A 10 Step Guide to Starting a Blog
Have you ever wanted to share your thoughts, ideas, or experiences with the world? Starting a blog is a great way to do that!
The best way to get started on building a business online is also to start a blog.
In this post, I’ll walk you through the simple steps of starting your own blog using WordPress, one of the most popular blogging platforms. It’s perfect for beginners and has plenty of features to grow with you as your blog expands.
Is Blogging Dead?
Let me assure you that blogging is absolutely not dead! For example, whenever you Google Search literally anything, it is Blogs that come up in the search results.
In the last two years alone, 90% of the world’s data was created. So I would argue that blogs will become even more valuable over the next 10-20 years.
To make sure we’re all on the same page, here are a few key terms to understand:
- Domain: The domain name is the identifier that helps to locate a website on the internet. For instance, as you can see above, this site’s domain name is theglampackinglawyer.com.
- Hosting: A company that “hosts”(stores) websites in high-powered servers that connect to a network. It is where all the data for your blog lives.
- Plugin: Code you can add to your WordPress site to add functionality, for example a plugin for a contact form or sales page.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): The process of making changes to your website so that it appears higher in the results when someone uses Google or another search engine. It’s like tidying and decorating your shop to make it more attractive to customers. The better your SEO, the more likely people will visit your website when they’re looking for information or products related to what you offer.
- Theme: A WordPress theme allows you to easily change your site’s look and feel (while retaining the same content and information).
- Widget: A feature on the backend (the part of a website only you can see) of your website that adds design features such as sidebars or footers.
- WordPress.com: This is a site where you can host your website for free.
Step 1: Choose Your Niche
Before starting your blog, decide what your blog will be about.
This could be anything from travel and food to tech reviews or personal development.
Choose something you’re passionate about and knowledgeable in as you’ll need to put in a lot of effort and will want to be viewed as a valuable resource for your readers!
However, do note that my blog is a general travel and digital nomad blog – if i could go back in time I would niche down (as it’s harder to rank high on Google with a general blog as you are not considered a ‘topical authority’!)
So, I recommend picking a niche within a topic, i.e. if you want to create a travel blog, your niche could be your hometown e.g., Jersey. Then, if you write loads of related blog posts on things like ”the best things to do in Jersey”, ”how to get to Jersey, Channel Islands” etc. then you have more chance of getting ranked on Google, as Google will see you as an expert on this topic, which means you will attract more people to your blog (assuming it’s good quality!).
Step 2: Decide on a Domain Name
When starting a blog, you’ll need to pick a domain name.
Your domain name is your blog’s address on the internet, like “myawesomeblog.com.”
Make your domain name short, easy to remember, and relevant to your blog’s niche.
You can purchase your domain name from registrars like GoDaddy, Namecheap, or even directly from WordPress.
Step 3: Select a Hosting Provider
Next you’ll need to select a hosting provider. A web host basically provides the online space where your blog will live.
There are many hosting providers to choose from, but WordPress recommends: Bluehost, DreamHost, and SiteGround. These hosts also offer easy WordPress installation.
Step 4: Install WordPress
Once you’ve signed up for hosting, you’ll need to install WordPress.
To earn some credits, use╰┈➤ this link!
Most hosting providers offer a one-click WordPress install. If not, they’ll have a guide to walk you through the process.
Step 5: Choose a WordPress Theme
WordPress themes determine the look and feel of your blog. There are literally thousands of free and premium themes to choose from.
But the number one rule is to pick a theme that aligns with your blog’s topic and your personal aesthetic. This is key when starting your blog.
You can always change your theme later. I’ve experimented with my theme several times now, and the good thing is you won’t lose any of your previous blog posts – only the aesthetics will change.
Step 6: Customise Your Blog
After you’ve chosen a theme, customise your blog. You can add a logo, change the colours, set the layout, and more.
I created my logo in Canva – you can create an account for free and it’s got tons of epic graphics and photos you can use.
This is also the stage where you will start creating essential pages on your blog like “About Me” and “Contact Details.”
You will also need to create some blog categories. For example, some of my categories include ‘Asia’ and ‘Europe’, as the Glampacking Lawyer is primarily a travel blog, so these categories essentially act as a filter to help readers digest the different parts of my blog.
Step 7: Install Essential Plugins
Plugins extend the functionality of your WordPress blog. Some essential plugins for beginners include Yoast SEO (for search engine optimisation), Akismet (for spam protection), and Jetpack (for site performance).
You will constantly be adding more plugins as time goes on. I have about 60 installed on my site now, which do everything from adding automatic content pages for my longer blog posts (Easy Table of Contents) to reducing image file sizes to make my website faster (Smush).
Step 8: Write and Publish Your First Post
Now, you’re ready to write!
Click on “Posts” in your WordPress dashboard and then “Add New” to begin.
Give your post a title and write your content.
In order to try and get as many visitors to your blog as possible, without even having to pay for ads, I recommend subscribing to RankIQ (discount below).
RankIQ is the best SEO blogging software out there for keyword research. It will massively help you to optimise your content so as many people as possible view your posts, and of course the more traffic you have to your blog, the more money you can earn!
For example, I wanted to write a blog post on Portugal, and these are some of the lowest-competition phrases with significant traffic potential that RankIQ came up with:
Some of these keywords, like the ‘best fado in Lisbon’, I would never have thought to write about myself. So by using RankIQ you can quite easily stay ahead of the competition, as it helps pick unique keywords that most people woruldn’t naturally think of.
Once you have a list of keywords, start drafting the blog post content around these keywords, as this will seriously help you rank as high on Google as possible, which increases the chances of people finding and clicking on your blog post.
Next, add some captivating images or videos to your blog post, proof-read it, and then hit “Publish!”
Step 9: Promote Your Blog
Share your blog posts on social media, with friends and family, or through email newsletters. As you create more content and promote your blog, you’ll start to see more visitors.
If you don’t get much traffic to your blog in the beginning, please know that this is totally normal – it will take months and possibly even years for you to get really high levels of visitors to your site each day.
I’m pretty sure my mum was the only person reading my blog for the first couple of months!
To increase blog traffic, you could also consider advertising a post or page on your blog through services like Blaze, which costs from $5 per day and will help to drive traffic to your blog.
Step 10: Regularly Update Your Blog
Consistency is key in blogging. Decide on a posting schedule that works for you, and stick to it.
Regular updates will keep your readers coming back for more. For example, you could do ‘Blog Post Sunday’ where you religiously upload a new blog post every Sunday, so readers know when to expect new content.
Starting a blog might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With WordPress and this guide, you’re well on your way to sharing your passion with the world.
Blogging Ideas To Help You Get Started ✎𓂃 Here’s a crazy stat: 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years! Impressive to think about, right? So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that blogging has become a global phenomenon. Blogs have literally morphed people into media powerhouses, experts, and even TV…