Starting a blog can appear confusing & complicated for the first-time user. There are many articles online on How to Start a Blog in 2018, but I believe I’ve laid out the most straightforward, easy-to-follow instructions (with diagrams) for the entire process.
You have a way with words. You have a lot to say and write. In fact, you want your writing to connect you to a broader audience. Congrats! You have what it takes to become a professional blogger. However, it’s only the beginning. The audience won’t invite themselves to read your posts, and the Brinks truck isn’t going to be reversing into your driveway with bags of money overnight. The good news is, with some tips and tricks, and a few cups of coffee, you’ll be well on your way to your blogging empire. This article is here to guide you down the path of bringing your passion to fruition.
Why Should You Start A Blog?
There’s a ton of reasons to start a blog. For me, I wanted to escape the rat race and start living for once. I was just tired of putting in countless hours for someone else. I’ve watched my boss take several yearly vacations, while I was barely able to afford a family night out at the movie theater. I knew there was much more to life, and I just needed to find it.
Only after three months of starting my first blog, I was able to quit my job and enjoy the perks of being a blogger.
You probably share the same sentiments as me, or something else might ignite the motivation behind starting your blog. Either way, starting a blog means building your personal playground, and you create the rules of the game. If that’s not appealing enough, there’s also a chance of earning a ton of money while working from home; writing what you want, when you want.
I’M SOLD! So what’s next…
You’re about to start your first blog. Many great writers fail to become successful bloggers as they skip some crucial steps along the way. If you are serious about turning this into a career, make sure to follow some basic rules.
Step 1: “Your passion is how you cash-in”
Take a second and think about where your passion lie. What do you find yourself doing or talking about all of the time? There’s an old saying, “follow your passion and success will follow you.” Let your passion be the driving factor in your blogging niche.
Rather it’s beauty, parenting, traveling, lifestyle, cars, DIY, literature, music or anything else, you should determine your niche before writing any posts. It will help you organize your thoughts and, moreover, it will help you build a brand and framework for a sustainable future. If you have several ideas and cannot decide which one to choose for your blog, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I like to read? Your reading habits impact interests.
- What do I mostly like to write? Review your Facebook statuses. What topics inspired you to write specific posts.
- What are your hobbies? Blog readers relate to blogs that can help them learn a new skill or adopt a new hobby.
- Is there something you would like to criticize? Things making us angry can be a gold mine for blogging.
- What kind of difference do you want to make with this blog? Do you want to help people understand themselves better? Do you want to inspire them to travel or make the best of their style?
- What are your favorite blogs? Think about what drives you to their blog?
- What are your fields of expertise? Consider your education or skill.
- What kind of people do you want to reach? Always think about your readers.
Congrats! You’ve determined your niche. You gave your blog a soul and purpose. Now, you’re ready to work on more specific aspects of starting a blog.
Two things are required to make your blog accessible to people around the world:
☑ Domain name – This is the name visitors will type into their surf browser to access your blog. Our Domain name is Blogmance.com.
☑ Hosting – This is the engine which allows your website to be available on the World Wide Web (www).
Step 2: Select Your Domain Name
Now here’s where the fun begins! Your company, brand, and image will lie in the hands of your domain name. Select a name which is easy to spell and easy to remember. Try keeping your domain name short in character length, as you will want your readers to easily remember your site name.
Step 3: Choose a Plan to Host Your Blog
I’ve spent countless weeks researching the best hosting companies for my blog. After reviewing many options, we were lucky to come across Siteground.com.
The holy three: uptime, speed, and fantastic tech support – and they pay equally high attention to each of these three areas.
A 12-month study was conducted on several leading internet hosting providers. Siteground prevailed as one of the top hosting providers around; leading in many of the essential areas for blogging. Per the study:
☑ Uptime – Is a measurement of quality; it’s the web hosting time without failures (outages). Siteground had a 99.98% uptime, which was .19% better than the industry standard.
☑ Speed – They had a page loading speed of 585ms. Think of it this way; the average load speed is 1185ms. Siteground’s speed is twice as fast as the competition.
☑ Support – Siteground owns a client customer service rating of 97%; with an average phone answer time of 11 seconds!
Don’t just take my word for it; look below to review real testimonials from their customers.
Step 4: Purchase your hosting and domain name
To get started lets head over to Siteground. Save 60% by clicking on the following link; CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED.
Starting out, I recommend the StartUp plan as it’s the most economical, while still packing plenty of power for your budding blog. Click the GET STARTED link to begin the process:
On the following screen, enter the domain name you’ve selected for your blog, then click PROCEED:
On the last and final screen, you’ll need to enter basic account and billing information to complete your purchase:
TIP: I highly recommend getting Domain Privacy for your blog. This feature will protect and hide your personal information from becoming public domain.
Congrats! You’ve just registered your Domain Name and Hosting services for your blog. You’ll receive two emails from SiteGround; one will be your order confirmation, and the second email will contain your Login Information.
Now, it’s time to install your WordPress blog.
Step 5: Install WordPress
Siteground has taken all of the guesswork out of installing WordPress on your hosting server. Their support team will set up your blog for you and send you your WordPress Admin login detail. After signing up for your hosting account, log into your account profile and select the “Support” tab.
Next, scroll down to the Technical Assistance Area and select “WordPress Assistance.”
Now, sit back, relax and let the SiteGround support staff work their magic and set up your account. This process shouldn’t take longer than about 15 minutes. After completion, you’ll receive another email — this time with your WordPress Blog login detail.
Step 6: Login to your Blog
Now use the Username and Password provided to you by the Siteground support team and login to your blog.
Just navigate to http://www.YOURNEWDOMAIN.com/wp-admin
Step7: Time to personalize your blog with a theme
There are thousands (literally thousands) of themes to choose from. When selecting a theme (and this is extra important when you are starting a blog), make sure it makes sense and relates to your blogging vision. Some themes are built specifically for certain types of niches.
I recommend going with MyThemeShop for your blog theme selection. They’re known for delivering ultra responsive designs and have a paint-by-numbers options panel for easy updating and customizing of your blog page.
Step 8: How to install your WordPress theme
After selecting your theme from MyThemeShop, head back to your WordPress Dashboard to upload the theme to your blog.
- Hover your cursor over Appearance
- Click Themes
- Select the Add New button
Next: Click the Upload Theme button and upload the ZIP file you’ve received via email after purchasing your theme.
Be sure to activate your theme upon completion of installation.
Step 9: How to customize your WordPress theme
Now it’s time to add a personal touch to your blog. The WordPress Customizer allows you to add logos, titles, pages, images, videos, banners, and anything else you can think of to personalize your blog.
Here’s how to access the Customizer:
- Hover your cursor over Appearance
- Click Customize
Step 10: Add functionality to your WordPress Blog
Initially, a WordPress blog is limited to only creating blog pages and writing posts. To add functionality to your page, you will need to install plug-ins. Plug-ins are pieces of software which contain a group of functions to a blog. Think of them as apps for a smartphone. They serve the same purpose to blogs. You can download a plug-in which will add a new feature or function to your WordPress site.
Here’s how to access the Plug-in marketplace by:
- Click Plugins
2.Click Add New
Plug-ins are to blogs, as apps are to smartphones.
Must-have WordPress plugins for your blog
There are over 50,000 WordPress plugins within the marketplace. I’ve compiled a list of the 10 must-have plug-ins for every blog.
- Yoast SEO
- Google XML Sitemap
- Jackpack by WordPress.com
- W3 Total Cache
- Contact Form 7
- Everest Forms
- Google Analytics for WordPress
- Wordfence Security
- Social Icons