I have also connected with many outstanding bloggers out there who like me, started their blog to showcase their passions and interests, but also, to help others improve their lives in one way or another. The income that sometimes comes along with blogging is just the cherry on top.
If the thought of starting a blog overwhelms you, do not fear. I’ve been there myself and being someone who doesn’t quite consider herself technologically savvy, I’d say I’ve done pretty well for myself and If I can do it, you can too. There are several steps you will need to take in order to start a blog from the ground up.
7 Key steps to starting your blog
- Know your reason for starting a blog
- Select your niche
- Sign up for a hosting site
- Choose your domain name
- Set up WordPress
- Select a theme
- Write your first blog post
Why do you want to start a blog?
Perhaps the most important step is knowing your “why” for starting a blog. If you are simply starting a blog to make money or get free stuff, you likely will not succeed. Point blank. That is because contrary to popular belief, maintaining a blog is hard work and unless you’re genuinely interested in what you do, It’s unlikely that you’ll stay committed for very long. It’s no surprise that the average person who starts blogging for the wrong reasons, quickly forfeits their blog after just a few months
Now that doesn’t mean that you should’t want to eventually make money because realistically speaking, almost all of us want that. However, It shouldn’t be your sole purpose for starting but simply your end goal to supplement what you already enjoy.
It’s a well known fact that some of the most popular blogs are the ones that serve as a resource to others. Whether It’s in the form of information, tips, ideas, or services, you should plan to start a blog that will bring some kind of value to your readers. Very few people care about the lasagna you ate for lunch but would care if you shared the recipe for the lasagna you ate at lunch–catch my drift?
Select your blogging niche
This goes hand-in-hand with your reasoning for starting a blog. You should select a niche that you’re both familiar with, and interested in. It should be a topic that you do not mind writing about about on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In the past, I have tried to blog about things that I had no passion for and as a result, the process felt like pulling teeth. Needless to say, I failed miserably in doing so.
There are many different types of blogs out there whose topics range from recipes, to DIY, to fashion. Find out what it is that interests you and stick to that. It’s important to also know who your core audience is but this is something that will likely come in time as you take a deeper look at analytics.
For now, focus on a blogging niche that means something to you.
Sign up for a hosting site
If you plan on eventually monetizing your blog, It is extremely important to make sure your blog is self-hosted. So what does this mean? a self-hosted blog is one that resides on your own server usually from a third party website. There are many reasons why you want to self-host your site instead of setting up a free blog on WordPress.com.
- Your blog will look more professional when you have your own domain name without a third party domain attached to yours (ex. www.example.wordpress.com).
- Search engines are more likely to recognize your blog as an authority site thereby moving you up in ranking when it comes to searches.
- You’ll have a larger more unlimited bandwidth (memory) when you self-host your site.
- You’ll be able to run ads on your site which free blog sites don’t always allow.
- You’ll have a greater sense of control and will be able to fully customize your site to your liking. This includes downloading additional plugins that may otherwise be unavailable in free blog hosting sites.
Keep in mind that if you do choose to self-host your blog, you will need to pay for the hosting site, domain name and security although the cost is generally very low. Also, many themes and plugins do have a charge but there are many wonderful free options as well.
So what hosting site do I recommend? Bluehost, hands down!
Select your plan.
Once you’re read to start, head on over to the Bluehost site, their setup process is pretty straight forward.
Once you’re there, you’ll want to select your plan. The best option is likely to go with the prime since it offers many unlimited features plus domain privacy, spam protector, and site backup- add-ons that you’ll quickly discover are super important to have.
Select your domain name.
The very first thing you should think about before signing up with bluehost is selecting your domain name. You should think long and hard about the domain name you select. This will essentially be how everyone will identify your blog and unfortunately, It isn’t something you can go back and modify once you’ve already selected and purchased it.
If you already have an existing domain that you’ve already purchased in the past, you can use it to sign up by simply entering it in the second box.
Create your account.
After you’ve selected your plan and domain name, you will be directed to finish filling out the account information form.
You will then need to select your password
Set up WordPress
This can be done directly from the Blueshost website. Once you’ve created your password, login to the platform using your email.
Select the hosting tab and scroll down under Website to Install WordPress.
Enter in the domain.
You will then be prompted to enter in the domain you wish to associate with your WordPress site. You can select the domain you purchased earlier or an existing domain that you would like for your WordPress site.
….And that’s it! you’re officially in! congratulations on selecting your domain, hosting site, and blog site. You are one extra step away from becoming a blogger. You should be very proud of yourself!
Continue with the prompts by entering your site name or title, admin username and password and hit Install. You will then use the Admin Username and password to login to WordPress.
Make a note of your login page which is usually found at: http://example.com/wp-login.php
Selecting a theme and writing your first post
All you’ll need to do from here is select a theme and you can do this by going to “appearance” and then selecting “theme” from the menu bar to the left.
Once you’ve selected a theme that resonates with your brand, you can go ahead and write your first post! Simply hit the + sign up at the top left of your dashboard and select “post”.
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed, do not fret. It takes time to master the art of blogging, an art I have yet to perfect. Later on, I’ll focus more on different tips and tricks to help you market and monetize your blog. Until then, practice, post often, and have fun!!