Let’s face it, you want to start a blog, but you don’t know where to begin.
You think it’s only for tech-savvy people and might think you can’t possibly wrap your head around it.
Keep in mind, it’s pretty easy these days.
Even though I’m familiar with coding languages, I haven’t been using it much with WordPress.
There are a bunch of online tutorials out there to show you everything you need to learn and know about blogging.
This step-by-step guide will get you started at creating and writing your blog posts in no time, no coding involved!
1. Choosing your Company Name
Now before you start buying anything, it’s a good idea to figure out what you want your blog to be named. Which after, you also want to secure your domain name. Domain name is the www.domain.com address that people will type in order to come to your website, just like you had to type/click on www.melissajoubarne.com for mine!
Don’t worry too much about this, the nice thing about domain names, they’re kinda cheap. About $10-15 depending on where you buy them.
I say this because, if you do decide to change the name of your website in a year or two, you can simply redirect your old site to your new site.
Lastly, I suggest to just buy your domain with the host that you’ll choose. You don’t have to, but in my opinion, if you have everything together, it’s easier.
2. Hosting Your Website
If the goal of your blog is for pleasure and you’re not looking at making money with this blog, then Blogger or Tumblr is free and might be just what you’re looking for in terms of budget.
But you did click on Starting A Money Making Blog. So I’m assuming If you’re planning on having a professional blog and would like to monetize your blog. You should purchase hosting and work with WordPress. Hosting is where you’ll Install your WordPress website/blog. Think of hosting as a piece of land.
I’ve recently switched over to SiteGround after extensive research and I’ve been extremely pleased since I’ve switched over to them.
It’s a great company that has 24/7 support and has an easy 1-click WordPress install(It used to be a little bit more tricky back in the day!). It costs $3.95/Month as they have a 60% sale going on right now for new customers.
A freebie they give you is an SSL Certificate which you’ll need if you want to eventually start getting affiliate sales from Amazon.
Depending on your budget, you can buy 1-3 years in advance. I would get as many as you can, as the price goes up after your initial buy-in.
3. Installing WordPress
You’re so close to starting your blog!
Now that you have you’re hosting all paid up, it’s time to get WordPress installed. WordPress is what you’ll use to create your blog with. It’s like the foundation of your house, where you’ll build over it and make and shape it into your blog.
- Once you’re in your SiteGround cPanel (a link will be provided to you in your welcome email), you simply need to find and click on the image that says ‘One Click Install’.
- Locate the blog section of the One Click Installs and there you’ll see the WordPress icon.
- Click on the ‘Start’ button. This will begin the installation.
- While it’s being installed, you’ll be prompt to select the domain you’ll want to install WordPress on. Click on the drop-down menu and select the domain you would like to use(it’s probably the one you signed up with)
- You’ll see ‘Advance Options’. You’ll choose your username and password in here which will be for your WordPress website. While still in the ‘Advance Options, you’ll want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation”, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
- Click ‘Install Now’.
And that’s it! You now have a hosted WordPress blog. You can access your blog at www.yourdomainname.com/wp-admin
4. WordPress Themes
WordPress and Themes are a powerful package; the great thing about WordPress is that you don’t need to know much coding, if at all. Themes will make your website look a certain way, depending on which theme you choose, it’s a skin that you apply to your website or a phone case that you add to your phone.
Themes I recommend:
Free: WordPress offers free themes for you to pick from. This could be the solution for you until you’re a little comfortable with moving around in your WordPress interface. For about a week. In my opinion, free isn’t going to cut it here. The themes that are free are pretty limited in what you can do with your website.
This theme or even any theme from Restored 316 will let you do a lot of modification without knowing how to code. I highly recommend this theme because Lauren knows what you want in your theme and has an amazing support page. Which if you can’t find what you’re looking for Restored 316 has a Facebook Support Group and supports!
I can’t count how many times I went on the Facebook Group and didn’t even ask a question, I just searched on their group and found the answer I was looking for.
If you do go with the same combo as me, head over to this page to purchase the Genesis Framework, once downloaded, don’t open it.
Next, go to Restored 316 and purchase the theme you’d like to use.
Lastly, go to this Restored 316 page, where Lauren takes you step-by-step on how to set up your Genesis Framework and Restored 316 Theme!
5. Creating graphics for your posts
Next up, you’ll have to add graphics and photos to your blog post. This helps make your posts visually appealing and to help tell your story. You don’t have to be a Graphic Designer or Photographer. Or even need to purchase expensive programs like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, or purchase stock photos from iStock. You can simply use the below resources that I’ve gathered for you until you start making money with your blog.
PicMonkey for your graphics – With PicMonkey you can easily create the graphics that you’ll want to create for your blog. If you ask me, it’s a pretty good price for an easy to use graphics creator, compared to Adobe Photoshop where you have to pay 120$ a year, PicMonkey is only 33$ a year, big difference! They currently have a 7-day Free Trial if you use my link here.
I’ve since added Depositphotos to my pool of photo resources. It ends up being 1$ a photo, not to bad for having an extra area to look for photos.
6. Email list builder
Lastly, you’ll read around the web that you should start building your email list right away.
I’m going to say the same as other bloggers, building your email list from the start is the way to go in order to attain long-term readers and grow your audience.
ConvertKit is the only e-newsletter tool I’ll ever use because it’s so easy to use their tools.
They have this cool Visual Automation tool that makes email marketing so much easier than everyone else. I’ve very visual and when I started reading on email marketing, it gave me a headache.
But with ConvertKit I understand how it all works now.
Because of the useful tutorials they provide and how well their interface is built.
They charge $29/month, but I’ve managed to change some spending habits in order to add this cost into my budget. ConvertKit has a FREE 14-day trial if you use my link.
You now have a good base to start your blog.
Once you have your blog all set up, leave a comment with your link. I would love to see what you’ve created!