Featured Image: @minimalliving
Article By: Sal B
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info. Wondering how to start a blog? This post will walk you through the step by step process, from choosing a domain name and hosting to installing WordPress and learning how to create valuable content for your target audience!
Click here to start a blog on SiteGround, then use the tutorial below for the easy directions.
So you have been thinking of starting your own blog? If you like to write reviews, tutorials or just about anything, having your own blog gives you plenty of room to keep your creative juices flowing. Starting a blog is also an excellent way to start building a side income. Once you have your own blog to express your views, you can begin using affiliate marketing to make money by blogging. You can also take the traditional route of sponsored posts and advertising to create a steady stream of income.
We recommend starting with a self-hosted site using WordPress.org. If you don’t know the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com, the significant difference lies in who’s hosting a website.
You host your own website or blog with WordPress.org. This is the place to download the free WordPress software that a user can download and install on his own web server.
On the other hand, WordPress.com manages the hosting part for you. There is no need to download any software or manage a web server.
However, WordPress.org offers more flexibility and users can easily adjust every feature to their liking. Significant benefits of using WordPress.org are that users can add an e-commerce plugin if they are looking to open up stores and sell items. They can also accept online payments through PayPal. This feature also lets you monitor your site’s progress with tools such as Google Analytics so you can track your customers and visitors to create future campaigns.
The first thing you’ll need to do to set up your self-hosted blog on WordPress.org is select your domain name and hosting package.
Step 1. Choose a Domain Name and Get it Registered
Brainstorm different ideas to decide on the best blog name, you will want to come up with a name that helps you stand out uniquely and positively. It takes just $14.95 to register a new domain through SiteGround. You can also transfer one over for free at the time of the registration process.
It makes sense to buy your own name if you are a freelance blogger. But, if you are a musician, marketer or a traveler, you can come up with an interesting name if you are looking to create a brand. It all depends on the type of blog you want to create.
Choosing your domain is one of the most crucial decisions that can make or break your blog. There are many effective ways to come up with an interesting blog name. Use a domain name generator to come up with a unique name.
Bust a name is great for creating a domain name that is trustworthy, brandable and easy to remember. The site serves as a great tool to brainstorm different ideas even if you don’t know where to start from, there is also a video tutorial for first-timers. The best features of the tool include:
- Saves domains for later use
- Compares prices
- Features a ‘Make Random Domains’ option
Step 2. Choose the Best Hosting Service
But how do you set up a blog? Various free website building tools allow you to create your own blog in no time. However, if you wish to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog, the first thing to do is to find a hosting service. You’ll want to make sure you choose a trustworthy and reliable host.
One web host that we highly recommend to new all new bloggers is SiteGround. SiteGround offers excellent hosting, including WordPress hosting, Siteground has incredible customer service and very affordable prices. If you want to start a WordPress for as less as possible, SiteGround is a really great option. If you’re a new blogger in search of hosting, I highly recommend getting set up with SiteGround.
SiteGround is one of the best hosting providers, which offers excellent packages and easy WordPress hosting for both amateur and professional bloggers.
It is a great option to choose if you are looking forward to starting a cheat WordPress site. The beginner plan typically costs just $3.95 per month, and you can lock in their rates for three years. Simply, choose the plan which works for you.
- The StartUp Plan is perfect for people with just one website in the pipeline. With 10GB of space, the option is great for people who are expecting less monthly traffic.
- The GoGeek Plan serves as a perfect choice for anyone who wants to open up an e-commerce store.
- The GrowBig Plan is great if you want to create multiple websites
We recommend starting with the cheapest plan, the StartUp Plan. You can always upgrade when your site grows.
Step 3. Enter Your Domain Name
Now, it’s time to enter your domain name. Refer back to step 1.
Step 4. Provide Information
Enter your personal information after deciding on a domain name.
Step 5. Select Your Plan Length
Users can benefit from an introductory rate to pre-pay for the hosting service and lock in the rate for three years. Apart from choosing the length of the initial contract, users can also select other options such as getting SG Site Scanner for less than $20 or Domain Privacy for $12/year.
Since domain information is public, Domain Privacy makes sure your personal info such as your contact number and address is not revealed to other people. SG Site Scanner keeps a check on your blog and lets you know if someone is attempting to hack it.
Your account is created as soon as you are billed. Now, you’re the proud owner of your own blog. Now we need to get you set up with WordPress.
Step 6. SiteGround Account Setup Wizard
Now you’re just minutes away from creating your first blog. SiteGround prompts you to install and set up your new WordPress blog without wasting any time. The Account Setup Wizard will guide you along each step of the journey.
Step 7. Select the ‘start a new website’ option and Proceed.
Bloggers need to indicate the type of blog they’re about to set up along with the platform. WordPress continues to dominate the industry, and there isn’t any other platform that gives you the same versatility and functionality as WordPress.
Step 8. Log-In Details
The SiteGround Account Setup Wizard would go ahead and install WordPress on the server. However, you will have to choose your log-in credentials. Since, hackers spend a great deal of time to hack their way into your blogs, choose a username and password that are hard to crack.
Step 9. Select a Template
With SiteGround, bloggers get an unlimited choice of web design templates and some cool free templates that are installed as soon as you install WordPress on your server.
It is reasonably easy to change your template. There are thousands of templates available, but you generally get just one theme installed when you create a new site. You can also buy a WordPress theme to receive an email with a downloadable file.
It is vital that you don’t unzip the file once it is downloaded. In order to install your purchased WordPress theme, go to Appearance, choose Themes and click ‘Add New.’
This means you don’t open your theme, but merely upload it. Hover over the newly-installed theme to click on ‘Activate.’
You can also upload different themes with WordPress.org. The Genesis Framework is a popular and functional theme which lets you build amazing and responsive websites with WordPress. With optimized and intuitive websites, bloggers can reach out to a broader audience. This theme results in the creation of a website that’s optimized for every device and screen size.
Some features of The Genesis Framework include:
- Mobile responsive websites
- Incredible customization capabilities with customizable header and page templates
- Content widgets
- Quick results
The theme is great for creating simple landing pages to multi-faceted websites. You can purchase the Genesis Framework for almost $60 and get the Pro Plus Membership for just about $500.
Step 10. Customize
Go creative and play with your settings to make your blog look just the way you have always wanted.
Go to Appearance, choose Settings and hit on Customize to make the required changes. Premium WordPress theme creators offer a free year of tech support so bloggers can contact them if they’re facing any technical difficulty.
The WordPress dashboard offers incredible customization opportunities to make your post as appealing as possible. With intuitive features to add content and images, you can create unique blog posts and also preview them before hitting the ‘publish’ button.
Step 11. Create Awesome Content!
Creating hard-hitting content is essential to attract your target audience. Identify the terms your visitors generally use to search their required information and base your blog content on those keywords.
Setting up Google Analytics can help you track the progress of your blog. From knowing your daily to monthly traffic, analytic tools give you all the valuable insight you need to update your blog to pull in more subscribers.
Make sure you build your email list, this is a significant step for the success of your blog. If you are looking for a way to send newsletters or emails to your readers, we recommend Convertkit.
Also, make sure you are regularly updating content on your social media accounts to get a steady stream of followers. Work on building an email list so you can market your content better. Offer giveaways on social media pages to give a quick boost to your blog’s popularity.
Now that you’ve set up your very own blog unleash your creativity and start producing incredible content to build a database of loyal subscribers. If starting a blog is your dream, do not give up. Blogging just like any other thing in life it takes hard work and determination. There will be just as many downs as there are ups, the key is to stay consistent and not give up. Good Luck!