Are you passionate about something that needs to be shared with the world?
Do you have a story or an idea for an entire blog post but don’t know how to start a blog?
This guide will walk you through everything you need, from setting up your account to installing WordPress software on your computer in less than one hour.
So even if this isn’t usually your expertise, by following these simple steps, it’ll become clear as to what goes into setting up a blog and how you can start your blogging journey without any technical knowledge.
One of the common misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful. However, this is not true.
People read blogs to get a personal perspective on a subject matter, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.
To have a successful blog, you don’t need to be an expert on any topic you write about. For instance, people visiting a cooking blog don’t usually crave to read a recipe guide from a food scientist; they would rather explore new food ideas and recipes from someone who has cooked some delicious meals and whom they can relate to.
You don’t need a path-breaking idea to start your blog. You just need a passion for writing about what you are good at.
At its core, blogging is about sharing your thoughts and knowledge with the world. By writing about things you are passionate about, you can find success in blogging much faster.
When choosing your blog’s niche, you only need to ask yourself two questions.
1. Am I interested in learning about this niche?
If you don’t love the niche, it will come across in your writing. Regardless of the niche you choose, you should love it and have a natural curiosity about it.
If not, you will very soon run out of ideas and won’t be able to publish posts that will grow your audience.
2. Are others also interested in the same things?
You might feel like the only adult who’s obsessed with video games. But there are plenty out there.
You might be wondering if your idea is too unpopular. Or maybe it is saturated? The best approach is to stay as focused as you possibly can on something you are seriously passionate about.
If you wish to start a weight loss blog, for example, stay away from generic words like “weight loss.” Choose a more specific topic, like “keto diet for weight loss.”
Take some time off and finalize a niche you would like to pick.
After you decide on the niche you want to start a blog, you will have to choose a domain name that is relevant to your niche. This step is vital because what you choose as your domain name becomes your brand, and that is how people will remember you.
Like the last step where you gathered multiple ideas to nail down your niche, you have to write down a list of names that come to your mind relevant to your niche.
You can simplify the process if you start combining 2 or 3 words that convey what your niche is all about and something that can be easily remembered.
At any cost, avoid exact match domain names as they dilute your brand name. For example, if you chose the fitness niche, avoid domain names such as fitnessreview.com, even if they are available.
You may have made a list of domain names of your choice; however, if it is unavailable, you may have to revisit the previous step.
So, how to check if your domain name is available? Simple, you can either go to Bluehost, Namecheap, or GoDaddy and type your preferred domain name in the search bar, one at a time to see if they are available.
If the domain name of your choice is available, then look no further; go ahead and purchase the domain. If not, keep trying until an option you like is available.
Here are some ways to choose a great domain name.
- Always choose a .com domain
- Avoid using numbers, hyphens, or other characters (this is a big no)
- Keep it short, simple and relevant
- Avoid complicated or misspelled words that you cannot remember
Now that you have selected a name, it’s time to get your website live. I know this might sound too technical if you are a newbie, but the easy-to-follow steps shown below will make the process simple for you.
To make your blog go live, you need two things: web hosting and blogging software.
A web host is a center that stores all of the website files and delivers them to the user when they key in your blog name. To have a website/blog live, you must have your hosting set up.
You also need software to build your website. This guide will help you set up a blog using WordPress software because it is the most popular and easy to use.
The web hosting service provider that I personally recommend is BlueHost.
BlueHost is ideal for newbies who are starting out. It is simple and offers fantastic customer support via chat or phone. This hosting company provides a free domain when you register with them and has a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with their service.
They provide a reliable hosting service that even WordPress has been recommending since 2005, and they currently host over two million websites. Feel free to use any BlueHost link on this site to ensure you get their service for as low as $2.95/month.
Disclosure: BlueHost compensates Blogging Nuggets when you purchase through my links. However, you will not incur any extra cost from your end in doing so.
1. BlueHost is currently offering a special rate of $2.95 per month, so click the “Host Your Site” button to begin your purchase process.
2. You can now choose your plan. I personally recommend the basic plan.
3. To start the registration process, you will have to key in your domain name in the left box and click next.
Choose the second option if you already have a domain name and want to use it for your blog. Note – Use the box on the right side only if you have previously registered a domain!
4. It is now time to fill out your personal details on the billing page.
5. You will also need to choose your hosting package and options.
BlueHost accounts include everything you need to start a blog, including free domain names, easy WordPress installations, web hosting, and custom email addresses.
As stated earlier, you can reconfirm which package you will choose and proceed with the payment. I would recommend you to uncheck everything that you see under Package Extras.
6. Next, create a username and password for your BlueHost account.
As soon as you do this, you will be taken to the installation helper. You don’t need to do anything further on the next few pages since you’re following this tutorial, so just click “Skip this step” to be taken straight to the dashboard.
7. Setting up the WordPress platform
The system will now install WordPress automatically. After the installation has been completed, click the blue “WordPress” button to log in to your blog’s admin area.
You can spend several days customizing your WordPress blog. But, to keep things moving fast, let’s just stick to the basics.
If you are not already signed in from the previous step, quickly navigate to the Bluehost website and click “Login” on the top right. It will redirect you to the login screen.
Now, you’ll need to log in using your domain name and the password you created earlier. Clicking the “Forgot Password” link will let you recover your password if you have misplaced it.
You will be redirected to your BlueHost Portal once you log in. To be automatically logged into your WordPress blog, click the blue “WordPress” button.
After you login, you will be in the WordPress dashboard. This is where you can make any changes you want to your blog.
Each individual has an idea about how they want their blog to appear, and WordPress lets you customize the entire blog layout and design the way you wish, with just a few clicks.
The blog layouts are known as themes in WordPress. Themes usually control the entire design of your blog. There are millions of free themes available, which is just too good to start with. You will have to click on the “Appearance” option shown on the left menu to change your theme.
If you are not very specific about the design of your blog, you should start with one of these themes.
Let’s use the Twenty Sixteen WordPress theme, for example. You can activate the theme on your blog by clicking the “Activate” button, which appears when you hover over the theme. It’s that easy! You will have a completely redesigned blog with just one click.
If you don’t like any of the already installed themes, you can easily choose from thousands of other free WordPress themes.
To pick a new WordPress theme, click on the “Appearance” tab on the left menu, and you’ll be directed to the themes page, where you will find a button “Add New” at the top of the page. Click this button to explore other themes.
Below shown is the theme search screen. There are tons of themes that you can choose from. You can change your entire design as and when you wish by simply activating a new theme.
To find a theme you like, click on the “Popular” tab and start browsing, and when you find the one you want, click the “Install” button.
After installing a theme, click “Activate” to set it as your current blog theme. To see how the new theme appears, go to your blog page and take a quick look.
A theme change is one of the easiest and simplest ways to change your blog design, and WordPress gives you the option to do lots of other customizations as well.
However, to get you going, let’s focus on other things that truly matter.
Now that you’ve got your new site set up, it’s time to add your content.
The first thing you need to be doing is clicking “Posts” in the left menu.
As you can see in the image shown below, there is already a post there. Every new WordPress blog comes with this default post, so we don’t need to use it. Just click “Trash” under the post to delete it.
To start drafting a new post, you will have to click the “Add New” button.
What you will now see is the post editor screen. Start by adding the title of your post in the top box, then begin writing your post in the lower box.
You will have options to add images or embed videos to your post. There are plenty of options to customize your blog post as per your preference. WordPress comes with a lot of user-friendly features. So, spend some time exploring these features to understand better how things work within this post layout.
Brainstorm on the topics you wish to cover in your chosen niche. Pick a specific blog topic, put your ideas together and write your first blog post.
After you have finished writing your first post, make sure to proofread it, check and fix all the spelling and grammatical errors, and when you are done, click on the “Publish” button in the top-right corner of the screen. Congrats! Your first blog post is published.
There are mainly two types of content your website should have. I.e., static and dynamic content.
Static Content: Your blog should contain a few necessary pages explicitly designed to provide visitors with the information they need.
The content on these pages should be static, which means the content doesn’t change or at least not very often and can be accessed via the menu bar on your website. Make sure to have the static page ready before you launch your site.
Some essential static pages that you should have on your site are as follows:
About page – This page should include a story of you or your brand. Put out your mission statement. Share your goals as a website owner and what you wish to accomplish through this site. Such stories will help your audience learn a little more about you personally and, in turn, help you establish a strong connection with your audience.
Contact page – A contact page provides the visitor with some ways to get in touch with you. You can put up your address, email address, or contact number, or you can also share a simple contact form to keep your identity private.
Disclaimer page – If you aim to monetize your website, you will have to showcase how you plan to generate your site’s income. It is a must-have page as per the FTC guidelines. For instance, if you endorse some products and stand to profit by linking to the product, you must disclose this in your blog.
You can create any number of static pages to serve your blog and business better.
Common examples include a donations page that allows visitors to donate money if they wish to, a resource list directing people towards favorite articles within your field, or other topics you care deeply about – this may also include contact information if readers need more help.
Dynamic content: These include your blog posts and other forms of content like case studies and long-form guides.
As a blogger, this is where you will get a chance to offer tons of informative content in the form of tips, tricks that help your audience. Sharing such valuable pieces of content will not only engage your visitors but will also make them come back for more.
Keep publishing blog posts at regular intervals. Publishing a blog once in a while will never build a following.
Have a content strategy in place that helps you write informative blogs and publish at regular intervals.
Also, make an effort to share your blogs on social platforms regularly. With time, you will gain more loyal followers.
Every blog post that you write must be informative, reasonably lengthy, and also engaging.
It is not easy to come up with blog post topics on a regular basis; it will be best if you plan the topics you wish to cover for the next few months well in advance. Feel free to explore different topics in your niche and present your ideas differently.
That said, there are some elements that every piece of content should include.
Define the content: Create an eye-catchy post title. The title should stimulate curiosity and encourage clicks.
Use your article’s first paragraph to clearly define the topic of discussion while providing possible hooks for readers at various points throughout it, so they stay interested in what you have written!
Break the content into small paragraphs: The more information you provide, the better. But visitors will begin to skim through your content or exit the page if your blog post contains lengthy paragraphs of text with no breaks in between.
So, keep it short – use spaces between sentences where appropriate; list items relevant for readability purposes like bullet points, etc.; include headings that act as directories pointing readers towards specific parts within an article.
Engage the visitor: At the end of each post, a common tactic used to engage visitors is posting an interesting question and asking them in comments for their opinion. This simple practice can massively increase your engagement rate.
Produce original content: Your content should always be original. Never plagiarize – you will eventually get called out on it and could even face serious consequences.
You can take inspiration from anywhere; however, make sure your blog post doesn’t just summarize what others have explained in their blogs. Give your audience a fresh perspective and showcase yourself as an expert in the field.
Add original images: If you’re looking to give your blog a real, personal feel, then it’s vital that the photos and graphics used on the site match what is being talked about in posts.
Stock images are easy to find; you can use a free image editor to make the image unique.
Proofread and edit your content: Your blog content should be well-edited without typographical and grammatical errors. Consider using free tools such as Grammarly and Ginger to fine-tune your content.
Even after you have drafted your blog post, your post may still be showing a placeholder page.
When you are ready to go live with your blog for the first time, click the “BlueHost” menu on the top-left corner of your WordPress dashboard, then click the “Launch” button to remove the placeholder page and launch your blog.
Congratulations! You now know how to start your blog and publish content!
Writing well-researched blog content is just the beginning. To start driving traffic to your website, you will need to spend more time promoting the content. Let’s assume you took a week to write a high-quality blog post; now, take at least one week to promote your content aggressively.
Here are some blog promotion strategies that will help you reach more readers. Of course, you don’t have to implement all the strategies; try what works best for you and stick to it.
It is always good to share your work with your inner circle to receive honest feedback. Suppose your friends feel that the quality of your writing could have been better; put in extra efforts to rework and make your blog post better.
If they like your work, don’t hesitate to ask them to share your blog with their network. With time, your blog will reach thousands of readers, thereby gaining your followers.
As a newbie, it is vital to have a social presence across popular social media platforms. Some of the well-known social media websites include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.
You don’t have to be active on all the platforms. Pick the one you are comfortable with and stick to it. Let’s assume you want to choose Facebook and Twitter.
You can create a Facebook page related to your niche and post your piece of content there. Make it a consistent effort to share every new blog post you publish on your page. Eventually, you will have more visitors from Facebook.
Similarly, start tweeting about your new blog post with relevant hashtags. You will soon begin to see a good number of visitors coming from Twitter.
The goal here is to stick to one or two platforms and stay consistent in promoting your content on these platforms. If luck favors you, your content may go viral, and you will also see a massive traffic spike.
With time, you will notice more readers leaving comments on your posts. It is essential to engage with these readers by addressing their queries and offering them more valuable tips through your comments.
Once you establish a connection with your audience, it will be easier to ask them to share your post in their network. They will happily do so, and you will eventually have a wider audience reach.
As a newbie blogger, there are ample opportunities for you to upgrade your blogging skills.
An easy way out is to connect with fellow bloggers who are pretty established in this field. Become a familiar face in your blogging community by collaborating with established bloggers.
- Guest posting.
- Promoting each other’s blogs and products.
- Regularly interacting through social media and being part of their webinars or podcasts.
Apart from driving visitors to your site, you will want to ensure that your current visitors keep coming back. This is where email marketing plays a crucial role.
Start collecting the email addresses of your visitors so that you can notify your visitors when you publish a new piece of content. Mailing your list frequently with informative content allows you to build a closer relationship with your audience.
One of the common mistakes that most new bloggers make is to blog whenever they feel like it. If you wish to be relevant in the long run, this approach will not help.
The interest in writing blog posts will fade away with time, and other things will take center stage. Most of the bloggers fail solely because of this reason.
Consistency and patience are vital if you wish to grow in this field. One of the ways you can be disciplined and stay consistent is by following an editorial calendar.
The best way to go about it is to research all the topics you would like to cover. Create a google sheet, list the blog topics in one column, and provide a realistic completion date right next to it.
Following this approach will give you clarity and a schedule to start your blog. If you manage to stick to this plan, with time, you will get very good at it, and within a few months, you will have already published many blogs that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
That is the power of planning and committing to a content calendar.
After you establish yourself as a trustworthy blogger in your niche with a good audience base, you will have the opportunity to add banner or text advertisements to your site.
If you have a consistent inflow of visitors to your site, you can consider registering with ad networks such as Google Adsense, Mediavine, or AdThrive and start displaying ads on your blog. Advertising is one of the easiest ways to make a recurring income; however, your website traffic should be between 20k-100k per month.
An affiliate program offers a commission-based system to make money. So, if you register yourself as an affiliate on any popular affiliate platform, you will get a unique affiliate link to promote products and services that are part of that affiliate program.
If your niche is similar to the affiliate offerings, you can promote the same on your blog. When your visitors click on the affiliate links and purchase a product or service of your recommendation, you will earn a commission.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to earn passive income, and it can be done through product reviews and recommendations.
Selling your products/services directly on your blog is a great way to increase your income. As your blog grows, you will begin to see a considerable increase in visitors coming to your site.
By now, your audience must have been familiar with you and your blog, and the chances for them to trust you is high; therefore, if you make a genuine recommendation or market your products or services by giving them high value. There are all the possibilities for them to buy your products.
Many famous bloggers sell their own digital products to make a consistent passive monthly income.
E-books, online courses, and video tutorials are some of the commonly sold digital products.
The biggest advantage of selling your digital products is that you get to retain all the money, unlike affiliate systems, where you only get a percentage of the commission.
One more way to monetize your blog is by creating a subscription-based membership option. This allows you to offer your members access to exclusive content and enable them to connect with you for personal consultations.
This monetization approach holds good only if you are an expert in a subject matter and have some experience as a consultant. There are numerous ways a blog can capitalize on popularity and traffic. Picking the correct monetization method depends on your goals and the purpose of your blog.
Blogging is a long-term game and requires a lot of time and effort from your end. If you are passionate about a niche and committed to adding value and educating your audience, you are in a good space.
Most often, newbies look for instant success and make quick bucks online. They get inspired by watching some success stories of bloggers who make thousands of dollars each day blogging.
However, in reality, things aren’t that easy, and it takes a lot of hard work, time, dedication, and that burning desire to succeed.
Your blog should revolve around a topic you are obsessed with to generate content regularly.
You don’t have to be an expert or an authority on the subject matter. You only need the passion, excitement, and dedication to succeed.
You can blog about anything that you are passionate about. Like any other field, you need to have a concrete plan before you start your blog.
It would be best if you invest enough time figuring out what your interests are. Once you have that clarity, do some serious research on adding value to your users.
If you can address these two points, then the only thing you need is the commitment to post consistently.
In reality, every niche is profitable. It depends on how you accelerate your blog to reach the relevant audience.
A straightforward approach would be to narrow down on your niche and focus on just one small topic.
For instance, if you are passionate about fitness, you can start focusing on a sub-niche such as “cardio workouts” and stick to that.
By being more specific about the topics you cover, you will eliminate competition and elevate your blog results in the search engines for more specific queries.
This is where you have to be creative. Come up with some names that your audience can relate to.
Keep it short, catchy, and meaningful. Once you have some names noted down, the next step will be to check if your preferred domain names are available.
So you can either go to Godaddy or Namecheap and check if it is available. If it is, please go ahead and register your domain.
If it is not available, an easy starting point would be a website like domain wheel (domainwheel.com), which generates domain names for you randomly based on the keywords you enter. You will find plenty of interesting domain name ideas here, so this process will not be complex.
In this detailed guide, I have shared how to create your blog using BlueHost and WordPress.org, an excellent self-hosted WordPress blog for people getting started with blogging!
When signing up with them, you will get a free domain name along with the hosting plan you choose. The Bluehost support team will help you set up your account and install WordPress in a few minutes. You can then begin to customize your site as per your preference and start publishing blogs.
As a beginner, you need a domain name and hosting to start a blog. In the future, when you establish yourself as a blogger, you can add more tools to make your blog look more professional and established.
The minimum cost that you may incur to start a blog, if you are going with a blog-friendly hosting provider like Bluehost, your cost would be roughly $60/year for hosting and the domain will be free for the first year and post that you will be charged approximately $10.
So in total, it would be $70, which is a good deal if you think about it.
Use a reputable SEO plugin if you’re on WordPress like Yoast, set up Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools, make sure your XML sitemap is set up correctly (Yoast can do this automatically), and set up permalinks.
Most bloggers get paid in four ways, i.e., through affiliate sales, ad revenue, product sales, and courses.
Yes! WordPress is the best CMS (Content Management System) out there, with over 75 million blogs and websites currently using it.
The majority of bloggers use WordPress because it is pretty easy to use. It is all quick and easy, from installing to picking a theme to customizing your site to publishing a blog.
More importantly, Google also favors blogs that are built with WordPress. The SEO plugins that come with WordPress deliver impressive results over time in search engines.
This depends on the niche you have chosen and your end goal as a blogger. If you wish to establish yourself as a blogger and make money from your blog, you must maintain a content calendar.
It doesn’t matter if you publish two blogs a week or one. The focus should be on the quality of your content and the value you bring to your readers.
Blogging is a long-term game, and the more consistent you are, the higher the chance of you succeeding.
To start, I would advise you to publish at least one high-quality blog post a week, and when you get good at this, you can publish more often. The main point is, it is always quality over quantity any day.
One of the most common reasons a blog fails is that the newbies entering the blogging world are not patient enough to sustain and put in the effort needed to make a blog successful.
They give up before the blog even has a chance to become recognized. You have to realize that most blogs take at least 6 to 12 months to gain traction. If you fail to acquire visitors within a couple of months, don’t stop.
Blogging is becoming a highly competitive niche, with thousands of companies producing tons of content each day.
Therefore, new bloggers have to start creating highly engaging, top-quality content to sustain and thrive in this space.
A lot of effort is needed to get to that level where one starts feeling comfortable producing high-quality blog posts consistently.
Starting a blog is easy. Creating one that will be successful and help you make money requires hard work, dedication, and grit. But the rewards outweigh the efforts as setting up websites is easier today than it has ever been before.
Just like anything in life, there will be obstacles that will try to derail you. However, I encourage you to continue sharing your passion through your blog.
I’ve covered everything you need to get started. It will take less than 60 minutes to set up your website and start your blogging journey. The more consistently you create and publish great content, the more followers you will gain.