Are you curious about how to start a blog and don’t know where to start?
Not to worry. In this article, I will show you step-by-step how to start your own perfect blog.
Creating your own blog is simple, fun and rewarding if it is done right way.
Nowadays blogging is a quite popular topic. Through blogging you can highlight your thoughts, ideas and experiences in front of everyone. Besides, you can earn money through blogging. To start blogging, good knowledge about HTML, CSS, PHP is not necessary anymore, because WordPress has made blogging easier.
This is a complete guide on how to start a blog and make money blogging will cover 6 easy steps to show you how to create a WordPress blog and start making money.
- Blogging Topics – Decide what to blog about
- Choose a blogging platform
- Pick a domain name for your blog
- Hosting your blog
- Setup and Design your blog
- Monetize Your Blog
Before we jump on to steps, Let’s see, why do people start a blog?
Why Start a Blog?
I am pretty sure you already know the answer why you want to start a blog.
Of course you do, and that’s the reason you are here reading this article about how to start a blog.
Let’s see why most of the people want to start their own blog.
- You can Make Money from your blog
- To become published author
- Promoting new or existing business/organization
- Hobby/Helping others/Fun
One of the above could be the reason you want to how to start a blog. Or, you might have your different reason. Doesn’t matter what is the reason of your blogging. But you want to start, that’s great news. So without anymore babble, let’s find out how to create your blog.
Here are the Steps on how to start a blog:
Step 1: Blogging Topics – Decide what to blog about
Most of the people already know what to blog about. Sometimes they get confused what to pick. I have seen people who picked up a niche they think they will write about but later they changed their mind. It really doesn’t matter which niche you pick, make sure you are good at it and it interests you. If you are not interested writing a topic why would your blog readers will be?
Choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority, or you can choose a topic which will not make you bore learning. That will help you to be an authority on that topic.
So pick something which interests you or you will enjoy learning more about it.
Here is a list of blog niche ideas if you need help deciding the niche.
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
You can’t just start blogging without a blogging platform. Blogging Platform is like a software or a system where all of your data and content will reside for your blog readers. It’s called CMS (Content Management System).
This blog you are reading is on self hosted WordPress blog, a platform which is easy to use, very powerful and moreover it’s free.
I would not recommend to use any free blogging platform like WordPress.com. Why? Because they have some restrictions. Not just WordPress.com, any platform which will be under their own domain. Here are some reasons: they can control the content you have, they might shut you down anytime for any reason. And your blog address will be a sub domain under their domain.
More importantly, they also have restrictions to place Ads on your blog. If you have a plan to make money on blogging, I would recommend self-host WordPress.org blogging platform with Bluehost.
But if you are just a starter and do not want to spend money on buying domain and hosting plan (which I will talk about next), then you can go with WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
Here is the step by step guide on how to create blog on blogspot which is free and your address will be a sub domain under their domain address. Remember, it’s not recommended.
Here are some blogging platform just for your information:
- WordPress.org [Self Hosted] – Highly Recommended blogging platform
- Medium and more
You can also read the best blogging platforms where I have discussed pros and cons of few blogging platforms.
Why do I recommend WordPress.org?
More than 31.59% website in the world created by WordPress. It’s really a big number compare to other blogging platform. It is a PHP and MYSQL based online tool to make website. WordPress ranked one among all other CMS in the world.
This is very easy to install, learn and coding in WordPress than the other CMS. Even if you do not know any coding still you can make beautiful website by WordPress. There are a lot of free Themes, Plugins (which add extra features on top of WordPress core features) to make a perfect website by WordPress. Even though there is a lot of the premium themes and plugin which does not cost that much.
And all of these are mobile friendly meaning your site will responsive well in mobile device as well.
Publishing your post is very easy and there are lots of support you will find online.
Downloading this software and installing might take sometimes, but good thing is if you host your website with Bluehost and buy shared hosting plan they do the installation automatically. This process takes place after you sign up with them and first time you logged in to Cpanel of Bluehost. For any other hosting plan, they have 1-Click WordPress installation.
Note: If you would like to use WordPress and do not care about your own domain and monetization then you can still use same WordPress features using WordPress.com.
Step 3: Pick a domain name for your blog
What is Domain?
Domain is the identity of your website. For example, www.Threadsp.com is the domain name for this website. when you type in this address in any web browser, it should be taking you to this site. Remember, your domain name has to be unique and register with a Registrar (Like Bluehost or others).
Once you register your domain, That’s yours. No one will be able to get that name. Registering a domain name is not free, you have to pay for it. There are a lot of extension you can choose from like .com, .org, .info, .net and more. More than 280 domain extension out there.
Tips to choose a domain name for your blog
So, how do you pick a domain name. It’s really tough to pick the right name to start your blog. Following little tips will get you started:
- You can choose your name as your domain name for your blog if the blog is about you. Or a pick name related to your niche.
- Make it easy to remember and easy to spell, else if reader type something else by mistake you will be losing a lot of traffic.
- Keep it simple, short and easy to pronounce which will make it easy for you to tell group of people or in a meeting.
- Don’t use any numbers, hyphens or special characters.
If you are still struggling, ask your friends and family members to give you idea. Don’t just kill yourself on choosing the domain name.
How much does it cost to buy a domain name?
A domain name can cost you up to $15 per year, depending on specials or discounts and on a number of factors like: domain extension, from where you purchase the name, and the term length or add-ons you select.
But you can get your free domain name from Bluehost when you buy hosting plan with them which I will discuss on next step.
Step 4: Hosting Your Blog
At this point, you should have your domain name selected and you are thinking to use WordPress as your blogging platform. Next thing you need to do is, choosing a hosting company to host your domain and content. Because WordPress is a software you can download, even you can download this on your local computer, set it up and start writing articles. But your reader will not able to access your local computer to see your great articles. That’s why we need to a server space to place your content, so your readers can access through online using your domain address.
So, What is Hosting?
Hosting is a remote computer with a web server that contains one or more website. A hosting site works to keep your website online twenty-four hours of a day. When you are buying a hosting plan, you are basically buying space to store your content files, Database to store data, and Bandwidth which is meter to calculate how much traffic you are getting.
What hosting company should I use?
There are a lot of hosting company out there. Some company will do free hosting which is not reliable or does not have enough space and bandwidth. It might come with banner or pop up advertisement. Moreover, there are lots of restriction putting ads on those, which is not good at all if you really want to make money blogging.
I highly recommend Bluehost. We are also using them to register our domain as well as for hosting our site. They are the biggest and most well-known reliable hosting company out there.
Bluehost also have very competitive price. They will give you domain for free and $200 free advertising money when you buy hosting plan with them. Even they will also provide you free SSL certificate for your site.
Note: If you already have a domain name or hosting plan somewhere else you can easily transfer to Bluehost. Process is pretty much same as new registration. Or you can transfer everything after your new registration, because Bluehost will let you host unlimited domain and space if you select the right plan.
How to Register Domain and Hosting with Bluehost
Let’s click Bluehost to sign up and register your domain.
Once you are on their home page, Click the Get Started Now button.
Select you hosting plan
Select your plan based on your needs. I would usually go with Plus. If you need little more extra features you can go with Prime plan. which has SpamExperts, Domain Privacy and CodeGuard. Even if you go with Plus plan, you can always upgrade to next plan just by paying the difference.
But here is the good news. Currently, at the time of writing this article, they have both plan for same price. Not sure how long it will last.
Select a Domain Name for your blog
Once you select your plan, you will be landed on choosing your domain screen.
Enter the domain name that you want for your blogging website then click on next button. Remember your domain name has to be unique.
If you are not ready selecting your domain now, you can still go through the process by clicking on Choose Later link. And it will be still free once you select your domain after sign up.
Enter your account information
You can enter your name, address, all these information Or you can sign in with Google account if you have one.
Account plan by default is 36 month but you can change different plan from drop down. they also have 12, 24, 36 and 60 months option.
You can skip the extra features for now. But If you have selected plus, I would recommend to choose domain privacy. If you have selected Prime plan then domain privacy should be already included.
The only time you should not select domain privacy is, when you have physical business place and you don’t mind publishing your address in public.
Enter your credit card information. you will be charged once for the whole term you have selected.
Click on check box for terms and condition then click submit.
Once your sign up is completed, you will be asked to create your password, that will allow you to login
At the end of this process, through an email you will informed how to get in into your ‘Web Hosting Control Panel’. You can maintain all the activities related to your blogging through the web hosting control panel.
How to Setup/Install WordPress
If you have signed up with shared hosting plan (which most of the beginners do) Bluehost will do the WordPress installation automatically for you. You will notice that after you log in to your Cpanel.
If you did not buy shared hosting plan or if you need to install yourself below is the process of Bluehost 1-Click WordPress installation.
Let’s say you have created a sub domain under your domain name, then you have to install WordPress yourself.
How to Install WordPress
Through web hosting control panel (cPanel), you can install WordPress.
In the web hosting control panel, click on Marketplace > One-Click Installs. Select WordPress by clicking on it, then click Install.
In the next page, you will be asked to write a site name and site Tagline. Just enter those information then click on next.
Now it will ask you to select your domain. Select your domain or sub domain from drop down list where you want to install WordPress. You can keep Directory field blank as it is optional.
There will be few plugins option at the bottom which is already selected. Just deselect them for now then click Next.
If you need them, you can always install them later. I have covered a section about the plugins below.
After click on Next, WordPress installation will start automatically, and might take few minutes.
Step 5: Setup and Design Your Blog
Assuming you have registered your domain and purchased hosting plan. I mean you have completed above 4 steps. It doesn’t matter if it’s with Bluehost or another hosting company but you need to make sure you have set it up correctly with some necessary setup and design.
These are the basic setting, you need to make sure they are in place.
- Change your permalink – this is the format of your post URL after your domain name. For example:
- https://threadsp.com/how-to-start-a-blog or
- There are more different formats you can set it up. But the first one is better options because it’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly.
- Change your username from Admin to something else because that’s too common for hackers to try using that username to hack your site. Here is an article about user roles on WordPress to decide who to assign what roles.
- My recommendation is create another Admin account with your own username and change admin username role to Subscriber.
- Selecting SSL certificate for your URL to make starting URL from HTTP to HTTPS (It’s free from Bluehost). This gives reader extra peace of mind that they are in secure website if they want to make any transaction or submit any comments using their email.
Choose a Theme
When you will log in to your WordPress for the first time, It will ask you to select a theme. Just pick up anyone for that moment to finish the setup but you need to change your theme later. Because theme is the design of your blog how it will look to your readers. There is a proverbs “First impressions are the most lasting.” So you want to have impressive looking theme for your blog.
Here is a list of best free themes for WordPress which is Mobile friendly.
Change/Add New Theme
Click on the Dashboard then go to Appearance> Themes.
Click on Add New Theme.
On the screen you will find more than 4100 themes and all of them are free. You can also filter themes by Featured, Popular, Latest, Favorites, and Premium.
Or if you have selected a theme from above list, search for that one.
When you put the mouse pointer over the a theme, installation option will appear. Click on it to install the theme.
When installation is done the install button will replace by active button. Activate the theme by clicking on it.
If you want, you can make some changes in this theme as you like.
There are customize menu at the bottom. You can click there to bring some more innovations.
Write Your First Post in WordPress
To post your first blog, click on the Dashboard then go to Posts> Add New.
Enter the title of the blog in the Title field and the full blog in the ‘Writing’ field below.
On the right there is a publish button to publish your post.
You will find more icons below the box like, Categories, Tags. Fill those fields according to your need then click Publish (which will publish the post) or save draft to work on it later.
Next thing you need to do is add some plugins. WordPress has a lot of plugins and each plugin has its own purpose or functionalities. If you want to add some additional features on the top of WordPress core features, you need to add plugins. But remember too much plugins can slow your site down. So you need to be careful when you are selecting your plugins to get most out of it.
One thing I would like to mention here is designing theme or plugins can be added or changed anytime while you are keep writing your posts, even after going to live. But make sure you don’t keep changing your permalink settings which might cause issue with 301 redirect. That’s another headache and maintenance you need to do.
So, this is how to start a blog. You should be all set at this point setting up your own blog. Keep posting quality articles.
Step 6: Monetize Your Blog
You can generate income from your blog if you would like by monetizing your site in different ways. But don’t pull that trigger so fast because if you really want to make money blogging, you really need to have quality content. And that good content will bring good traffic to your site which is very crucial to make money online with your blog. Use of Social media platforms is one of the way you can drive traffic to your website.
So, first publish great article then the next step would be letting the world know about your great work by marketing to get traffic. Once you have traffic and trust from your readers, you can pull that trigger.
Once you are ready to monetize, here are some ways to make more money blogging.
Sell physical/digital products
You can sell physical products online like books, handmade products or even manufactured products; or it could be digital products like eBooks, online courses, contents, membership sites, Apps, games, WordPress plugins or themes. You just need to use your blog as a hub to generate traffic and sell the products
Make money with advertisements
If you don’t want to sell a physical product or digital products then you can still make money by putting Ads on your blog. There are lots of companies wants to put Ads on good traffic sites to get their potential customers. One of the best ways to put ads is Google Adsense which will display Ads based on your niche or users activities. Besides displaying ads, you can earn money on your blog by doing product reviews, Sponsored post, adding ads in email marketing and more.
You can also sell advertising space to private companies.
Affiliate marketing is another way to make money blogging. You just need to promote someone else’s product to your audience. When your reader buys the product by clicking on the link, you get a commission from the sales. For example, you can sell any products amazon is selling by joining Amazon Associates affiliate program. Using this method, you can sell related niche products from Amazon Associates, Targets, WordPress Plugins, Themes and more.
One last note, creating a new blog is not that hard, making money on blogging is not that difficult as well if you do it right way. You need to have patient, give some effort and set your mind with goals. Stick to it, you can do it.
Just to summarize on how to start a blog.
Pick a niche
Pick up the right blogging platform
Get your own domain name and host with a provider
Setup your blog and start writing quality articles
And last monetize your blog
I wish you the best and happy blogging.