This is how to start a blog step by step guide for those looking to get started with blogging.
One of the questions most bloggers are asked is how to get started with blogging. I've been asked by friends and family to come up with an easy step by step guide so they could get started as well.
It can seem very overwhelming to get started, but please don't let it discourage you. Starting a blog is one of the best things I've done both mentally and financially.
Step By Step Guide To Starting A Blog
Starting a blog can seem a bit overwhelming at first, but you'll get the hang of things fairly quickly. Plus, there are a ton of resources out there to help.
I would recommend not just jumping in.. have a plan and use this guide to help you get started.
There are also a lot of great courses out there to help you out. I recommend checking out some of these information packs by Crystal Paine.
Crystal is the genius behind Money-Making Mom and knows her stuff when it comes to blogging. She has a ton of great blogging courses, ebooks and other tools to help you get started.
1. Pick Your Niche (or the topics you want to focus on)
A niche is simply what you want to write about and topics you want to focus your blog around.
What are you passionate about? Do you love cooking? Do you enjoy teaching people how to build a business? Are you a homeschool parent that can help others homeschool?
There can be so many different things to write about, but you want to write about what interests you. You may have all these ideas swirling around in your head about different topics or ideas. That's normal! Try to narrow those ideas down into a few categories to help choose your niche.
If you want to start a foodie blog and post your recipe creations, I recommend checking out the Tasty Photography ebook. It goes into great detail on creating beautiful food images.
2. Choose Your Blogging Platform
One of the most popular blogging platforms is WordPress. It's what I love using and what 9 out of 10 people I know use. There are other platforms and website builders out there. But I highly recommend starting out with WordPress. Why?
- There are so many ways to customize your site with WordPress plugins.
- Thousands of different "themes" or looks (both free and paid) to choose from.
- There's a ton of resources out there for WordPress. You'll find an abundant amount of YouTube videos, websites, guides, etc. that can help you.
There are 2 versions of WordPress.
- WordPress.com, which is free and gives you limited options.
- WordPress.org, which is what's called "self-hosted". It does require you to pay for hosting, but this will give you so many more possibilities to grow and blog better.
Because I have experience with WordPress.org and recommend using it, I'll focus on starting a blog with WordPress.org and getting it all set up.
3. Choose A Domain Name
This is where you can start getting creative. The domain name is like the ID for your blog. It's what you type in the address bar to get to your blog, for example, www.yourblognamehere.com.
Think of a name that's fun, catchy, and has something to do with your niche or topics you want to write about.
For instance, I chose to name this blog Where'd My Sanity Go, because I thought it was a fun name and it's a question I ask myself frequently as I try to keep up with the kids and insanity of parenting.
If you have a niche narrowed down, you can include that into your domain name as well. You'll also want to make sure you have a few different names on the backburner, just in case your first pick is already taken.
There are a lot of different sites to buy domain names from, I use and recommend Namecheap.com. GoDaddy is another one (but it was very confusing and hard to understand for me).
We will get to hosting next, but sometimes you can get a free domain name when you purchase your hosting.
4. How To Start A Blog - Choose A WordPress Host
Figuring out where to get WordPress hosting can be overwhelming. It was one of the hardest things I had to do when I first started. There are so many different options out there. Since this is my 2nd blog, and I've tried multiple different hosts, I'll narrow it down to my favorites.
I recently switch from WP Engine to Lyrical hosting. WP Engine was a great hosting company, but I love Lyrical hosting because of the support you receive.
They have 3 different plans you can choose from. Their most expensive plan is $30 and has more than enough features for anyone. Of course, you can start at with a smaller plan and advance from there.
Take 10% off your 1st month with Lyrical Hosting by signing up here and entering the promo code WMSG10.
One of the top dogs in WordPress hosting. There are tons of good reviews about it and it's one of the best out there. It can be kind of pricy though, but like anything else, you get what you pay for.
Another HUGE BONUS is that WP Engine hosting comes with the Genesis Framework from StudioPress and 35+ free StudioPress themes.
I actually use and have always used, a StudioPress theme for my blog (right now I'm using the Foodie Pro theme). With having both WP Engine and Studiopress, you get the best of what the blogging world has to offer. Great customer service, awesome themes that help with getting your blog noticed, and good page performance.
If you choose to go with a different host and don't get the StudioPress themes for free, no worries, you can use the StudioPress themes on any host.
Site Ground Hosting
One of the 2nd best WordPress hosting services out there. Site Ground hosting is very popular with bloggers because of their uptime and customer service.
It is cheaper than WP Engine, but you also don't get as many goodies. You also have to pay yearly, there is no monthly plan.
5. How To Start A Blog: Choose A WordPress Theme
There are bookoo themes out there that you can get, both free and paid. A simple google search will bring up a good amount of themes.
Elegant Themes - Divi Theme - Another popular WordPress theme. The Divi theme is an all in one theme that even allows you to visually build your site. It's a great option for those just starting out. They also have a free trial you can test out.
Genesis Framework - As I mentioned before, I have always used a StudioPress theme. I love working with the Genesis Framework they use, they're SEO optimized, and there's a good support community along with lots of different tutorials out there for setting them up or customizing them.
It can be a bit of a learning curve though, so if you want something easier to use, the Divi theme above might be easier to get started with.
My Favorite Genesis Themes:
- Foodie Pro
- Any theme from Restored 316 (currently using)
- Pretty Darn Cute Designs has some good girly themes available.
6. Get Your Social Media Accounts In Order
Sign up for Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Mix, Instagram, etc. I highly recommend using a handle or name that goes with your blog name or domain name. For instance, my Pinterest handle or profile name is the name of my blog.
Best social media plugins and other apps:
- Tasty Pins for Pinterest - How to grow your Pinterest following. This is something I use and would recommend. You can see my review here.
- Tailwind - Tailwind allows you to get new content to share, schedule posts, see statistics for your Pinterest and Instagram.
7. Sign Up For Affiliate Programs
Ultimately, you're going to want to make some money while you blog. To start out, you need to monetize your blog. Affiliate programs are what you will want to sign up for.
Some choose to do this almost right away, while others wait a bit until the blog starts getting traffic and there are people visiting your site.
Popular Affiliate Programs:
- Amazon Associates
- ShareASale - This should be one of the firsts you join, they accept new bloggers and there are a ton of great stores you can apply to become an affiliate for.
- Google Adsense
- Mediavine (once you become a blogging star)
Tah-Dah! That's the gist of how to start a blog. You should be on your way to becoming a blogger!
Start writing your content!
Whatever you chose for your niche, start writing content as soon as you can. I highly recommend you invest in Grammarly. It's a wonderful automated proofreading tool and really easy to use and can help you become better at writing.
It is a great idea to keep a planner or journal with your account information, possible social media posts you want to share, or a log of what you have already shared. You can also keep a list of blog posts or notes.