So if you’ve found this page you’re probably wondering how to start a blog. I’m glad you’re here and I want to give you all the information you need to make informed choices.
To start a blog you don’t need technical experience and you don’t need to edit any code. This guide will help you avoid the mistakes that a lot of new bloggers make when they jump in without knowing the best ways to get started.
I’ve been blogging and working with WordPress for many years and I have a lot of experience to share with you. To start a blog there are some initial setup things to take care of but then it’s all done with the regular web interface right inside of WordPress.
You have things you’d like to share on your blog and this guide will let you get started. You’ll understand how to build a blog from scratch. Once your blog is running then you can focus on what you really want to do without spending all of your time worrying about servers and software and things like that.
So let’s go through step-by-step instructions for how to start a blog…
Why Start A Blog?
There are several reasons to start a blog. You may want a creative outlet. You may want to help people and share your experience and your knowledge. You may want to work from home and make money blogging. Or you may want to promote yourself or your existing business.
Or you may want to do some or all of those things.
Knowing why you want to start a blog will help you decide what to do with your blog and who you’ll want to attract to your blog.
Steps To Starting A Blog
There are just a few steps to get a blog started:
- Decide what your blog topic is going to be.
- Get a hosting account where you’ll put your blog and register your domain name.
- Install WordPress on your hosting account (don’t worry, it’s automated and easy).
Once you’ve done those steps to get your blog up and running, you’ll be able to choose a design for your blog, start writing blog posts and start reaching your intended audience with your blog.
Decide On Your Blog Topic
If you’re building a blog for an existing business you’ll already know what your topic is going to be. Just like you have a specialty with your business, keep that same specialty on your blog.
If you’re starting a totally new blog then you may choose whatever topic you’d like.
Some important things to remember when choosing your blog topic:
- Blog about something you’re interested in and want to share with others. Sharing with others is important. When you know who you’re blogging for it’s much easier to attract those people so your blog will be engaging to them.
- Choose just one topic for your blog that lets you show your expertise and become an authority on that topic. Put your own spin on your blogging topic and share information that helps people and teaches them what you know.
- Writing blogs posts with expertise and authority on one topic helps you get your blog listed on Google for free.
Choosing just one topic lets you really show your authority with that subject and it lets you attract a specific and very interested audience. People aren’t looking for sites that cover everything, they’re looking for sites that really know one thing and can teach them more about it. Google is looking for that, too. And if Google likes your site it will show up more in the Google search results. This is an important part of how to start a blog and attract your readers.
Get A Web Hosting Account And Register A Domain Name
A web hosting account is where your blog will “live” on the Internet. It’s space on a server that contains all of your blog files and information. When someone goes to your blog that server puts your blog into their web browser. And the web hosting company has people on-staff monitoring the server and connections to the Internet 24/7 so your site stays up at all times.
You’ll use a free system called WordPress to run your blog. It comes with your web hosting account and you’re free to do anything you’d like with it. Most bloggers use this full WordPress platform on their sites, too.
Click here to see the web hosting plans I recommend for new bloggers (it’s helpful to look them over in a new tab as we continue here).
Choose A Web Hosting Plan
If you’re only planning to build one blog site then the starter account has everything you need and then some. In fact it includes secure HTTPS/SSL — the secure “green padlock” on your site — for free.
If you’re planning to build more than one blog then the middle plan is the right choice.
Both plans have a new sign-up discount.
Choose A Domain Name
On the next screen you’ll be asked if you have an existing domain name or would like to register a new domain name.
If you already have a domain name type it in here, even if it’s already being used somewhere else. It won’t change anything you have elsewhere but you’ll be able to start setting things up here before switching things over.
If you don’t have a domain name yet you may choose “new domain” and type it in here. Domain name registrations are separate from the actual hosting and the name will usually cost $10 to $13 per year — just once per year!
Once you register your domain name it belongs to you no matter what registration or hosting you get. You could even buy the domain name somewhere else, but for new bloggers registering the name here just saves a lot of extra steps so it’s easier.
Tips For Choosing A Domain Name
When you choose a domain name, make it unique and easy to remember — it’s your “brand” on the Internet. Use a “.com” name if possible. Make it easy to say and spell and don’t use dashes/hyphens.
If the name you want is already taken try adding a word to the beginning or end that makes it more unique to stand-out more.
Complete Your Web Hosting Registration
Next, enter in your contact information and billing information for your web hosting plan and domain registration.
I recommend choosing YES for domain privacy and NO to the extra services like “Hack Alert” or “Scanner” services. Save the money on those extra services since they’re not really needed (and you can add those things yourself with just a few clicks later).
Install WordPress With An Easy Built-In Tool In Just A Few Clicks
Your hosting account includes WordPress. This is the full version of WordPress that runs on your own website. This is called “self-hosted” WordPress and it’s much more powerful than the free blog sites (even the free blog site that’s also called WordPress!).
When you install this full WordPress on your hosting account you have complete control over your blog and you may do whatever you want with it. It’s like owning instead of renting.
Start The WordPress Install
Installing WordPress only needs to be done once. These steps will take a few minutes.
In your hosting account click on “My Accounts” and then click on the CPanel button. Choose “secure” access to CPanel and click Okay.
Once you’re in CPanel, scroll down to the “AutoInstallers” section.
Then choose “WordPress” and click the Install button.
Select your domain name and choose if you want “www” or not — choosing the “www” part is just whatever your personal preference is.
If you see the option for “https” then choose that. HTTPS is the secure “green padlock” for your site.
If you see an option that says “In Directory” make sure that is blank!
Choose a unique username (not the word “admin”) and set a good strong password. Be sure you remember the username and password since you’ll use it to log in to your WordPress blog from now on.
Scroll down and click the “Install” button.
Once that’s done, click the link to go to the WordPress admin area and log in with your new username and password.
Congratulations, you’ve learned how to start a blog and your new WordPress is now installed and ready to use!
If You Used An Existing Domain Name
If you already had a domain name — and didn’t register a new one here — then there’s one more step.
You’ll need to log in to wherever you registered the domain name and change the “name server” setting. This will be just two addresses you’ll need to enter and those addresses are shown on your new hosting account at the upper left of the CPanel.
That’s How To Start A Blog. You’re Ready To Start Blogging!
Your new blog is ready to use! Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard to access all of the features of the blog and to start writing your new blog posts.
To go back and look at the web hosting plans again, click here.
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Thanks for joining me for this guide. And please share this page with other aspiring bloggers you know.