How to Start a Blog

I blog all about motherhood. Learn how to start your own blog with these easy steps!

Blogging isn’t just about having good stuff to write about.  It’s tough work to learn the ins and outs of webhosting, theme design, plugin options, coding, affiliate marketing… the list could go on.

Feeling overwhelmed by those terms? Don’t worry. I was too. But here’s the good news. Bloggers are great people and most, if not ALL of us are more than willing to show you the ropes. Don’t believe me? Head over to a few of your favorite blogs. I bet you’ll be able to find a post somewhere that looks a lot like this one.

Each blogger’s journey to start up looks a little different. So by all means, feel free to browse other options out there. All I know to share is the path I took, and I hope it helps you!

So let’s get started. Below I’ll walk you through 7 key steps to help you get a  smooth start in the blogging word!

Step 1: Browse lots of blogs.

Step 2: Brainstorm your niche.

Step 3: Establish a catchy domain name.

Step 4: Choose a webhost and register your domain.

Step 5: Install WordPress.

Step 6: Choose a theme.

Step 7: Design & post away!

(Step 8: How to gain blog traffic and begin to earn an income…)

And on that note, quick disclaimer: Some of the links you’ll find in this posting are affiliate links.. If you purchase anything through these links, I will earn a commission. All products I recommend are things I have used, trust, and like, which is why I’m recommending them to you!

Okay, let’s get started!

Step 1: Browse lots of blogs.

Before you do anything to start your own blog, spend some time browsing the ones already out there. What types do you like? Which topics are most interesting to you? Which authors have been most successful? Which topics are popular and attract a lot of readers? What design features do you like?

If you’re interested in making a living blogging (or at least supplementing your income), I’d suggest checking a few of these out:

If you’re interested in looking in to making money blogging (which I’ll write about in a different post), check out this blog post on Authority Hacker.

Step 2: Brainstorm Your Niche.

Once you’ve spent some time browsing a bunch of other blogs and learning a bit about the blogging world, it’s time to start planning for your blog.

This is the fun part! Choose something you’re passionate about- food, exercise, beauty, celebrities or news, photography…. choose something you think about every day already. This is key.  Don’t choose a topic based on it’s popularity; the life of your blog absolutely depends on your passion about your subject area.

Take your time on this step. Once you start into step 3, it’s tough to go back!

Step 3: Establish a catchy domain. 

Okay, so you know your blog niche… now you get to pick a domain! Spend some time here; be creative! It’s REALLY hard (if not darn near impossible) to change this after the fact, so don’t rush your decision!

My domain name is abbyfereday.com

Step 4: Choose a Webhost & Register Your Domain.

The next step is to register your domain with a hosting provider. I’d recommend Bluehost for bloggers just starting out. You can easily switch to a new webhost once you start bringing in thousands of viewers a day; that’s when Bluehost tends to slow down (I just switched to Siteground in January 2017!). I had a great experience with Bluehost for the first year though and that’s why I recommend them to newbies. They have super reasonable rates and they give you your domain name for FREE if you choose to host with them! Click the link below to get started with BlueHost.



Once on the site, select “Get Started Now”. At this point, you’ll be prompted to select your plan. I chose the Pro plan- reasonably priced but also allows you plenty of functionality and storage space. Don’t stress too much at this stage. Bluehost is super customer friendly- you can cancel or modify your account at any time!

Once you select a plan, you will see a page that looks like this:

 

Starting a blog can be complicated, but registering with Bluehost is a key first step!

The next few steps should be relatively simple to follow to register your domain! You’ll be prompted to choose from a few packaging options and you’ll enter payment info, and then… waaalaaah! You’re done with this step ?

Step 5: Install WordPress

Now that you have a BlueHost account, you can scroll down (from the “Hosting” home page) to a section titled: Website. It looks like this:

Trying to start a blog? Host with BlueHost and then install WordPress.

Select “Install WordPress” from this menu.

On the next page, select “Install” (the big green button).

On the next page, verify that your domain is listed correctly and select the “Check Domain” button.

On the final page, be sure to read (and indicate that you’ve read) the terms and conditions, and then click “Install Now.”

Soon after, a screen should pop up saying “Your Install is Complete!” At that point, be sure to select the “View Credentials” button and record your login information.

Copy and paste your admin URL into your web browser and use your username and password (that you recorded on the previous page) to log into your blog for the first time!!

Note: At this point, I made my admin URL a favorite on my bookmark bar for easy access.

Step 6: Choose a theme. 

Take a deep breath… you’ve made it through all the hard steps! Now it’s time for the fun, picking your theme!

WordPress has tons of free themes to choose from. You can browse through these by navigating to the “Appearance” tab inside your wordpress builder and selecting “Themes.” Most of these themes look really nice and will work for you as you get started. But if you are looking for more flexibility and customization (eventually you’ll probably need this), premium themes are the way to go.

I’d recommend a few options:

  1. Elegant Themes– a membership with Elegant Themes gives you access to 87 dynamic and beautiful themes in addition to several plugins. I currently use the EXTRA theme through Elegant Themes.

2. Studio Press Themes– I know many bloggers who swear by these themes. They are a bit more expensive than the elegant themes options, but they look super slick and come with a ton of functionality.

Step 7: Design & post away!

Congrats! You’re ready to start designing and posting. This is what you should invest your time doing for the next while… even if you have ambitions of turning your blog into an income building phenom, taking time to get your layout how you want it and start packing your blog with good content is KEY and should come before too many of the other money making steps.

Speaking of…. that brings me to the final step.

(Step 8: How to gain blog traffic and begin to earn an income…)

Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not planning to write about this topic quite yet. But stay tuned, it will be coming soon!

xoxo

Abby

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Abby

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