpful for showing you how many people are visiting you, what country they’re from, where they are finding your website from (Google, Pinterest, FB…etc), and which posts they’re looking at. Google Analytics also takes it a step further and tells you what devices your readers are using and a little more information. It is free to use, and you will need to sync it with a Google Analytics account, which is also free.

Loginizer Security and Anti-Spam help with reducing spam comments and unauthorized hacker logins. Both are free.

Begin Writing Your Content

Now all that is really left is to start writing. What you write about is really up to you and what you feel will resonate with your readers (or future readers). I suggest starting with a keyword in mind, or a key phrase. And use those keywords and key phrases as often as possible in that document, including in the keyword and “meta description” found in your Yoast block under the body of your content. No one will see that block except for you and Google.

Once your keywords are set and your post is done, you’ll want to add a few graphics. At the minimum, have a header photo. This header photo should be placed in the document’s Featured Photo block on the right hand side menu in your post draft, and can also be used in the Yoast’s social media tab for Facebook and Twitter. Having the photo in those three blocks will enable that photo to show up on all social media shares.

I also strongly suggest adding another graphic on your website specifically for Pinterest. Be sure to fill out the photo’s Alt Text. This Alternative Text will show up as the writing under a Pinterest Pin for people who share your pin directly from your post. Adding keywords in that Alt Text will also help people on Pinterest find you (Pinterest is a great search engine to share content in.. my #2 traffic source… #1 is Google).

The easiest way to create these graphics is through using Canva. Canva has a free option and tons of templates that help you decide on a size and layout. You can choose to create a Pinterest or Facebook graphic. My go-to sizes are Pinterest and Blog Header. I use that Blog Header for Facebook and Twitter too.

Decide on ways to monetize

There is no shortage of ways to make money with a blog

  • Create digital downloads or ebooks to sell
  • Enroll in affiliate programs (like Share A Sale) to earn commissions of other people’s products, subscriptions, or programs (this also works with Network Marketing products)
  • Establish a membership program or online course… either as a membership site, using social media groups, or even an online magazine
  • Drop shipping (creating designs that a manufacturer places on a product and ships the product to the customer for you, giving you the profits)
  • Sell a service you provide, whether it is coaching, something technical, administrative skills, graphic design, memberships… etc…

Having an idea of what you will be writing about will help you to determine who your ideal reader will be and which products and services will best serve them.

When thinking of monetizing, think what problems do my readers experience that I can help them solve? Then find a program that best fits in with that theme.

For more info on monetizing a website… head over to my Make Money Blogging post.

Putting it all together

Now you know what you need to do to get started… it is time to put it all together. All of these steps are needed prior to being able to monetize your blog.

  1. Establish what it is you’re going to write about
  2. Decide on a blog name… whether you use your own name or you choose something different
  3. Choose a Domain (the web address) your website will be found at
  4. Choose a website host to host your website for you (like Big Scoots)
  5. Decide on a theme (what you’re website will look like)
  6. Create your About Me and Contact Me pages
  7. Upload the YOAST and Grow plugins to help you with your social media sharing and being found on search engines
  8. Upload your website’s index into Google Console (from YOAST’s plungin)
  9. Write your content
  10. Add keywords and keyphrases to your YOAST block so Google will know who to show your posts to (SEO – search engine optimization).
  11. Create graphics for each blog post to be viewable on social media websites and Pinterest.
  12. Decide on ways to monetize so you can be compensated for your time
  13. Share your posts on social media and Pinterest as you create them
  14. Recycle sharing old posts on social media and Pinterest to continue serving your audience and driving traffic to your website.

Keeping your audience engaged

Once you start receiving traffic to your blog, you’ll want a way of keeping in touch with your readers who want updates from you as you expand your articles. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Social Media Posts – regularly post to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Parler, Snap Chat, MeWe, or whichever other social media platform you use the most. Knowing who your ideal readers are and where they hang out online is a great start.
  • Email Newsletters – a great way to keep in touch with your readers who want to keep hearing from you, and provide them with updates to your blog posts. I highly recommend using MailerLite. You can easily start your email marketing journey using their free plan option too.
  • Create Your Own Social Network Group (I LOVE using the Mighty Networks app to do this with) – I previously used a Facebook group, but after seeing fewer people were seeing our posts and Facebook’s continual attempts to silence everything natural wellness related, we switched gears to using our own app to develop our own community.

Nicole Graber, team leader, author, and editor to EssentialOils.Life and nikkygraber.com blog websites.

Did this post help you? What questions or experiences do you have? We would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Nicole

P.S. To receive more tips, tricks, recipes, and other essential oil fun, be sure to scroll down and sign up for our free oily email community.

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