Would you like to know how to start a blog? Have you been hearing the buzz about making money online with a blog? Have you been thinking you would like to start a blog?
Are you a complete beginner and don’t know where to start? Are the technical aspects of a blog scary to you? Don’t worry boo, I got you.
I always thought of myself as technically savvy until I decided to start a blog. With all the information out there learning how to start a blog can be really overwhelming and suck the fun right out of it.
How To Start A Blog
Has a lot of the information you have been reading about how to start a blog been kind of complicated? It was for me.
When I decided to start a blog, I felt like everyone started any kind of teaching or training ten steps ahead of where I needed them to be for me to understand what they were talking about. What I really needed was some super basic information on how to start a blog, something even I could understand.
If you are struggling like I was, then have I got some good information for you on how to start a blog.
Pick A Niche
Before you learn how to start a blog, the first thing you will need to do is pick a niche. I have hidden secrets you can use to find your niche.
A niche is your area of expertise. It’s what you blog about. Let’s say you started a blog about food. Your blog would be about food, but if you wanted to narrow down your niche, it would be something more specific like vegan food.
It’s important for you to choose the right niche when you start a blog. If you don’t choose correctly you may become bored and not want to post, or even worse abandon your blog altogether. But don’t worry, if you don’t have your exact niche right away, you will figure that out as you go along.
The good thing is when you are new and just learning how to start a blog, you don’t have many readers. Yes, I said it, it’s a good thing not to have much of an audience when you first start a blog.
It’s good because you will make mistakes. So don’t worry at all about making mistakes, just jump in and learn how to start your blog as you go.
Choose A Blog Name
When you are learning how to start a blog, you will also want to brand your blog. Finding a name that fits your brand is super important!
I don’t want to scare you here but you really have to put some time into naming your blog. Your blog isn’t just a blog, it’s going to be part of your future business. So you want a name that can stick!
If you really want to learn how to name your blog I highly recommend the book, Hello My Name Is Awesome – How to Create Brand Names That Stick by Alexandra Watkins.
Alexandra is a naming guru. She says there are two tests you can take to see if you picked a good name. Scratch – if it makes you scratch your head because it’s confusing or Smile – if the name makes you smile because it’s either catchy or just makes sense!
So choose a name for your blog that you like. One that tells exactly what it is and what you do so when your readers come to your blog, they don’t get confused. That’s something really important that you want to figure out when learning how to start a blog.
Create A Tagline
A tagline is something that sums up your blog in one sentence.
Think about some of the greatest taglines of all time, “The happiest place on earth.” Disney World “, OR “Finger-Lickin’ Good” KFC. It may take you some time to figure out your tagline, but you will. If it’s not perfect right away, don’t worry about it at all you can always change it later.
OK, my tagline “Start a blog and plan a successful life.” may not be quite finger-licking good but hopefully, it invokes the feeling of what my blog is about, helping people learn how to start a blog and planning a successful life.
Your tagline is almost as important as your name so put a lot of thought and effort into it. If you don’t get it right the first time you can always tweak it later and make it the best tagline ever.
Choose Your Webhost
You are going to need a host for your blog. A host is where your website lives online. It’s where it is housed on computers called servers. Learning how to start a blog becomes a whole lot easier with a great web host!
From all of my research (and personal experience!) I’ve come to the conclusion, SiteGround is the best hosting solution. They are really reasonably priced, but the goldmine with SiteGround is their tech support.
SiteGround’s tech support is so helpful. They have tutorials for everything, but if you still can’t get it (been there done that) you can speak with them on the phone or even better live chat 24 hours a day 7 days a week! I never would have learned how to start a blog without them.
Remember when I said I was tech-challenged? I was not lying. My name is Deanna and I am tech challenged. I learned how to start a blog from trial and error. I needed a whole lot of help in the beginning. But eventually, I got pretty good at it and you will too.
SiteGround tech support will hold your hand each time you need to fix something on your site and they are happy to help. They never ever make you feel tech-challenged and they treat you like there are no stupid questions. You never have to feel uncomfortable asking for help.
Choose A Domain Name
SiteGround’s plans start as low as $14.99 per month for the basic plan. You can buy your domain (your web address) right when and where you buy the hosting. They make it so easy to get up and running right away. Learning how to start a blog doesn’t need to be so difficult when you have a techy friend like Siteground.
SiteGround is a little bit higher priced than some of the other providers, but you get what you pay for. You can easily set up your blog without knowing anything about coding with their user friendly SiteTools.
SiteGround has a dot-com checker on the same page you purchase your hosting. You just type in the web address that you would like to have and SiteGround lets you know immediately if it’s available. How to start a blog suddenly isn’t so difficult.
Does Your Domain Need To Match Your Blog Name? No. It does not!
Let’s say I chose Mango Life for the name of my blog, yet mangolife.com was already taken. I could go ahead and purchase a domain name like LivingTheMangoLife.com
I can still keep the blog name I so thoughtfully chose, and I get a clever (yet a little different) dot-com to go along with it! People may even remember livingthemangolife.com easier than mangolife.com because it’s a fun play on my blog name.
When purchasing a domain, stick with a dot-com address because that is much more popular and easier to remember than dot biz or a dot net or dot any other extension. Once you learn how to start a blog, you can always add other extensions later, but for now, stick with the dot com.
Choose A Platform
WordPress is my favorite platform, it’s easy to use and you can integrate the next step, your WordPress theme from Bluchic. Bluchic has paid WordPress themes, but it’s much easier to design a beautiful site when you are learning how to blog with a Bluchic theme.
WordPress.com is a site that you don’t own, you want a wordpress.org site.
This whole WordPress thing may sound a little confusing when learning how to start a blog, but let me explain…
When you have a wordpress.org website you host your own site using SiteGround or any other hosting site you choose.
WordPress.org is totally free and you get a professional site that you can have complete control over. My wordpress.org site is planblogrepeat.com and I have it hosted on SiteGround. See how my web address is nice and clean?
When you have a WordPress.com website, your site is hosted by WordPress. WordPress has a free plan and your site has a wordpress.com subdomain.
wordpress.org vs. wordpress.com
If I had a WordPress.com site my web address would be planblogrepeat.wordpress.com. That example is a subdomain. So. not. cute. Not only would you have wordpress.com in your web address, but they would also place ads on your site that you could not control.
If people click on those ads, WordPress gets paid, not you. So if there is anything you learned today about how to start a blog, it’s that you should control your own domain.
Then, once you have purchased your hosting package with SiteGround or another web host of your choice you will need to install WordPress. Luckily for you, SiteGround makes it super easy with a tutorial that walks you through all four steps to install WordPress.
Even if you weren’t just learning how to start a blog, the tutorial would be helpful!
If you were to have any issues installing WordPress, you can chat with SiteGround support and they will help you out by holding your hand through the process with screenshots and explanations.
Can you tell I’ve had to have them help me a lot? Hey, we are not born knowing how to do things we have to learn. That’s why God gave us tech support.
Set Up Your Email
One thing that can be a little confusing when you are learning how to start a blog is setting up your email. Not to worry, Siteground can help you with that too.
Having your own email is what you need in order to look professional. If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger your emails must come from your own domain.
I do not need to have my email be email@example.com or yahoo or bing, when a domain email comes free with my hosting plan. Even though you are learning how to blog, setting up your very own email is part of the process.
When you purchase a site with SiteGround, all of their plans give you a free email account for your domain. You can make your email anything that you would like @yourdomain.com. SiteGround even has comprehensive tutorials for setting up your email.
I toot Siteground’s horn A LOT because they have helped me out more times than I can count!
You can get your email up and running fairly quickly. You can configure a mail client like Gmail or you can access it right in the Cpanel of your SiteGround Account with no configuration necessary.
Design Your Website
Once the bones of your website are in place, you can get to the fun part. Designing your website.
Want to hear an embarrassing story? Years ago I overpaid someone to design a WordPress Theme for me. A theme is what your blog looks like, the colors, pages, designs, and fonts.
I paid over $2000 for this horrible ugly theme. I wish I had a picture of it, well maybe I don’t because it was so hideous. It was dated and totally unprofessional looking. It annoyed me so much.
I always loved to create content, but the technical aspect of learning how to start a blog never came easy to me. Not only did I overpay for this hideous theme on my blog, but I had no way to change anything on it and my web designer wanted me to pay to have anything changed.
In the end, I uninstalled the theme I overpaid for and created my own ugly theme that I could control. It was a little less ugly but at least it was free and I was able to make my own changes.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself on your blog, you can hire it out. However, if you don’t learn the basics you will have to pay someone to make any changes and that can get expensive quick!
Pick A Theme
*UPDATE SiteGround now has themes available right inside your SiteTools. I built my other site with a free theme and it came out gorgeous if I do say so myself. You don’t have to pay anything extra if you want to use one of the basic themes. I cannot recommend Siteground enough to start a blog because it’s so easy to use.
Fast forward to today and this time I got smart. I learned more about the technical aspect of how to start a blog and I bought a Bluchic theme. It’s gorgeous and so user-friendly! Whatever I can’t figure out on my blog theme they have a tutorial for.
If I don’t understand how to do something I submit a ticket and within 24 hours I get a response! Guess how much this all cost me? $79! Lesson learned, as costly and ugly as it was, I learned.
It’s embarrassing to put my mistakes on blast. But hey, maybe my mistakes can save you from making the same expensive ones when you are learning how to start a blog.
Bluchic has all these beautiful customizable themes that can make working on your site a piece of cake!
WordPress has customizable themes but unless you are a pro they most likely will not look professional and they may not have the ability to do what you want with your site.
Will You Sell Products?
*UPDATE Now with Siteground’s updated SiteTools, you can install WooCommerce on your site right from the get go with one click. It’s so easy to use. I still love Bluchic and have my current theme set with them, but I really like the ease of SiteGround’s SiteTools that integrate WooCommerce. It’s even easier to use than Bluchic.
If you are planning on selling products on your site, Bluchic is great for that too because they have a woo commerce site built right in. You can make money right from your laptop or phone when you learn how to start a blog.
Woo-commerce is a WordPress Plugin that lets you have a store right on your blog. You can sell physical and or digital products with woo commerce. Woo! You may not want to sell things right away when you start a blog, but it’s something you will have ready when you need it.
With most Bluchic themes, woo commerce is already set up and in place. You will love the ease of having a built-in woo commerce site!
Another great perk of Bluchic is that if you are really not good at the technical side of blogging or just don’t have the time to learn, you can pay them to install it exactly like the demo site (the demo sites are gorgeous you can see them in their woo-commerce shop!) and all you have to do is add the content.
So easy! Ultra professional! Super affordable! Whew, I got a bit excited there. I get so excited about things that are awesome and don’t require too much technical knowledge.
Or you can just install your Bluchic theme yourself with a tutorial. How you set up your blog is entirely up to you.
My site theme is Bluchic’s “Isabelle”. I was able to install my theme and set it up myself. I can install my own theme, you can too.
It would have been faster if I would have paid to have it installed (which they do offer), but I did learn how to start a blog and ultimately use my theme quite well. Also, I can do any later customizations myself easily because I now know how to do them.
Design A Blog Banner
A good blog banner will have your blog name and tag line. I have a tutorial for you How To Create a Blog Banner With Pic Monkey. Pic Monkey is super easy to use and great for beginners.
You can design your logo, site icon (what you see in the browser tab if you look at the tab for this page it’s a red heart) and banner using Pic Monkey. Once your blog starts generating an income you can spend it on having some of those things done professionally if you choose.
*Update My new favorite way to create a blog banner and any graphics for my blog is with Canva.
Invest In Your Blog
A blog is one of the cheapest startup businesses you can have. It costs hardly anything to start a blog. A blog is one of the lowest investments for any business that can have the highest returns.
You can always continue to invest in systems, training, and programs as your blog grows. Learning how to start a blog is one of the best things you can do to earn extra money.
If you learn enough, you can replace your income and quit your day job if that is something that you choose.
You can hire someone to do any of these things I’ve listed if you have the budget. You can write off your blog expenses, so why not invest back into it?
It’s exceptional to learn how to do some of the technical things on your blog so that you don’t waste any time waiting around on someone else to do edits for you. Learning how to start a blog and how to build a business can be very rewarding.
I have the perfect free printable for you to use while you are setting up your blog and beyond! It’s my free printable Daily Top 5. With Plan Blog Repeat’s Productivity Tools – My Daily Top 5 will not only be your top 5 to do’s but your Top 5 success Habits you can follow every day.
So there you have it now you know how to start a blog. That wasn’t so bad, was it? If you have any questions feel free to ask me in the comments I’m here for you.
Start A Blog As A Business
There are so many reasons why you need to start a blog. But I want to be real with you. If you don’t treat your blog like a business you are never going to make any money doing it.
Blogging can open so many doors for you. The opportunities are endless and the pay can be more than you ever dreamed possible with such low overhead.
However, not everyone will be able to make it blogging and there are lots of reasons why. But the number one reason why your blog might fail is because you don’t treat your blog like a business.
When you start a blog, set yourself up for success and you will be able to be successful. But if you go into it blind success will be aloof.
I want you to know that just writing blog posts isn’t the most profitable way to make a living if you don’t have a plan. There are so many ways that bloggers can make money but without a good business plan you’re going to be swimming upstream.
Learning The Business Of Blogging
There are some bloggers out there hitting it out of the park, and they are doing it because they know the secrets. I am a business planner as well as a blogger and even I didn’t put the pieces together for awhile.
I spun my wheels for the longest time because I wasn’t able to crack the code of easy online success. Sure, I had a lot of blogging success and business success but what I didn’t realize was I had to put my focus in the correct areas.
You can blog all day long and do things that are not important, or you can streamline your activities and do what really matters. Things that will build your blog into a business.
I don’t care how many pageviews that you have on your blog, if you aren’t treating it like a business you are not going to make the money you could by turning your blog into a business.
A great business starts with a plan. Check out my Business Plan Bundle for an easy to follow planning system that will turn your blog into the money making business that you always wanted it to be.