Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you use my affiliate link. Full disclosure policy here.
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.
Now, I make a full-time income from blogging and I have started five successful blogs in total, three of which I later sold for a profit.
I am not special – I truly believe that anyone can start a successful and profitable blog as long as 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 extremely 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 bookmark this post 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 the following foundational blog posts first, and then coming back to this guide:
- What Is a Blog? Explanation of Blogging Terms for Beginners
- 7 Reasons to Start a Blog (And 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t)
- 6 Things to Do Before Starting a Blog
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, lifestyle, etc.
The topic of your blog is known as your blog niche.
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, crafts & DIY, beauty, food, 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 down or change your focus as you go on and figure out what’s working best for you.
Tip: Download my free list of 150+ blog niche ideas for more inspiration!
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 if you can help it. 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 .co because they are less common and harder to remember.
- Make your blog 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 feel like a great fit once you get started.
For more detailed strategies to help you choose a name for your blog, plus examples from real-life blogs, check out my post on blog name ideas.
You can also use this free domain name checker tool from Bluehost 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 with Bluehost (as opposed to paying $15 to $20 for it.)
Note: If you can’t decide on a domain name right now, 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 and your domain name 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? WordPress is 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 and I love it!
Some of the other theme companies I recommend are:
If you are on a tight 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.
Related: 5 Types of Blog Posts Every New Blogger Needs to Write
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. I have worked with both Monumetric and Mediavine ad networks. Another option if you don’t have much traffic to your blog yet is Ezoic. Ad networks place ads on your blog, and pay you based on how many people view them.
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 is a big list of 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 resources to check out that will help you monetize your blog:
- 250+ Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
- 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
- 11 Best Digital Products to Sell on Your Blog
- How I Made $24,000+ from Blog Flipping
30 Days to Blogging Success
If you need more help starting your blog, I created 30 Days to Blogging Success to help you start and grow a successful blog in just one month.
This online course contains step-by-step lessons showing you everything you need to know to create a profitable blog.
You can follow each daily lesson over the course of 30 days, or go at your own pace, because you get lifetime access to the material.
Here’s what you will learn…
- How to choose a profitable niche for your blog
- How to set up your blog (no technical experience required!)
- Designing your blog and making it look professional
- How to write blog posts that people will actually want to read
- The best ways to promote your blog and get traffic
- The basics of Pinterest and SEO for bloggers
- All the strategies I use to make money blogging
- How to start an email list and create an opt-in
- How to network with other bloggers to grow your blog
And so much more!
Of course, you’ll get access to some exclusive bonuses too:
- 150+ Profitable Blog Niche Ideas
- Canva Pinterest Templates ($15 value)
- 250+ Profitable Affiliate Programs for Bloggers
- Email Sales Template ($19 value)
- 100+ Catchy Blog Post Title Templates
Click here to enroll in 30 Days to Blogging Success!
Free Blog Set-Up
Want to start a blog but don’t want to deal with setting everything up yourself? Let me do it all for you, for FREE, with my free blog set-up service.
With this exclusive service, I will install a WordPress theme of your choice (worth up to $135+) on your blog and install all recommended WordPress plugins.
Here’s how to claim your free blog set-up:
- Purchase a web hosting package for your blog from Bluehost using my partner link. This gives you an exclusive offer of web hosting for just $3.95 a month and a FREE domain name (a $15 value.)
- Forward your email receipt to me at [email protected].
- Fill out the secure request form on this page and get your brand-new beautiful blog delivered to you within 48 hours.
Read all the details about the free blog set-up service here.
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!