How to Start a Blog for Beginners – A Step by Step Guide

How to start a blog for beginners - a step by step guide on exactly how to start a blog from scratch

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If you are wondering how to start a blog, you have come to the right place. I have been a blogger for a while now, and I currently have 2 (soon to be 3) blogs. I have started a blog from scratch a few times now, and it’s really simple even for a beginner.

If you are new to the blogging world, there are a few things you need to know on how to start a blog. Let’s get started with where you should set up your blog.

Free Blogging Site VS Paid Hosting

This is where a LOT of bloggers gets confused. You can start a blog for free on sites like Blogger or WordPress. However, you can’t monetize your blog on these free platforms. You also can’t use your own custom domain. If you get a free blog on wordpress.com, then your website URL will be “yourwebsite.wordpress.com. Unless you have zero intentions of making any money on your blog, you do not want to go with the free blogging platform.

The other option is self hosted. What this means is that you will need to pay for your website to be hosted by a hosting provider. I use Siteground now, but I formerly used A2 Hosting (I will talk more on why I switched later).

Once you purchase your hosting plan and your domain, you will install Wordpress onto your new site. It will not have wordpress in your domain name, and you fully own the website and all of your content that you place onto it.

If you want to customize your website and make it look exactly how you want, if you want to make money off of your blog, or if you own a business and want it to look professional, you have to do a self hosted website.

How to Choose Your Niche

You can blog about anything you want. You can choose a topic you know very well, you could blog about what you are doing, or you could blog about a service you provide. The options are unlimited.

If you want to blog about more than one topic, that is fine as long as they are related in some way. For example, if you wanted to blog about multiple parenting topics, like raising toddlers, kid friendly recipes, and breastfeeding tips, these are great topic combinations and your audience will most likely have an interest in most of these categories. However, if you want to blog about books and your love for animals, these two combinations don’t work together very well. If you really wanted to blog about both topics, I would suggest two separate blogs.

Once you have decided what you are going to blog about, you need to figure out what you are going to call your blog. Some bloggers just use their name, while others create a catchy phrase or use a short phrase that describes what the blog is about. Keep your domain name as short as possible, and easy to spell.

Choosing a Host

Now that we have the niche and name figured out, it’s time to choose where you want your website hosted.

I  mentioned earlier that I use Siteground for my hosting service. I highly recommend Siteground. When I first started blogging I used A2 hosting, mainly because I didn’t have much money to start with and they offered a monthly payment service instead of paying one year up front. Honestly, it was not worth it. I ended up paying more than double what Siteground costs for the year, and the service was terrible. My website was very slow, I was constantly having issues, and customer service was very difficult.

I made the switch to Siteground and my experience has been wonderful. Any time I have a question or an issue, they are available 24/7 to chat. They respond very quickly, and always have a solution to my issue. My website speed has also improved since making the switch. you can start a blog with Siteground for as low as $50 a year. 

How to Sign Up with Siteground

If you chose Siteground as your host, you can use my easy step by step guide here to show you  how to get started.

Step One

To get started with Siteground, head on over to their website here. Once you are on the website,click on the “Get Started” button under Web Hosting.Once you click that, you will see this screen in the image below. This is where you are going to choose your hosting plan.

How to start a blog for beginners step 1

If you only plan on having one website, the StartUp plan will be fine for you. If you think you may want multiple websites, you will need the GrowBig plan. If you are trasnferring a website that already gets a large amount of traffic, you will need to go with the GoGeek plan. For most of you starting out with one website, the StartUp plan will be all you need. Go ahead and select your plan now.

Step Two

On the next screen you will be selecting your domain name. Type in the name you want your website to have, and see if it is available. If it’s not available, you will need to choose a different name.

how to start a blog step 2

Sometimes the domain name you want isn’t available as a .com  but could be available in another format. If you would like to go this route you can, but I suggest trying to find a domain that is available as a .com since it is the most widely used and most people will go to the .com first.

Step Three

The final step is to review and pay. You can choose to pay for more than 12 months if you would like, it will save you money in the long run.

how to start a blof step 3

The final step is to review and pay. You can choose to pay for more than 12 months if you would like, it will save you money in the long run.

That’s it! You purchased your own self hosted website, and you are ready to start your blog!

Install and Set Up WordPress

Once you have your Siteground account set up and ready to go, you will need to install WordPress. Login to your Cpanel and find the WordPress Installer. Once WordPress is installed you can browse themes, customize your website, and start writing blog posts!

There are tons of free themes to choose from, or you can purchase a theme if you would like. I am currently using the Di Blog theme, so far I really like it.

I also build custom website pages using the Elementor site builder. You can get a free plugin for Elementor and use it with almost any theme to customize your website exactly how you want it to look. This is how you get those really cool designs and features on your website! There is certainly a learning curve, but I figured it out with zero experience.

Customize your Blog

Now that you have a theme picked out, it is time to start customizing things to look the way you want it to. You will want to change your site name and add your tagline, upload a logo if you have one, and change your color pallet if your theme allows this customization.

Don’t worry, you won’t need to have it perfect before you get going. I’ve probably redesigned my site at least 5 times since I started it! Just make it look clean and professional, and move on.

Essential Plugins

A plugin is a form of software that you install onto your site to perform different things. From site security, Pinterest feed widgets, and appointment calendars, there are plugins for everything.

Don’t go crazy installing plugins, these will slow down your site if you have too many. Only install the plugins that you really need.

A few essential plugins I recommend are :

  • Yoast SEO – If you install no other plugins, you need this one! This plugin makes it super easy for you to enable your Pinterest rich pins. It also gives you SEO tips at the bottom of every blog post. It will point out things that can be fixed or added/removed to maximize your websites SEO.
  • Google Analytics Dashboard – We will discuss how to set up your Google analytics account later, but this is a great plugin to monitor your blog’s traffic right from your dashboard.
  • Insert Headers and Footers – If you are anything like me, you know nothing about website coding. Unfortunately, sometimes you will need to past codes into the header or footer area of your blog. The easiest way to do this to install the insert headers and footers plugin. This plugin makes it super simple! No need to learn to code or breaking your website.

How to start a blog post

Now comes the fun stuff! You have your hosting set up, your theme ready to go, and the essential plugins for your blog. The only thing left to do is to start writing!

This part may feel a little intimidating in the beginning. Trust me, I know how you’re feeling!

Start off by writing a list of all the blog posts you want to write. Just write down all of your ideas, you don’t have to write all of these posts right away.

Making a list of all of your ideas will help you figure out where to focus first. This is especially helpful if you haven’t quite figured out your niche yet. Do you have a lot of relatable blog post ideas? If so, start there!

Don’t spend too much time trying to make everything absolutely perfect. You can’t become a great blogger by constantly perfecting your one and only blog post!

You will develop and improve your skills by taking action, so get to work and start writing!

As you keep going, the whole process will become easier. You will start to develop your writing voice. Your creativity will start to flow. Before you know it you will have dozens of posts up!

You can always go back to your old posts later. I really want to put a lot of emphasis on not expecting perfection. I was paralyzed by fear for an entire YEAR before I realized my blog wasn’t going to go anywhere by being a perfectionist.

Just start writing.

Final thoughts

I hope my guide on how to start a blog was helpful for you! If you have any questions, drop a comment below! Also, check out my post on how to set up a business Pinterest account to start getting your brand new blog in front of an audience!

A complete step by step guide for beginners on how to start a blog and start making money!  If you have always dreamed of starting a mom blog or a lifestyle blog but wasnt sure how to get started, this beginners guide is just for you. Learn my simple tips on starting a blog today and get your new blog set up the right way.

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