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How to Start a Blog for Beginners
This post is all about how to start a blog, even if you’re a total beginner!
First of all, congrats on deciding to start a blog! If you want to learn how to start a blog and make money blogging, you’re in the right place.
These are the exact steps I took to start a blog and begin earning money from it just one month later. I started blogging as a college student with the goal of earning $1,000 a month so I wouldn’t need a part-time job.
Less than two years later, I am now earning over $5,000 every month from blogging and I am still just doing this part-time.
I am not special – I truly believe that anyone can start a successful and profitable blog if they are willing to put in the effort!
How to Start a Blog Step-by-Step Guide
This guide will help you start your blog TODAY, even if you are a total beginner. Starting a blog is something you can do sitting at home in your pajamas.
This blog post is about a fifteen-minute read. Putting the steps from this guide into action should take you under an hour! It’s so important to have a solid foundation for your blog if you want to make money from it, so I recommend following the steps in this guide closely.
NOTE: All the links in this post open in new tabs so you won’t lose your place in the guide! You might also want to pin this post on Pinterest for future reference.
Here’s what I will cover in this guide:
- Choosing a blogging niche
- Picking a domain name
- Setting up web hosting
- Designing your blog
- How to make money blogging
If you are totally new to blogging, I recommend reading 6 Things to Do Before Starting a Blog first and then coming back to this guide.
What Is a Blog and Why Should I Start One?
First things first, let’s talk about exactly what a blog is.
A blog is a website that is regularly updated with articles (called blog posts) about a certain topic. For example, Blogging Her Way is a blog all about blogging. You can start a blog on any topic, such as travel, food, parenting, etc.
While some people just blog for fun as a way to share their personal life or hobbies, you can also make money from blogging. I will talk about the top four ways that I and many other bloggers make money at the end of this guide.
So are you ready to learn how to start a blog? Let’s get started!
Step 1: Choose Your Blogging Niche
What will you write about on your blog?
If you’re blogging just for fun or as a hobby, a defined niche doesn’t matter as much. But if want to make money blogging, you should pick a topic (or niche) to focus on. Make sure to choose something you enjoy writing about.
If you can’t see yourself writing about your chosen topic long-term or don’t feel that excited about it, then pick something else!
Some popular blogging niches are fashion, travel, lifestyle, personal finance, beauty, parenting, health & fitness, and business. Getting even more specific is a good idea; for example, a travel blog about extreme budget travel, or a business blog about how to run your own wedding photography business.
Related: 7 Blog Niches That Make Money and Get Traffic
Don’t worry if you can’t decide on a niche right now. Just start by writing about whatever you’re interested in, and you can narrow or change your focus as you go on and see what’s working best for you.
Step 2: Pick a Domain Name
Once you know what you’re going to blog about, it’s time to choose a domain name. Your domain name is your blog’s address on the web.
Here are some tips for choosing a domain name:
- Make your name easy to spell and say. Don’t use misspelled words, numbers, or hyphens in your domain name. All of these things will make your name a lot harder for people to remember.
- Make sure that the .com of your chosen name is available. Try to avoid endings like .net or .org because they are less common and harder to remember.
- Make your name related to your niche. This way people will instantly know what your blog is about. For example, Carly’s Kitchen for a food blog, or Wandering Footsteps for a travel blog.
- Add modifying words. If the name you want is not available, consider adding modifying words. For example, I suggested the name Wandering Footsteps above. If that’s not available, you could do My Wandering Footsteps, Our Wandering Footsteps, These Wandering Footsteps, etc.
- Use your own name. If you can’t think of a catchy name for your blog, using your own full name as your domain name is always a safe bet.
- Don’t overthink it. Try not to spend too much time on this step or worry about picking the “perfect” domain name. Chances are, whatever name you pick will grow on you and start to feel like a great fit.
You can use this domain name checker tool to see if the domain name you want is available to register:
In the next section of this guide, I will show you exactly how to get your domain name for free (as opposed to paying $15 to $20 for it.)
Note: If you can’t decide on a domain name, don’t worry! You can still go ahead and set up your blog now, then come back and choose a domain name later. (I’ll show you exactly how to do this!)
Step 3: Set Up Web Hosting
If you want to make money as a blogger, you will need to have a self-hosted blog. This means that you own all of your content and your blog is totally yours, as opposed to using a hosted platform such as Blogger, Wix, WordPress.com, etc.
Even if you are not a very technical person, setting up web hosting is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes.
First, you will need to choose a web host.
The web hosting company I use and recommend is Bluehost.
Here are a few reasons why I like Bluehost:
- They have some of the most affordable web hosting plans out there.
- You can get your domain name for free with them (as opposed to paying $15 to $20 with an outside company.)
- Their service is reliable and robust, so you will never have to worry about your website going down or loading slowly.
- Many of the most successful bloggers I know use Bluehost.
- They have great customer support and I have always had my questions answered quickly whenever I needed help.
Bluehost has very generously offered hosting packages starting at just $3.95 a month for readers of Blogging Her Way, along with a FREE domain name.
To get this special pricing, just be sure to use any Bluehost link in this article!
Here’s how to set up web hosting with Bluehost:
1. Click here and then click the “Get Started” button:
2. Select your hosting plan
3. Put in your domain name
Select this option and you can go ahead and set up your blog now, then use the free credit to buy your domain name later.
4. Create your hosting account
5. Choose your package and pay
6. Congrats, you’re done!
Now you’re all set! Bluehost will automatically install WordPress for you.
What exactly is WordPress? It’s the content management platform that your blog will run on. Your WordPress dashboard is where you will go to edit the look of your blog, write blog posts, upload images, etc.
It’s extremely easy to use, even if you’re a total beginner.
Step 4: Design Your Blog
Now it’s time for the fun part – designing your blog!
When you log in to your WordPress dashboard for the first time, you will be prompted to go ahead and choose a theme for your blog:
You can pick one of these default themes if you want, but I don’t recommend it.
For one, the majority of these free default themes are not designed with bloggers in mind. Most are designed for business websites.
Additionally, choosing a premium theme over a default theme will make your blog look more professional right from the start.
Here are the benefits to choosing a paid, premium theme for your blog:
- They come with step-by-step set-up instructions
- You will have access to customer support from the theme creator.
- Paid themes come with crucial features like a mobile responsive design and customization options.
- Your blog will look prettier and more professional.
The themes I recommend most for new bloggers are Bluchic Themes because they are so easy to set up and have great customer support. I am using their “Victoria” theme on my blog right now!
Another theme company I have worked with and recommend is Elegant Themes.
If you are on a right budget right now, you can always choose one of the free themes to start out and upgrade to a paid theme later!
Once you have decided on and purchased a theme, it’s time to install it!
To install your theme, go to Appearance > Themes in the lefthand menu of the WordPress dashboard, which looks like this:
Then simply upload your theme file and click “Activate.”
Congrats on making it this far! What should you do next?
Write your first blog post! For new bloggers, I recommend getting 5 to 10 solid blog posts up first and working on a building your audience.
Step 5: Make Money Blogging!
Now let’s talk about how to make money blogging. Once you have started your blog, you can monetize it right away. A lot of bloggers wait to do this, but I was able to make money in my first month blogging so I don’t see any reason to wait.
Here are four of the most profitable ways to make money as a blogger:
Affiliate marketing: This is one of the easiest ways to start making money as a new blogger in any niche. Essentially, you promote a product on your blog and earn a commission every time someone makes a purchase through your unique affiliate link. Read my full affiliate marketing guide for more info!
Advertising: Advertising is a great way to make money blogging once you start getting a good amount of traffic to your blog. I use Monumetric for ads and have had a great experience with them. Mediavine and AdThrive are two other high-paying ad networks, but you will need a lot of traffic to get in.
Digital products: Many bloggers create their own products to sell such as ebooks or online courses. This is personally my favorite way to make money a a blogger. Here are 10 ideas of digital products that you can sell.
Sponsored posts: Bloggers can work with brands on sponsored blog posts and sponsored social media posts. Sponsored posts are common in blogging niches like fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel, cooking, and parenting but you can find opportunities in any blogging niche if you look hard enough!
Here are a few more blog posts to read that will help you monetize your blog:
- The Best Affiliate Programs for Bloggers to Make Money
- How to Make $50,000 a Month Blogging
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Review (+ SPECIAL OFFER!)
- How I Wrote and Launched My Ebook in 5 Days
- 10 Best Digital Products to Sell
- How to Start an Email List as a Blogger
I also recommend enrolling in these two awesome FREE courses by Suzi from Start a Mom Blog once you have started your blog.
Suzi is a former engineer turned mom blogger, and she has amazing advice for new bloggers. If you are feeling lost and not sure what your next steps are, these two free resources will help:
- FREE First Month Blog Plan: 31 actionable steps to take in your first month blogging to set your blog up for success.
- FREE 12 Month Blog Plan: A complete 12 month roadmap to help you grow a successful and profitable blog.
So to recap, here’s exactly how to start a blog in under an hour:
- Decide on a niche for your blog (AKA the topic you will write about)
- Choose a domain name
- Register your domain and get hosting for $3.95 a month with Bluehost
- Pick a theme for your blog (I’m using a theme from Bluchic)
- Write 5 to 10 blog posts and launch!
Starting a blog is actually very simple, and anyone can do it! To make money blogging, you WILL have to put in a lot of time and effort. Blogging is definitely not a “get rich quick” scheme. But if you treat your blog like a business from the very start and make worthwhile investments (web hosting, a premium WordPress theme, etc.) and put in the effort, you will see results!
If you are still feeling confused by any of this, please feel free to comment below and I will do my best to help! My goal is to help YOU start your own profitable blog!