So you are thinking of starting a blog and need a little guidance on where to begin? Well look no further! This post is a quick and easy to understand guide on: How to start a blog. This article should help you launch your site in the simplest and easiest way possible. I have stream-lined the process into easy to follow steps that should help you get going today!
Please note I will receive a small commission at no price to you if purchase any products through my affiliate links. Thank you!
Step One: Choose a topic
First you have to choose what you want to blog about. I personally started my blog to make a creative space for myself and wanted a way to share my lifestyle and experiences, so I choose to go for a more broad and general “lifestyle blog”. I don’t anticipate that I will be the next Oprah by any means but, I enjoy the freedom to write about basically anything that interests me and it makes me happy to create content that I generally care about. Check out my post here on what a lifestyle blog is.
When you are choosing your blog topic spend a little time thinking about what makes you happy and what you actually would want to write about day after day. Sure starting a site about designing scrunches might be fun in the short-term, but will you have enough creative juice to keep this blog alive long-term? Instead maybe change your topics to 90’s Revival Fashion or Hair Accessories.
Here is a general list of topics with some example blogs for each topic. I tried to choose sites that had great content, were consistently updated and I found aesthetically pleasing. Check them out and see if you get inspiration. Maybe you personally aren’t a knitting fanatic but just take a moment to appreciate the time and effort this author put into her site. This is what your goal is- to blog about a topic you are passionate about and create great content for your readers to enjoy!
Healthy Lifestyle Blogs
Personal Finance Blogs
Pet Lover Blogs
Blogs About Hobbies
Now that you have an idea of what you want to blog about we will begin the set-up process.
Step 2- Choose Your Host and Platform
To start a blog you will need a domain (a website address ex: www.website.com), a hosting provider (a service that stores all of your website’s data and information) and a blog platform (software to design your site). After doing some research I decided to go with Bluehost for my blog because they provide you with all 3 products (domain, hosting and platform) for a basic plan package of $3.95 a month and honestly they were so user-friendly for a totally newbie I felt like this was the best possible choice. Once you pick your host and platform you get to pick your domain name!
If you choose to use a different host let me know how it works- I am always looking for feedback.
Step 3- Choose Your Domain
If you decided to go with Bluehost then you get a domain name for free for the first year. Once you sign-up choosing your domain is the first step! Put some time and thought into this- you don’t want to name your website ILoveAlligators.com and then after 2-weeks realize that you actually don’t love alligators and don’t want to write about them anymore. This is why you should have a well thought-out blog topic by this point.
Try to remember you want your blog to sound inviting and click-able so if you want to write all about ballet and find out that ballerina.com is already taken I don’t think you should settle for ballerina2020154.co.blog.com. That looks and sounds like a URL that will give your computer a virus and people will be less likely to click on it. Instead get a little creative and try to find a unique domain name that still allows you to use “.com” maybe something like inspiredbyballet.com or everythingballet.com (can you tell I grew up during AOL screen names?). Since I was going with a lifestyle blog about MY life, I felt using my first name was an easy way to name my site because everything I post is in fact about Katherine Ashleigh!
Step 4- Pick and Customize a Theme
Now that you have chosen your domain name the next step is to start designing your site! WordPress has a bunch of free templates for you to choose from. Depending on what you want your site to look like you can pick a theme that you love and will make your content look amazing and professional. If you pick a theme and decided later on down the road you don’t love it- no worries! You can always change up the theme, WordPress preserves the content and just changes the layout for you. Customizing the theme to your liking is very simple, and if you ever run into questions the WordPress customer service is AMAZING. They have a self-help article on just about any problem you run into. If you still need help you can live chat with a support specialist. I have done this several times and every time we issue was resolved in a couple of minutes.
I would recommend to at least make a home page, an “About” page and a blog page at first. Check out my About page here if you want to see an example. The about page is going to tell your readers who you are, what your blog is going to be about and why you started it. Whenever I check out a new blog I always go to the about page to see if I am interested in this author. It also give your page a little more personality so we know who is writing this brilliant content!
Step 5- Write and Publish Your first Post
Time to start blogging! This is the exciting part where you can share your thoughts and information on whatever your topic is! Try to make it an in depth post that will make someone want to check back to your page for future content.
This is also the step where you need to start learning about “SEO” or search engine optimization. Google’s “Keyword Planner” is free and an awesome way to determine what key phrases you should include in your post!
Step 6- Promote
Until your site starts getting found organically in search engines, you will have to drive some traffic to your site. I lost using Pinterest for this. Other places you can promote your blog are: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.
Step 7- Keep posting new content consistently
Fake it till you make it! When you first start a blog, you are starting with zero followers. But don’t let this discourage you! As long as you are posting goof quality content and posting often, you will absolutely get some traffic. Write every post as if thousands of people will be reading it every day and take pride in all of the effort you are putting in!
Want more blog resources? Check out my post on all the resources I use to create my content!
Let me know how your journey to becoming a blogger goes and if you start a blog comment below or e-mail me! I would love to hear about it