So you have decided to start your own blog but you don’t how to do it or where to start? I will teach you how to start a blog either as a beginner or someone who already knows bits about the internet.
Hi there, my name is Calvin. I have been blogging for the past 6 years and I love every bit of the entire blogging process. I have been in your shoes too, the type of shoes where I had to go through a lot of, “how to start a blog” articles and many of them just weren’t as clear.
Blogging got me closer to some of the most prominent people and helped me build a name for myself and blogging continues to be a good side gig for me though I am still learning more.
When I started learning how to start a blog in 2014, I went through a tonne of how-to guides that I could find but none of them could give me solid information on what I needed. With everything that I learned over the years, I have decided to save you time by creating this step-by-step guide on how to start a blog.
It’s not as complicated as people make it sound.
Important!!!: Morenday participates in different affiliate programs. We might earn a commission If you make a purchase through links on this article and the website. We are reader-supported and it comes at no extra cost to you. You may even access huge discounts through our links rather than buying directly.
How To Start A Blog in 6 Easy Steps
- Pick a Niche for your blog
- Choose a Blogging Platform ( WordPress)
- Pick a domain name and Web Hosting
- Select a WordPress theme and Customize
- Start Writing & Publish
- Do a little Optimization for SEO
Now we have listed down our checklist, It will be easier to measure progress as we go step by step explaining how to go through each step in our How to start a blog guide.
Step 1: Pick a Niche for your blog
To start and make it as a blogger, you have to first select a niche that you are most interested in. But what is a niche in blogging? This is basically creating a blog with the intent of targeting a particular set of readers or called a niche market.
When learning how to start a blog, you need to carefully choose something you will enjoy blogging about and find your readers so make sure to first pick a niche you are interested in – a topic you are passionate about. This should be followed by looking at the number of people interested in that niche so that you know your audience is enough to pursue that niche.
According to First Site Guide, use what they call a 3-Step Blog success validation process which should help you have a clear idea of the size, competition, and monetization potential of your chosen niche.
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform ( WordPress)
The second most important stage is choosing your blogging platform from many out there and determine the Content Management System to use (call it the blog management software) but do not be intimidated by the software part.
When it comes to these blogging software, there is a lot of them to choose from. You have the most popular WordPress, then Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, and a lot more to mention but a few.
However, I recommend building your blog using WordPress, the self-hosted CMS which powers more than 90% of blogs in the United States – that means they are doing something if not everything right.
Since WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr are the most popular out there, I will run down their respective differences to make your decision easier.
WordPress (The self-hosted Blogging software)
WordPress is the most widely used self-hosted Content Management Software for 2 main reasons – It’s open-source and free.
What’s a Self-Hosted Blogging Software? Self-hosted blogging software allows you to set up and run your blog using your own custom domain name as well as web-hosting (the space you need your website to run from). A domain name will cost you a little less around $10/ year and hosting for just a few dollars per month.
I will explain more about Web Hosting and domain names in the 3rd step of this guide. However, WordPress will be free for you to use.
Ideally, if you are planning to use the blog to run an online store or monetize it by running Ads then WordPress would be the best way to go.
Blogger, Tumblr (Pre-Hosted Blogging Solutions)
Many newbie bloggers are always tempted to start their first blog using these free hosted platforms, I was one of them, to be honest, but I quickly realized it was a huge mistake for some reasons I will highlight below.
Free hosted platforms like Blogger and Tumblr are attractive to most new bloggers because they are free but many fail to remember that free ones always come with a lot of limitations, unlike WordPress which gives you total control over your blog.
For starters, using these free hosted platforms means your blog will have to adhere to their policies which restrict you from doing a lot. Secondly, you can only launch your blog using a subdomain instead of your own custom personal domain name. This means that instead of my own personal website calvinslist.com ,I would have been forced to use calvinslist.blogger.com or calvinslist.tumblr.com.
Now, do you get why I recommend using WordPress? Great.
Step 3: Pick a domain name and Web Hosting
Due to our affiliate programs, we have managed to negotiate discounts from Bluehost of up to 60% for our readers if you purchase hosting through links on this website.
The discount consists of:
- Free domain name.
- Discount price of $2.75/month.
- 30-day money-back guarantee period.
- Set up a blog with a one-click install.
Your domain name will be your blog’s unique address on the internet also know as a web address. No matter what niche you chose, the domain name should be what you will be known as on the web. The domain name will cost you between $10-$15 per year and will continue to be yours as long as you pay for it.
The domain name you choose may be the highly popular .com or country-specific. The most recommended by every experienced webmaster is choosing the .com because it is considered a high authority domain. However, other extensions work too like the country-specific .co.us, .net or .org
Whatever domain name extension you use, it will be the URL that will be used to find you on the internet by people who know your full domain name or through Google or Bing searches (If you invest in what is called Search Engine Optimization.
To make your research easier and find out if your niche domain name is available, you can make a quick domain name search using Bluehost, our recommended seller below.
Now that you have found your ideal domain name that is memorable and ideal for your chosen niche, you need to pick your web hosting company. Ideally, If you have decided to choose WordPress as your ultimate Content Management Sofware then I recommend Bluehost.
Carefully choosing a reliable web host is very important because your blog’s functionality and performance will depend on it. Hosting is where your website is stored so that it is available for your readers.
While there are many reliable WordPress hosting companies, I highly recommend using Bluehost not only because they are one of the 3 recommended web hosting companies by WordPress.org but also because of their top customer support, prices, uptime to mention a few.
In our review, we have found out that Bluehost is the most reliable and cost-effective hosting company that provides 24/7 Support.
Step 4: Select a WordPress theme and Customize
After everything is done, you have gone through registering your domain name, choosing a hosting package and installing WordPress, you should now choose a perfect WordPress theme and customize it according to how you want your blog to look.
I am talking about dealing with issues like layout, colors, fonts and basic nevigation. This is the beauty about WordPress – You have total control over your blog. Choosing and installing a WordPress theme are fairly straightforward steps and shouldn’t give you trouble.
Just within the WordPress dashboard, you are presented with an array of different options and the important one here is Themes which you should click when you hover on Appearance. After clicking on Themes, you will be prersented with options for Premium and WordPress.org free themes.
There are thousands of themes available for free on WordPress.org so click on the option, browse through what’s available and choose what aligns with your blog design idea and niche.
It is important to choose a great looking theme that corresponds with your topics of discussion because the overall outlook of a blog is the first thing that is seen by a user when they visit your blog. It will most likely determine whether they come back or not after their first interaction with your blog.
While I do not yet have a comprehensive guide on how to install and customize a WordPress theme, my buddies here at Websitesetup.org have a clearly outlined how-to guide. Make use of it if need be.
Whether you use a free or Premium theme, It will all depend on functionality you are looking for but for most basic blogs, the free option is always the first option to pick since your blog does not yet have a lot of demands during the early stages.
However, the beauty of dealing with WordPress is that you can still change your theme later on to a Premium theme and all your content is just simply migrated to the new theme with the need of any technical knowledge except how to install a WordPress theme and customizing it.
Step 5: Start Writing & Publish
If you have reached this part, congratulations. The entire how to start a blog tutorial is based on the first 4 steps because they are the most crucial but that does not mean Writing and Publishing are less important. As a matter of fact, writing is equally important because your content is whats going to attract readers to your blog.
The WordPress Content Management system is structured in such a way that you can write your content as a basic post or as a page.
This is proving to be exciting and turning out to be pretty simple than you probably expected – lets continue.
Before you publish your first steps, you need to ensure that content on main static pages like Homepage, Contact and About pages is uploaded and setup. The layouts of these pages depend on the theme and the customization you did to the theme.
Some more sophisticated premium WordPress themes give the option to import demo content to make customizing even easier.
Now that you have set up these static pages successfully, lets dive into writing and publishing your first WordPress blo post. Everything within WordPress is definately as displayed on your dashboard when you login. Hover your curser on New then click on Post and voila you are greeted with spaces for insetting your post’s title and whole space for your thoughts.
Get creative, write a good blog post that will captivate your readers to come back oe even share with their friends or on their social media. That’s how you gain traffic.
Step 6: Do a little Optimization for SEO
You have probably heard about SEO before but you are not so sure what it is? Well Search Engine Optimization is a process that website or blog owners use to drive traffic to their blogs through search engines like Google and Bing.