How to start a blog (or website) is something I get asked about quite often. Usually, the next question is, how can I make money blogging? That question will be answered in a different post.
How will you use your blog?
If you plan on using your blog simply to share your daily thought to friends and family, a free blog service will work for you and you can skip reading this post.
If you plan on using your blog in the hopes of eventually earning money from it or establishing yourself as a blogger or influencer, then this post is for you!
Steps to starting a blog.
- Decide what subject area’s you will write about. I find it useful to get a piece of paper and write down the subject areas you plan to write mostly about. Will your blog be mostly about food? Or maybe parenting? Finances?
- Decide on a name for your blog. Your blog name (not to be confused with a domain name which is talked about in the next step), should be catchy, contain a keyword or two of the subject(s) you plan to write about, and will ultimately become your “brand”.
- Decide on a domain name. This is important. Your domain name will represent you, your brand, and your blog. It should ultimately hold one of the subject keywords you plan on writing about. It should resemble the name of your blog, but short enough to remember. For instance, my blog name is Antics of a Nutty Hiker, yet my domain name is simply nuttyhiker.com. This process may take a while. Many domain names are already taken, so you will need to be really creative. You can check the availability of a domain name at Namecheap (however, do not purchase it if you plan on using the hosting provider in the next step as they will provide it for free, which saves you about $11).
- Get a hosting provider. You will need a hosting company to host your new blog/website. I use AND recommend WebHostingBuzz. They currently have plans (which are perfect for bloggers) for only $4.95/month AND that includes a free domain name which means you can skip (AND SAVE MONEY) the next step (Step 5). Plus, you won’t have to go through the hassle of pointing your new domain to the nameservers on your hosting company. I have had WebHostingBuzz for over 10 years now and LOVE them! Another option is WP Engine which is a hosting company that was made for the WordPress user in mind.
- Purchase domain name. If you decided not to go with WebHostingBuzz for your hosting company or you already have your own, you will need to purchase a domain name. I use Namecheap for all my domain name purchases (and I have over 15 domain names!). If you used WebHostingBuzz, you can skip this step as the domain was included in your hosting plan.
- Set up nameservers. If you purchased your domain name from somewhere other than your hosting company, you will need to set up the nameservers of your domain to point to your hosting company. This is another reason I suggest using WebHostingBuzz, you’d be able to skip this step as well! I am not going into detail here, how to do this as it would require a separate post on its own. You can ask your hosting provider and domain provider to help you.
- Download WordPress. There are several self-hosted blogging platforms you can use, however, I recommend WordPress as it is the most widely used and extremely easy to get set up. You can download WordPress FOR FREE from wordpress.org
- Upload & Install WordPress. You will need an FTP client in order to upload WordPress to your server. I recommend FileZilla as it is free, easy to use and set up. Follow the documentation provided on wordpress.org to set up and install WordPress. Again this would require its own blog post. However, if you feel it is too complicated for you, contact me and I will be more than happy to set it up for you for a small fee.
- Set up WordPress. After WordPress has been installed, head to the “Settings” page and make sure your settings are the way you would like them and finish setting everything up (install plugins, create categories & pages, choose a theme, etc…). For a more detailed explanation see “How to Set Up A WordPress Blog“
- Start Blogging. Go ahead, make your first post!