Are you looking to start a side hustle?
Are you wanting to bring in extra income from home?
Do you have valuable content to share with others?
Blogging is a great way to build a platform for you to share content, build extra income and meet new people. With blogging, the possibilities are endless.
I have seen people with great ideas get lost in the overload of how to get started with blogging.
In this post, I want to share with you – and the many others – who are dreaming of starting a blog on how to decide what your blog topic will be, setting up your website and domain, and tips for getting started with writing.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you start a blog:
Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Blog
1. Determine what you are going to blog about.
You decided to start a blog. Now what?
You need to determine what you want to write about on your blog. There are a lot of topics out there. You want to figure out what topic to focus on and write within that topic. You may already have a topic in mind. Or, you might be trying to decide which topic to write about.
Here are some popular topics blogger’s write about:
- Personal finance
- College life / student loans
- Food / food design
- Eating healthy
- Coupons / shopping
When choosing a blog topic, try not to get caught up in the specifics. You can start broad and narrow your focus as you grow and learn.
2. Choose a blogging platform.
You will need to decide which blogging platform you want to use. There are a lot of great options available. You want to pick a blogging platform with your end goal in mind.
- WordPress – WordPress is an open source software to create a custom website, blog or app
- Weebly – Weebly is an easy drag and drop website builder
- Squarespace – Squarespace is a content management system, website builder, blogging platform and more
- Blogger – Blogger is a free blog-hosting platform connected to Google
My personal favorite is WordPress. There is over 66 million WordPress websites in the world. That’s over 25% of websites using this platform! WordPress is free and available for anyone to use it. There are thousands of free WordPress plugins you can use to make your website unique and customized. WordPress is also one of the best platforms for monetizing your website and making money.
3. Find a hosting service
I recommend that you build your blog on a self-host website. There are a lot of reasons to self-host your site.
Self-hosting will allow you to monetize your blog, be found easier by search engines and readers and gives you a lot of freedom with building your site.
Self-hosting is where you pay a company to host your blog and domain. Several of these hosting companies will provide a free domain with purchase of hosting services, e-mail addresses at your domain, and customer support.
Here are three hosting services I have used or have been recommended to me:
Bluehost – Web hosting as low as $3.95/month. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to start self-hosting, Bluehost is a good option.
Siteground – Web hosting through Siteground is $3.95/month. Siteground really stands out when it comes to customer service. They also provide domains at discounted rates. I currently use Siteground for web hosting.
WP Engine – WP Engine provides hosting for higher traffic blogs and websites. You would not need WP Engine to get you started, but might find it beneficial as your blog traffic increases.
4. Pick a domain
You need to pick a name for your website or blog. Your blog name should reflect the topic of your blog or business. Readers should have an idea of what they will find on your website when they read your blog name or URL.
I wanted a blog name that could grow with me through different seasons. When I choose Kitchen Table Finances, I pictured different seasons of people sitting around a kitchen table in different life phases. The name had some growth potential to adjust and adapt to my next seasons and would not become irrelevant.
There are a few things you want to keep in mind when picking a name for your website:
- Make sure it’s easy to type out for people. Keeping it easy helps make it memorable.
- Keep it short and sweet. Some of the most notable brands out there are one-word (i.e., Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Etc.).
- Avoid using numbers and hyphens in your blog name and domain. It’s much cleaner without them.
- Be brandable and intuitive. Start from the beginning of thinking about your blog as a brand. You want it to look professional, well-kept and clean for your readers.
- Research it. You want to avoid trademark infringements. Spend some time checking to make sure your domain is available.
- Use the right extension (.org, .com, .us, .biz). There are several options with extensions. Use the extension that is most appropriate for your blog or business. Its important to not mislabel your website with the wrong extension.
- Buy it! The last thing to do is purchase your domain! If you’ve selected a hosting service already, you may be eligible for one free domain with purchase.
5. Design your blog
Choosing the right theme for your blog is important. Before your readers read any of your posts or articles, they will be left with an impression of who you are and your blog based on how it looks.
Build your blog with first impressions in mind.
You want to purchase a responsive theme. Responsive themes will adjust to the size and layout of the device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) your website is being viewed on. For high quality themes, check out these theme providers:
6. Start writing!
You have picked your topic, selected a hosting service, purchased your domain and designed your site. The only thing left for you to do is to write! Tips for writing blog posts:
- Writing takes time. It will take work to develop a good blog.
- Create space for yourself to focus.
- Avoid distractions by turning off your phone or leaving it in the other room.
- Create a habit of writing consistently.
- Add photos and/or videos to enhance your blog posts.
- Create a catchy headline.
- Make your content easy for readers to scan. It should not be hard to find the main points within your post.
- Write useful content. Write a solution to a common problem or frustration.
- Edit your posts. Try to eliminate any extra “fluff’ in your post and make it clean to read.
- Have fun. Enjoy sharing your thoughts, solutions and ideas with others.
Blogging is an amazing platform for writing and sharing content with the world. With these six steps, you will be able to setup your blog and get started in your journey. I am excited that you are exploring the possibilities of blogging and encourage you to take the leap into the world of blogging.
If you have started a blog or website, share your domain in the comments below. I would love to check out your new endeavor and see your website!