How to start a blog
Most people do not realise how easy it is to create a blog nowadays. With sites such as WordPress.org, starting your own website has never been easier. If you follow this guide, we will show you how to start a blog and you can be up and running today.
First and foremost however, let us just state that blogging is not the get rich quick scheme that many seem to think it is. Creating a successful blog is hard work and takes hours and hours of your precious time. If you are looking to earn money blogging, then you had best be ready to put in the hard work.
Also if it is a travel blog which you are thinking of building. Have a read of our get paid to travel article. These jobs will keep you on the road while you are building your audience. Now let’s get on with it, and show you how to start a blog.
Why you should choose WordPress
The first thing you should do, is decide where to build your new blog. Take a look at this graph and you will get a pretty good idea of where you should create your site. WordPress is huge and hosts of 85 million websites.
There are two platforms to WordPress, hosted and self hosted. A WordPress hosted site is on WordPress.com and a self hosted site is created on WordPress.org. We will not go into all of the finer details of what hosted and self hosted means. To break it down WordPress.com is a hosted by WordPress itself and offers you the chance to build a website for free. If you do not wish to earn any money from blogging or wish to use plugins like Google Analytics and Adsense, then this is the site that you should choose.
However, if you would like your blog to grow and have the option of marketing products and running affiliate programs, you need to build on WordPress.org. But first you will have to create an account with a hosting company which is the next step in how to start a blog.
For a more detailed account of the differences between the two sites, take a look at this post by WPBeginner
We made the mistake of building our first blog on WordPress.com, we even paid for the upgraded package. After one month however, we realised that we had made a mistake. Luckily, we were able to get a refund and then we migrated our website from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. The great people over at WPBeginner did this for us for free and they will for you too.
Choose a Self Hosting company
The second process in how to start a blog is to choose yourself hosting company. We will make this very easy for you, go with Bluehost. These guys are work closely with WordPress, so you will have no compatibility problem. They also have a 24 hours live chat bar if you have any problems. Plus you get a free domain name when you join.
One of the worst things about joining a free site like WordPress.com is that you do not get a free domain name unless you pay. On .com your site will look like this myblog.wordpress.com. When you join Bluehost, you will be given your own .com name like ours in the URL above.
Pick your Price Plan
After you have pressed the green button, next you will have to choose your price plan. As you can see below, Bluehost always has offers and you can regularly get great deals. Have a read and choose which is best for you, but as you can see, Prime is by far the best deal at the moment.
Choosing Your Blog Name
This is the most important thing decision you will have to make today. A blog name has to be catchy and memorable, also it has to be easy to say and type. You do not want a blog name that uses underscores or hyphens. You want a name which rolls of the tongue, such as Forever Roaming The Roads 😉
Once you have picked your name, Bluehost has a tool to scan the web and see if the domain name is available and not already in use. If the name is free, you are all set.
Install WordPress software
Installing the WordPress software on Bluehost is really simple. Enter into the Bluehost cpanel that you can see below.
Next, you will want to click on the WordPress icon and begin the simple installation process. Bluehost’s wizard will walk you through this, and when you are asked where you would like to install it, choose your new website name. For instance http://mysupercoolblog.com . Once this installation process is complete, you now have your very own WordPress blog. You can login with your new username and password and start learning how to master WordPress.
Learn to master WordPress
Don’t worry, it is easy. As we have mentioned before WPBeginner are masters of WordPress and can help you with any problems that you might have. By signing up for free and watching these videos we were able to slowly master WordPress.
We say master, but even we are still learning and WPBeginner is by our side every step of the way. Did we also mention that it is completely free no hidden fees at all? They will teach you all of the little intricacies of how to start a blog.
Pick a Theme
When you are first starting out one of the thousands of free WordPress themes, will be sufficient for your site. However, once you have built up a following you will want to buy one of the many premium themes. These are themes that can be altered and have far more options available for design that the free themes. When you buy a premium theme you will also gain access to 24/7 support to help you with any design changes that you need to implement.
Themes come in many different price ranges, some are as little as $30 where others cost can cost up to $90. For now stick with the free themes, but keep in mind that in the future you will need to change.
Plugins are what makes WordPress so great. They take all of the hassle of learning computer coding out of the equation. What used to take expert coding skills can now be done by inserting a simple plugin. Try to keep the amount of your plugins below 20 to keep your site fast. We will show some of the plugins that we use and that you should definitely use yourself.
- Yoast SEO : This Plugin is by far the most important when it comes to getting your blog noticed. Yoast SEO will help you properly set up your site, so that you can rise in the google ranking, plus much more.
- Akismet : It protects your blog from spammers and will stop any malicious comments being spread across your site. A must have for any WordPress blog.
- WP Super Cache : This plugin will help your site speed, which is an important factor for user enjoyment.
- All in One WP Security : Your new website will constantly be probed by malicious software trying to break your defences. Make sure you have security on your site.
- Insert headers and footers : Another plugin that you can not live without. When linking Google Analytics and other such tools to your site, you will be prompted to insert some code into your header. This plugin makes it simple.
- Super socializer : Add this plugin to easily place share buttons over your entire website.
There are many more plugins which can help you. Like we said, try to keep the number below 20. When you join WPBeginner they will show you all of the best plugins to install.
The first page which you should create is an About page. This should state what your website is all about and give a little description of yourself. Here is our About page for you to get an idea of what you need to do.
Next, you will need to create a contact page for your blog. Google counts these two things as highly important because they show that you are a legitimate website. Install the WP forms plugin and creating a contact page is simple.
Create your first post
Now you are ready to create your very first blog post. For our first post we wrote a short article describing Who we are and why we was starting our website. Maybe you should do this also to help get the word out about your new blog. Which leads us on to our next phase in how to start a blog.
Build your social media presence
One thing that will happen over the next few months, is that you will become a master of Social Media. We have gotten that good in fact, that we are thinking of writing an ebook about the subject. You will want to start accounts on,
Click on the links and give us a follow. Soon we will be writing an ebook and we will share with you all of the little secrets of how to build your social media empire.
Build your network
One of the most important things about blogging, is to build your network of contacts. Interlink articles with other blogs and learn from those who are already successful. One of my favourite quotes is: “We stand on the shoulders of giants”. Learn from those who have gone before you.
Linking is an integral part of blogging, if you think that somebody else’s post is relevant to yours, then link to that post. Do not expect to be linked back too straight away however, it does not work that way. Just hope that in the future, when they are writing a relevant post, they will remember you linked to them and return the favour.
Earn money blogging
As we said at the beginning of this article, earning money should not be in your early plans. You first need to build your audience. Getting accepted onto the Google Adsense program or starting an affiliate program, can earn you a trickle of funds in the beginning. What is affiliate marketing.
Once you have a big enough audience, that is when you can start to earn money. With ads, affiliate programs, photo sales, courses, product selling, the list of ways to earn money blogging is ever growing.
Now you know how to start a blog
You know how to start a blog, you are ready to go for it on your own. Your site is built and it is now time to start writing some great content.
One thing we will tell you however, is that you should not expect anything for the first year. You will need to put the hours in for a full year before you see any results. Do not let this get you down hearted, work hard and your dreams will come true.
If you found this article helpful please share it, so others can learn how to start a blog and fulfil their own dreams.
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR BLOGGING ADVENTURE!