So, you want to find out how to start a blog? This is the perfect place to be. Starting a blog in 2018 is a quick and easy thing to do and once you’re up and running, you can focus on putting in the effort to make it successful. Blogging is a business in itself! Not only is it a creative outlet where you can share what you love and inspire others, you can also make money blogging, work with brands and build your own empire.
Why do you want to start a blog?
- Do you have a passion that you’d love to share your knowledge, thoughts and ideas about?
- Do you dream of running your own business, working from home and being your own boss?
- Do you already have a business and you want to start a blog/website to attract more customers?
- Would you love to get involved in all the perks of blogging? The PR packages, travel, working with brands?
No matter what your reason is for wanting to start a blog, the most important thing is to start now! There has never been a better time to start a blog, so I want to show you exactly how to do it and how you can make your blog more than just a blog!
Let’s get you set up for success!
How to start a blog
Here are my easy step-by-step instructions on how to start a blog:
- Decide what to blog about
- Name your blog
- Secure the username
- Choose a platform
- Install a blog theme
- Add your logo
- Style your pages and side bar
- Start posting
- Promote it
1. Decide what to blog about
The first thing to figure out when starting a blog is what type of blog you want to have. In other words, your ‘niche’. The more focused you are on your niche and the type of posts you’ll create to fit that niche, the more new followers you’ll gain. If you create a new blog and the content is all over the place, people won’t be able to connect with it as much as if it focused on a particular category.
Popular blogging categories or niches include:
|Wedding||Education||Technology||Books + Film|
You need to go with a niche that excites you, one you’d love to create content for. If you want more than one niche, (e.g. a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog) I suggest choosing no more than three categories.
If you’ve decided on the topic of fashion blogging, find out how to start a fashion blog.
2. Name your blog
Next you need to come up with a unique name for your blog. You can either use your full name or you can come up with a different creative name. Read my instructions on how to come up with a blog name.
When trying to name your blog, write down a list of words that relate to the niche you’ve chosen above. You can even type your niche into Thesaurus.com and look through all the words they come up with. You will need a combination of words, as if you choose one word, it’s most likely going to be taken already! You want your blog name to be unique.
Once you have a list of potential names, you will need to check through each one to see if the domain name is available. Use the Bluehost search bar below to check if your names are free:
When you click the green ‘check availability’ button above, it will either take you to a page that says it’s not available, OR it will take you to a page to create your blog hosting account with Bluehost (which means it’s free and ready to go!).
If your desired domain name is free, get it as soon as you can! When you purchase your blog hosting with Bluehost, they will include your domain for free so you don’t have to purchase it separately anywhere else and it will automatically be connected to your new blog. More and more domains are being snapped up every day (people even buy them just to re-sell) so if you can get your domain, snap it up before someone else does.
3. Secure the username
Once you have a name for your blog, I recommend starting accounts with the same name on all social media accounts. For example, if your blog is called Sprinkle Cupcake, you need to try and get the username sprinklecupcake on every social media account (eg. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram). If you can’t have the name exactly, try adding an underscore (_) or a dash (-) in the middle of the words, or adding the word ‘blog’ at the end.
Having the same username on every social media platform will make it so easy for your readers to find and follow you.
4. Choose a platform
There are two platforms I recommend for blogging. The first (and most ideal) is self-hosted WordPress (not wordpress.com), the second is Blogger.
- You can create an inspiring website/blog
- You can make money with your blog and run an online store
- When you purchase hosting you can get your domain for free and it’s automatically added to your blog
- The designer themes you can find for WordPress blogs are incredible
- You install easy-to-use Plugins to your blog to add functionality rather than messing around with HTML
- It’s the best platform if you’re working towards having a successful blog.
Create your WordPress blog with my easy step-by-step How To Start A WordPress Blog guide.
- It’s great if your blog is a hobby
- Your blog URL will be yourblogname.blogspot.com (not very professional!)
- You have to purchase a domain somewhere else and add it into the settings of your blog
- You’ll need to purchase and install a designer Blogger template if you want it to look good
- You will need HTML knowledge if you want to add anything fancy to your blog such as contact forms and pin it buttons
- You won’t be able to run an online store
- It’s difficult to move everything to WordPress later
I highly recommend going with WordPress, as you can make your blog a stunning website, rather than “just a blog”. You will be able to run your own business and make money with your blog. Blog Pixie is on WordPress and it’s the best investment I’ve made. I now have a beautiful, interactive website (and you can too)!
5. Install a blog theme
If you want your new blog to look really good, you will need to purchase and install a designer blog theme. If you just want to get started as soon as possible though and can’t afford a designer theme just yet, both Blogger and WordPress have free themes available to use from the Themes section in your Dashboard. Have a search through and see what you can find!
Definitely don’t go searching for free themes on other websites, as they can be full of bugs. I recommend purchasing a designer theme as they are much nicer and definitely worth it. It’s easy to install one to your blog and the whole design will be changed in an instant.
6. Add your logo
To start a blog and make it successful, you will need a logo. This is your blog title in a fancy font, that you place at the top of your blog. Upload your blog header image or logo to the top of your blog as soon as you can. If you don’t have a logo and you need one fast, I’ve got some affordable logo designs in my store.
7. Style your pages and side bar
You will need to add an About page (with a bit of info about yourself) and a Contact page (so your visitors can contact you).
Spend some time styling your blog side bar, adding a profile picture, social media icons and social widgets for Instagram and Pinterest. If you want some decorative graphics to add in, check out my blog styling kits.
If you need some beautiful photos to add to your blog, check out my Blogging Resources page for a list of stock photography websites.
8. Start posting
The sooner you start publishing blog posts, the better. They may not be perfect from the beginning, but the more you post the better you’ll get at it. Come up with a list of blog post ideas you’d like the create and work your way through it. If you need some ideas, check out my list of 100 blog post ideas.
9. Promote it
If you want to get more blog traffic, you will need to promote your new posts and your blog on your social media channels. You can use Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even sites like Stumbleupon. If you don’t start talking about it, nobody will know it exists! Be proud of what you’ve done and start spreading the word.