Congratulations ! You made it!
Congrats on what you say?
On How to start a blog!
Let me explain………….
The hardest thing about starting a blog, is the physical start-up to make it become a reality. I mean you probably thought long, hard hours/days/months and maybe even years of the possibility of having one. Now look where you landed! Right here! How do you feel about your first blogging achievement?
OK, so lets be real for a moment. I know you are probably nervous, just like I was. The thought about starting to blog was so exciting that when I got into the start-up and technicality side of it, well I got scared. You see I come from a medical background with no clue how to use computers. (I know how to turn one on, silly!) Now I want to start a blog that entails using one every time?!? YIKES!!
I researched for months to even years about everything and anything to start a blog. All the time I used for this research will help you! How you may ask? I did all the leg-work and all you have to do is follow this post. When we are done, you will have your own little piece of internet space in the world. That’s exciting!
This post does contain affiliate links. If you click on these links, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Need more info click here.
How to start a blog, the easy and quick way!
- Decide to blog (Yay, you already got through your first step!)
- Decide on a niche
- Pick a clever blog name
- Buy web hosting (I use Siteground)
- Register your domain name
- Install WordPress
- Choose and install a theme
Since we already accomplished step 1, lets move on to step 2
For some but not all, this might be easy. You decided to write a blog because you obviously have something that you are passionate about. Now you can use that passion to educate or inspire others. This is your niche! Niches can be anything from, How to make….., Parenting advice…., or cooking.
Did you ever wonder……………
“I wish I could get paid for this?”
Well, you can!!!!
For example, maybe you make bows for your daughters hair or make zombie halloween costumes for your son. Did you know you can blog about that and get paid? Showing others your skills will help teach them something that you are an expert on. This will bring more traffic to your site and possibly some income, once you monetize your blog. (You need to do this!)
If you are still having trouble trying to narrow down your niche, start with one topic and see where your creative mind will take you. I wanted to write about DIY projects, but my mind became more focused on parenting advice. Who knew?! You can always add more topics to your menu and maybe even start a couple other websites/blogs.
3. Pick a blog name
A blog or domain name is that little piece of the internet/web space that you call home. The best example I can give is the apartment scenario. If you were renting an apartment from a landlord, you have an address for that apartment. This is so all your friends and family can come find you when they want to visit. Your domain name is your address.
So my domain name is Mom Ambitions. Honestly, this wasn’t my first choice when I started. My ideal choices were also others favorites and were unfortunately taken. What I suggest you do, is write down 5-10 different names. Keep in mind that you want to make these clever names fit your niche and style of blog you are creating. You also want to make sure not to spell nicknames of the word you’re using. If I wanted to use Mum Ambitions instead of Mom Ambitions, my site wouldn’t be searched properly. Universally, we all spell mom, well MOM. Even though, in some places moms are called mum. That wouldn’t come up high on google search if its spelled mum. So your new apartment address/domain will be hard for your viewers to find. Are you feeling me yet?
(side note, google WILL be your new best friend in your blogging future. So you will need your address to be easy for google and readers to find you!)
If you are making a food blog, then perhaps something called “Food life” may work. If you are a crafting blogger, then “One Crafty Momma” may work better for you.
Once you have your list of compatible names, then you need to see if its available. This will be done when you set up hosting. Sometimes, more than not, the name you want is already taken:(. Don’t worry because you are already prepared with your list of possibilities. Once you’ve set up the technical side of your blog, you can quickly move on without stopping to ponder name choices.
4. Web hosting
Here we go! Are you ready?
Here comes the tech part of it all………….
There are many different hosting companies out there to choose from. First lets start on what a hosting company is.
When you have a blog, you need a company to watch over and store all your content and media. It also needs to keep the site up and running. This is where your web hosting comes into play. When you’re using, for instance, Microsoft word, you save your content to the computer, then when finished you turn the computer off. Now your Word document is saved, but not readable for others because its stored on your computer. Got it so far?
When you write a blog post, you save it on your WordPress account (more on that below). You want others to read it and share your ideas! With hosting, they will save this post and keep it searchable over the internet.
So remember your apartment address/domain name above? Think of your web host as the landlord of the apartment building you want to rent from. The hosting company will be your new landlord that you are renting a web space from, in your little internet universe. If something goes wrong with your apartment/webspace, you can call the landlord/hosting company to help troubleshoot your way out.
There are many companies out there to choose from to rent your web space. The 2 big companies heard through the blogging world are Siteground and Bluehost. Quite frankly, I have not heard a bad thing about either of these companies.
I personally use Siteground since I started up my blog years back and haven’t changed since. Honestly, they have so many tutorials on everything tech related, that I had no clue about! I am still learning!! As you will be too:). They are very helpful and I got my domain right from them. They always keep me posted via email if something is wrong with my site or if it ever goes down. In my past 2 years going on 3, my site has never gone down with Siteground. So why not stay with them? So I will show you how to set up hosting with them below.
Once you click here, go to “get hosting” tab and then decide what package to purchase. They have 3 different ones to choose from.
For the beginning blogger, the start up package is great to have! If you know that you will own multiple websites, GrowBig is for you or GoGeek which offers more web space. The best thing is, they all include a free SSL certificate with your plan purchase. The SSL is the lovely lock icon that will show up by your website address in the browser. This will show your readers that you are a secure site! Really great and much needed option!!
5. Register your domain
Once you pick your package you will see this screen.
If you have an existing domain, choose the second option. If you need to get a new domain, click on the first option.
This is where that list of names, that you so diligently worked on above, will come in handy. This is the longest part to setting up your blog. For you, it won’t be! You already jotted 5-10 possible site names earlier. In the space provided after www. try your list and see what is available. Make sure to try and use a ( .com) domain extension. It is easier and well known for (.coms) rather than (.net).
Next you will see this section where you can review and purchase extras. I personally purchased the SG site scanner. SiteGround sends me emails letting me know that my site is clean and how many malicious attacks it protected me from. It is a really scary thing, so security on your site is a must!
Now click the “pay now” tab and Voila’! You have successfully purchased your little bit of web space/apartment from your new hosting company/new landlord!
6. Install WordPress
So you may be thinking……………
“What in the world is WordPress?”
This is where you create your blogs content, design, media and so on. Remember your landlord, Siteground, and your apartment address/domain name? Well WordPress is your apartment. Wouldn’t it be nice to connect your apartment address to your new apartment? WordPress is the place you just rented to live/blog on. You will write all your posts and add media, then publish your new passion from this content managing tool.
Once your plan is established, you will get all your login info to get signed into your customer area. When you log in for the first time, it will ask you if you want to start a new website? For transferring websites hit transfer. For new bloggers, hit start a new website. Then choose WordPress software to install.
The next section will show you where to put in your login details. Remember these login credentials!!! This is how you will enter your website every single time!! This is your key/username and password, to enter your apartment/backend of your website. Hit confirm when finished. Now click complete set up, unless you wanted to add enhancements.
Finally, click on proceed to customer area. Congrats and welcome to your new apartment commonly known as the backend of your website. This “backend” is where you will create content before it is published to the world. Nobody sees this version except you. This is where you perform all of your blog-tastic magic. Alternatively, the front end is what everyone else sees when they come to visit your site.
Yay! You did it! Wasn’t that easy?
7. choose and install a theme
What the heck is a theme?
A theme is the overall design of your website. Now that you got your apartment/Wordpress website, you need to decorate/customize it. In WordPress (WP), is where you will install your theme.
I have changed my theme multiple times and am still continually tweaking it. Just remember to keep it simple. You are just starting out. Make sure you content stands out to your reader. It is the most important part!
WP offers a ton of free themes, that are great. Many bloggers will then venture out and purchase themes later on down the road.
On the backend of your WP account you will see a blue vertical column on your left-hand side. Hover over the Appearance section. A new blue box will appear to the right of it. Click on theme.
You will see this pop up on your screen.
These are some of the themes that you will see on your backend. If you hover over the theme picture, it will say activate and live preview on the bottom right-hand corner. The live preview will show you how the website design looks and if it fits your personal needs for your new blog. Once you find the right option hit activate. Now your theme will be installed and is ready for you to personalize.
Customizing your new site can be time consuming. For the non-tech person, such as myself. (Haven’t you learned that yet?) There are things called page builders that will let you build your design visually from the frontend of your new blog. What does that mean? It means you visually create your design in real time on your actual website. Not from behind the scenes, all without using any code!
Wait! What the what?!? No code??
Thats exactly what I said! Its pure genius for people just like us, who haven’t got a clue how to design a page! I use a page builder called DIVI by Elegant themes. This is an option to use, but, by no means do you have to. There is another page builder called Elementor that has a free version. I have heard good things with this builder as well. I recommend to my readers, products that I personally use, such as Divi. If you want to learn more about Divi click here.
You should be proud of yourself! You did it! Now start writing that amazing content to share with the world!