Today yours truly is going to show you how to start your own blog. Before we dive in, please be sure to read 5 questions to answer before you start a blog because it will prepare you for this post and the next one I’ll write after this… and because it was pinned over several hundred times on Pinterest too 😉 (can I get a high five!!!)How to start a blog guide! Click To Tweet
Your blog can be about anything and everything, but you need to have one particular area to focus on. It will be in your blog description when you talk about your blog to others or applying for sponsorship and affiliates if you want to monetize your blog later on. Plus it’s easier to generate leads and blog title ideas when you have a niche. I consider this blog a lifestyle blog (that’s my niche) and I write about my family, recipes, fashion, work etc. Find your niche before you do anything else.
Blog Name | Title
This is considered one of the most difficult parts of starting a new venture some say… coming up with a name for your blog. If you have an idea or a couple of words you are thinking about you can google search ‘blog name generator’ and you’ll get a list of ideas of how to put it together. Sound it out instead of thinking about it as well, after all, this will become your brand which is a reflection of you so say it proudly 🙂
Once you have a couple ideas of blog names then you need to see if the domain is available. Your blog domain would be whatever your blog name is with the www in front and .com behind. So my blog’s name is Faithfully Me Blog and my domain is www.faithfullymeblog.com
You can go to Godaddy or your soon to be hosting provider to check if the domain is available for purchase (sometimes free when you sign up for hosting). One last thing, don’t get a blog name that is so generic or similar to another name… the world wide web is big and getting bigger every second so when someone does a search on the web you don’t need them confusing your TITLE with another person’s. This is one area you get to have complete control over so make it creative and unique, let it be a reflection of you!
So depending on what your goals and budget are, you need to decide where you’re going to be blogging. There are several options like Blogger, WordPress.com, and several others but my recommendation is and will always be WordPress.org
Why do you say? Because you simply have no restrictions and you own everything. Trust me on this one, every day several bloggers from other platforms are migrating their blogs over to WordPress.org so why not just start there. Also, you may ask what is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, here’s a biggie: you are not allowed to place any ads or affiliate marketing of any kind on WordPress.com because it’s a free platform. With that being said, yes you do need to pay for hosting (explained below) for WordPress.org but it will be money well spent and very affordable.
So let’s talk about this hosting thing and hopefully, you’re not confused yet. Hosting can be best described as storing your website, blog and other data on a server so that it can be accessed over the Internet. When researching the best host for your new blog, consider the following:
- How much uptime they have (no one will see your blog if the site is down & if it’s down constantly your readers won’t stick around)
- How much space or bandwidth you have (what happens when your blog post goes viral? Can your site handle the traffic overload?)
- How much are they charging you?
- How secure is your host? (Do they have firewalls and backups in place to keep your site secure?)
- Live customer support and service.
My recommendations for hosting providers are listed below along with how much you can expect to pay.
Please note that these are my recommendations only for starting your own blog, I will be posting a separate list eventually for business hosting.
Once you have your hosting set up with one of the providers above, check your inboxes and then contact them to help you set up your WordPress blog with them. Support is free and they will be happy to help you.
Blog Template | Theme
So you’ve got your blog name and you’re all set up with hosting, now comes the fun part; the design of your blog! This is where you get to choose the look and feel of your blog. How you want it to look. Thankfully there are templates and themes you can install to help you accomplish this because not all of us are tech savvy to create our own designs and unless you know a web designer that will design you a template for free here are some options of where you can get a pretty cute design like mine.
In addition to these I’ve mentioned please note you can find tons and tons more by searching for a specific look, also my tip to you is that you find a template that is fully responsive, meaning it will adapt to any screen for your readers (laptop, tablets, smartphone etc.)
Personalize Your Template
Now that you have your blog template installed on your wordpress.org site, I recommend personalizing it and giving it your unique feel. Here are few things to do first:
- Add your Blog Title
- Add a photo or 2
- Add a description (what is your blog about)
- Add a contact me page
- Add your social media pages
- Add categories and menus
- Change up the color and fonts if you wish
Plugins are basically extensions that you can add to your blog to enhance it or give it a special function. They are available in the admin area of your WordPress site so all you have to do is a quick search and several will come up. All of the plugins on my blog are free but some are definitely more necessary that others. Here are just a few plugins that I use:
- Dropbox (So I can back up my blog/site)
- Wordfence (security for my blog)
- Post Calendar (So I can organize my posts and prep)
- SumoMe (for email captures and images)
Finally, you have successfully started your own blog. Just start writing…
Make a list of things you want to write about and organize your thoughts. The rest is up to you, go do your thing 🙂
Here’s a list of costs of what you can expect to spend on starting your own blog:
- Domain $.99 – $15 per a year
- Hosting starting at $5.95 month (may have to sign up for a year to get a discount)
- WordPress.org $0
- Template ranges $0 – $99
- Plugins $0
I hope that you found this blog post helpful! Please feel free to shoot me any questions in the comments below if you do and I’ll do my best to help 🙂
Note: This post contains some affiliate links, see my discloser policy here.