Have you always wanted to start a blog but couldn’t because you’re not exactly sure how and where to begin?
Well, you’re in for a treat because I’m gonna walk you through the whole process step-by-step on how to start a blog.
Whether you have a business that you want to promote online or you simply just wanna have some sort of outlet where you can unleash your creativity, document your life’s adventures and journey, blogging is a great way to do that.
I promise, starting a blog is not that complicated. In fact, even if you’re not geeky, you can definitely start a blog from scratch in less than 30 minutes.
Step #1: Identify your niche.
What should you blog about?
Make sure you blog something specific. It doesn’t have to be unique but it should be focused on something you love and you’re naturally interested. When you do, you won’t run out of ideas to write about and you’ll be able to consistently provide valuable content that’ll eventually build your audience.
So if you’re passionate about travel and since travel is too broad of a subject, you should focus on something specific like travelling on a budget. If you’re into fitness, narrow it down to something like home workouts for busy moms.
Step #2: Pick a name.
A domain name is a URL that identifies your site.
For example, my domain name is rosabethandras.com. Because I have a network marketing business and my main purpose of having a blog is to brand myself and to promote my business online, hence, I chose my own name.
A Few Tips On Choosing A Name For Your Blog:
- Keep it simple, short, and easy to type.
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens as they’re difficult to remember.
- As much as possible, use the .com extension as it is the most popular.
If you’re in doubt, you could always use your name or a variation of it.
Also, make sure that there aren’t any other sites out there that have very similar name to yours and that the social media handles or usernames you’re planning to use are still available.
KnowEm is a great site to check for name availability.
Step #3: Choose a blogging platform.
There are various blogging platforms out there such as Blogger, Tumblr, Squarespace, and Typepad to name a few. But I personally recommend WordPress (the self-hosted one) because it’s free, easy to use and manage, and there are endless possibilities as far as customization and functionalities.
WordPress is the most prominent content management system out there, which powers about 27% of the web and with a 58% market share.
So if you want to start a blog, choose WordPress as your blogging platform.
Step #4: Get the best web host.
A web host is needed for your page or site to be viewed on the Internet. It is where your data files are stored.
A domain name and a web host are the two things you need to start a blog.
I highly recommend Siteground* as your host provider. It’s affordable, support is fast and awesome, and its interface is user-friendly, not to mention it’s been around for well over a decade and is one of the most recommended and popular hosting companies around for bloggers especially beginners.
In fact, my blog and a few other sites I manage are hosted with Siteground*.
To get started, let’s go ahead and purchase your domain and hosting plan with Siteground* (opens in new window) by following below steps:
1. Choose your plan and click the “Get Started” button. .
Each plan comes with a FREE domain valued at $14.95 but I recommend you pick the Grow Big plan for $7.95/month to take advantage of the premium WordPress features.
2. Enter your domain then click the blue button that says “Proceed”.
3. Enter your information to finalize your order.
You’ll see “Extra Services” offer, which is totally optional. I generally don’t purchase the extra services so if you don’t need them, you can just uncheck them as they’re checked by default.
Once the process is complete, you’ll receive an email containing your hosting account (cpanel) login details. This is where you can access the services related to your account as well as install your WordPress.
Step #5: Install WordPress.
Now that you have a hosting account with Siteground, you can now install WordPress, our chosen blogging platform.
1. In your Dashboard, you’ll see the WordPress Tools. Click “WordPress Installer”.
2. Once you’re in WordPress Installer page, click “Install Now” at the bottom left.
3. Select your domain name.
The domain name you entered during signup for a hosting account should automatically appear. If not, click on the “Choose Domain” dropdown and select where you want to install WordPress.
4. Enter the name of your blog as well as description.
You can always change this later after installation in your WordPress dashboard.
5. Enter your username, password and email then click “Install” at the end of the page.
Congrats! Your WordPress installation is complete!
You should see a message like the one below. You’ll also receive an email confirmation of your WordPress installation.
That was easy, wasn’t it?
Now, time to customize your blog by logging in to WordPress.
Step #6: Design and optimize your blog.
When you install WordPress, a default theme is already installed so you can start writing a blog post or create pages right after installation. However, if you want to change the theme or the look of your site, you can!
1. Login to your WordPress admin.
Go to www.yourwebsiteurl.com/wp-admin and enter your username and password to login.
2. To change your theme, go to Appearance >> Themes.
3. Once in the Themes page, click “Add New Theme”.
The themes you see are already pre-installed but there are thousands more available in the WordPress.org themes directory.
4. Pick a theme.
You can search a particular theme or sort them by featured, popular and latest or you can filter them according to layout, features and subject.
5. Install and activate.
Once you picked a theme you like, simply hover it and click “Install”. Once installed, click “Activate” so it’ll be applied as your current theme. Then you can customize it by clicking on “Customize” under the “Appearance” menu.
If you have a theme you like or if you purchased a theme from outside sources such as the Genesis Framework from Studio Press*, which I personally recommend because it’s SEO-optimized, responsive, fast, and flexible, you can install it by clicking on the “Upload Theme” on the Themes page.
Click on Choose File and a window will popup then you can upload the theme from your computer.
For further customization and to add more functionalities on your site, essentially, you need WordPress plugins for SEO optimization, speed, security, social sharing and growing your email list.
- Yoast SEO for SEO optimization.
- WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache for speed optimization.
- Google Analytics for WordPress for tracking your site’s visitors and statistics.
- Wordfence for security.
- Jetpack for increasing your traffic, providing you stats, speeding up, and protecting your site.
- Social Warfare* or Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress* to encourage social sharing of your content.
- Thrive Leads* for building and growing your email list.
Installing the plugins is the same as when you install a WordPress theme. Just go to the Plugins menu, search for the plugin and install and activate.
Technically, you’re all setup. Now, comes the part where you have to focus majority of your time and effort, creating your content.
Step #7: Write a blog post.
For the most part, your blog posts should come from your experiences, journeys, failures and successes. Additionally, the content you create should provide value and should be written in a way that’s interesting and engaging for your readers.
Your Post Should Have The Following Components:
- A strong headline to catch your audience’s attention.
- An introduction to keep your readers’ attention and get them to actually read your post.
- High quality, eye-catching relevant images to visualize your texts to make your content more interesting and appealing.
- Working links to help your readers navigate easily to a source you mentioned and a product or service you recommend.
- A clear call to action to help and tell your readers what to do after reading your post.
Setting up a blog is an easy breezy task but like anything else in life, for it to be successful requires time, hard work, dedication and consistency.
Most importantly, be open to possibilities, always be learning, connect and be genuine!
What are the challenges you face when starting your blog and how did you overcome them?
Note: In the spirit of transparency, this post contains affiliate links denoted by *. If you purchase a product or a service through those links, I’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products or services that I personally use and believe will add value to you and your business.