How To Start A Blog – Step By Step Guide


In my post, I show you how to start a blog with no experience, step by step. When I started blogging, I had to learn so many things. Today, I share with you what I learned. I go through the steps you need to get your website started.

To start a blog, you need four things, a topic you enjoy talking about, a domain name, web hosting, and patience.

You do not need any experience to start a blog. You can launch a blog in less than fifteen minutes. What you do need is a passion for your blog topic.

Let us begin.

How To Start A Blog

Step One – Choose Your Blog Topic

Blog about something you enjoy talking about is essential. Successful blogs have hundreds, sometimes thousands of blog posts. If you love your blog topic, it is easy to write. If you have no interest in your blog topic, you will lose motivation quickly.

New websites have to wait a while before they get traffic from Google. This initial stage is the ghost town period because it feels like you are writing blog posts for no one. Keep focused and continue creating content. Google will send traffic to websites with excellent content.

You do not have to be an expert in your chosen topic. You have to know more than someone who is starting today. Focus your content on helping the beginner. It is about your journey. Show your readers how you went from a beginner to where you are today.

Still not sure what to choose as a blog topic? Think about what you like to do in your spare time. Do your friends and relatives ask you for advice on anything? Look around your house for inspiration. Remember, you do not need to be an expert.

Step Two – Is There An Audience?

Once you have a few ideas, it is time to check if there is an audience. Are people interested in your topic? Are they searching on Google?

My favorite tool is Google Trends. Google Trends offers excellent insight into how much interest is in a topic.

Go to trends.google.com.

Google Trends

Next, select the country of your target audience.

Select country

Enter each one of your topic ideas. The more data Google has, the potential for free traffic to your blog increases.

For example, you plan to write articles to help people who want to start playing golf. Google Trends has a lot of data about golf.

The first section shows interest over time. You want to see constant interest throughout the year. Seasonal topics will see a drop in traffic over the quiet period. Golf has interest throughout the year.

Golf interest

Below the interest over time graph is more excellent data. Golf is a popular sport throughout the United States. There is information about related topics and queries. If all the sections have data, you can be sure there is a lot of interest in this topic.

Should your topic idea have only partial data, there is interest, but the potential traffic is lower.

Topic ideas with no Google Trends data show low demand. I recommend you avoid starting a blog around a topic with no data.

Google Trend sdata

Step Three – Start Small And Build

Blogging is competitive. There are blogs about everything. To stand out, you need topic authority. Topic authority is when your website covers a topic with excellent informative blog posts.

For example, if you were to start a blog about golf, how many posts would you need to publish to cover everything about golf? You would need hundreds, if not thousands. How long would it take you to write and publish those posts? Your competition has already published many blog posts and is ahead of you.

Think about what you want to write about and how many blog posts you need to cover the topic. You should scale down your site if you need more than 100 posts. Gaining topic authority is the goal.

I recommend you find your little corner of a topic and own it. Start with two or three categories and write posts that cover each one.

I recommend targeting beginners. They have many questions. Look at what they struggle with and help them. Take golf as an example. Beginners probably need help choosing a golf club, improving their swing, or holding a golf club. Pick your spot and build from there. Start small.

Are you one or two years into a new hobby or project? Then you have an advantage. Think back to when you started and all the problems you had. Someone starting today will probably have the same issues. Show your readers your journey, and make it relatable.

You must add value. Your visitors come to your blog to gain knowledge. Your content must focus on that. Give your visitors what they need. They will return.

Step Four – Buy A Domain Name

A domain name is the name of your website. For example, my domain name is newblogr.com. Newblogr is the domain, and the .com is the TLD. There are many TLDs to choose from, but I recommend buying .com. A .com TLD is about $10 per year.

Buying a domain name for your website is difficult because the name you want is probably unavailable. You need to be creative with your name. I recommend choosing something with no more than three syllables and no dashes.

I suggest you build a site around a brand rather than a product. With a brand, you can expand your site into anything. With a product, you can only blog about that.

Some of the biggest domain names are short and say nothing about their business. Examples include Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Yahoo. They have easy-to-remember names.

I buy my domain names from Namecheap.com (*Paid Link). Check out my How To Buy A Domain Name guide if you can’t find an available name. I know an excellent free tool to help you find a name for your blog.

Buy a domain name at Namecheap.com

Step Five – Buy Hosting

For your website to appear on the internet, you need web hosting. The hosting company has servers that contain your website folders and files. When someone goes to your domain name in an internet browser, your hosting company serves your website.

There are hundreds of hosting companies, and it is hard to choose. With a new site, I recommend buying a shared hosting package. It is the cheapest and works well with new websites. As your site grows, you can upgrade to a better hosting package.

Shared hosting

I bought shared hosting from Bluehost (*Paid Link), Hostgator (*Paid Link), and Webhostface (*Paid Link). They all offer new customer discounts, but the renewal price is high. Hosting companies offer discounts to new customers and then try to sell you the same package at a higher price later.

Bluehost hosting
Hostgator hosting
Webhostface hosting

Bluehost, Hostgator, and Webhostface offer excellent service and customer support. Customer support is essential for a new blogger. Should you have a problem, it is nice to have a contact that can help you resolve it.

For help choosing a hosting company for your site, please check out my Buying Hosting guide. I share with you the essentials you need with hosting.

I use Google Cloud to host my website now. Google Cloud does not have the support of hosting companies and is hard to set up. Since using Google Cloud, I have reduced my hosting costs by over 90%. Go to my How to start a blog on a budget post to learn more about Google Cloud.

Step Six – Connect Domain Name To Hosting

When someone types your domain name into an internet browser, the browser fetches your website from your hosting company. Before the browser can access your website, it needs to know where to go. You direct the browser with nameservers.

After you buy hosting, you receive an email with details of nameservers for your hosting company. You take these nameservers and update them on your domain name account. Once updated, the browsers know where to go.

If you bought your domain name from Namecheap.com, read my How to change nameservers on Namecheap post to learn more.

Step Seven – Install WordPress

You have your domain name and hosting. Next, you need a content management system to build your website. I recommend WordPress. Over 30% of websites on the internet use WordPress. It is free to install and use.

Install WordPress through your hosting company. After purchasing hosting, you receive an email with a link to a Cpanel. The Cpanel gives you access to your website.

WordPress Installation will differ from company to company. There should be a one-click installation option on your Cpanel.

For example, on Hostinger’s dashboard, there is a WordPress icon link.

WordPress

After you click, you have an option to install WordPress.

Install WordPress

Step Eight – Configure WordPress

Before you start publishing content, I recommend you configure WordPress.

Here are several settings you need to configure before launching your website.

Go to my WordPress Admin Set Up blog post to learn more.

Permalinks

Permalinks are the URLs of your blog posts. I recommend changing this to Post Name.

Change the setting to ‘Post Name’, then save your changes.

WordPress Theme

A theme sets the layout of your website. There are many free themes you can access directly through WordPress admin.

WordPress Themes

Alternatively, you can buy a paid theme and upload it to WordPress. Popular WordPress themes include Astra (*Paid Link), Ashe (*Paid Link), Kadence, and Ocean WP, to name a few.

Choose a theme that best suits your blog topic. Use the theme feature filter to improve the search results.

Learn about the Astra theme (*Paid Link) on my How To Customize The Astra WordPress Theme blog post.

Learn how to use the Astra theme (*Paid Link) for your website on my How To Customize The Astra WordPress Theme blog post.

Learn how to use the Ashe theme (*Paid Link) for your website on my How To Customize The Ashe WordPress Theme blog post.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins add extra functions to your WordPress website. It is good practice to only install plugins you need because they slow down the loading time of your site.

You add plugins directly from WordPress admin.

WordPress Plugins

Akismet Anti-Spam – Akismet monitors spam in your blog post comments. The plugin separates suspected spam comments for you to review.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer – Large images on websites cause slow loading speeds. Shortpixel (*paid Link) compresses images, so your site loads faster. The free version is limited to 100 hundred images per month. For more, you need to purchase a paid plan.

UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore – Backing up your site content is essential. You can restore everything from a backup if something goes wrong with your site and you lose all your content.. Updraftplus (*paid Link) is an excellent free plugin. Check out my How To Backup Your WordPress Site blog post for a detailed guide on backing up your WordPress website.

Litespeed Cache plugin – Cache plugins help your site load faster by copying your blog posts and serving a saved copy to visitors. They also have features that streamline your site code to load more efficiently.

Wordfence Security – Keep your website secure from hackers with a security plugin.

Step Nine – Be Patient

Now you have a website and can start publishing content. Google is the largest search engine. Most free organic traffic will come from Google.

Google does not tend to use content from new websites until it is sure the site has high-quality content. This period is often referred to as the ghost town because it feels like no one is reading your content. Google takes time to determine if your content deserves to rank in its search results.

I recommend you start small with your blog to build topic authority. Be the best possible source on the internet for your chosen topic. When Google accepts you as an authority, the traffic will come, but this takes time.

Use the first six months of your website to publish content. Don’t be tempted to publish low-quality content to get more blog posts on your website. Set a high standard from the start. You will get rewarded with traffic later.

Here is a YouTube video of a blogger with a blog about succulents. She now has topic authority and is making money with her blog.

Step Ten – Join Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are a great place to get content ideas and help when you need it. I recommend joining a Facebook group for new bloggers. You can ask for help, give advice, and promote your website.

I also recommend joining Facebook groups on your blog topic. Do your best to help others in the group. Use the opportunity to build relationships.

How To Monetise Your Blog

Once you have content on your blog, Google starts sending traffic to your site. After you get steady traffic, I recommend joining the Amazon affiliate program. It is free to join. You can promote products straight away.

Visit my other website newblograffiliate.com, to learn how to join the Amazon Affiliate program and use it to make money from your website.

Conclusion

You do not need to be an expert or have the experience to start a blog. It takes about 15-minutes to get a WordPress blog live on the internet.

Your blog topic should be something you enjoy talking about and know well. Understand your audience’s pain points and how to solve them.

Format your blog posts around your reader. Create a blog title that helps the searcher know your post contains the information they want. Keep your blog posts on point, don’t add unnecessary details to make the content longer.

After you launch your blog, join Facebook groups targeted at new bloggers. You will have lots of questions. Other bloggers in the groups offer excellent advice. As your experience grows, you can offer advice, too.

Facebook groups and forums targeted at your blog topic also offer an opportunity for you to promote your blog and build relationships.

Getting free organic traffic to your blog takes time. Use the first six months to create content to cover as much of your topic as possible. Start small and build up.

Google ranks high-quality websites rather than individual posts. Focus on publishing informative content about your blog topic if to get noticed by Google.

I hope you found my article informative. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below. I check every day.

Do you need help with your blog? Feel free to contact me directly. Please send me a short message about what you want to do using the form.



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