Head’s up my bloggers! This is a yet-to-be-edited ongoing journal of a project I am currently working on.  Feel free to read it, but by all means, ask questions if anything doesn’t seem clear yet.  I’ll be updating several times a day as I make progress.  Happy blogging!

While I’ve written several tutorials and shared countless strategies over the years, I realize it can still be intimidating, or simply confusing, when starting out on your own.  In light of that, I thought I’d share a case study, where I start one of my blogs and online businesses from scratch.

Transparency: I write all of my tutorials and blogposts WITHOUT affiliate links. Later, I go back and add affiliate links if a service or product I have already recommended offers one. If they don’t have an affiliate program, I still recommend them.

Getting Started

Step 1.  I chose a topic.  I usually have a few ideas running around my head- I never rush to choose, but rather wait until one really vibes, and I feel that “pull” to get started.  I had come up with an idea for a blog that would help new moms.  A sort of “survival guide.”  It’s a topic that has been on my mind for quite some time (since my own days as a new mom) but I wasn’t quite certain it would be a topic with longterm interest and growing passion- something that I have learned is essential in blogging.  That doesn’t mean I have to blog on the topic forever.  However, I do want a topic that I can pour my heart and soul into for an extended period and if/when I no longer feel that, I can pass it on to another.  So, the other day, I was at the gym and I noticed a new mom.  I chit-chatted with her a bit, and recognized that insecurity with the baby and that awkward feeling where your yoga pants just don’t fit as well as last year.  (I’ve been there girl!) Long story short, I felt that inspiration climbing and knew it was time to start the blog.

When I really want to know if I’ll enjoy the topic, I will open up a keyword research tool (I use SEM Rush’s magic keyword tool) and look at popular google searches in the niche.  If they are queries I know the answers to, and have an interest in, I know I’m on the right path.

Starting a Blog: New Mom Keyword Research


A few thoughts start running through my head… “What if I could build a blog that offered complete guidance for new moms; especially those who don’t have a strong support group at home.  I had no family nearby to help out, but it meant the world to me when my friend, Jade, came by to offer me some tips. I was also grateful for the new mom’s group I was able to join when my son was about 4 months old.  What if women could get this type of support online?  What if I could ask my guru friends, of various paths, to provide a video here and there?  Loren Lahav, my dear friend and creator of “Badass and Beautiful” – can I get an inspiration video for New Mom’s?  Heck ya, she’d love to help them!  @DocJenFit on Instagram, and creator of The Mobility Method- would you be willing to do a few mini workouts for some new mommys out there?  I can also offer merchandise, and especially workout clothing for new moms…”  Ok, you get the idea… this has been going on for days now, so you can imagine the ideas I have come up with- I have a notebook full. I may need a new notebook soon.


Step 2.  I Researched.  First things first, I Google my topic to see what is out there.  Shockingly little.  I mean, there are mega sites that have dedicated new mom guides, but not one site that is dedicated to new moms.  This is honestly ideal for a new site- the need is there (how many new moms are there daily?) and there is essentially no fully-dedicated competition.  Bingo.

I pull up a few sites that I use specifically for this and begin typing in words.

Once I have it narrowed to a single name or two…

If the check fails on any of these, and shows someone else is already building on the name you selected, choose another name and start over.  In this case, the name Nu Mom Project worked out.

So… we have chosen a domain name!  NuMomProject.com.

Once you have chosen a domain name….

Step 3.  It’s time to create an email account.  This is always my first step after selecting a name, simply because you will need it for just about everything from here on out.  You can use another email service, but I prefer Gmail since it has so many features, (thank you spam and promotion filters!) and easily syncs with Google docs etc., which I use frequently.

I’ve chosen numomproject@gmail.com.


Step 4.  Purchase your domain and hosting.  I prefer BlueHost for a number of reasons, but in all honesty, I prefer them simply because GoDaddy has gotten far too spammy and fear-tactic-y (ya, I know it’s not a word) for my taste.  I also find BlueHost to be much more simple for setup, and less expensive in the long run.  Note:  Once your site gets large enough, you will want to switch to your own server.  I have a server for my busiest blogs, to handle the massive amount of data and traffic they receive.  When starting out however, there are few cases where a dedicated server would make sense since they usually run over $200 a month.  BlueHost offers individual site hosting starting at $2.75 a month (current multiple year savings offer) and they bill annually.  I usually opt to purchase 2 years at a time, or more. It saves money and time (and time is money.) I also opt for at least the “Plus” or “Choice Plus” option.  I don’t want to have to worry about space- which I fill pretty quickly. The price of this is exceptionally small, considering this is the largest investment you will make for your new business.  

Update:  I was just asked about free hosting from WordPress.org and Blogger.com.  If you intend to make money with your site and create a business… please do not opt for free blog sites.  There are several reasons I say this, but the two more important are:  1. You are extremely limited when it comes to modifying the site, adding plugins, changing the design, etc. These are all ESSENTIAL to building a successful blog.  2. You are always at risk of losing your site, should it suddenly be deemed your posts or settings etc are against their terms of service. I have seen this happen more than once- where a new blogger worked the site to make a few thousand a month, and then BOOM, their site was deleted and a TOS violation email was sent. No other explanation, no option to appeal.  In all honesty, it’s simply not worth it, when self-hosting through a site like BlueHost or GoDaddy is so inexpensive.

Step 5. BlueHost setup.  I’ve purchased my domain and hosting package, and BlueHost immediately asks if I would like a blog added, and a shop.  Um, yes please!  I tick off “yes” for both, and WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin are automatically installed for me.  I won’t worry about setting up the shop just yet, but that will save me an installation step in the future.

BlueHost then takes me to a page that lets me select from an endless number of design themes.  I love this for newcomers, however I have my favorite themes that I prefer for design, SEO, and mobile features.  I also already have a theme in mind for Nu Mom, so I simply select the first BlueHost theme to move on.  I will share my preferred themes further on in this post.

Everything is installed and I’m taken to their “blog setup checklist” page.  For newcomers, I think this is amazing.  This makes keeping track of setup so incredibly efficient. I tend to take this part for granted however, since I have set up well over countless blogs (really, I’ve lost count- over 1,000?)  Anyway, I go ahead and hit “launch site” to go live, and boom, we are online folks!  Note: It doesn’t matter what your theme looks like at this point, or what you have set up. No one is looking yet 🙂


Step 6.  WordPress Set Up.  The first thing I always do, is add a new user.  This is because HostGator has already created one for you, using a top secret password that is so top secret, they don’t tell you what it is right away and I almost always get locked out and have to do a reset. I just go ahead and create a new user and re-log in using that.


Adding my favorite plugins….

Next, I install my tried-and-true favorite WordPress plugins.  I install all of these first, and then go back and set them up rather than bounce back and forth.  Note: try NOT to install a lot of plugins from here on out. Less is more.  Plugins tend to complicate things, mostly in speed and resources. They can also cause co-mingling drama and other issues.  Be stingy with your plugin usage.

I installed these plugins, and then went back and set them up:


Further detail on each plugin;  why I chose them, what they do, and how I set them up.

Step 6 - WP Setup - Core Tweaks PluginStep 6 - WP Setup - Core Tweaks Plugin 2Step 6 - WP Setup - Core Tweaks Plugin

In one swoop that took mere minutes, I was able to do all of this with Core Tweaks:

Core Tweaks Plugin Successful

Akismet Settings - WP Setup

Classic Editor Plugin - WP Setup - Brilliant Etc WordPress Block EditorClassic Editor Plugin WordPress - Brilliant Etc

MonsterInsights Plugin - WordPress Install

Once all the initial setup is complete and I start getting traffic, I will revisit my plugins, to decide what else is  suitable.  This will also be determined by the theme I choose, since many require specific plugins to achieve the same appearance and functionality of the demo.  An example of this, would be a slider plugin, or a social media plugin (necessary if this isn’t a feature of the theme itself.)


Before I continue on to Step 7, I have to say that I have spent far more time writing this case study/tutorial, than I have on the entire process of starting Nu Mom at this point!    


Step 7.  Theme and Appearance – As of right now, this is what Nu Mom Project blog looks like:

As you can see, it’s bare bones, default WordPress with nothing added.  I’m about to add a theme, install the demo layout and images, etc.

Sometimes it can take me days to choose the right theme for a blog. Other times, I just go with one of my favs and call it a day.  In this case, I’m doing just that, and going with the Captivating Theme from Restored 316.  I LOVE their themes, and this one is modern and feminine, which will be pleasing to my audience (ie. new moms will vibe with it.)

Here are the three themes I considered for the Nu Mom Project:

If you opt to go with another theme, keep a few things in mind:

So, now I’ve installed the Captivating theme, and the Genesis Framework (the theme’s engine.)  Luckily, this theme has a demo import feature, so it won’t take me long to import the layout, images etc. and be looking fabulous in less than an hour.  Their instructions for this are spot on as well.

This is what the new theme looks like before I install the theme’s recommended plugins and demo content:

Nu Mom Project - New theme install

Activate the new plugins:  Captivated Theme’s recommended plugins that I am bulk-installing and activating now. Note: if this was a theme I was not yet familiar with, I would not bulk-activate. I would activate one at a time to make sure there are no issues with the plugins. It also makes it easier to tell which plugin broke the theme, if that happens. In that case, you can simply deactivate or remove the most recent plugin and you should be good.

Restore 316 Plugins for Captivated Theme

Next, I install the Captivated widgets with the widget import plugin. If needed, the instructions are very clear on the Restore 316 site.  Not too many themes offer this convenient feature.

Restore 316 Widget Importer - Brilliant Etc

Now that I have all the necessary plugins and widgets in place, I’m ready to install the demo content and make the site look exactly like the demo.  Instructions can be found here in video and text.

Restore 316 demo import

Ok, so now I have completed all of these steps.  I now have my blog completely read to go:

Nu Mom Restore 316


Follow along for updates of my progress!

Next:  Nu Mom case study, Part 2

3 Responses

  1. Jeni this has to be the most welcoming, insightful article on blogging I have ever read to be very honest. I could tell that you were taking the reader for a trip with the intention of making sure no one gets left behind. Most definitely got some takeaways from this article. I look forward to experiencing your journey.🙏🏾 Thank you

  2. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing
    this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉

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