Welcome to my complete guide on how to start a blog for beginners – the easiest way possible.
This post may be long but it will literally take you under one hour to do this.
We’ll cover ALL the basics and I’ll guide you through every step you need to take in order to successfully launch your blog.
It’s relatively cheap to start a blog – and you can do it for under $4.
I know what you’re thinking but there’s really no need to feel intimidated by starting an online business and a blog. ANYONE can do it. And it’s much easier than you may think.
But I get it, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed. There are sooo many tutorials and courses out there, so I will try to make this as easy and understandable for you as possible so you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Starting a blog was the best thing I ever did for myself. Truly and honestly. However, not in a million years was it something I saw myself doing and I never truly understood the power of it and ALL the possibilities that would come with it.
I knew NOTHING about blogging before embarking on my blogging journey and what it meant to be a true blogger.
It has nothing to do with being an influencer and you don’t need millions of followers to be successful.
I got my pageviews up to 90.000 after only a few months – and if I can do it so can you.
I started my blog while still working full time with very limited time on my hands and it was still very possible for me. This is because I learned how to prioritize my time better and I happily woke up before 6 AM to work on my online biz. Natalie Bacon and her Blog With A Full-Time Job course taught me everything I needed to know about blogging and how I could manage my time and my MIND better in order to do this thing.
Although, funny story – I did code as a 12-year-old and had my very own Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen fan page (yes this is true).
I remember waking up super early, every morning before 7 AM, so I could borrow my uncle’s computer (with the amazing dial-up high-speed internet I may add) and work on the website.
It’s a little funny how HTML came to find me again 15 years later.
But I’m sooo glad it did.
The possibilities are truly endless with blogging.
And if you do it right, you can earn a significant amount of money from it, so you can quit your soul-sucking 9 to 5.
You’ll not only be starting a blog, but you’re also starting your very own business.
If you decide to go for it and have the goal of making money from it, you are officially an entrepreneur. Congrats!
Anyone can make their blog a success with the right discipline and commitment to their goals.
So, why should you start a blog?
- Be able to work from home or from wherever you please – be completely location independent
- Scale your income. There is no roof on your salary, it’s endless
- Diversify your income and make it as PASSIVE as possible (in other words you can quite literally make money in your sleep)
- The costs of starting and launching your blog are low – I mean you can sign up for a FREE domain at Bluehost for under $4. As you grow and monetize you will eventually earn back what you invested in the beginning
- Put your creative outlet to good use and CREATE something (there’s a simple joy to just create something for yourself and others)
- You are in complete control of your time and how you decide to spend it
- Travel wherever, whenever
- Learn new things and become a tech-boss
- Help and provide value for other people
- Challenge and improve on yourself and this way, ooze more confidence
- You are your own boss
Have I convinced you to start a blog yet?
If so, read on for the step by step process and how you can get started with your blog for under $4.
This is the exact way I began my blogging journey, the services I use and what I personally recommend for anyone starting out.
PLEASE NOTE: I am an affiliate Bluehost and will earn a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend services that I have used myself and truly believe in.
Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover:
STEP 1 – Decide on your niche and brand
STEP 2 – Sign up for hosting
STEP 3 – Install WordPress
STEP 4 – Pick a theme for your website
STEP 5 – Start blogging
STEP 6 – Create your social media accounts
STEP 7 – Write your “about” page
STEP 8 – LAUNCH!
STEP 1 – DECISIONS DECISIONS, NICHE & BRAND
In order to start a profitable blog, you’ll need to figure out what niche your blog will be in, how your brand will look and more importantly, what your END goal is.
The latter is so so crucial. If you don’t set goals for your blog or know your WHY for starting one, it’s going to get hard to keep up the work and make it a success.
You need to get your mindset right and be clear about what it is you want to achieve with blogging.
If you want to start a blog to earn a good income so you can leave your 9 to 5 – then your goal is to make your blog profitable.
You should always carry your goals and your why with you because I’m here to tell you – blogging isn’t all pretty pictures and fonts (in fact it is nothing like it).
It’s REALLY hard work.
You need to be doing it for the right reasons and be sure that it is something you’ll still want to do once the road gets bumpy – because it will.
Having an online business is supposed to be hard. If it was easy, EVERYONE would be a successful blogger and thrive doing business online.
My point is to carefully take some time to brainstorm your content, your why, the blog name and your own angle on the niche you’re diving into.
If you want to make money blogging, keep in mind that you need to go into a hot market.
Some examples of hot markets in the blogging world:
- Personal finance world
- Mommy blogger
- Personal development
However, make sure you put your own spin on it, of course – find your unique angle.
When it comes to branding, it’s a good idea to create a mood board of colors, visual ideas, photos, and design in Pinterest. Do some basic research around the web and find other blogs to inspire you (don’t copy, duh).
Before we get really technical and sign up for hosting you will also need to come up with your blog’s name.
Don’t overthink this step and spend maximum a few days brainstorming names.
You can always change it down the road.
STEP 2 – SIGN UP FOR HOSTING
Once you have a plan in place it’s time to get technical and sign up for hosting – which is essentially where your blog will live on the world wide web.
My number one tip for you is to go with the hosting platform called Bluehost – it’s what I use to host my website and the #1 recommendation out there. Bluehost currently hosts over 2 million websites. Crazy popular in other words.
Also, it’s super affordable and a really great hosting option for beginners as they also offer good customer service whenever needed.
If you go for Bluehost – you also get a FREE domain name to go with your hosting plan. It bucks out at just $3.95 a month which is basically one Starbucks latte. Buy one less coffee a month and become a business owner. Easy-peasy!
Why A Self-Hosted Blog Is A Must
Now, you may be thinking, “Hm, this seems too complicated, I’ll just create my blog using a free service like Blogger, Tumblr WordPress.com etc”
No – seriously, don’t do it.
If you want your blog to be perceived as professional, for real and if you eventually want to make money online – self-hosting through Bluehost is the way to go. This way, you are the boss and have complete control over your blog and you are much more likely to turn your blog into a successful one.
Also, if you decide to sign up for a free blogging service and end up regret it down the line, it’s going to be such a hassle to change.
It’s much better to set yourself up for success from the very beginning 🙂
Why I recommend WordPress.org
As well as there are several hosting services to choose from, there are also countless platforms where you actually create, work and design your blog.
For example Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress. My recommendation would be the latter, WordPress, and here are a couple of reasons why…
- WordPress.org is the platform recommended with Bluehost and they are super compatible
- WordPress is FREE if you sign up for Bluehost
- It’s simple to use, easy to navigate and set up
- WordPress is the number one platform for bloggers and because it’s so popular, there are so many beautiful themes available to you
- Because of its popularity, there are countless tutorials and helpful resources around the web
- You can download more plugins to further improve and beautify your website
- WordPress automatically optimizes your blog so it is easier to find by Google (hello, traffic!)
WordPress.org is what I use for my blog and I would strongly recommend you use it to – to make your life a little easier. But then again, it’s a free country so go with whatever feels right for you.
Keep in mind that this tutorial will cover starting a WordPress blog with Bluehost.
Ok – let’s get started with the step by step process for Bluehost and WordPress.
If you are at any point confused during this tutorial and if you have any questions please email me or comment below, and I’d be happy to help you out.
Click here to begin and click on the green button, “get started now” as shown above.
Next up you are going to select your plan. Since you are just starting out, the basic plan should be a good fit. Note – you can always upgrade your plan later.
Use Bluehost’s free domain availability checker to see if your desired domain is up for grabs. You can do so by clicking the image below.
If you already have your domain name ready to go, you can type it in under “I have a domain name” as shown below.
Most likely, if you are just starting out, today, you will not have a domain registered already, so in that case, you type in your desired domain in the first box on the left (see below).
The best value for your bucks would be to go with the 36-month plan – this will lower your monthly costs and you don’t have to think about money leaving your account for over two years.
It’s important to know that Bluehost will charge you for an entire year upfront – that’s how they are able to offer such a good deal for under $4 a month.
In the long run, you’ll save money this way. Make the commitment to blogging now!
I went for the 36-month plan – but this is of course completely optionable. Choose the plan that fits you best.
Next, fill in your payment info.
Voila! Congratulations – you have successfully signed up for hosting and you are soon to be an official blogger. Bluehost will now send you a welcome email to confirm your new account.
You then need to create a password for your account – make sure to keep it in a safe place.
You can now log in to your brand new Bluehost account and familiarize yourself with the dashboard. If you feel lost or confused at any time during the sign-up process, you can open up the Live Chat and Bluehost tech people will be there to help you in a jiffy.
STEP 3 – INSTALL WORDPRESS
Next up – we install WordPress.org. Bluehost makes this super easy and with your new account you get WordPress for FREE. When you’ve successfully signed up for Bluehost, WordPress will automatically install and you should see the image below.
Pick a theme for now (you can change this later and I’ll show you how below) and let’s go!
Woop! You can now dive into your WordPress dashboard and start building your blog.
Click on start building and you are on your way!
Decide on whether you want to build a blog for business or personal use. I’m going to assume that you want to start a blog that’s profitable i.e make some money online. In this case, you should choose business. Or, you can click on “I don’t need help”.
Get familiar with your WordPress dashboard. This is where you will customize your theme, add pages, blog posts and so on. There are plenty of great tutorials on Youtube that go into depth on how to navigate your dashboard. Alternatively, you can invest in a blogging course.
To easily access your WordPress dashboard in your browser, go to yourdomain.com/wp-admin/
Click on launch and decide on a site title and a short description.
And you’re done! Woop – you are now ready to start blogging.
Below, you can see what your Bluehost dashboard looks like. You will spend most of your time in WordPress but it’s good to get familiar with the Bluehost dashboard as well. This is where you can f.ex set up your domain email – [email protected] Click on the Email tab in your Bluehost dashboard to set this up.
STEP 4 – Pick a theme for your website
Now on to the fun stuff – designing your blog, deciding on a theme and making it look professional and pretty.
My number one recommendation for newbie bloggers is to go for the Divi theme. Let’s be honest, the themes that come with WordPress aren’t super eye-catching.
It’s important to not go overboard when it comes to colors, photos, logos and keep it simple and clean, especially at the beginning of your blogging journey. Overthinking the design is a time-stealer. Pick a theme and stick with it for at least 6 months.
Your focus should be to create amazing and engaging content, and not get stuck in the design bubble for hours a day. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Anywho, Divi is super easy to use and you can easily design a website that looks both beautiful and professional. You can pretty much make it look any way you’d like as it’s super customizable.
Divi is also very affordable. It’s the theme I started out with when I first launched my blog.
Go here to learn more about Divi and the creators behind Elegant Themes.
Once you are happy with your design it’s time to start blogging! 🙂
STEP 5 – START BLOGGING
You did it.
You’ve successfully started a blog and you are hereby an entrepreneur and a total #GIRLBOSS.
With the technical things out of the way, you are ready to finally start blogging and creating content.
Before you tell all your friends and family about your new creation, it’s a good idea to write and post up to 10 articles in advance. This way, you’ll keep the reader on your blog for longer and that’s exactly what we want.
Once you’ve got your 10 articles live on your blog it’s time to LAUNCH and tell the world about it.
STEP 6 – Create your social media accounts
Woho! You’ve just launched your blog and your first 10 articles are LIVE. Congrats!
Now you need a place to share your posts – so make sure you create your social media accounts in order to share your genius content.
- Twitter – a create place to network with other bloggers and make blogger friends.
- Instagram – even if you don’t plan to make Instagram your sole focus, you should still be on the platform.
- Pinterest – is a must and it’s essentially more a search engine than a social media platform. Pinterest is where you will get the most of your traffic in the beginning (more on this below).
- Facebook Group – create a private Facebook group for your followers so they can connect with you directly in a more personal way. I have yet to start my own Facebook group, but I plan to very soon.
STEP 7 – Write your About page
The very first page I instantly hover towards when I visit a new blog is the “About” page. Your readers want to connect with you and know you.
The best way to do this is for you to share an honest story about yourself.
When you’ve got your 10 articles up on your blog, creating your About page should be the next in line.
STEP 8 – LAUNCH!
I’m so thrilled for you. Congratulations!
I remember how excited I was when I first launched this blog – exciting and scary at the same time. But in a good way.
Let me know how you get on and please drop your spankin’ new URL in the comments below so I can check out your blog.
As always, please let me know if you were confused at any time during this tutorial and if I can help you further in any way.
Drop a line in the comments below or get in touch by email. I’m here to help 🙂
Good luck! I believe in you, girl.
Things to keep in mind:
- Blogging is a longterm game and it takes time to build up domain authority.
- It requires consistency, discipline and hard work.
- Don’t overthink your design, photos, and overall look – it won’t be perfect and you will get better at it, stick to the design you’ve chosen for at least 5 months before you change it and focus on creating and writing content.
- In other words, avoid perfectionism.
- It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the beginning – there is SO much to do and you’re most likely a one-woman show.
- Start out by tackling one task at a time and learn as you go.
- Self-doubt and fear is normal – don’t fall for it, it does not mean anything has gone wrong. Stick to your why and keep going!
- You can do this.
Once you have successfully set up and launched your blog (yay!) your next focus should be on growing traffic and eventually monetizing it.
Don’t try and tackle everything at once (hello overwhelm).
Make sure you spend some time getting familiar with your blog and the blogging world. Write your 10 first blog posts, drive a little traffic through Pinterest and then dive deep into gaining even more traffic to your blog.
The very best way to gain a solid amount of traffic to your blog is through Pinterest.
Pinterest is a social platform but also a search engine.
It can be a little overwhelming in the beginning and it takes a while to get the strategies right. Because of this, you’ll spend your money wisely if you decide to invest in a solid Pinterest course.
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche is the online course I enrolled in to help boost my traffic up to almost 90K monthly pageviews and 4K daily pageviews after only blogging for a few months.
It has been, in other words, insanely helpful.
Read my full review of Pinterest Traffic Avalanche here.
These are screenshots of my Google Analytics to show the growth in pageviews over a series of months.
Pinterest is amazing for beginners, and you can begin to drive a solid amount of traffic to your new blog quickly – if you do it right (hence the course).
There are a lot of unwritten rules to follow when it comes to Pinterest and you don’t want to risk getting banned from the platform – it’s such a hassle to get your account reactivated.
This is why I suggest learning from the best of the best. Lauren McManus and Alex Nerney are the creators behind Pinterest Traffic Avalanche and founders of the very successful health and fitness website Avocadu.
Their focus has solely been on Pinterest and spiked their monthly views up to over 500.000 in the course of less than a year. I should also add that they now earn a good $150.000 every single month from blogging.
When you just starting out with blogging, Pinterest is the way to go for traffic.
Getting authority on Google takes a while, so your best bet is to drive traffic from Pinterest in the beginning. Google comes later if you stay committed and consistent with your content.
Monetize your blog
This step should not be rushed.
It’s important that you drive some consistent traffic to your blog first and get the hang of everything before you go into monetization.
When you are ready, the first thing you need to do is sign up for an email service so you can start collecting emails and subscribers.
The money is in the list.
ConvertKit is the service I use and I’m obsessed with how easy it is to use and manage.
You can try it for free for 30 days using my special link.
There are other email services out there, like MailChimp and Drip f.ex but I only know ConvertKit and it’s the only service I am familiar with and therefore can recommend.
Plus, their customer service is so great, quick and helpful.
Invest in yourself and your blog
The blogging world can be somewhat of a jungle for a newbie.
The best investment I ever did for my blog was to invest in a proper online course that provided me with the most amazing value for my money.
If you want to do it right and learn from a six-figure blogger, taking a course is great to get a head start and learn the right strategies upfront.
I took Natalie Bacon’s Blog With A Full-Time Job and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent on a course, and my number one recommendation for anyone who is starting out and still working full time.
I learned how to properly schedule my time, set goals, improve my blogging game and MINDSET and everything else involved with making my blog a success.
In other words, totally worth the bucks spent.
My favorite resources for growing and monetizing your blog:
- Launch Your Blog – a great course for beginners. Learn everything you need to know about starting and launching a brand new blog. It covers EVERYTHING.
- Make Money For Blogging For Beginners – the best techniques and strategies for earning your very first $1000 blogging. You gotta start somewhere, celebrate the little wins. This course is great for getting started with monetizing. I took it! In fact, I took all of these courses and I can’t recommend them enough.
- Making Sense Of Affiliate Marketing – a course to teach you all there is to affiliate marking, created by Michelle from Making Sense Of Cents who earns over $50.000 a month from affiliate marketing. In other words, this is THE course for affiliate marketing.
- Six Figure Blogger – learn how to create your own digital products – most advanced blogging course out there.
- Lead Pages – the platform for creating high converting landing pages for your opt-ins/freebies
- Tailwind – The Pinterest scheduler I use to schedule out pins automatically and in my sleep 🙂
- Blog With A Full-Time Job – the first course I ever took and the best money I ever spent.
- ConvertKit – the email service I use for collecting subscribers.
- How To Start A Blog FREE eBook by Alexis from Fitnancials