Learn How to Start a Blog
With an easy Step By Step Guide for 2018!
So you’re looking to start a blog? Great choice! Starting a blog can be extremely rewarding, and countless others have even been able to turn their blog from a hobby into a wonderful lifestyle business making great money! Let us help you learn how to start a blog, updated with the latest techniques and tactics for April 2018
Here’s what you will need to get started:
- About 20 minutes to get all setup – If you really don’t have time today to do it, reach out to us as we will setup your new blog for you for free!
- You will need to order a domain and web hosting for your blog (don’t worry, we have the perfect recommendation and special deals)
- A willingness to dedicated time and attention to your new blog. Once we’ve shown you how to start your new blog (the easy part), you’ll need to focus on growing your blog and gaining a readership – don’t worry, we also have articles that can help you to grow a successful, well established blog as well!
Let’s get started – How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps!
- 1: Decide What you want to Blog about
- 2: Pick a Platform (WordPress)
- 3: Get a Domain Name and WordPress Hosting
- 4: Get Started with your Blog
- 5: Grow your new Blog and get website visitors!
Step 1: Decide what you want to blog about and why you want a blog
The first step in creating a blog is to decide what you’re actually going to blog about.
A personal blog – keeping family informed, updates and happenings with your personal life.
Hobbies or interests – this is the best method. Find something you’re passionate about and it will make it far easier to continue creating great content regularly for your blog.
Something you’re an expert in. Teach people how to do really cool things through your blog. Are you amazing at interior design? Provide tips, guidance, recommendations, examples and more for your followers so they can become great as well.
Why create a blog?
Share your story and your passion. Let the world learn about your passion.
Earn money! There are many ways to earn money blogging. Making an income from home or anywhere in the world at any time sounds like a wonderful dream to everyone.
Help your personal brand and become more influential in your community. Publish great content and be seen as an influential figure in your subject. Gain notoriety and exposure.
Step 2: Pick a platform (WordPress)
Now that you’ve decided what you’re going to blog about and what is going to make you stand out, you need to pick the right platform to succeed. While there are a lot to choose from (drupal, tumblr, blogger, etc.), the most popular – BY FAR – is WordPress. And for good reason!
WordPress currently powers 30+% of the internet. It is widely used by even the top sites out there. WordPress commands over 75% market share in the top 1000 sites on the internet. (INSERT IMAGE)
A few of the reasons why WordPress is so popular for those wanting to start a blog and even seasoned veteran bloggers:
- Quick and EASY to setup (our walkthrough will have you blogging in no time)
- Extremely customizable – Thousands of Plugins and Templates available for you to create a blog exactly how you want
- An amazing community looking to contribute and help each other out
Step 3: Get a domain name and WordPress Hosting
Now that you know what you’re going to blog about, it’s time to actually create a blog! In order to get your blog online, you’ll need both a domain name and a web hosting company that can host your WordPress blog. We’ll guide you through who to use, get you a special discount and even show you exactly what to order and how to get going.
Our Recommended provider is Bluehost. Bluehost has been the leader in WordPress hosting since 2003. They are the #1 recommended provider by WordPress.org themselves, they host millions of WordPress blogs, are the top recommended resource by the leading bloggers in the community and they are a premier sponsor for WordPress and WordCamp events worldwide.
Bluehost charges as little as $3.95/month and that even includes a free domain name for you.
They also provide us with a few wonderful benefits for to help you get started: A special offer for our readers, a Free Domain Name, Reliable hosting, WordPress Expert 24×7 support, an intuitive control panel for managing your website and much much more. Simply click our link below to receive the special offer for our readers.
Let’s get started setting up your new blog:
Click here or on the image below to head to Bluehost.com and receive your special link (clicking on our link gives you a special offer and also benefits us by providing us a small commission for referring our readers to this great provider, which helps us continue helping bloggers).
Click “Get Started Now” to start picking your plan for your blog.
That will lead you to the “Select your plan” page:
For getting started, you can simply select the “Basic” package. If you’re looking to run multiple blogs (look at you!) then the plus or prime would be the best option as they allow for multiple websites (blogs).
Next you get you pick your domain name. Below are a few tips on how to pick a domain name.
How to Pick a Domain Name
Picking a domain name can be hard. It’s difficult to be creative and when you finally think you have something, many times someone has already taken that domain. We have a few suggestions for you to make this easier though:
I’d highly suggest a .com domain name for getting your blog started. Once you’re more established, or if you just have to have that name and the only options are other extensions (for example .org), then go ahead. But .com is the presumed domain extension and will make it easier while you’re building your blog following.
Think about adding additional descriptors to your name. For example My/The/With etc. – TheAustinFoodblog.com or MyAustinFoodBlog.com if AustinFoodBlog.com is taken (it is).
If you’re having a tough time coming up with a domain, simply select “skip this step” (Look for the skip this step option shown on the domain page). You can always brainstorm and add your domain (for free) shortly after getting setup.
Now that you’ve picked your domain it’s time to start filling out your information and completing your order:
Some of the options above may be slightly confusing. When it comes to package information, you can select your “term length” which is how long you’re signing up for. The prices are tiered, so you get the best deal if you’re doing 36 months. You can certainly select 12 months though if you want to just get started.
The additional options are all optional (you can deselect them). We HIGHLY suggest leaving domain privacy on. This will keep your personal information private. Otherwise you’ll end up with spam emails and even spam phone calls.
Step 4: Get started with your Blog
Let’s get started create your blog!
Luckily, Bluehost has a very intuitive platform that walks you through each of the steps in creating your new blog.
Depending on the type of blog you want to setup, there are numerous options available for you. Answer the questions along the way and Bluehost will take care of many of the settings for you and setup WordPress.
On the “Pick a theme that inspires you” page, you’re able to pre-load your WordPress installation with a theme you like.
From there, Bluehost then sets up WordPress for you…
Answer a couple additional questions so that they can properly setup your theme for you:
After specifying the details and objectives of your new blog, you can land on the Dashboard of your new site. If you want a new template – you can click on “Appearance” and even search for themes (top right) – for example beauty, food, whatever you’re looking to do with your blog.
Next, lets write your first blog post.
Go to “Posts” on the left side. Then click “Add New” at the top of the page.
When you land here, you can start writing, adding images/videos and more. The great part about it is WordPress acts a lot like a word editor and makes it extremely easy to edit and customize your text.
In order to add new images or videos, simply click “Add Media” and you can customize the size and alignment of the image in your new post.
Here’s an example that I threw together to show off a few different elements for you:
And here is what the example looks live in the them I chose:
You can save drafts if you’re looking to continue working on your post and save it for later. If you’re ready for it to go live, click the blue “Publish” button on the right hand side and your new post will be live.
Step 5: Grow your blog and get website visitors!
Now that you’re a publishing pro, lets get people reading your new blog.
The final step of our tutorial on how to start a blog is all about getting website visitors and growing your blog.
The absolute best way to grow your blog is to publish high quality content, regularly. We have several additional articles in the blog section of our site on how to write great blog posts, what to write about and more. Posting on a regular basis, content that helps others will have people coming to your site regularly.
Promote your site via social media. You can tie your social media accounts (or even create new ones for your new site) to publish your blog posts and keep your friends are readers aware of new content.
Create an email list. This will allow people to sign up and receive alerts when you publish new content. We highly recommend Constant Contact, an email marketing company. You can easily enable Constant Contact from the dashboard of your blog on Bluehost. There are thousands of ways you can leverage email marketing, so please see our other articles relating to getting email subscribers and how to best grow your site with email marketing.
For more tips on promoting your blog, please see this post we created:
Congratulations on creating a blog!
Need more help or have further questions? I hope this guide has helped show you how to start a blog, but if anything is still unclear, please look through our blog for additional articles or don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll do everything we can to help you start a blog!
Frequently asked questions on how to start a blog:
Q: Do I need web hosting?
A: Yes, you need a provider that will allow you to install WordPress.
Q: What is the difference between a blog and a website?
A: A blog you will likely be updating much more regularly. A blog is meant for you to write new content and articles on a regular basis, whereas a website has a defined objective and remains much more static.
Q: How do I pick a domain name?
A: Here are some great resources for how to pick a domain name. Click Here.
Q: What other resources do you recommend for blogging?
A: See our Blogging Resources – it lists our recommended providers and other resources available.