If you are passionate about writing then starting a blog is perfect for you! A blog is a place where you can write about what you love, while also helping others solve a problem in the process. Running a blog is no easy task, it takes a lot of time and effort to run a successful blog. But if you are passionate about your blog and you put in the time and effort into it, you can make a living off your blog.
This post will explain how to:
- create a business plan
- pick a niche
- get a domain name
- pick a web host
- get WordPress and pick a theme
(This post contains affiliate links)
How to Start a Blog
First things first you need to come up with a business plan. A blog is just like any other business, meaning you need to set goals. To create a successful blog you’ll need to set short and long term goals as well as decide how you want to run your blog and what outcome you expect.
I tried starting a blog on a whim instead of making a plan and the first time around I failed miserably. I become overwhelmed and lost my passion for my blog and I gave up. But after taking a few months off I decided to try again, and this time I made a plan. So take it from me and create a business plan before you jump into blogging, this way you have a clear idea of where you want to go with this blog.
Picking your niche falls into making your business plan. A niche is what you will be blogging about. The more specific you are with your niche the easier it will be to find your target audience.
Do you enjoy traveling? You could start a travel blog, writing reviews on places you’ve been to. Or best places to travel with kids.
Have kids? If you want to help out other moms or parents with things you’ve learned by raising your own children, start a parenting blog.
Like a mixture of different things? Start a lifestyle blog that shows other how to create DIY projects. Or if you like fashion and make-up you can start a blog about that too.
There are all kinds of things you can blog about. Pick something you are passionate about, that also helps other individuals solve a problem in that area.
Get Domain name
Once you have your niche and business plan, you should have a really good idea of what you would like to name your blog. I suggest when picking a name, make sure it’s short and easy to remember. This way those who come across your blog don’t forget about it.
After you’ve come up with your name, it’s time to get a domain name. My favourite place to find cheap domain names is Namecheap. Their platform is easy to use and they offer domain names for a low price.
If you find a domain name that you love, before purchasing it make sure that name or a very similar variation of that name is available as usernames for things like Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media account that you will be using.
Now that you have a domain name it’s time to get a web host. Which is the service that allows your webpage to be viewed on the internet. A great web host that I recommend is SiteGround.
There are both free and paid hosting services. I personally recommend you pay for your web hosting service, especially if you plan on monetizing your blog.
Free Hosting Vs. Paid Hosting
One of the major benefits of free hosting is that it is free to start. Some free hosting services even allow you to get a domain name for free, however, it would like this www.your-blog-name.hosting-service-name.com.
The downfalls of free hosting are that your website is on a shared server, meaning lower bandwidth and lower storage. Therefore if you grow your following and start getting a lot of traffic to your blog, you will have to start paying to increase your bandwidth and storage space. Another downfall is that you do not have complete control over your site, which means your hosting provider can post ads and pop-ups to your webpage. If you plan on monetizing your site you will also run into problems since most ad companies and affiliates want you to have your own site. There is also no web support, limited server resources, and unstable performance that you have to worry about with free web hosting.
With paid web hosting you have full control over your website. Since paid hosting also allows you to have full control over your website you will be able to work with different ad companies and affiliates. You will also rank higher with search engines and have full tech support for your website.
So which option should you choose?
I would recommend you choose a paid web hosting service. Save yourself the hassle of having to transfer everything over later and just start with a paid host. Especially if you are serious about blogging, would like to eventually monetize your site, and would like to have full control over your site.
Which web host should you go with?
I recommend SiteGround, I have been with them just under a year an I have no complaints. Before SiteGround I used a different hosting provider. But now that I made the switch, I am so much happier with my web hosting service. I chose to switch to SiteGround because they have excellent customer service, they load websites faster than their competitors, and they are secure.
You’ve got your hosting service, now you need to get WordPress. WordPress is your publishing platform, where all of your blog content will be. SiteGround has an easy one-click install for WordPress, just another reason why I love SiteGround.
Pick a theme
Ok, so you’ve got your plan, your domain, hosting service, and WordPress. Now it’s time for the fun stuff, designing your site. You will want to start by picking a theme.
I designed my website with the Genesis framework with StudioPress. Studio Press has so many beautiful themes to choose from. Click on the Studio Press link to see for yourself! There themes are easily customizable, mobile responsive, they have multiple layouts to choose from, and they come with customer support.
If you are tech savvy and enjoy creating and designing your own website, then I recommend getting the Genesis framework with StudioPress.
Write Blog Post
Now that everything else is complete you can write your first post! YAY! Give yourself a pat on the back, because you have just successfully set up the beginning process to your blog. It’s still a long road ahead, but phase one of starting your blog is complete!
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on how to start a blog and it helped you successfully set up your blog. If you have any questions, leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.