So you want to know how to start a blog? Great! Blogging is such a great experience and can provide so many opportunities, it truly can change your life. Starting a blog is not as scary or as hard as you may think, it’s actually quite simple! I will be showing you guys step by step what you need to do in order to start your blog. You can have your blog up and running in less than 15 minutes!
PICK YOUR NICHE
So let’s get started! First, you need to pick your blog name and your niche. A niche is simply what your blog will be about. Is your blog about parenting? Fashion? Lifestyle? Cooking? There are so many different niches but you need to pick one that you are passionate about. Picking one that you actually love will make the blogging experience so much more enjoyable and fulfilling! If you can’t decide on one specific niche, then make your blog a lifestyle blog. Lifestyle blogs are a little bit of everything and you don’t have to constrict yourself in your content.
If you’re still unsure of what niche you’d like, click here for a huge list of niches!
NAME YOUR BLOG + BUY YOUR DOMAIN
So now that you have picked your niche, you need to name your blog and buy your domain! Your blog name is probably one of the most important aspects of your blog. Your name is the first thing people will notice and you want to make sure it’s good! Picking something that relates to your blog niche helps a lot because people can get a sense of what your blog is about without even clicking on your site. Here’s a tip; pick a blog name you are absolutely in love with because once you start growing your audience, you don’t want to change your name midway and confuse everyone!
With Google Domains you can buy a domain for $12/yr. With BlueHost a free domain is included in certain packages.
CHOOSING YOUR BLOGGING PLATFORM
Blogger vs. WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com. Hands down I recommend WordPress.org. There are two different types of WordPress, we have the .com and the .org. I am personally using the .org version just because of how customizable it truly is. While Blogger is free, it does not have the full optimized customization options that WordPress.org has. With WordPress.com you have to pay a monthly fee and just like with Blogger, you don’t get the full creative freedom. It is all down to how much customizability you would like to have but choose wisely because once you have your blog set up on one platform, it’ll be hard transferring everything over to another platform. Although WordPress.org is free, you do have to pay for a hosting site, which I will show you how to do below!
CHOOSING YOUR HOSTING SITE AND SETTING IT UP
Now that you have chosen your domain, if you decided to go with WordPress.org you will need a hosting site. Don’t worry, this isn’t as intimidating as it sounds and it’s quite simple once you know what you are doing! A host site is just that, a place that hosts your blog site. I recommend using HostGator or BlueHost. I am personally using HostGator for my site and I love how smoothly everything runs, it’s very inexpensive and customer service is great. BlueHost is another highly praised hosting site that provides the same options as HostGator. Reading this you may be like “What in the world are you talking about?!” But it’s really simple! You sign up for one of these hosts and they both have ONE CLICK WORDPRESS INSTALLATION which means in one click you will have your WordPress blog integrated with your host!
For my site, I am using HostGator’s WordPress Starter Plan. With this option you get:
- 1 Site
- 25k Visits Per Month
- 1GB Backups
- 50GB Storage
HostGator also has more options if you have more than one blog like their Standard Plan which gets you:
- 2 Sites
- 200k Visits Per Month
- 2GB Backups
- 150GB Storage
Now that I have shown you guys your options, here’s how you actually sign up:
Easy Step-by-step Guide
First, register or input your domain, then choose the plan that you would like! You can pay monthly or you can pay for an entire year. I suggest the 12-month plan which only comes out to being $7.95/mo at 38.61% off! You won’t have to worry about paying your blog for an entire year. Paying upfront also stops you from worrying about paying your bill each month and allows you to focus on your content or other aspects of your blog!
Next up, enter your billing information!
Lastly, review your info and you’re good to go!
Here’s are some coupon codes that you guys can use for some major savings on HostGator!
- Up to 56% Off: SNAPPYW579
- First Month of Hosting for 1 Cent: PENNY
- 20% Off Domains: DOTCOMSUPERDEAL
The signup process for BlueHost is almost identical to the one of HostGator!
Here are your options with BlueHost! Pick the plan that caters the most to your needs.
First, you need to enter your account information, pretty simple!
Next, choose your package. Again, I recommend paying for the entire year up front because of the fact that you won’t have to worry about paying your bill monthly!
And that’s it! You now have your site set up, all you need to do now is the one click install and you’re ready to go!
Design Your Blog
Now it’s time to design your blog! This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to days, it all depends on how you want your blog. I recommend purchasing themes from themeforest.net or Etsy because of how beautiful and well created the themes truly are! You can also grab some Free themes or purchase some Premium themes on WordPress itself. Here are some of the options available on Etsy:
Installing the themes are usually one click! You purchase the theme, download it, then upload the file into WordPress like this:
Click on change your theme.
Click on ‘Add New’.
Now you can upload your theme or choose from the many themes already available!
Now that you have your blog set up and looking pretty you need to create content! You can’t grow a blog without having consistent content that your readers can look at every day. Here are some of my tips that will help you grow your blog and make income from it as well:
- BE CONSISTENT. A blog without content is just a website. If you want to truly grow your audience you need to consistently be pouring out new content. If you have a busy schedule try taking one day when you’re free to write a bunch of blog posts! Leave them in drafts and when you want to publish them just hit that publish button.
- CONNECT WITH YOUR READERS. One of the best parts about being a blogger is that there are actual people out there reading your stuff. If your readers leave you comments make sure to reply! Small things like that can build a loyal audience that will consistently come back to your blog!
- LEARN ABOUT SEO. SEO is a hard concept to grasp but it really is important in ranking your blog and getting your posts seen.
- PROMOTE. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. You need to promote! Otherwise, no one will know that your blog even exists. Promote on Pinterest, Instagram, even Facebook. Go on other blogs and leave genuine comments, you can link your blog in the comment but never flat out promote yourself on someone else’s post. It’s just disrespectful and a lot of people will not like that. Just leave a genuine comment, link your blog and if someone likes what you had to say they may click on your link!
- PRETTY PICTURES ATTRACTS READERS. You know the saying, never judge a book by it’s cover? It doesn’t really apply in the blogging world. Pretty pictures attract readers so make sure you are taking some aesthetically pleasing photos that can draw people into clicking on your links!
- APPLY FOR AFFILIATES. This is one of the biggest ways to make money blogging aside from sponsored posts. When you apply to be an affiliate with companies you get a certain percentage of payment if someone clicks on your link and purchases through it. This is a great and honest way to make money because most of the time, the things you are linking are the things you bought, own, or truly love!
That’s pretty much it! These are the basics of starting a blog, remember that being successful in blogging takes a lot of time but it really is something that’s worth it. Let me know if this helped you guys out in the comments below!
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