How to Start a Blog
So, are you wondering how to start a blog? We’re so glad you’re here! Our goal is to explain the necessary steps to get off to a good and successful blogging start, no technical experience required.
Why Start A Blog?
There are many reasons you might consider it. Here are a few popular ones:
- You want to make money while working from home. Many make a full-time income blogging and enjoy the benefits of working from home. Making money with a blog is hard work, but the barrier to entry is low, making it very low risk. And it can also lead to other business and traffic generating opportunities. In today’s economy, being diversified and having additional sources of income can be tremendously beneficial.
- You want to become a published author. It’s no secret. These days, publishers prefer to work with authors who have an online presence. The reason is simple: it’s a lot easier to sell books to people who already know you. And, having a blog is one of the easiest places to start.
- You want to get more exposure for your existing business. A blog gives anyone–from individuals to large companies–the ability to reach a large number of people at very little cost. By blogging, you separate yourself from the 99 percent of people that don’t blog. Standing out is essential in an increasingly competitive economy no matter what business you are in.
- You want to attract an audience. Blogging enables you to reach the billions of people that use the internet. Blogging can help you promote yourself or your business. Blogging works as a method for attracting an audience because it provides something of value to them before asking for anything in return.
- You love to write. Whether you just want to write, or share your story, encourage others and build a community, a blog is the perfect place to do that. A major benefit being that it will help you become a better writer. Writing is a form of communication. It’s about recording your thoughts and compelling people to agree with them…or even just follow along. Either way, you’ll be doing something you enjoy and improving on a skill set that holds important benefits throughout your life.
Do you see yourself in any of those? Can you see how you would benefit from a blog? Let’s get you up and running!
The 6 basic steps to starting a blog
These are the main steps in starting your blog. Don’t worry, We’ll walk you through them.
- Decide what to blog about
- Choose a blogging platform
- Choose a web hosting package
- Pick a domain name
- Install WordPress
- Design & use your blog!
Step 1: Decide what to blog about
If you’re part of a business, company or organization, this step will be easy to determine. Your blog should be related to the product(s) or service(s) you provide, or the cause you promote.
If you’re an individual, you have more flexibility with topic choice. The main things to remember are:
- Blog about something with plenty of room for discussion. A blog requires a lot of content to get going and to remain interesting. You’ll be at this a while so make sure you have plenty to talk about.
- Blog about something you enjoy and are passionate about. If you don’t care about your topic, writing about it will be drudgery. Also, why would readers be interested if you aren’t?
- Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority. You will probably not be the first person to blog about the topic you choose. And that’s okay! It’s pretty much guaranteed that someone else has thought of it before you did and started blogging about it before you did. Don’t fret about this! But do ask yourself if you have something of value to bring to the table in your niche.
The goal for any blog is to become one of the go-to resources for its topic or niche.
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
There are many services you can use to start a blog or website. You may be tempted to use a free service, but know you’ll be limited, and in some cases, quite severely. You get what you pay for, as they say. Using a paid-for service isn’t expensive. It’s a no-brainer in my opinion.
What is the best blogging platform?
Of the many, many blogging platforms out there, WordPress is, by far, the most popular. And for good reason.
We use WordPress and appreciate its flexibility, functionality, ease of use and large community of people who share tools and ideas. It’s an excellent choice. And don’t worry, if you want a website without a blog, WordPress makes it easy.
Caution! Within WordPress, you have two options. People are often confused by the two so we’ll mention them here:
- Hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.com blogs.”
- Self-hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.org blogs.” (recommended)
A self-hosted WordPress costs a little bit of money, but will give you much more control and flexibility. It’s absolutely what we recommend.
This guide outlines the steps to start a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Step 3: Choose a web hosting package
A host provides server space for your site. Put simply, when your site lives on a server (instead of on your personal computer on your desk), others can find your site on the internet.
Disclosure: Because we are a cusomter, some of the links below are referral links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you make a purchase.
Ready to start your own blog? Start by clicking here to go to Bluehost (this link will open in a new window so you can reference these instructions as you work).
Once the page opens, click the green Get Started Now button.
The images you see here may vary slightly from the ones you see on your screen. This is because Bluehost never stops making site improvements. You might even catch them in a sale! Don’t worry, the general process is the same.
Select your plan
Choose the plan you’d like to start with. All plans come with one free domain (for one year) which is awesome! Your domain is your web address. We’ll talk about choosing a domain in a minute.
If your budget is super tight (we’ve certainly been there), go ahead and choose the Basic plan. You can upgrade at any time. But if you’re able we do recommend going with the Plus or Prime because you’ll get more unlimited features.
Click one of the green “select” buttons to move to the next step.