You are more than ready to start your first blog.
If you’ve gotten far enough to be reading this post on how to start a blog your curiosity means something.
If you wait til you are “ready” it’ll never happen. You are never truly ready for anything. So take the plunge, my friend. 🙂
Thankfully, I’ve sailed the waters of blogging, so I can tell you what worked best and what I did to run this blog seamlessly and reliably.
So why start a blog?
Here are some benefits and reasons for starting a blog:
- Greater online business exposure
- To make money blogging
- To start writing, get noticed, and build your writing career (maybe even publish books)
- As a creative outlet
- Online portfolio if you’re a freelancer, photographer, designer, or artist
So spit, rub your hands together, stretch, and let’s begin:
To bring your blog to life, there are about 4 steps we will need to take:
1.Decide Your Blogging Goal
2. Create your blog domain name
2. Get hosting
3. Install WordPress
4. Pick a Theme
5. Publish Your First Post
1) Decide Your Blogging Goal
This can often be the hardest part of the blogging journey, understandably so. The most usual worries are that your blog topic (or as they like to call it ‘niche’ is too broad or too narrow.
The best way to find out if either is true is to simply start. As you go, you’ll get feedback from your readers, and see what’s working at what isn’t.
A few points to keep in mind when choosing your blog ‘niche’:
- Make sure you’ll enjoy writing and creating content about it extensively, otherwise you’re bound to give up halfway through your blog journey.
- Choose something you are ‘passionate’ about. One of the main goals of blogging is to become a well-known authority in your niche and without real passion, it will be hard to get there.
- Keep in mind that some blog topics are easier to monetize than others because they have a bigger audience interested in that niche. For example, your blog might get more readers if you blog about frugal living than if you blog about knitting blankets
Sometimes, as you blog and get feedback, you’ll find the man idea you start with is shifting into a completely different topic or taking a different direction. That’s perfectly fine and part of your blogging journey, but it’s always good to start with a solid foundation.
2) Create Your Blog Domain Name
This is one step you might have already spent a lot of time thinking about.
Maybe you already have your name. Maybe not quite yet. If you don’t, it’s time to brainstorm a little bit (or a lot a bit).
Thinking up a good name with solid words that are fitting to your overall blog idea/philosophy/mission is a must. A few ways you can go about finding inspiration to do this are:
- Business name generators
- Shopify’s name generator. It not only helps you generate a name with your keywords it also checks if the domain name hasn’t been taken up and is available for use. Give it a try if you are stuck on name ideas!
- BizNameWiz is another option. They are a quirky business name generator that gives you tons of ideas and also tells you if the domain name is available for use.
- Namemesh does just that. Type in a few keywords and it “meshes” them for you in a lot of ways to help you find that legit name.
- Journaling is something I’ve found helpful in coming up with names and ideas. While you write, for example, about all your blog goals and dreams and the people you want to help it can stimulate the naming process and help you come up with better + more unique ideas.
You want to make sure your blog name is memorable, easy to read, not cluttered, and not too long. For instance, it’s not the best idea to make it a name with a number if that number might not be relevant or change in the future.
2) Get Hosting
But what exactly is hosting?
Your blog is a website. All websites online are visible because they are stored in something called ‘servers’ which a hosting company provides. Servers function as enablers that provide the technology for your website to be viewed online + interacted with by the rest of the world.
Bluehost is a reliable host I’ve found works great for my blog.
It’s been surprisingly easy to use. If I run into any trouble I just shoot them an e-mail and they’ve been great with responding.
Before starting any of this blogging journey, I had always been under the impression that hosting was going to be so. Expensive.
Yet another headache I would have to deal with when thinking through the logistics of actually getting my creative blog up and running.
But I was wrong.
It’s more affordable than I had freaked out over.
You can easily get started with Bluehost and follow along.
The payment breakdown is pretty straight forward. You can choose your plan according to your blogging ambitions (do you want to run one blog or multiple? Will you be uploading a lot of content that will need lots of web space?) and how much your budget allows you to invest.
For starters, I’d recommend the basic 12-month plan because of how affordable it is. As you scale and your blog gets bigger, or you decide to host additional blogs, you can always change your plan accordingly later.
One great thing about Bluehost is that you can register your domain name right there and then for free, no need to go through third parties. If you’ve already registered a name through another site, Bluehost gives you the option of signing up with your existing domain.
> >Looking for more actionable strategies? Make sure you check these out!< <
- 11 Key Strategies to Make Sure Your New Blog Makes Money
- The Online Marketing Strategy to Finally Get Noticed and Grow Your Audience
- How to Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing + Ideas to Boost Earnings
- The Complete Tool Kit I Use To Run My Blog Smoothly
Wait, what is a domain name?
A domain name is an online name with which you can open a website and an e-mail address under. If you register a domain, this does not automatically generate a website. You will need to make a website whose address will be the domain name you register.
This is why domain names are often referred to as your ‘web address.’
After filling out payment, domain, and account info and finalizing your account they will send you a welcome e-mail with links to your Bluehost account.
Below is your Bluehost account dashboard where you can manage your hosting plan, change your settings, check your Bluehost e-mail and lots of other stuff. I remember being overwhelmed by all the options laid out in front of me. Don’t be!
With a little practice, you will get used to it soon enough and you’ll be able to navigate it seamlessly.
Now, In the last section labeled ‘website’ you will see an ‘Install WordPress’ link.
Once you click on it, it will take you through the steps of installing WordPress and coming up with your WordPress password and username.
3) Get Started With WordPress
WordPress = A powerful tool for bloggers.
It’s currently one of the world’s leaders in website creation and is used by big names like NASA and The Harvard Business Review. If you are interested in learning more intriguing stats on WordPress here is a cool article.
That is not to say it won’t seem daunting when you first access your WordPress dashboard. But…
don’t grow frustrated and give up if you don’t understand something when you first log in.
Keep in mind there are hundreds of resources out there that are jam-packed with information that you can reach with the click of a mouse.
I’ve put together an extensive introduction to blogging with a table of contents that goes through the initial stages and everything you need to know. At the very end there is an extensive list of resources that you can use to learn more about the different part of blogging.
When I first started with WordPress it took me hours to learn what each thing did and how to modify widgets and apps and plugins. Because I am passionate about the creativity that goes into blogging, marketing, and building online businesses, it didn’t necessarily feel like work to me—though I do wish I would have been more resourceful in finding information instead of hours of learning through trial and error.
Sometimes though, that’s what it will take :).
As we move on,
If you followed step 2 you are now all set up to log in to your WordPress dashboard by typing in the following URL:
Once you log in you will be greeted by your very own WordPress dashboard that’ll look something like this:
4) Pick A Theme
It’s time to pick your theme. But first, what IS a theme?
A theme is the design and layout your blog will have. It is the template that your blog posts will go into.
Before you go about picking a theme you want to have a pretty good idea of the angle of your blog.
Will it have a more feminine and girly design approach?
Will it have a crafty and colorful approach?
Maybe you are aiming for a more serious monochromatic approach with less color?
The type of blog you want to create is a deciding factor in the theme you choose.
With a simple Google search for blog themes you can find thousands of options. You always want to make sure you do your research before settling into one.
You wouldn’t want to go through the additional hassle to have to change themes in the future if you happen to see that one theme that was perfect but you didn’t spend enough time searching for.
Make sure your theme is ‘mobile responsive’ which means that your site will be modified to fit a phone screen instead of staying in the original format of a desktop computer screen.
This is vital when a lot or most of your blog traffic will be through phone navigation. Your audience will not hesitate in leaving your site if the text runs off the page or is difficult to see.
Your audience will not hesitate in leaving your site if the text runs off the page or is difficult to see.
When I searched for a theme I wanted a dynamic page with an overall clean design. After lots of searching, I decided on a theme from WPZoom for a decent price. Click on the link and check out their options for any theme ideas that might be up your alley. I don’t really remember how I ended up on
You can click on the link and check out their options for any theme ideas that might be up your alley. I don’t really remember how I ended up on WPZoom but when I saw my theme I knew it was the one!
They are quite responsive with their customer service through e-mail and have promptly addressed any questions I had about working and modifying anything I need. They’ve even helped me with modifying code (which I’m completely illiterate in) to change certain parts of my site.
As a beginner, it is up to you to judge which theme option is best for your unique needs.
While going with a free theme is an option, you will be limited in how much you can personalize it to fit your blogging needs.
Are design and creative control really important to you? Do you primarily need a place where you can post solid content without worrying about aesthetic too much? These are just some of the things to consider.
You can also have a custom blog made from scratch. If you are a beginner with not a lot of initial start-up money to invest, it’s probably best to stick to pre-made themes for now.
After picking your theme and installing it on WordPress (each should bring directions in how to do so) you are ready to publish your first blog post.
5) Publish Your Very First Post!
Wow. Look at you!
You’ve made it this far… time to publish your goods.
Now, when you first see your dashboard, on the left hand side you will see a list of options.
First you want to click on ‘Post.’
And then click on ‘Add New.’
You’ll be greeted by a blank page ready to be filled with your awe-inspiring content. After typing it out, on the right-hand side, click on the ‘Publish’ button.
Then click on the button right above publish named ‘Preview’ to see a preview of your post!
There you have it! Your first post!
Take Note: Your site might not look exactly how you want from the very beginning. it took me hours of redesigning and placing different elements on my blog to get it to the point where I was satisfied with the look.
Blogging can be pretty sweet when you get over the basic learning curve. Through my experience, I can say that for you to find success blogging it takes three main things (among many others):
Without consistent posting that will keep readers engaged it will be difficult (to put it lightly) to grow and maintain your blog. In order to be consistent you need discipline, which is a muscle best grown with practice. Practice writing every day, practice following a routine everyday, practice bettering your blog in some way everyday.
Lastly, following through with your blogging tasks is a big one aka being conscientious! Starting what you finish and meaning what you set out to do will go a LONG way.
It might be a lot of upfront work in the beginning but it is sure to pay off if you’re thinking long term.
Two more things:
The most strategic way to begin a profitable blog is with purposeful content. This means creating content that is valuable to the audience you’re trying to target and answers any questions or pain points they might have within your blog topic (niche).
Here are some posts to check out and get you started:
On Content Creation
- The Content Marketing Strategy to Get Noticed Online and Grow Your Audience
- Fine Tune Your Writing With These Actionable Tips
- 73 Blog Post Ideas to Get Your Mind Working
- 11 Key Strategies To Make Sure Your Blog Makes Money
- How to Make Money With Your Blog With Affiliate Marketing
Finally, here are all the resources I use to give you a better idea of what has worked for me.
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