Starting a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made and over the years my different blogs ended up having a huge impact on my life.
Thanks to my travel blog I was able to enjoy travel experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to participate in. Thanks to my healthy lifestyle blog I’ve been able to help people live a more healthier lifestyle and connect with thousands of like-minded individuals around the world.
Sure, some of the different blogs that I’ve started didn’t turn out the way I planned but for the most part all of the aspects of blogging have allowed me to live and more fulfilling and enjoyable life overall.
I’m hoping that you’ll be able to enjoy the same feelings and I think it’s a good idea for anybody spending any time on the internet to start their own blog and dive head-first into a blogging journey themselves.
Today, I want to share with you my helpful guide on how to start a blog easily and without spending too much money to get yourself up and running.
With this guide you’ll be able to get your blog online and start blogging in as little as 15 minutes depending on your internet skills. At the very least, you’re going to have a new blog online today so I’m excited to connect with you and see where this journey is going to bring you.
Before I go ahead and help you get started, I want to quickly cover why I think it’s such a good idea to start your own blog.
It doesn’t really matter what you’re planning on blogging about or even if you have any experience with running a website at all. Here are some of the benefits of having your own blog:
- You’re able to connect and drop with people from all over the world
- You can share your thoughts and ideas with people that are interested in similar topics
- You’ll gain a better understanding of whatever you plan on blogging about
- Your research, analysis, time management, and writing skills are likely to improve
- You have the opportunity to make money blogging (maybe even enough to quit your job one day)
You might be thinking that all of this seems a little too over-the-top and that you don’t believe you’re able to achieve these things for yourself.
I hate to sound so cliche but anything is really possible when it comes to blogging!
I remember when I first started I didn’t have any experience on how to start blogging with WordPress, I was a terrible writer, and I had to basically Google every single thing about blogging that I needed to learn.
It took me a while but eventually I started making a few bucks here and there and my monthly earnings continue to grow until I was able to quit my job and focus solely on making a living on the internet,
And it’s not just me! There are thousands of people that are making decent money with their blogs and websites.
Although there are some people earning hundreds of thousands of dollars every month from their blogs, I don’t compare myself with them at all and I’m happy with earning much less as long as I’m able to work online and not have to focus on a traditional job.
There is definitely a lot of hard work involved and for some people it might even be easier just to maintain a traditional job and focus on blogging on the side but the most important thing is taking the first few steps and actually getting started so that you can see how everything is going to turn out for you in the long run.
So that’s why I wanted to create this post – to give you an easy-to-follow guide on how to get your blog started and help you out with some tips on what you should do next.
Now that I’ve already babbled on for quite a bit let’s just jump right into it!
How to Start Your Own Blog in Just 5 Simple Steps
Even if you don’t have too much web experience it’s actually pretty easy to set your website up and start blogging.
There’s no need to have much technical experience at all, you won’t need to do any coding, and if you do happen to get stuck somewhere there are plenty of online tutorials and YouTube videos that you can use to solve your problems.
Sounds pretty good so far, right?
The Main Steps
There are basically just five steps that you need to follow to start your blog today. As long as you follow these steps and keep up with my instructions down below then you should be up and running in 15-30 minutes.
Here’s a quick look at the steps for setting up a blog:
Step 1: Choose a blogging platform (I recommend WordPress)
Step 2: Choose web hosting for your blog (I recommend Bluehost)
Step 3: Set up your blog on your domain
Step 4: Choose a theme and design your blog
Step 5: Take advantage of the best blogging tools and resources
Yes – that’s really all there is to it!
Now that you can see it’s actually pretty easy to get started let’s just jump right into it with the first step.
Step 1: Choosing Your Blogging Platform
A blogging platform is basically an online tool that allows you to publish blog posts and manage all of your digital media in one place.
It’s where you’re going to be creating blog posts, sharing photos and videos, designing how your website looks, and sharing all of your helpful content with people on the internet.
There are tons of different blogging platforms to choose from and despite some great options out there I would definitely recommend going with WordPress.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already heard of it and that’s because nearly half of all websites online are using WordPress as their website platform.
The reason why it’s so popular is because it’s easy to use for beginners, it works great, and there are a huge amount of options when it comes to customization and added features.
There are some other alternatives to choose from if for some reason you don’t want to use WordPress but I would urge you to go ahead with settling on WordPress as your blogging platform as I believe it to be the best one available, especially for beginners.
Some other reasons why you should start blogging with WordPress include:
- The platform is easy to use and completely free
- There are a wide range of free themes and templates that you can use
- Due to its popularity there is a huge community of people that can help you with any problems you might have using the platform
- Thanks to the variety of different plug-ins there are tons of options for customization
- It’s really easy to integrate your social media accounts with WordPress and interact with other people
- WordPress itself is quite fast and works amazingly well on most devices
So basically what I’m trying to say is – start your blog on WordPress!
Alright, it’s time to head on to the next step so that we can get your hosting!
Step 2: Choosing and Setting Up Your Web Hosting
Choosing hosting for your blog (I recommend Bluehost) is arguably the most important decision you’ll make regarding its long-term performance.
Your blog hosting is where all of your blog data (images, content, themes, etc) is stored online so people can access it and it’s necessary if you want to make your own blog.
First thing you need to consider is whether or not you want to go with a paid hosting or just settle for one of the free ones.
There are some free blogging platforms out there, even WordPress and Google offer their own, and these platforms are great to use if you’re just starting out and you don’t plan on taking your blogging journey too seriously.
There are some drawbacks to using a free platform for your blog including things like:
- You won’t have your own unique domain name
With a free platform you’re going to be stuck with an ugly web address, or URL. You can customize it slightly but you’re going to end up with something not too professional looking and pretty ugly like:
This is not appealing at all and it’s pretty unsightly in my opinion.
- Limits to your blogging capabilities
Another problem with using a free platform is that there are a lot of limits to what you can and can’t do.
You’re not really able to monetize a free blog as well as you can with something that you paid for and is completely yours. The same problem goes with what you want to upload because there are limits to the type of content and how much of it you can upload to your free blog.
One more huge issue is you’re not able to use all of the themes and plug-ins available to WordPress users so you’re really limited when it comes to blog customization.
- Your blog really isn’t yours
This is one of the main reasons why you should always go with a self-hosted blog with your own domain – you don’t really own your blog if you’re using a free platform.
The reason why is because all of your content is going to be hosted somewhere that you don’t have full control over or even any access to. The problem with this is that it’s possible that your blog can get shut down or that all of your content gets deleted if something happens with the free platform that you’re using.
Of course you can back everything up but there’s always going to be that nagging worry about something happening to your blog and all of your amazing content.
Go With Your Own Self-Hosted Blog
You can probably tell by now that I’m a huge fan of getting started with your own self-hosted blog so that you have full control over everything that you want to upload online, a lot more options for customization, and hardly any limits at all.
You’re also able to choose a name that you want and that looks a lot more professional like “blogname.com” without any of those ugly suffixes.
Another huge benefit when it comes to your own self hosting is that you’re able to upload as much videos, images, and content that you want as well as take full advantage of everything that WordPress has to offer.
- Wondering how much it costs to get hosting and your own domain name?
Surprisingly it’s pretty affordable to start a blog for cheap without having to break the bank on setting everything up.
Ultimately it’s going to cost you a few bucks per month, probably from $5 to $10 depending on your hosting plan, and for most people I think this is an easy and reasonable amount to come up with for blogging.
Step 3: Set Up Your Blog with Your Own Domain
By now I hope you’re on board with using WordPress as your blogging platform and if you’ve decided not to then I’d love to hear why down in the comments below.
WordPress really is the best platform for blogging for most people and I think that you’re going to be much better off with your own hosting using WordPress than any of the alternatives.
I quickly touched on hosting up above but if you’re still not sure about what I mean by “hosting” and “self-hosted” then let me give you a quick primer.
For setting up a blog you need two things – your domain (which is the URL or the www.yourblogname.com part of your site) and hosting.
Hosting is where your blogs files get stored online so that people using the internet can see them when they visit your blog. It’s essentially a storage space for your blog content.
It’s really easy to understand even though the terminology might seem pretty technical!
So you’ll need these two things – a domain and hosting – to start your blog.
Choosing Your Domain
You probably already have an idea of what you want your blog to be called but if you don’t have any ideas or you’re having trouble coming up with a name then check out his helpful post on choosing a name for your blog.
Thankfully, many hosting providers offer a free domain name when you start a new hosting plan so this isn’t something you need to worry about at the moment.
If you want to pick a domain name separately then I recommend checking out Namecheap. The domains are priced very reasonably and it’s a really easy platform to use.
Setting Up Your Hosting
Since I started blogging back in 2012 I’ve always used Bluehost for my hosting plan.
I like Bluehost because the customer service is great, it’s really easy to use even if you’re not technically-inclined, and the hosting plans for beginners are really cheap!
With Bluehost there isn’t any contract so you can cancel your hosting at any time and this is a great feature to have, especially if you’re just on the fence with blogging and you don’t know if you want to dive right into it for the next year or more.
The best part about starting a blog with Bluehost for beginners is that it comes with a free domain! You’re saving money right of the bat!
Getting Started with Bluehost
Start by heading over to the Bluehost site and clicking on “Get Started”
There are three different hosting plans and I recommend going with the “Basic” plan.
This is all you need when you’re starting out and there’s really no reason to go with a more expensive plan just yet.
Once you select your plan you’ll be prompted to sign up with a new domain name. Enter your preferred name for your domain and click next.
At this point you’ll want to enter your personal information and select a monthly pricing plan.
You can choose between 12, 24, 36, and even a 60 month pricing plan.
For the best savings you’ll want to go with the 36 month plan, which ends up costing just $3.95 per month for a total of $142.20 for 3 years ($47.33 per year).
If this is too much of an investment then I’d recommend the 12 month basic plan which costs just $5.45 per month for a total of $65.40 for the year.
Follow through with the prompts and payment.
Once the payment has gone through you’ll be asked to choose a password and fill in some other information for your Bluehost account. Follow through with the prompts and eventually you’ll be brought to a “One-click install” page for WordPress.
Enter in the information you want for your WordPress account and installation and then follow through with the prompts to get WordPress installed.
Yes – it’s really this easy to start a WordPress blog!
By now you should be done with the installation process and you’ll now be able to lgo into your WordPress dashboard, or the backend of your blog.
Step 4: Choose a Theme and Design your Blog
Finally! It’s time to let your creativity shine!
With your WordPress blog ready to go you can start to set it up to look how you want rather than just the standard default appearance that it has right now.
Choosing a theme is really easy and on your dashboard look for “Appearance” on the menu on the left hand side. Hover over that and select “Themes”.
Then click on the “Add New” button at the top and you’ll be able to start checking out the different free themes for WordPress available to you.
Once you find a theme you like you can “Preview” it and if you’re happy with how it looks then you’ll want to go ahead and install then activate.
Now you’ll have a nice, beautiful, and free theme for everyone to see!
When it comes to picking the best blogging theme for WordPress I like going with ones that are fairly simple, easy to customize, and that look professional.
Sometimes it can be tricky to find a free theme that you like and if you’re having trouble settling on one or you just want more features and options for customization then I recommend checking out the different premium themes available.
For themes there’s a great selection of amazing looking ones at ThemeForest.
Personally, I like to use a Genesis theme and you can find these at Studiopress.
You don’t have to worry about choosing the perfect theme right away but in the future you’ll want to find one that best matches your personality and blogging style and is relevant to your niche as well.
With your theme installed and displayed for the world to see you’re finally ready to actually start blogging!
Step 5: Blogging Tools and Resources
So that’s all there really is to starting a blog!
Hopefully I’ve covered all of the basics and by now you should have your blog up and running.
At this point you’re going to want to set up all of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram) and you can finally start writing some blog posts and sharing your content with people online.
It can be pretty daunting with everything there is to do so I recommend checking out a few of the following articles on the next steps you should take in your blogging journey:
As for the tools that you should be using, it’s a good idea to start off with some plugins as well as a few extra tools that are going to help you along the way.
Be sure to check out my post for a more in-depth look at the different blogging tools you should use for WordPress:
Here’s a quick look at the different tools I recommend:
- Yoast SEO Plug-In (The best WordPress plug-in when it comes to SEO and optimizing your content for search engines)
- Google Search Console and Google Analytics (These two tools are going to help you stay on top of the traffic and analytics side of your blog and give you a lot of insight into where your visitors are coming from)
- KWFinder (One of the best tools for finding keywords and ideas for what to blog about)
Like I mentioned above the most important thing about starting your blog is just that – actually starting.
So don’t wait. Head over to Bluehost right now and get started!
Too many people put it off or think that blogging isn’t something that you’re going to be good at, enjoy, or even be able to make money with.
There’s no point in quitting before you even start so if blogging is something that interests you then be sure to follow the steps I’ve covered above and take a leap into a blogging journey!
I’m very confident that you’ll be easily able to get everything up and running without any problems along the way and if you have any questions or you’re getting stuck somewhere then just shoot me an email or leave me a comment down below.
Have fun with your new blog!