How to start blogging – questions

I started to blog but I have so many questions about how to start blogging! I use feedly to bring all my blog reading interests together into one app. The primary categories I read are travel, finance, life hacking, and parenting. My favorite blogs include Financial Samurai, Physician on FIRE, The White Coat Investor, Lifehacker, 4-Hour Work Week, Millennial Revolution, Retire By 40 among others. While it seems they are all about finance, there is some travel in there as well.

I used to blog while Mrs. Happy and I were traveling back in 2011/2012, but once I got back from travels, I stopped. =(

Recently I decided that I must blog again, partly because I have a new travel goal, partly because I want to increase my passive income. While blogging to make money is a BAD IDEA, it wouldn’t hurt if income comes in because of it.

My new goal is to travel the world with my kids starting 2020 (we have a 4 and 2 year old). It is three years away and it’s never too early to start planning.

I wrote a blog post once that said: “If you want to achieve your goals, write them down” … so I’m writing it down, over and over again. 2020 baby!

I am starting the blog to keep track of my adventures and goals, share best practices of life hacking, traveling, parenting, and finances to my friends, friends of friends, and those that I don’t know but can help in some way.

As I am starting to blog again, I want to optimize the whole process (I’m an engineer) and build a foundation of a blog so that in the future, this baby makes money. Best case scenario, blogging gives me 10-20% of passive income, worst case, I achieve everything mentioned above.

So, to that end, here are the questions I have on how to blog (with answers as they come):

  • What blogging platform should I use?
    • WordPress
  • Self hosted or through some other service?
    • I use bluehost but haven’t been a huge fan
  • What plugins are a MUST have?
    • SEO Yoast
    • Security: Wordfence
    • Jetpack by WordPress
    • Others?
  • Should I have a newsletter?
    • Yes
  • What service should I use for my newsletter?
    • Mailchimp
  • Where can I get cool images for my blog posts?
  • What are the best practices to collect emails?
    • TBD
  • What are the best practices for SEO?
    • TBD
  • How often should I write?
    • TBD
  • Best practices for selecting categories for your blog?
    • TBD
  • Should I use tags?
    • TBD
  • Is focusing on Travel, Finance, Life Hacking, Parenting too much? How can I focus? =)
    • TBD

I am sure more questions will come up as I continue to blog and I will use this post as a reference for me and for anyone else wanting to blog.

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