I started this blog over three years ago. It started off as a hobby, and a way to showcase my writing as an online portfolio.Fast forward to today, and my blog has gone from a hobby to a source of additional income for my family. Over the years I’ve had many friends, family, and even strangers reach out to me to ask how to start a blog. These simple instructions will teach you how to start a blog of your very own, today!
Step 1: Choose A Domain Name
It may be tempting to try to come up with a catchy and unique domain name. All of the cutesy stuff is fun, but it’s better to choose a name that you will be easy to remember. Having a unique spelling or long title will make it difficult for you to share your blog with others, and you’ll inevitably regret it later in the process at which point it will be much more difficult to change. Trust me on this. Choose a name that is not only easy to share with others, but one that lets readers clearly identify what the main topic of your blog will be.
**Important: Before deciding on a name, search for it in Google and on ALL major social network sites. Nothing’s worse than later finding out that the name you choose is already being used on Twitter or Facebook, once you’ve already purchased the website domain.
Step 2: Purchase Domain Name and Hosting
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to get it registered and hosted. These are two different things. Registering your site name means that you purchased the rights to that specific name for a specific amount of time (usually 1-2 years, then you’ll renew it).
Your host will be the company that connects your website to the web. While you can use sites like WordPress.com and Blogger that don’t require you to have a host, I personally use RFE Hosting and highly recommend them. You can register your blog and start your journey directly from their site. The overall experience is very user friendly.
Self-hosted vs. Free Websites
The difference in owning your own hosting (as with RFE and other host), and simply using a free website hosting site is in the ownership. When you register your own domain and hosting you hold the power. You are able to promote ads, sponsored content, etc on your site as you please, and the proceeds all belong to you. You’re in charge. This will really come in handy in the future when you begin working with brands and ad networks… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Step 2: Secure Social Media Handles
Having a strong social media presence is a fundamental to a successful blog. Once you’ve registered your blog name, be sure to sign up for any and every social media site you can think of under that name. Even if you don’t use it now, you may want to later. It’s best to already have your name reserved. Now remember, this shouldn’t be any problem since you should have already checked that your name was available on these sites back in step one.
Step 3: Install WordPress On Your Site
This is the part where things could get a little more tricky, depending on which host you’ve decided to use. With RFE, you can simply access your website through the client area, in order to gain access to the backend. One there, you’ll click on the link to the left that says “Login to cPanel”.
Once you’ve entered the cPanel, scroll down to the very bottom and select “WordPress” located under scripts. From there, you’ll be able to install WordPress on your site.
Step 4: Install A Theme
Now that you’ve installed wordpress on your site, it’s time to choose a theme. To do this, you’ll want to go to “Appearance” on the left side of your WordPress dashboard and select “Themes”. While there are several free themes to choose from, I select purchasing a theme. It doesn’t need to be expensive. Paid themes generally better support, more frequent updates and more customizing options.
I like to use MyThemeShop for themes. Not only are they beautiful and affordable, they’re also optimized for SEO which will help in getting your blog seen by more eyes across the web. There are also step by step guides for installation, and a whole forum users to ask questions and communicate. They are great at responding to questions, and walking you through any hurdles you may encounter. Once you’ve chosen and installed your theme, you can play around with the theme options to customize to your liking.
Step 5: Create Content
Now that you’ve learned how to start a blog, you’ll need to start creating content for your readers! Consistent and relevant content that the readers find interesting, along with bright, big and beautiful photos will help with growing your traffic and establishing a regular readership.
There you have it! You’ve learned how to start a blog in less than one hour! Stay tuned for more content on tips, tricks, and resources for taking your blog to the next level!
Have questions on how to start a blog? Drop a comment below!