created my first blog in 2004 with zero computer experience. It took meforever to figure it out. (Let’s just say I googled until I nearly lost my eyeballs.) This guide contains what I learned along the way and isespecially for those who want step-by-step instructions in an easy and simple format.
Why start a blog?
There are many reasons you might consider it. Here are a few popular ones:
- Make money while working from home. I make a full-time income blogging and many others do the same. Making money with a blog is hard work, but the barrier to entry is low, making it very low risk.
- Author a book. It’s no secret. These days, publishers rarely work with authors who don’t have an online presence. The reason is simple: it’s a lot easier to sell books to people who already know you. A blog is one of the easiest places to start.
- Get more exposure for your existing business. A blog gives anyone, from individuals to large companies, the ability to reach a large number of people at very little cost.
- Just write. If you want to write, share your story, encourage others and build a community, a blog is a great place to do that.
Do you see yourself in any of those? Can you see how you would benefit from a blog? Let’s get you up and running!
The 6 basic steps to starting a blog
These are the main sections we’ll cover. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you right through.
- Decide what to blog about
- Choose a blogging platform
- Find a host
- Pick a domain name
- Install WordPress
- Design & use your blog!
Step 1: Decide what to blog about
If you’re part of a business, company or organization, this step will be easy to determine. Your blog should be related to the product(s) or service(s) you provide, or the cause you promote.
If you’re an individual, you have more flexibility with topic choice. I already explained in detail how to decide what to blog about, but the main things to remember are:
- Blog about something you enjoy.
- Blog about something with plenty of room for discussion.
- Most importantly, choose a niche in which you can establish yourself as an authority.
The goal for any blog is to become the go-to resource for its topic or niche.
Step 2: Choose a blogging platform
There are many services you can use to start a blog or website. You may be tempted to use a free service, but know you’ll be limited, and in some cases, quite severely. You get what you pay for, as they say. Using a paid-for service isn’t expensive. It’s a no-brainer in my opinion.
Of the many blogging platforms out there, WordPress is, by far, the most popular (source).
I use WordPress myself and appreciate its flexibility, functionality, ease of use and large community of people who share tools and ideas. It’s an excellent choice. And don’t worry, if you want a website without a blog, WordPress makes it easy.
Caution! Within WordPress, you have two options. People are often confused by the two so I’ll mention them here:
- Hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.com blogs.”
- Self-hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.org blogs.” (recommended)
This guide outlines the steps to start a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Step 3: Find a host
A host provides server space for your site. Put simply, this allows others to find your site on the internet.
Disclosure: Because I am a paying customer for over 10 years, some of the links below are referral links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase.